open water

Lake Michigan started November 2022 about as swimmable as any Chicago open water swimmer could have hoped: several days of beautiful flat water holding steady at 50°F (10°C). This included November 10 when a short half mile (~0.8km) swim in the lake was very comfortable with a good wetsuit. Of course, I knew what to expect thanks to the swim conditions report at
Cool Fall open water swim temperatures in Lake Michigan still left conditions ideal for swimming with the right gear.
Water temperatures and wave heights (both °C/meters and °F/ft) in Lake Michigan reported for Belmont Harbor at reports of water temperatures and waves (both °C/meters and °F/ft) matched conditions in the water.



Everything needed in the water for the swim fit neatly in a backpack. All dry land gear, including shoes, fit in the swim buoy (tow float) while swimming.

I carried everything for the swim in a backpack, and loaded all dry land gear, including shoes, in the swim buoy (tow float) while swimming.

Swimming around the park and seawall near Belmont Harbor in Lake Michigan to get beautiful view of the Chicago skyline just after sunrise.

This route has a beautiful Chicago skyline reveal as you round the seawall near the entrance to Belmont Harbor. It’s even better at sunrise.

Floating with a swim buoy and wetsuit

A brief relaxing float near the seawall after the swim

Sun shining on Lake Michigan near the Belmont Harbor seawall.

The sun’s a little higher, after the swim. But this is November, it won’t get a lot higher.