Swim Report – September 4, 2022 – 70F+ Zone

The forecast for Sunday morning was pretty grim – namely, a beach advisory with expected 7 foot waves. So I wasn’t too optimistic that there would be any swimming out at L1. However, I decided to check things out even if it meant making it a photography-only outing. And lucky for me, the wind gods were napping when I got out to the swim site!

We didn’t really get much of a sunrise as we had some pretty overcast skies at 6:15am. But the high waves didn’t materialize, so the swim was a go. I took the lake temp, and it came in at a surprisingly high 72.2F – yet another unexpected bonus! So I went minimalist (i.e. jammers and goggles) and climbed down into the lake.

While we didn’t get any larger waves, we did have some swells that would occasionally crest to around 3 feet. But certainly nothing that would hamper our swimming. In fact, the swells were quite regular which made it easy to time – particularly on the way back. But the higher than expected water temperature more than made up for everything!

Overcast skyline at dawn
No sun show this morning
Geese phalanx
Doug, Lake Monster 554 (congrats!)

Swim Report – August 14, 2022 – Summer Chops

While we didn’t get much of a sunrise this morning as we had some pretty overcast skies. But we did have a uniformly warm lake (70.4F) and some slight chops that kept things interesting.

I got in my usual half mile without any problems, and we ushered in some new Lake Monsters – so another fantastic morning!

Skyline at dawn
Swim entry
Madeleine, Lake Monster 552 (congrats!)
Susan, Lake Monster 553 (congrats!)

Swim Report – August 7, 2022 – Thermocline Surprise

I got out to the lakefront a bit earlier than usual on Sunday, so I managed to catch the amazing colors that preceded the sunrise. The lake came in at 71.6F (surface), and I was expecting it to be uniformly temperate like the prior week. Boy was I mistaken!

My thermometer read correctly, but only because it was measuring the water temperature within the first 12 inches. Everything below that was probably about 10F or more colder (ugh)! So it was quite a rude awakening when we all first got in.

But fortunately, the lake was calm and the outside temperature was a balmy 78F. I did my usually out-and-back and got in my 1/2 mile – albeit a bit quicker than on most days!

Colors at daybreak
Eric, Lake Monster 549 (congrats!)
Sean, Lake Monster 550 (congrats!)
Dirk, Lake Monster 551 (congrats!)
The branch that almost took out my car

Swim Report – July 31, 2022 – Late Summer Perfection

Our last meetup of July couldn’t have been more perfect! The lake came in at 72.2F (in swim), and the air temp was already 70F at 5:45am. Plus the water was completely calm, making it an ideal start for several new Lake Monsters that showed up just before sunrise!

The view to the east was predictably amazing, and it delayed the swim start a bit. But it was a very easy process getting in the lake given the warmer water. As with the last swim, I went with just jammers and goggles – the bare essentials for summer. And I managed to do a 1/2 mile point-to-point to Oak Street Beach before taking a leisurely stroll back to L1.

Overall, another fantastic summer morning!

Lake July sunrise
Alex, Lake Monster 545 (congrats!)
Dave, Lake Monster 546 (congrats!)
Jackie, Lake Monster 547 (congrats!)
Reid, Lake Monster 548 (congrats!)

Swim Report – July 10, 2022 – 70F+

After the slight temperature regression last week, Lake Michigan rebounded and gave us a 73.0F lake this morning which was an absolute joy to swim in. The air temp came in a bit cooler at 63F, but we had another cloudless sky with abundant sunshine to accompany us in the water.

The lake was a bit more of a challenge with the slight but higher volume swells. But it was pretty easy to navigate through these as you could at least maintain your swim rhythm. Like last week, I went with the jammers, cap, and goggles. But I will likely start ditching the cap and going full summer minimalist for a while!

Slight swells at 5:25am
Sunrise and Lake Monsters
Jazmin, Lake Monster 544 (congrats!)

Swim Report – July 3, 2022 – Thermocline Edition

We lucked out the morning before the holiday as the lake temperature 48 hours prior was hovering at 60F thanks to an inversion of colder water that appeared on Friday. But fortunately for us, the water near L1 came in at 67.2F lake temp (surface). There were some colder layers below, but that just meant that the lake was crystal clear with amazing visibility!

I went with my typical summer setup again – cap, goggles, and jammers – and was perfectly comfortable during the 1/2 mile in the lake. As an added bonus, the water was mirror flat which made swimming a breeze. I hope you got in the lake on the holiday weekend!

Calm and clear at 5:20am!
Sunrise sequence
Heading home!
Madelyn, Lake Monster 543 (congrats!)

Swim Report – June 19, 2022 – Last Spring Meetup!

Being just on the cusp of the solstice, sunrise was WAY early (5:15am). But that didn’t stop several new and veteran Lake Monsters from getting in a swim whilst the rest of the city slept!

Good coffee is a rarity at 4:30am, so I had to settle for the barely palatable slurry at a local Shell station. But it was well worth it as the lake came in at a near perfect 67.2 lake temp with just some light swells to make things interesting.

Since we are well within the “temperate zone,” I went with just my jammers, cap, and goggles and was more than comfortable during the 1/2 mile swim. But unlike the prior week, I opted to do a point to point swim to Oak Street Beach versus an out and back at the 1/4 mile mark. This meant that I had to walk back another 1/2 mile, but it was a perfect morning for a post-swim stroll!

Big congrats to all the new Lake Monsters!

Half moon over the city
Lake Monsters pre-swim
Swim finish!
Andrea, Lake Monster 538 (congrats!)
Kate, Lake Monster 539 (congrats!)
Brian, Lake Monster 540 (congrats!)
Vince, Lake Monster 541 (congrats!)
Ashir, Lake Monster 542 (congrats!)

Swim Report – June 12, 2022 – 60F+!

Finally punched through the 60F ceiling with the lake coming in at a near perfect 63.0F. The air was a bit cooler at 60F, but we had plenty of sunshine and an amazing sunrise to accompany us in and out of the water. Just like last week, the lake was crystal clear water but also perfectly calm at 5:15am. It didn’t stay that way when the weather started moving in, but we were long gone by then!

Pre-sunrise skyline
Sea of tranquility
Everybody in the pool!
Sunrise sequence
Bill, Lake Monster 537 (congrats!)
The calm before the storm

Swim Report – March 6, 2022 – Hints of Spring!

We had some very gusty winds from the west, so I was expecting the lakefront to be a mess. But the swim area was perfectly calm with no ice at 6:15am. So we geared up before Ma Nature changed her mind and got in the lake.

For this first time in a while, I was able to do an unencumbered 1/2 mile as there was no ice to bar my way, nor were there any waves or chops to thwart my progress. So I swam to the 1/4 mile point and back in one long loop without any break in my workout – just the way it’s supposed to be!

Post swim was quite tolerable in the 38F air, and I only had a very minor afterdrop. Even better, we got to welcome Jean as a new Lake/Ice Monster – hailing all the way from the Emerald Isle. Way to go Jean!

First sunrise
Second sunrise
The pool is open!
Jean, Lake Monster 536 – and Ice Monster 28 (congrats!)
Snowdrops from my garden – Spring is almost here!

Swim Report – November 7, 2021 –

Eight of us made it out to L1 at 6:30am just a few minutes before sunrise, and it was another splendid one! While we were admiring Ma Nature’s handiwork, I got a quick reading on the lake temperature which ready just under 52F (51F in swim). The air temperature was a bit more crisp at 48F, but we had clear and sunny skies which took a bit of the edge off of the chill.

I decided to go with a neoprene shorty and cap this time since I had a rather fitful night of sleep thanks to some fussy little ones. Turns out that was a good call, as I was quite comfortable in the lake the entire time. I did my usual 1/2 mile (the long loop version), and hung out with the others for a little while longer in the lake a few meters from L1.

Bottom line, another great swim in a lake that’s still hovering above 50F – at least for now!

Lake Monsters at daybreak
Sunrise sequence
Heading south
Maurice, Lake Monster 534 (congrats!)
Ray, Lake Monster 535 (congrats!)
Post swim