With the air temperature coming in at 22F and the in-swim lake mercury reading 35.4F, it felt more like late January than late autumn out at L1. But this was a small price to pay for clear skies and a relatively calm lake. And I’ll take freezing temps for those last two items any day!
On a long shot, I decided to bring out my hard bristle broom with the hopes of being able to clear more of the treacherous slime away from our swim entry area. Fortunately for me, the lake had just a slight swell, so I was able to make some substantial headway in scrubbing off the slippery biofilm that has plagued both OWC swimmers as well as the occasional errant Park District vehicle. But all that heavy scouring was very strenuous work, so I was already warmed up when it came time to get in the lake.
In order to minimize the effects of the cold on my extremities, I poured some hot water into my gloves and booties and tucked them underneath my wetsuit just before getting into the lake. This proved to be a very wise move as I had no discomfort at all during the entire 1/2 mile swim. The only exception was the initial cold water stinging on the exposed areas of my face, but that only lasted for a couple of minutes.
After getting out of the lake, it was the usual mad dash to get into warm and dry layers in the chilly outside air. But I didn’t have a dreaded afterdrop to torment me, so it was a very easy transition. So even though it’s still officially autumn, I already feel well acclimated for winter!