60F, perfectly flat and clear!  Nice.
60F, perfectly flat and clear! Nice.

First of all… I know the pics are from the Embrace SwimFest on Sunday, rather than the LOST Swim on Saturday… but I seem to have lost the pics from Saturday!  Oh well, you get some pics anyway!

It’s funny, I see it every year, at the beginning of the year we have a ton of people out even though it’s still pretty cold.  Then it warms ups in July and it starts to peak… then we get a roll over… then the LOST Race.  And for some reason people always ask me “is there still swimming after the LOST Race?”.  “Hell ya.”

Ironically, often the best swimming is often in late August and early September, because the Lake is finally warmed up and it is less likely to have roll overs and even if we do get one they are less severe.  Usually.  Although the past two years have been odd years.  Colder winters and more roll overs in the past 2 summers than usual.

Anyway, the point is that there is still lots of good swimming left.

LOSTie, John Gayford, all ready to go at the Embrace SwimFest!
LOSTie, John Gayford, all ready to go at the Embrace SwimFest!

This past Saturday we had 45 swimmers out and 60F/15C.  Coolish to get into but actually a really comfortable temperature once you get going.  It was also pancake flat.  Really nice.  And it was the clearest the Lake has been this summer.  Crystal clear.

People laugh when I tell them it is just like the Caribbean when it is that clear.  I think they laugh because the temperature isn’t quite the same… okay, I’ll give you that.  But the clarity is like the Caribbean.  We have a rocky beach… but if you go out 20m or so it is a beautiful white sandy bottom.  And for some reason I always have this compulsion to go down foot first for the 10-12 feet and bury my feet in the sandy bottom.  Weird, I know, but I just love it.

One of my other favorite things to do when it is that clear is to spot the fish.  Lots of little 6″ fish (no idea what kind), the occasional rare salmon sighting and fairly common you can see carp.  Which can be quite ugly fish if you get nose to nose, which I have down past Maple Grove, where they spawn… but the ones I see here are often a very bright luminescent blue.  Just like in the Caribbean.  Several people commented that they saw fish at the bottom, but I wasn’t lucky enough to see any.  Some people still get the heeby-jeebies when they see fish… which I kinda get, I guess… but I just think its so cool.  It’s like when you are out on a run and you see a rabbit or a deer or a fox… just kinda makes your day.

Anyway, nice swim.  See you on Saturday.

PS.  If you didn’t make it out to the Embrace SwimFest at Gulliver’s Lake, it was great!

Mairi, Jennifer and Avril at the SwimFest too!
Mairi, Jennifer and Avril at the SwimFest too!



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I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!