Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Todays swimmers were Jodi, Stephanie, Niel, Tom I., Theresa and Grace. We spoke with Tom L. at the the end of the Avila Pier near the end of our swim. 

It sunny with a light wind and 46°. The water was 50° and still very clear. I plotted a route that would take us at about 2,500M at the second crossbars on the CP Pier, giving us optional routes to add as much distance as we wanted. Returning to the end of that Avila Pier and retracing our route out put us at 4,008M.

Getting in. That is me, Theresa, I think, Tom washing out his goggles, Jodi behind him and Stephanie on the right.   

At the end of the CP Pier. Jodi, Tom with his head in the water, Grace and Niel

The rest of the group; Grace, Stephanie and Theresa

People were getting cold at the end after 1:28 in 50° water. I'd could stay in longer (I wear a 3.5/4.5 surf suit) but would need to bring some calories along.

We'll swim tomorrow at 7:30.

Avila Beach is starting to get crowded like summer. Popups and families on the beach, groups of students and about 25% of the people wearing masks, so plan your visit accordingly.

niel



Thursday, April 8, 2021

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

I got in at 9 this morning. Avila Beach was clear, sunny about 60 degrees and felt like the day would warm up nicely.  The ocean was very clear and 50°. There was no wind but there was a small swell or chop on the water. The surf was 1 to 2 foot.    

I didn't feel extra ambitious so I did my 2 miles in an hour and called it a nice start to the day.

The water from the creek was being held inside the surf line and was several degrees colder than the ocean.

I'll swim at 8 on Saturday and 7:30 on Sunday.


niel  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

 Duke couldn't join me this morning so I swam solo. I did my Two Triangles course for 3,200 M and an hour in the water. 

Avila was sunny and calm with knee high surf and very clear 51° water for very nice swimming conditions.

From the Avila Pier looking east.

The water was clear enough that it was difficult to tell where the surface of the water was on the pilings The thingy is the float for my thermometer. If you look closely you can tell that the float is a used shampoo bottle that was pressed into service in the early 90's. 


I'll be back Thursday morning at about 8:30 to 8:45, after a ZOOM meeting.


niel

 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sunday, April 4th, 2021

At 8 this morning Avila was sunny and 40° with a very light wind, an occasional 3 foot wave and a pretty much flat 50.5° ocean.  Yes, colder than yesterday, but at least not back in the 40's.  

This doesn't look like much but it is the best photo I was able to get of one of the large black dolphins that have been in the area the past few days.  It is always nice to see dolphins. They are fun to watch and they don't tolerate having sharks around. 



Duke had a plan for a swim that would get him to his 9AM phone call on time. We shortened his route and it worked OK. 
Out on the west side of the Avila Pier, over to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, to the end of the pier and back to the Avila Pier and in.  
It turned out to be just under 2,700M and an hour.  

Duke and Niel at the end of the CP Pier.

Tom Lorish is swimming regularly now but needs to get in later in the morning. Leslie Tappins will be back as soon as her elbow is happy with that idea. 

Duke and I will swim at 8 on Tuesday. I'll be getting in at about 8:45 on Thursday.

niel  



Saturday, April 3, 2021

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

 At 8 o'clock on Saturday morning Avila Beach was grey, calm and 52°. The lifeguards were there for some training and a large group of Cal Poly athletes were jogging up and back along the beach. The surf was not worth mentioning, water was glassy with just a ripple on the surface and also 52°.  Jodi had a plan for a swim; over to and along the CP Pier, back to the Avila Pier and over to Fossil Point and back. It sounded good to me so we got in and headed out to the end of the Pier.  
The water didn't feel any warmer wading in, maybe because to the lack of sun or due to our anticipation of a more comfortable water temperature. Getting my face in felt plenty cold but not as shocky at the high 40's and I found that I was comfortable in the water when I was half way out along the pier instead of at or even beyond the end.  

We were in for 1:36 and covered almost 4200 meters.

Niel and Jodi wading in. 


At the end of the Cal Poly Pier. 

On the leg from Fossil Point back to the Avila Pier things began to get a bit bumpy but it never became more than enough to give the water some character. 

Duke did a ride by while we were at the showers.

Duke, Niel, Jodi and anyone else who cares to join us will swim tomorrow at 7:30. 

niel

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

 Playing Marco Polo In The Fog

Avila Beach was nice and sunny hole in the fog this morning with an air temperature of 39° and a water temperature of 50°. The surf was knee high and the surface was glassy but rippled. There was patchy fog which at 8AM was holding well offshore so all of the local features on the water were well clearly visible. Niel, Tom I., Stephanie, Jodi and Duke were ready to swim. I wanted to do about 3000M on a route that was a little different so I proposed that we swim to the second crossbars on the Poly Pier, then to the end of the Avila Pier, from there to the end of the Poly Pier and back to the end of the Avila Pier and in. 

The water gods had other plans for us.  

Stephanie is out of the frame to the left, then Tom, Jodi, Duke (in front of a piling) and Niel at the second crossbars of the Cal Poly Pier. For the first time.
We swam from the Poly Pier to the end of the Avila Pier as planned, but at that point the fog had moved in and only the middle of the Poly Pier was to be seen. Duke headed in as he had planned and the group decided to swim over to the third crossbars on the Poly Pier and to decide on a route from there.
From the end of the Poly Pier we couldn't see anything of the Avila Pier so we swam back along the length of the pier to the second crossbars.    

At the second crossbars for the second time in the fog. 
I missed Stephanie again off to the left of the frame, then Jodi, Tom and Niel.
From this point we were well within the end of the Avila Pier so we took a bearing on the fog and headed for the base of the Avila Pier. We stuck together and swimming directly to the base of the pier.  We swam 3900M.

I'll not be swimming this coming Tuesday or Thursday. I'm a possibility for Saturday and definitly will be back at the beach next Sunday. 

niel

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Saturday, March 27th, 2021

 We had a nice sunny morning with a light offshore breeze, an 8 AM air temperature of 39° and a water temperature of 49°.  Leslie was there to lend support and take photos. She has seen an orthopod and her elbow in cracked, not broken, so she can use it as long as she behaves herself.

Nice bruising

Niel and Jodi we there to swim. We decided to go over to the C.P. Pier, swim in along the pier, back to the Avila Pier and then maybe do something more. 

Jodi and Niel at the end of the C.P. Pier.

Jodi, in front, and Niel coming back to the Avila Pier. 
Photos from the pier by Leslie.  

Jodi and Niel at the Avila Pier. 
We swam to the end of the Avila Pier and then did a triangle to make it almost 4000M.
There was a disagreement afterwards about whose idea it was to do the additional 800M triangle from the end of the Avila Pier.    

Leslie got these of an otter at the Avila Pier. 


Tom and Stephanie were getting in just as we got out. 

Niel, Duke, Jodi, Stephanie and ? will swim tomorrow morning at 8.

niel

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Thursday, March 25, 2021

 Avila looked like it might serve up a nice glassy day for Duke and Niel. There were broken low clouds and no wind. The water was very clear and (I can't believe I'm writing this) up to 50 °. The air temperature was 53°.



Duke had to be at work sooner than I did so we planned on swimming my two triangles and that he would drop off when he needed to.   

Niel and Duke at the end of the Avila Pier.
The wind was coming up and it was showing on the water. 
Duke did th elap on the east side of the pier and I continued on to the west side.

Coming around the end of the Avila Pier was a surprise. The chop had come up quickly and the leg from the end of the pier to the creek mouth would require some technique in order to avoid swallowing much water. 




Leslie was on the beach and got some nice shots of me coming in.

Leslie fell a couple of days ago and broke her elbow. She has had x-rays but is waiting (!?!?) to get in with an ortho. She seems to be doing fine but would probably appreciate a text of phone call.  


I'll swim Saturday and Sunday at 8.

niel

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

 Niel and Duke enjoyed flat water, for a while, small surf and sunny skies this morning. The air temperature was 43° and the water was 49°.  We got in at 8 and managed to wade out past where the small surf was breaking before we started swimming. That was a very mellow start to a nice swim.   

Our route would take us to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, along the pier to its end and from there swim the 1000M back to the beach on the west side of the Avila Pier.  

Duke and Niel at the second crossbars.
It has not been this glassy in a while.

Duke and Niel at the end of the Cal Poly Pier.

The wind has picked up and though it doesn't show in the photo, the leg back to the beach had us pushing into a current and small chop. I was having one of those weird days where my body was swimming strong but my head was not into it. I had to keep doing things to keep myself from focusing on how long the swim back to the beach seemed.  

After getting out we felt like we had put a great start to the day.

Duke, Theresa and I will swim at 8:30 on Thursday.

niel 


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday, march 21st, 2021

There was a nice group today for a cold and bumpy swim. The wind was up and blowing offshore before 8 so conditions were going to get bumpier as the morning progressed. At 8 the air temperature was 40° and the water was 49°. The water being warmer than the air was not much of a joy. The surf was down since yesterday and getting in would be pretty easy. Swimming this morning were Stephanie, Jodi, Theresa, Leslie, Tom Israel (yesterday's Tom was Tom Lorish) and Niel. Some swimmers were concerned about getting cold and needing to get out so we planned on doing two triangles because that route stayed close to the beach. 




Stephanie, Tom, Theresa, Leslie and Jodi at the eastern end of the beach at the big rock.

Nobody felt like waiting for the slower swimmers at this temperature so we got split up. Jodi and I did the two triangles. 

I'll swim Tuesday at 8 and Thursday at 8:45.

niel 


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Saturday, March 20th, 2021

Tom's Welcome Back In The Water Swim
It is the first day of spring, the lifeguard stations are back in their summer spots on the beach, the buoy that marks the reef on the left side of the beach has been replaced (it was carried away in an early winter storm) and the lifeguards have begun their training.  

At 10 o'clock it was sunny and 55° with a gusty offshore wind. There was wind chop on the water and 6 foot sets of waves. The water temperature was an almost tropical feeling 50° after 48° on Tuesday and 47° on Thursday.

Duke and I were here at 10 to welcome Tom Lorish back into the ocean. Tom has been swimming with us for many years but for the past five months has only been able to swim in the pool, so today was to be his reincarnation as a ocean swimmer.

We decided to not go too long so our course was out to the end of the pier, parallel to the beach until we were off of Fossil Point and then back to our starting point.  

Duke and Tom getting in.
Getting out through the sets was some work. I got pushed back once when I thought that the set was going down after three big waves and I started to push out  only to find that there were four even larger waves in the set. Tom totally committed at that point and I saw his legs disappear as he punched through the curling lip of a 6 foot breaker. That is great fun as long as you don't get a ride over the falls.   
Tom, Duke and Niel out at the end of the Avila Pier. You can't tell in this photo but the wind chop was breaking. It didn't look rough from shore but looking back there was a lot of whitecaps on the water.
Our swim down to the point was a lot of work with the chop on my left shoulder at 90° to our direction, pushing the whole time and trying to not swallow much water. From the point in towards the beach we were heading more directly into the chop so it was harder but less complicated swimming. Once we got near the beach the chop laid down and the last few hundred meters was nice. 

I'll swim tomorrow morning at 8.

niel 






Thursday, March 18, 2021

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

 I Learn To Not Bet Against The Ocean Gods



I been telling myself, and others, that the 48° and 49° water temperatures we have been having will be as cold as it will get, so we only have warmer water to look forward to. After all, 47° is as cold as I have ever known the water to be at Avila Beach.
I got my comeuppance this morning when I checked my thermometer and found 47.5°. Maybe it was the lack of sun but the water swam colder too. 
There was patchy clouds, a bit of sun, a mild offshore wind, and an air temperature of 45°. The surf was flat.  
An older gentleman was getting in as I was getting ready. He looked a bit like Peter Kelley but bigger. He swam bareback and seemed to know what he was about. He went out, turned left. I never crossed paths with him in the water.     

I swam the same route as I did on Tuesday. When it is rough or cold the two triangles give me six or eight, shorter legs that add up to about 2 miles.

Saturdays swim will be at 10 and will be Duke and I welcoming Tom Lorish back into the water at Avila Beach. Join us if you can.
Sunday's swim will be at 8. 

niel

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

 After A 10 Day Break, It's Cold Again



After 10 days of water temperatures back into the low 50's I began thinking that we were done with the high 40's, but this morning my thermometer read exactly 48 degrees. It was clear with an air temperature of 35° with a slight offshore breeze. There were 3' sets and the ocean's surface was rippled but not bumpy. 

I decided to do a couple of triangles for a short two miles and an hour in the water.

I'll be back Thursday morning at about 8:30 - 8:45.

NOTE - Tom Lorish, Duke and I are going to swim at 10 AM on Saturday. Duke and I are welcoming Tom back into the water after his missing out on the fun for several months. Everyone is welcome to join us.


niel  

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

 

Looking west from the Avila Pier towards the Cal Poly and Harford Piers
and Port San Luis with the sunrise behind me.  

Sunday was almost a copy of Saturday except the swimming conditions were even better. 
The air temperature was 50 degrees, the water 51.5, no wind, no surf and a flat and glassy ocean. Visibility was even better than yesterday. In 20 feet of water I could easily see detail on the bottom. A rare experience on the Central Coast.   
Jodi and Niel got in at 8. I wasn't feeling too adventurist so a triangle on the east side and over and back to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier would be good for me.   

Leslie caught up with us at the end of the Avila Pier.
Leslie, Jodi and Niel

Leslie , Jodi and Niel at the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier.
From here Leslie and Jodi swam to the end of the pier and back to the Avila Pier.  I went directly to the Avila Pier.

No problems with the Garmin GPS today. 
I'll be back Tuesday morning at 8 unless we get too much rain Sunday and Monday nights.

We had a small group today which worked out well for Jodi and Leslie because I brought brownies and there were only two other swimmers to share them with.

niel