I went swimming in Lake Michigan yesterday. I got in the water and it was COLD. My feet hurt and my face as well when I got it wet. I had a full wetsuit and cap on. I swam a couple of minutes and was able to get used to it. I swam about 35 minutes and when i got out I had to pretty much crawl out as i could not stand and walk, due partly to balance,and partly due to stones. I checked temperatures today and found that when I was swimming the water was around 54F. If I do this again I would wear booties and gloves. Also, I swam along the beach and my wife was on the shore.
What's amazing is when you go down to the wharf in San Fran and watch the senior citizens jump in with nothing but a speedo, and the water's more like 52 or colder. I don't know how they do it.... Good to hear you made it through the swim!
Yes Lake Michigan can be cruel. Last year did Olympic at Grand Haven. All week it was upper 60s but the lake turned. Sunday it was 48 and the coldest swim ever. Steelhead however was just about perfect.
I've found the temperature can change 15 degrees or more due to changes in the wind.
This is assuredly the case.
I'm from St. Louis....where we refer to Michigan as St. Louis' Air Conditioner.
I love pulling in to a resort area/cottage area....all the stickers on the backs of minivans....it's like a tour of St. Louis high schools.
We try to go as late in July as possible and we generally don't expect to swim in the lake if we go further north than Grand Haven.
Regardless, you always pray for that wind from the south.