Belated Point to La Pointe 2013

This is a quick, experimental entry in my new blog location. I’ve never used wordpress before but I can’t do a worse job of it than I did of the USMS site!

Point to La Pointe is a 2 mile swim in Lake Superior, from Bayfield Wisconsin to Madeleine Island. The swim follows an angled path along what used to be the ice road, which makes me think of the book (and movie) The Shipping News. I can imagine people hauling entire houses across the ice.

The swim this year was on August 10th. The water was a little cooler than last year and was 62 degrees on race morning. The swim is kind of a triathlete-ey race and wetsuit mandatory. I swam it last year and had requested again, and been granted permission to do the swim without a wet suit. A few days before the race I received an email from the race director saying that there was a chance the water might drop below 60 and if this happened, their insurance carriers (USAT) couldn’t sanction the race for non wetsuiters.

I took the chance anyway and drove the 9 hours to Bayfield, pitched my tiny little tent in a camping ground near the campsite of what turned out to be the loudest snoring person on the planet, and picked up my race packet. Point to La Pointe hoodies are excellent, a different color each year. My daughter has already “borrowed” it. I took a little dip and measured the water at about 60-61. Lake Superior has the clearest water I’ve ever seen. I’d been for a swim in Lake Michigan with an Australian swimmer before driving to Bayfield, and it occurred to me that I’d swum in two of the Great Lakes in a single day!

I was ravenous after a 15 minute dip and went looking for something to eat. Bayfield has some great restaurants for such a tiny place, and I relieved Lake Superior of a couple of fried whitefish fillets. I suppose the fish were probably neither filleted nor fried until after they were removed from the Lake, but they were delicious anyway. I often crave fish when I go for a swim.

Here’s the starting point of the race.


Oh good, the picture worked. More to follow…