Swim Report – September 5, 2021 – Hints of Autumn

We’re definitely feeling the change in seasons these days. The sunrises are later in the morning, and there is a slight chill present in the air that wasn’t there in late August. But September and October are two of my favorite months for outdoor swimming as the lake temperature usually stays fairly high, and the sunrises are just spectacular. And this was certainly that case last weekend!

I found myself hustling out to the lakefront after a longer than expected ride out the city. Apparently, the Bike the Drive event was rescheduled for Labor Day weekend (it’s usually held on Memorial Day weekend), so Lake Shore Drive was completely shut down. As a result, I had to take an alternate route through the city to get to our swim site. But the silver lining was that I got to experience a wave on nostalgia driving past all my old haunts and hangouts on Clark and Broadway.

Once on site at L1 everything was fantastic. We had a great turnout (likely driven by the 6:15am sunrise), and the lake temperature came in at an amazing 73.0F – much more comfortable than the 63F air temperature. I did a point-to-point 1/2 mile to Oak Street Beach and walked back to L1 where everyone was still hanging out. I jumped in one more time as the conditions were perfect. I could have stayed out there all day, but I had to get up north to attend to my two little ones (and two future Lake Monsters!).

Hope you got out to (and into) the lake last Sunday!

Dawn skyline (and a green L1!)
Another perfect day!

Swim Report – August 29, 2021 – Don’t Fence Us In!

Good fences may make good neighbors, but this isn’t the case with swimming…

The last meetup of August brought out several Lake Monsters to the lakefront as well as a number of other early morning revelers taking advantage of the 75.0F lake temp and 80F air temp. I can’t say I blame everyone as the skies were clear, the lake was calm, and we had a great show to the east at 6:00am.

The only glitch in our swim plans was a pesky chain link fence that had been erected along the shoreline from L1 to L3 completely blocking access to the water. Apparently the city is doing some much needed repairs of the concrete in this area. And while this is certainly necessary, it did require use to get in the lake a bit farther north of L1. We could easily have snuck around the fence to get to L1 (and some people did), but there is a submerged safety ladder just on the other side of the fence that enabled us to get in and out of the water easily.

The near perfect lake conditions put me in a really good swim groove, and I decided to do the point to point half mile to Oak Street Beach. Once I reached the shore, I sat around for a bit in the water enjoying the now fully risen sun and the wonderful late summer morning. Pretty soon things will start to get a bit nipper in both the lake and the outside air, so now is the time to get in your final summer swims!

Sunrise sequence
Don’t fence us in!
Swim start!
Ethan, Lake Monster 533 (congrats!)

Swim Report – August 22, 2021 – Grey Skies at Dawn

Seven of us made it out to L1 this morning and, fortunately for us, the “beach hazard” swim conditions did not materialize at 6:00am. While we did have some 2-3 foot slow rolling swells, they were more than manageable in the 72.0F lake.

I went with my usual peak summer set up – jammers and goggles – although I realized half way into my swim that the former were on backwards. But lucky for me this didn’t hamper my performance in the water. What did, though, was the swells on the return part of the swim. The wind was blowing them in a steep southwest direction, so I was basically swimming directly into them for the last 1/4 mile.

Overall, another fantastic morning out at the lake, and we didn’t have to contend with the Air Show crowds!

Lake Monsters pre-swim
Ashley, Lake Monster 532 (congrats!)

Swim Report – August 15, 2021 – Turbulent Waters

Sunday brought us a wonderfully clear morning with an amazing view to the east at 6:00am. The lake came in at 72.4F – a slight dip from last week – with the air temp hovering around 61F. So there was, dare I say, a slight hint of early autumn that sent us scurrying into the lake for the sanctuary of the balmy water. As obvious by the pics below, we had some rather vigorous chops and 2-3 foot swells, so I only got in 1/4 mile. But it was still well worth the effort as we pretty much had the entire lakefront to ourselves!

Turbulent waters
Blaze of glory to the east!

Swim Report – August 8, 2021 – Summer Haze

A bit overcast to the east at 5:50am, so we didn’t get the resplendent sunrise that usually happens this time of year. But we had ideal swimmin’ conditions out at the world’s greatest swim spot with the lake temp coming in at 75.8F and the air temp at 72F. Wish you all could have made it out!

L1 pre-sunrise
Swim start
Pool party!

Swim Report – July 25, 2021 – Tarzan Edition

The last meetup of July gave us a perfect summer morning! The lake came in at a balmy 73.8F with an air temp of 72F at 5:40am. I once again planned to go minimalist – i.e. swim jammers and goggles only. But I had to go with just the jammers as I left my goggles at home (ulp)! So the 1/2 mile swim to the beach was pretty “old school.” But the lake conditions were ideal, so the walk back to L1 was an absolute joy. Happy July!

L1 at dawn
Swimmers at sunrise
Paul, Lake Monster 530 (congrats!)
Jenny, Lake Monster 531 (congrats!)

Swim Report – July 18, 2021 – Peak Summer

Sunrise came a bit later (5:30am), but the swimming conditions were ideal. The lake came in at 72F with the outside air temp coming in at 66F. Below are some pics from the morning!

The swim crew at daybreak
Oak sapling on top of the Chess Pavilion

Swim Report – July 4, 2021 – Happy Independence Day!

Another quick one. With so many people being out of town for the holiday, we pretty much had the lakefront to ourselves – especially at 5:20am! As you can see, the lake conditions were perfect and the water temp came in just under 70F. I did my now re-established routine of the 1/2 mile point-to-point swim to Oak Street Beach followed by a walk back – a great way to begin the holiday!

Surprise proposal at dawn!
One last look back

Swim Report – June 27, 2021 – Silver Lake

Still in the “trough” this time of year, I made it out to L1 just before sunrise at 5:15am. As you can see from the pics, it was a brief one nestled between a grayish silver lake and some overcast skies. But the lake came in at a near-prefect 63.4F (I say “near-perfect” because the water was crystal clear – anything warmer tends to be murkier and not as fun to swim in).

As with last week, I did the 1/2 mile to the beach followed by a leisurely walk back to L1. Another great morning for a swim!

A pensive and serene lake
L1 Siren

Swim Report – June 20, 2021 – Last Swim of Spring (and Happy Fathers’ Day)!

Four sleep-deprived Lake Monsters made it out to L1 on the morning of the longest day of the year – which translated to a 5:15am sunrise time. However, it was well worth the trip as the lake came in at an ideal 68.8F lake temp with the air temp just slightly below at 64F air temp. Plus the lake was quite calm – albeit not the mirror flat conditions we had at the beginning of June!

I again went minimalist – swim jammers and goggles – and did a long, lazy loop in the “pool” area that translated to just over 1/2 mile. I had flirted with the idea of swimming to Oak Street Beach as I do enjoy the psychological boost of making a beach landing after point-to-point endeavor. But I had to get back up north before Hurricane Joe and Nick the Bruiser woke up and transformed the house from tranquility to chaos.

As such, I only got about 20 minutes of quiet time with a nice cup of dragonwell tea before both fellows made their grand, raging entrances into the back room where I had been savoring the sanctity of a still calm morning.

Happy Fathers’ Day and Happy Almost Summer!

Sunrise sequence
The start of the longest day of the year!