Eastern Water Temperatures in 2008

Some interesting data from NODC. Adam sent this to me, and I thought it would be interesting for everyone.

He was looking at because we’re looking for some nearby open water swims. Trouble is there aren’t any organized events until summer. The water temperatures in the East are sub-50F until April, which is chilly. It looks like we might plan a trip down to Florida in March. If you have suggestions please let us know.

Water Temperatures 2008
(source: National Oceanographic Data Center)
Montauk NY 36 35 38 42 46 50 54 59 62
WilletsPoint NY 35 34 39 45 49 54 59 63 66
The Battery NY 38 36 41 45 49 54 60 64 67
Sandy Hook NJ 37 36 40 44 48 52 58 60 63
Atlantic City NJ 37 35 42 46 50 54 58 62 64
Cape May NJ 37 37 42 48 51 56 62 67 69
Lewes DE 37 36 41 49 53 58 62 66 69
Ocean City MD 37 34 42 48 51 53 58 60 65
Cape Charles VA 36 39 46 51 56 60 66 70 69
Solomons Island MD 37 37 43 50 55 61 66 72 75
Baltimore MD 40 37 43 51 57 61 67 70 75
Annapolis MD 36 35 42 50 54 58 63 69 74
Wash. DC 37 37 46 54 61 64 71 74 79

Local oil spill in my training grounds = Big impact

As many of you know, I trained this past summer at the Dolphin Swim Club in the San Francisco Bay. Swimming there each morning was an amazing treat, especially since I lived just blocks away. On November 7, 2007 there was a 58,000 gallon spill. The spill came from a tanker that broad-sided the Bay Bridge. This spill will affect everyone on the Pacific coast. Within hours this local spill was killing birds and closing swim beaches hundreds of miles away.

Video 1: This video model from NOAA is based on over-flight observations. With each tide the oil from the spill is being pulled out to sea, and then pulled back into the bay.

Video 2: This second video is a photo montage of the damage done to the San Francisco Bay (aka. my former training grounds).

What is the moral of this sad story? If you can, and I realize this isn’t practical for most, but if you can, sell your car and buy a bike.

Lake Swimming in October

I know what ya’ll are thinking. Brrr. You’re absolutely right. But it’s also really beautiful this time of year. The autumn colors are out (gorgeous red and brown). The lake temp is about 70, which is cold, but not terrible yet.

Like I said in my previous post about open water swimming, most of our training these days is swimming. I prefer open water swimming. Long distances are easier in lakes than in the pools, and more beautiful. Here are some nice pictures of Mauch Chunk Lake in Jim Thorpe, PA. It’s about 90 minutes north of Philadelphia and in the Pocono foothills. The swimming is getting brisk now that’s it’s almost November. For some reason I can bare it as long as I have an insulated swim cap on. Here are some pictures of our latest swim trip


And my favorite picture. A picture of Jonathan Taqqu using me as a ladder to tie the rope for our leanto shelter.


Swimming lakes near Philadelphia

Some of you have asked me if there are nice places to swim outside near University of Pennsylvania. It turns out Philadelphia has two really nice swimming lakes. These are Mauch Chunk Lake and Marsch Lake. Here are maps to help people find them.

Quick Facts:
90 minutes N of Philadelphia (so pretty close to NYC)
Non-motorized lake, so no boat traffic
Super clear water (15 feet visibility)
Fudge factory at train station is amazing!
Mexican restaurant in town is terrible
Guitar store in Jim Thorpe has cool staff

Quick Facts:
45 minutes NW of Philadelphia
Sailboats also for rent well into November

Clear water (8 feet visibility)
There is a pool nearby that is nice, but $10/day
Lot of huge horse ranches nearby
Not far off the highway

Both Mauch and Marsh are very clear lakes without much seaweed. I gone to each lake twice in the last month, such fun! Go ahead and email me if you’d like to know the best places to start your swim. It’s possible to swim 2-5 miles in both lakes. Enjoy!