Lake is Still Solid

I had a meeting near Lake Monona this morning so I decided to do a drive by and see if it was open yet. Sadly, it appears to still be pretty solid. As you can kinda see in the picture below, the landing is still locked in ice. Good news was there was some open water where water comes from Lake Wingra. Definately need some warm weather to get the ice melt going. Saw ice fisherman out on Monona Bay still, also not a really good sign. However, considering I’ve seen ice fisherman fishing just a few feet from open water, I’m not sure how I can interpret the fact that they are still out there.

Anyways, here’s the view from Olin-Turville Park.

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And the Great Thaw of 2007 is Upon Us…

The weather has been warmer lately. Highs pushing 70 earlier this week, although we did have snow flurries last night. Today and tomorrow were/are going to be a bit cooler, but still highs above freezing. The snow is pretty much gone from most of the yards, just the piles from plows remain, but they should be gone soon as well.

As I wait for the lake to open up and water ski season to start, I’m watching way too much basketball, keeping tabs on the Badger Hockey team (up 3-nothing over Michigan Tech) and finishing up my Think Tank presentations for this weekend.

Many of you are probably wondering what is Think Tank. Well, it is a conference put on by the Wisconsin Water Skiing Federation about water skiing. Somehow, it is the largest water skiing conference in the world. I guess that just goes to show that when we can’t go skiing up here, we still think about skiing. In an effort to revitalize the conference, this year it is sporting a new location. It has moved to the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. It’ll be my first time going to a water park since high school. I guess I’m too busy water skiing in the summer to take time off to go down water slides.

Meanwhile, each day on the drive home from work, I look out at Lake Monona from the beltline just waiting to glimpse some open water. Haven’t seen any yet, but tomorrow, I’ll do a drive by the landing to get an up close look at the lake. I’m still hoping to hit the water by the 26 so I just have a little more than a week left to make that deadline.

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Snowed In

My wishful thinking of being on the water before March 26 may have been just that… wishful thinking. Tonight is the second night of blizzards. Last night, we probably received about 6 inches of snow. Tonight, we’re getting more. It started at 6pm and is still going strong.

Here’s the kicker. In this blizzard we have lightning. Yes, lightning, part of thunder and lightning, those things that usually happen during thunder storms, not blizzards. I guess nature is trying to get to spring. We have lightning, but with a blizzard instead of a t-storm.

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One Month Till I Hit the Water?

As I’ve said before, I hit the water on March 26th last year and I plan to hit the water by March 25th this year and that is a month away. Now we’ve had some recent warmer weather (highs in the mid 40s) and the snow is melting and my yard is pretty much clear of snow, but the lakes are still frozen and this weekend will be more winter-like again.

At this point, I don’t think rain would be bad as it would help get rid of the snow which can act as insulation for the ice. Removing the insulation from the ice on the lake will expose the ice to the direct sunlight, promoting the melting of the ice.

Yes, I probably think this through just a little too much.

Out of morbid curiosity, I did some research on cold water survival. For water that is in the 32 to 40 degrees, you’ll experience exhaustion in about 15 to 30 minutes and the survival time is only 30 to 90 minutes. This is much different than 70 degree water we typically have in the summer that has indefinite survival time. The site also mentions what happens when you experience cold water. First they mention panic and shock. Next your extremities start to go numb. I’ve experienced all of this while barefooting in cold water. You make your way into the water and that isn’t too bad, it is when you have the unexpected fall. Your face hits that cold water and you experience shock and panic as your disorientated. And this is with proper cold weather gear. I’d hate to experience it without the equipment. [Information from U.S. Search and Rescue Task Force]

Everyone, continue thinking warm thoughts… I want to hit the water, even if it is 37 degrees warm.

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Mark Cuban May Have Seen My Blog

I read Blog Maverick which is Mark Cuban’s blog. He own’s the Dallas Mavericks and is, well lets just say he is a very enthusiastic owner. He tends to have some interesting points of view about technology and business. I don’t always agree, but it makes for interesting reading. A while back he posted about this site called Basically sounds like fancy way to make up a personalized home page. Well today, I started gets referrals from Cuban’s YouMinis’ page.

On Thursday I wrote my little review about a Whitesnake concert which was on his channel and now my posting is showing up on his feed that searches out things about his channel. Still waiting for the hit from Dallas to show up on Site Meter.

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6 Weeks

Last year I hit the water on March 23. It is February 12 now. That is about 6 weeks away doing some quick math. Today’s weather: about 10/20 degrees out, roughly 3 inches of snow. And the lakes? They’re frozen. Solid. Not completely through (top to bottom, that would kill the fish), but all the way across at least. I did find out that water has a very unique property that make it freeze top to bottom instead of bottom to top. To get the most support out of water, it needs to be 39 degrees. That is when it is most dense and offer the most support… a benefit of cold water footing.

That leaves 6 weeks for it (the weather) to warm up to the point that it is no longer freezing and the lakes thaw. Everybody, throw open your windows, let’s get this global warming thing going. If we get enough furnaces going, it’ll warming up. I’ve got cabin fever and the only thing to cure that will be a ski set. These arms of mine are ready to hold onto a rope so I can drag myself across the water. Describing it like that just doesn’t sound like fun, but it is.

I like to search for random crap on the web while I’m posting to try and add a little something to the post. Well, I learned a few things researching this one so… Challenge: What sentence in this post is a reference to one of the links and why is it a reference?

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Winter Wonder Land

It’s been nearly two months since my last water ski run and right now it looks like it’ll be two months till my next run. Well at least in the state of Wisconsin. I’m contemplating a trip south to get some sets in.

The weather this winter has been pretty mild. If I had been ambitious, I should have managed to get a run in during December. We had highs in the 40s and low 50s. It would have taken a little work, but it should have happened. Now, it probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Last Monday we received a fair amount of snow and today we’re receiving even more. Here’s a picture of the current conditions.

As you can tell, it is starting to pile up. Probably about 6 inches out there, most of from today. If you look closely you can ski that the tiny little trees in my backyard are nearly buried. Looks like ski season is a couple months away yet.

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Wisconsin Weather Redux

So last Monday, we have severe t-storms move through and highs in the 80s. Tuesday & Wednesday were decent too.

Sunday, high about 75, sunny and very nice.

Today, high in the 40s, rain in the morning, crazy windy, and snow. Yes, that’s right, snow. 9 days after a high of 85. There wasn’t any accumulation, but there was snow falling out of the sky.

Next skiing session will probably need a dry suit now. We’ll see.

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Wisconsin Weather

So with forecast calling for highs in the mid-80 in October, I planned to hit the water with T-Bell & John today. Watching the weather throughout today, I could see some pretty big storms moving north of Portage and South of Janesville, both about 30 or so minutes away in their respective directions.

As 5pm rolls around, the weather is still warm, somewhat clear, and basically good skiing conditions. Get to the lake at 515 and am getting the boat ready and feel that it is a little cooler already. Get out on the water and know for sure it has cooled off.

We get a quick set in as the weather slowly grows darker to the east, but looks somewhat west. I hop in to take my last run and do a quick run one way and see some lightning way off to the east. Figure I might as well take one last run back to the bridge and we head off to the west, turn towards the north, where it is now darker, and finally turn back to the east towards the bridge (we took the long way to the bridge) and now I’m see lots of lighting, notice the trees are now indicating a strong wind out of the north when it was out of the south minutes before. I let go as we get to the bridge, they come back, quickly, and pick me up. I hop in and we high tail it out of there.

We get out to the main lake and it is getting quickly worse. We make a beeline for the dock and get the boat out without incident.

We did notice the UW Ski Team was still skiing as we headed to the landing… we decided to be nice and hooked up their truck and trailer and helped them get their boat out when they finally came to the landing. BTW, the UW team qualified for Nationals… Congrats!!!

Sorry, no pics from tonight… little too gloomy. Still had good skiing though!

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Gotta Love Fall!

So according to the calendar, Fall is officially here. But it seems more like an Indian Summer. 70+ Degrees and Sunny. (Looking for 80 tomorrow.) Needless to say, I hit the water today… Here are some pics from the afternoon of skiing…

Why’s the bottom of my foot so white?

Visualize yourself behind a boat…
What… there’s no boat?

Bugs cutting hard

7 Cutting

7 Turning the Buoy

You can find these pictures and more at this web album.

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