This past summer I did not get my act together to post regular reports, but I did keep track. So, for the record, this is how we (Mike and I) saw the lake in 2002. All swims were in Evanston unless otherwise noted.
June 22: 66, perfect
June 23: 64 surface, colder 1 foot down. Calm
June 30: 58 Cold as hell, could barely go to cherry picker and back even though air temp has been 90.
July 3: 64 and totally clear - bottom was visible entire way.
July 4: 64 and totally clear - Swam other way to Chicago, great snorkeling at the old Evanston pier and on both sides of the wall at the beach. Wind and waves picking up by time we leave. (Added later in season: Mike thinks this is all time greatest day.)
July 5: 70 and 2-3ft waves. Aimed NE, tried for wall but didn't make it. Coming back with waves Mike landed near cherry picker and had to swim cross waves. It turns out wind was more SE than NE.
July 12: 68, a Maytag day - lots of agitation.
July 13: 70, less agitation, permanent press cycle? Too hot with thermal caps.
July 14: 73, smoother, but too warm. Beautiful beach day, however.
July 16: 72, smooth and clear. Recovered an anchor from the bottom.
July 26: 73, windy from north, small waves and ripples, coming back noticibly faster than going. Recent beach closures in entire Chicago area have been blamed on birds, but water has taste of large sewage spill.
July 28: 75, my first swim with Seal goggles, great visibility. Trouble parking, went in cove by yellow climbing toy in park, rocks covered with slimy stinky seaweed. Yucch.
July 31: 72 and perfectly flat. A gorgeous morning.
August 2: 69, very wavy. An active northeast wind not only produced waves, about 3ft, also windwaves on top, very disorganized and not even nice to swim back in. Out straight, upwind to cherry picker, then back. Seal goggles worked well.
August 4: 72 and ripples. Air and water gray. Beach full of beatles and dead seaweed. Not a nice day to sit on the beach.
August 13: Went for a short swim in Big Johnston lake in Montana's Anaconda Pintler wilderness. 60 degree water, not bad for a snow fed lake at 8000 feet. Looking forward to warm Lake Michigan.
August 18: Back in Evanston: Youch! Water was 58 today! Breastroked about 300 yards out and swam back, that was enough! No explaination for cold water; seemed localized around Chicago, perhaps followed me from Montana.
August 25: Back to 67-68, pleasant temperature and water was fairly clear given heavy rains on Thursday which resulted in all the locks opening up. (Thats why no swim during the week or on 24th). Health dept guy taking water sample says it should be OK now, but I had eye problem after swimming. Turns out just a coincidence - broken blood vessel.
August 28: Maytag day at Ohio St, 73. Went here partly because northeaster would have big waves at Evanston. Waves here about a big as I have seen by this beach but mostly degenerated to chop. Quite a few other swimmers for Wednesday 6-7AM, some in wetsuits, some not. Parking OK before 7 on Ontario because of parking ban at 7 M-F.
August 30: Back in Evanston, 73, these low but longish waves were actually a bit easier to swim against than with.
September 1: Hot, 75. Water still cloudy, low waves. Later the lifeguards did not show but Mr Briefcase let us stay for free if we promised not to go in the water.
September 2: 73. If we had swum at 6AM we probably would have had a nice quiet flat swim. But by 8:30 when we arrived at the beach a fierce localized northeaster was in full blast, including rain. A straight out straight back swim was appropriate but this was perhaps the roughest yet, 4 foot wind waves. The "back" was real quick, however. The Seal goggles were somewhat of a disappointment, the extra visibility is a real plus in these conditions but it was hard to keep them watertight and they were extra hard to clear of water and reseat in these waves.
September 4: 74. An unusual late afternoon swim, met Mike at the train in Evanston at 4:30 and went for a quick swim. The lighting felt strange, with shadows in the wrong places. Water still a little wavy but not bad, easier swimming back.
September 7: Big Shoulders, Ohio St. 77. On the surface not much to complain about, water warm and fairly flat, weather sunny and nice. But Saturday is not good for me workwise so I only swam 2.5K. A bunch of novices, triatheletes and sprinters, got badly beat up at the start. The challenge is the distance or bad water so not much point in swimming the 2.5K today. Very expensive swim, $40 for the race and $10 to park. And Ohio Street is boring.
September 8: 74 with cooler water underneath; also warm and cold currents. Nice sunny day without lifeguards so could swim and stay at our leisure. Not quite snorkling conditions but we tried, a few big fish by the wall.
September 13: 70-71, slightly wavy. Mike played hookey Friday afternoon and a nice end of season beach day.
September 16: 68, one foot swells. Actually went kayakking for the first time this summer. Absolutely georgous day. Went from Dempster beach to our beach brought the new folding beach chair in the kayak so sat on our beach for a while. Blue sky, green water and a cup holder in the arm of the chair -- all I forgot was the Corona beer or I could have made a commercial, or at least drunk the beer.
September 21: Saturday afternoon, 64. Felt cold and slightly wavy but did full swim. Not bad beach day.
September 29: 63. Air and water felt cold getting in but better as we swam. Strong south wind and we accurately predicted tough going coming back. So only went half way but then back all the way to south wall. The sky cleared and air warmed up as we sat on the beach so not a bad day after all for our last swim.