Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sunday, January 19, 2020

 Conditions Even More Wintery Than Last Week

At 10:30 Avila was overcast with beautiful clouds and with what looked like a volcano erupting over Guadalupe. This photo is looking SE so the sun is to the right of the camera. Strange.
Heid got this picture looking south towards the Guadalupe Dunes at about the same time. 

As for those wintery conditions- the air temperature was about 50 degrees and calm. I measured a water temperature from the pier of 51.5. In the water Heidi's thermometer watch measured between 51 and 48 degrees. Swimming today were NIel. Heidi 1, Phil, Tom, Stephanie and her friend Heidi 2 from Santa Barbara, Tim, Dave, Teresa, John and Jonny.

Tom, Phil, Tim, Dave, Teresa, Niel and Heidi swam to the end of the pier, to the mouth of SLO Creek and back to the end of the pier. Tom, Niel and Heidi went in. We swam a mile. Tim, Dave, Phil and Teresa went to the reef buoy, back parallel to the shore and in for 1.3 miles. John and JOnny went to the end of the pier, 1/3 of the way to the creek, back to the end of the pier and in.

Niel's route

Tom, Tim and Dave starting to loose the feeling in their toes.

Tim, Phil, Tom, Dave and Teresa at the end of the Avial Pier for the first time. 

Jonny arriving at the end of the Avila Pier for the first time.
Tom has gone in. Phil, Tim, Dave and Teresa are lining up on the reef buoy.

John at the end of the Avila Pier.

Jonny at the same spot.

It doesn't usually get much colder than today's condition at Avila, but our lowest temperatures occur in the spring when we have constant offshore winds, so I have no idea what the rest of the winter months will be like.


Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020

 Winter Swimming Conditions On the Central Coast 

The air temperature was 56 degrees, the water 52 - 53 and looked nice and clean. It was sunny with a strong offshore breeze that was making a current and small wind chop towards the ocean. The waves were 3 to 4 ft. plus with some lulls between the larger sets that would make getting out easily a matter of timing.
We had a nice group today with some faces we have not seen in a while; Duke was back from knee surgery at Thanksgiving, Hillary dropped in after a year away and Teresa was back after a bit of a break. The rest of the group was Niel, Heidi, Jonny, Tom and David. We decided to plan a shortish swim with the option for people to go longer if they had not gotten cold yet. 
We decided to include the reef buoy in today's route since there was a king high tide at 10 AM and there would not be much kelp on the surface around the buoy.  We swam out to the end of the pier, over to the reef buoy, back to the pier on a roughly parallel line with the beach and in.  

 At today's water temperatures I wear a 3mm surf suit, a neoprene cap and large goggles and getting out to the end of the pier is a matter of waiting for my face to numb up enough so I don't feel the cold. The big goggles keep me from getting a ice cream headache but anything exposed skin is screaming for the first few minutes.
Teresa, David, Tom, giving directions to the reef buoy, Duke, Hillary, Jonny and Heidi at the end of the Avila Pier.

Jonny wanted a picture of everyone seeing how high they could get out of the water. 
 Some of these people played water polo. 

Me at the reef buoy.

Hillary, Duke, Teresa and David trying to look casual at the reef buoy.

Looking west towards the port from the reef buoy;
Jonny, David, Teresa, Hillary, Duke and Heidi.

The predictions are for a bit of rain mid week but conditions on Sunday should be like today.


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sunday, January 5, 2020

For the first swim of the new year the air temperature was in the high 50's, clear and sunny  with a steady offshore breeze. I measured a water temperature of 54 degrees off of the Avila Pier. The surf was mostly 2 to 3 foot with an occasional set of 5 feet. 
Group 1 was Tom, Tim and Niel who did a counterclockwise triangle for a mile swim. The water was the same temperature as last week but felt better because it was sunny. I took me the swim out, under the pier and most of the way to the creek to get evened out with the temperature and things to get numb enough that I didn't feel cold. 

Tom and Tim getting in.

Group 2 was Laurin, Johny, Amy and John. They swam out to the reef buoy, to the end of the Avila Pier, past the big white mooring buoy that is 100 M west of the pier and in to the beach for about 8 tenths of a mile.

There is currently the possibility of showers late next week but the chance of swimming next Sunday look good. 


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Wintery conditions today. Low clouds carrying rain that was to begin later in the afternoon, no sun, cool and humid with a water temperature of 52 degrees. 2 - 3" surf and a surface that was strangely rippled without any wind. A very high tide at 11 was starting to ebb creating a strong current from the SE. 

Group 1 was Tom, David and Niel. They swam to off of Fossil Point, then parallel to the beach towards the end of the Avila Pier and in for a distance of 1.35 miles. The first leg out to the point was directly into the current and felt like it was 50% longer than it was.
Group 2 was John, Jonny, Heidi, Amy and Maria. They swam out to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the buoy on the little reef and back to the beach for .8 miles.

Tom, David and Niel off of Fossil Point

Underwater shots by Tom of Niel,


and Tom.

The long term forecast look good for being able to swim next Sunday.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Heavy rain and the likelihood of high bacteria counts on Sunday morning kept us out of the water.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Back In The Water

After getting washed out the past two Sundays we were back in the water today. It was 55 degrees in the water and on the beach and nice and sunny with an offshore breeze. The recent large surf had muddied up the water. Avila had 3 foot waves and 4 to 5 footers that were several minutes apart. 

Today's Group 1 was Tom, Niel, Jim and Tim. Group 2 was Heidi, Maria, Amy, John, Jonny, Bob and Terrance.  Group 1 did a clockwise triangle starting and ending with a swim along the length of the Avila Pier for 1.4 miles.

Group 2 did the triangle without the out and in along the pier for about a mile even. 
Tom, Jim and Tim at the end of the Avila Pier for the first time.

Tom, Tim and Jim at the mouth of San Luis Obispo Creek.

I'll miss next Sunday but be back on the 29th. Dr. John will do the blog.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

December 8th, 2019

Storm Conditions Continue

Rain on and off through the week and the weekend. Thursday's water samples from the Blue Water Task Force had very high numbers, approximately 150 times higher than the state's limit for safe contact, in the SLO Creek Estuary and the creek mouth at Avila Beach, so getting in the water at the beach was not advisable.
The rain is predicted to end Sunday and for things to dry out all week so swimming next Sunday looks likely. 


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Storm Conditions

I was at Avila at 11:30. The conditions were thoroughly messy and stormy. I'd decided to stay out today because of concerns about the water quality. The surf was not as large as I had expected but the waves were very close together. The water on this side of the pier was not brown sfom silt and runoff. Getting out through the waves was possible and swimming would have been a washing machine experience.
The County may collect their usual samples at Avila Beach and the SLO Creek mouth tomorrow. Sometimes they skip sampling when there are storm conditions. Their results are posted late Tuesday or Wednesday morning at
I hope they get out there Monday morning as I would like to know how buggy it was today.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Sunday, November 23, 2019

Another absolutely beautiful day at Avila Beach. The sun was low and very warm on the beach. There was a light offshore wind and the outgoing tide created a push from the SE. The water was nice and clear with a temperature of 56 degrees. We had three swims today;
Teresa and Sue are fast swimmers and went bareback. They swam down the buoy line (the buoys have been removed) to the creek mouth, over to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, to the end of the CP Pier and back to the end of the Avila Pier and in. Niel, Tom and Dave started out along the same route but only swam along the Cal Poly Pier to the third set of crossarms before coming back to the end of the Avila Pier. John and Maria swam the triangle. 

November 2019 in Avila Beach.

Niel, Tom and Dave at the Cal Poly Pier

Tom, Niel and Dave 

We could get .5 to 1.5 inches of rain over Thanksgiving but I do not expect that we will get enough to keep us out of the water. 
I think we will have a fair crowd for next Sunday's swim.  Hope to see you there.


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sunday, November 17, 2019

That is not an island but Point Sal, about 19 miles from me on the
Avila Pier, poking up out of the fog.

Fall brings wonderful weather and great swimming conditions to Avila Beach. It was comfortable but not too warm on the beach. The water was clean and clear (for the Central Coast), warmish at 57 degrees and pretty flat. Today there was just enough chop and current to make sure that you didn't think that you were in a pool. 
Today we decided to do a simple clockwise triangle for just over a mile. Swimming today were Niel, Heidi, JoeAnne, Tom, Tim, Jonny, Dave, a friend of Dave's whose name I didn't get, Teresa and Stephanie. There were a lot of different paces so we got spread out plus, at this temperature, Tom, who gets cold and Teresa, who swims without a wetsuit, and are both fast swimmers, don't hang around for the rest of us to catch up. 

Everyone getting together at the first buoy.

Teresa, Tom and Tim at the last buoy 
Tom, Teresa, Stephanie and Tim at the end of the Avila Pier. 

This was the front group. I had caught up with them at the end of the buoy line and here at the end of the pier but that was it. They got to the buoy at the creek mouth far enough ahead of me to not want to wait. I sort of chased them back to the pier and onto the beach.


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Single Martini, Saturday, November 16, 2019

Niel and Tom completed a single Martini swim today. They were supported by 4 kayakers; Bryan, Thomas, Chris and GiGi. We got in the water at 8:32. The distance was 2.81 miles. Niel finished in 1:37 while El Speedo Tom got out about 20 minutes earlier. 
It was a lovely fall day at Avila Beach, clear, sunny, no fog and a slight offshore breeze.

The water temperature was 57 degrees.

Bryan and Thomas unloading their boats. 

Bryan and Thomas walking the boats to the suds.
The big swell that was hitting the west facing beaches today was only making 4' sets in Avila. Getting out was a simple matter of timing.

That is GiGi at the rock off of Fossil Point. The first leg from the Avila Pier to this rock was the most difficult of the three. There was a chop and current out of the SE that pushed back the whole way there. 

Niel, the same spot. 

The second leg from the rock at Fossil Point to the end of the Cal Poly Pier was the longest, at .98 mile, and the easiest, with the current and chop pushing. Coming from the end of the Cal Poly Pier to the end of the Avila Pier was across the chop which was easier swimming than the first leg.

Thank you to Bryan, Thomas, Chris and GiGi who made our swim possible and safe.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday, November 10, 2019

A nice looking start to the day at Avila Beach today. The fog was heavy along Pismo and S
hell Beaches but clearing in Avila. There was a slight current out of the SW with a pretty flat surface and no surf to speak of. The water temperature was 58.5, high but not unheard of for November. The water wa nice and clear and it looked like we would have a very nice day for a swim.
Niel, Duke, Tom, Theresa (bareback), Stephanie, a woman who's name I didn't catch and Tim planned to swim to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the end of the Cal Poly Pier and back somehow for about a mile and a half.  John, Jonny, Heidi, Dave, and possibly a few more, were going to do about a mile around the buoy line. Ivonne was here, haven't seen her in a year+, visiting from Michigan (?). She got in and swam half of the buoy line bareback. Sylvia Glenn joined us and soaked up the sun. It is always great when our master of Master Ocean Swimmers joins us.
Tom, Niel Duke and others forming up at the end of the Avila Pier. 

Same group, now at the end of the Cal Poly Pier


We swam in along the Cal Poly Pier to the third set of crossbars. From there the group made its way back to our starting point for about 1.5 miles.
I wanted to do about 2.5 miles so I headed over to the end of the Avila Pier and did a lap around the triangle before coming in along the Avila Pier. 
I had 2.56 miles on the clock when I got out.