Swim Report – April 18, 2021 – 50F+ Zone!

The air temp came in at a crisp 42F, but the official in-swim lake temp measured a balmy 50.4F at 6:00am. Plus, as you can see, the lake conditions were ideal. So I got in a quick 1/4 mile in just a shortie and cap and didn’t have anywhere near the level of discomfort on my hands and feet than the prior week. As an added bonus, we had a magnificent sunrise which looked even more amazing in person!

L1 at daybreak
Sunrise sequence
New OWC mascot?

Swim Report – April 11, 2021 – Early Spring Edition

Three of us met out at L1 at 6:15am to get in a sunrise swim. We set up camp at the Chess Pavilion as the mist was becoming a drizzle, and we didn’t want to contend with wet towels and clothes afterwards. The lake temp came in at 45F lake – same as the air temp. It was overcast and foggy, but the sun started to peek though the clouds mid-swim.

I went with just my neoprene shortie and cap this time, and banged out my 1/4 mile without any difficulties. It stung a bit on my hands and feet for the first few minutes, but I acclimated pretty quickly.

Looking forward to the longer (and warmer) days!

Skyline at dawn
The view to the east
Lake Monsters post swim

Swim Report – March 21, 2021 – Happy Spring!

One of the most noticeable things about passing the vernal equinox is that the sunrises become much earlier rather abruptly. This continues through May and then it slows down a bit before the summer solstice. But after this last winter, I’m certainly not complaining about the longer, sunnier days!

I arrived at L1 just before 6:30am, and we already had some pre-dawn colors painting the horizon. I chatted with a number of early morning joggers and sun worshipers and snapped a few shots as the sunrise progressed. Once it was out in its full glory, I suited up and climbed into the 41.2F lake.

Because it was a clear day with very little wind, the lake didn’t have the sting it normally does at these temperatures. So I was able to get acclimated pretty much within the first minute with no real discomfort in-swim. I swam parallel to the wall to the “swimmers shrine” – the cross shaped orange marker 1/8 mile south of L1 – before turning back. The lake was a bit choppy, but we didn’t have the southbound current from the prior week. So overall it was a pretty relaxing first Spring swim of the year!

The sun peeks through
Good morning!
Choppy swim area

Swim Report – March 14, 2021 – 40F+

Quick report as I’m a bit behind (again). I made it out to L1 to get in one last winter swim, and I was blessed with a lake that finally broke through the 40F ceiling. The official in-swim water temperature came in at 42.4F – finally out of the “basement!” I got in my usual 1/4 mile with a shortie and neoprene items on my extremities, and I didn’t have any discomfort that usually accompanies any swim in the 30Fs. Looking forward to Spring!

Dawn colors
Skyline shot
The sun peeks through
Swimmers were here!

Swim Report – March 7, 2021 – Hints of Spring

Three of us met out at L1 for a late winter swim, and we were blessed with abundant sunshine that took the edge off of a 37.8F lake. But even though we are still in the sub-40F “basement,” it’s only a matter of time that we punch through to the other side of 40F for good!

As with last week, I went with a neoprene shortie along with my hood, gloves, and booties. The water stung my exposed legs and forearms on entry with the dull aching lasting for a few minutes. But this was much less intense than last Sunday where I had some significant pain for the first third of my swim. So even though we’re talking about only a 1.8F increased in the lake, that actually makes a huge difference in overall comfort in swim!

I did my usually 1/4 mile, going out to the 1/8 mile “swimmers shrine” before turning back. It was a fairly textbook swim, but the chops made it a bit difficult to perfect any sort of swim rhythm while in the water. But it was great to get back in the lake again, and very soon we won’t have to contend with “30-something” water temps – at least not until late 2021!

Skyline with bonus crescent moon
Ice Monsters post swim
Quick shot before leaving!

Swim Report – February 28, 2021 – Back in Action

Now that the ice shield is no longer locking us out of the lake, we were able to get in at L1 for the first time in several weeks. And while we didn’t get the clear and sunny skies of the day before, it was still a pretty awesome swim!

With the days getting longer, sunrise is starting to take place much earlier. So I got out to L1 just before 6:30am hoping to catch the show. Unfortunately, we had some overcast skies and a very foggy lakefront. But while this didn’t give us much of a sunrise, it did provide a pretty spectacular backdrop to our swim!

The lake came in at a crisp 36F that was somewhat tempered by a 43F air temp. And while the lake was a bit choppy, it was surprisingly clear – likely due to some of the lower layers of the lake starting to mix up with the surface. Perhaps this is a harbinger of an early Spring?

Foggy swim site
Curious spectators
Post swim!

Swim Report – January 17, 2021 – Mid-Winter Excursion

Super tardy on these older swim reports, but I do have a somewhat passable excuse. I actually did write these up last week, but they somehow dissolved into the ether during the process of changing website hosting providers. So I’ll make these succinct…

For this swim, we had a 34F lake with 32F air temperatures out at L1. The swim conditions were surprisingly good with some very slight swells and light snow to keep things lively. But overall a very navigable lake. We ended up hanging out at the Chess Pavilion as the flurries were melting on landing and we wanted to keep our stuff dry. But it was a very pleasant way to spend a winter morning!

Ice Monsters
Open air changing station
The author in his element
One last look back

Swim Report – January 10, 2021 – Hello 2021!

The lake temp help steady from last week at 34.4F which was a bit more balmy than the 28F air temp. But the lake was mostly calm, and there wasn’t any pesky wind to harangue us post-swim. I went with a full gear setup, so the only part of me directly exposed to the water was the lower half of my face. And while I did have a slight ice cream headache while starting out, I was able to get in 1/3 mile without any difficulties. So overall a great morning!

Lone duck at dawn
2021 Skyline
Ice Monsters post swim

Swim Report – December 31, 2020 – Last Swim of 2020

Given that we didn’t do our usual holiday travelling this year, I decided to take advantage of the rare opportunity to get in a swim at L1 during the week while I was officially on “staycation.” The lake came in at a crisp 34.4F which was much more pleasant than the 25F air temp. And we kept up the streak of calm lake conditions as well!

Still waters
The greatest swim backdrop on the planet!
Ice Monster outdoor changing area

Swim Report – December 20, 2020 – Last Autumn Swim!

Lake Michigan gave us near perfect conditions for our last swim of the season. The water temperature came in at 37.6F, broke through the floor into the sub-40F zone. But since the air temperature came in at 32F, it was much more pleasant in the lake than outside!

Morning skyline
Gearing up!
Another perfect morning
One last look back