Well, we did it. Our first dip of the summer was on May 27. That’s the earliest I have ever immersed myself in Lake Ontario. When winter ends there is always a lag on the Great Lakes between air and water temperature; the lakes are slow to warm in the spring. We know that, but the heat and pea soup humidity around here drove us to the beach. Calm waters and hot sunshine made the cold easier to take. Call it extreme refreshment. It was exhilarating.
We chose Cherry Beach, where the cherry trees were in full bloom, as was a lovely fragrant apple which obviously did not feel itself excluded by the beach’s name. The water temp there is likely to be slightly warmer because the beach is partially enclosed by the Leslie St Spit. Our faithful rubber ducky thermometer measured the temp at 16°C – about the same temp as last October for our final lake swim of the year on Thanksgiving. I expected it to be colder.
It’s a delicate balance of pleasure/discomfort between the numbing cold and the delight of buoyancy in water and sun on our faces. Within a few seconds every fat cell in my upper arms was tingling and going numb, but that passed as we swam. Just us and a few ducks paddling around. We lasted about fifteen minutes and then got out and went looking for a hot coffee. But we’ll be back again soon, and often. The forecast is for a hot summer, and Lake Ontario is cool.
– Schuster Gindin
Photos by Suzanne Long
See an animated graphic of the current Lake Ontario temperature here, courtesy of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory of the National Weather Service.
What a perfect day. Can’t wait to take my plunge!
Linda Perez, Toronto
Gotta try it in the next couple of days.
Herman Rosenfeld, Toronto
Marion Endicott, Toronto
Wow aren’t you brave! With this crazy hot weekend though I’m sure others will join you for that refreshing dip.
Carol Phillips, Barrie, ON