It was not really a prime day for the beach, but we'd planned it into a very small window in our week so we went anyway. It was about room temperature and breezy, the sun was here and then gone again a few times. The water was of course freezing, but we took the canoe and kayak out for a bit of a paddle and then came back for a ceremonial first watermelon of the summer.
How cold was the water? Well, really cold. The wind circulates the cold stuff out of the deeps, where the temperature hovers year-round in the low 50's Fahrenheit. I'd guess it was 60 degrees, max, and the cool air didn't help us feel warm enough for a swim.
My kids decided to prove that they were born and raised here by being brave enough to get in for a swim. Erin was first in. She has serious will-power, that girl. She was in for the better part of half an hour (we managed to get her out before she began gibbering nonsense). Sophie was next in. She was more than willing to admit that it was a painful process getting cold. It took her a good 10 minutes to expose her armpits. We have a family myth that the seat of the soul is in the place where it most disturbs you to get wet in cold water. Sophie's soul clearly resides in her armpits. She could get in up to her shoulders, but it took her forever to unclamp her arms from her sides. Click on the photo to zoom in on her facial expression -- classic!
Fiona was next in. I think she intended to go in up to her waist and then think about it, but she stumbled and had to run deeper to catch her balance, so she was in easily, if accidentally. Noah, who had been up too late last night, spent our beach time lying under a towel musing aloud about when we'd be going home, expressing no interest whatsoever in going for a swim. A kid after my own heart. I grew up in Ontario with access to warm shallow lakes. I was on photo duty and the girls knew better than to try to encourage me into the lake this early in the season.
After the girls came out of the lake, pale and trembly, we all sat together on the pebbly beach chatting about nothing in particular. Suddenly Noah threw off his towel, shouted "yeah!" and plunged into the lake, executing an aikido roll that had him completely immersed before we even realized what was happening. He was out again almost as quickly. Oh, did we laugh!
So there you have it -- I have four slightly insane abnormally hardy children who relish dunks in glacier-fed lakes on cool windy days in spring.