We had three tranquil weeks out at L1, so we were long overdue for an abrupt change. Fortunately, we only had to contend with a mildly irritated lake versus a full on rage that sometimes happens around the end of October!
After bellyaching for months (years?) about the slippery pavement around L1, I finally decided to take action on Sunday morning. I brought out a hard bristle cleaning broom to scrape away the slick biofilm that has been plaguing us all year. I was hoping for another week with a calm lake so I could clear things up for everyone. Unfortunately, we had 1-2 foot swells that made it very difficult to properly scour the pavement. But I was able to clear some of it away, and I got a pretty good read on the lake temperature through my exposed feet. Bottom line, no searing pain, so the water temperature was likely still in the 50F+ range!
Encouraged by this data point (and by a clear, sunny sky), I opted to go with just my jammers and neoprene cap. I also applied a healthy layer of shea butter which made a world of difference in swim. So after much procrastination, I got in at L2 where the rough pavement allowed for more traction getting into the lake.
I did my usual out and back to the 1/4 mile mark (1/2 mile total) and was quite relieved at how “effortless” the swim was on the way out. Well, it turned out that there was a pretty strong southbound current, so the swim back was a real workout! Nevertheless, I along with three other intrepid Lake Monsters managed to stare down an irritable 53.0 F Lake Michigan and get in a swim on what was otherwise a perfect autumn morning.