The good news (it’s all good news) is that the lake temperature seems to have bottomed out and is now on the rise (albeit slowly). The in-swim mercury came in at 34.0F on the nose, a slight increase over the past few weeks. But the increasing daylight seems to be nudging Lake Michigan higher – or at least preventing a relapse.
I got out to L1 just before sunrise, and there was a brisk wind from the south that produced some lively chops. But the swells were fairly low volume, so I decided to go with a neoprene shorty versus a fullsuit. The first 3-4 minutes of the swim were somewhat painful on my exposed forearms and lower legs, but I acclimated quickly and managed to get in just over 1/3 mile.
Getting in and out at L1 was a bit tricky as the area leading to the lakefront was a sheet of ice on a decline. But that was the most challenging part of the swim – not the actual water conditions themselves! Regarding the latter, I could tell during the swim that we still have the “winter layer” in place. This is the colder top layer that forms in late November that typically has a murky green-gray color. Once the lake turns over in April, we start to get more clear water from below.
Given my scaled back swim attire, I had a bit of an afterdrop post-swim, but it was gone by the time I reached my parked car. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to seeing the lake punch through the 40F ceiling soon!