The days keep getting longer and brighter, and this morning was no exception. A few hale and hearty Lake Monsters braved the 32.6F lake and 32.0F air in a mostly clear swim area. However, getting into the water proved to be the most arduous task!
The concrete area from the bike path to the lake was one big sheet of ice at 7:00am. What made it particularly challenging was that there is a downward slope going from the bike path – which made this essentially a high speed ramp into the lake. But luckily, I had a length of rope with some fasteners in my trunk. So I attached it to assign bolted into the concrete, and used this to get down to the more level surface by waterfront so I could get a water temperature reading. But alas, my work had just begun…
The area all around L1 – both leading up to it and all along the lakeside – was essentially encased in ice. So I had to spend about 15 minutes hacking away at it with my pickaxe in order to clear a way in and out of the water. Fortunately, I was able to remove enough ice to make swimming possible. And it was certainly worth the effort!
I donned my full winter gear (fullsuit, hood, gloves, booties) and started swimming southwards towards the beach. I acclimated pretty quickly, and probably could have done 1/2 mile without much effort. But we (literally) ran into a barrier of ice floes just past the 1/8 mile point that prevented any further progress. However, that didn’t stop us from exploring!
After much experimentation, we found some sturdier ice floes that allowed us to sit (or stand) on them without breaking through. By then the sun had come out from behind the cloud wall, and it was quite pleasant reclining on ice amidst the bright sunshine. We eventually started our swim back to L1, but I would have liked to have hung out on the ice a bit longer!