Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Tom's Birthday Swim

The Conditions: Partially cloudy, a light wind, small waves on an outgoing tide with an occasional chest high set and a water temperature of 55 degrees. There was no sign of last weeks red tide and the water looked nice and clear.
 The Swim:  It was just Tom and I. I assumed that the creek would be dirty after the rain and medding up the water quality on that side of the pier so we stayed on the other side. We swam out, down to the buoy at the reef, back to the end of the pier and in. 

Tom at the reef buoy.

Selfie at the reef buoy. 

Tom at the end of the pier.
Things did not work out this week for Tom's birthday swim (swimming a route that spells TOM) so we'll do it next Sunday. 

niel

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Still Big and Red







Conditions were much the same as last Sunday except that the breakers were down to 5 to 6 foot. The water was 59 degrees and dirty from the action of the waves.  Niel, Duke, Chad, Sammy, Sidney and Johnny got in the water. 
Johnny, Niel, Duke, Chad, Sidney, Sammy





We were more successful today and Sammy was the only one who couldn't get out. Sammy is also our youngest swimmer and I'm impressed that she is game to try and get through the surf when it is this rough.  Once we were beyond the surf line we found that there was still a strong red tide. Yuch!  We swam to the end of the pier hoping for clearer water but instead found it to be worse. It looked like there was a blue spot to the west so we headed towards it and did find clean water, but we couldn't' stay there all afternoon so we came on the west side of the pier through the crud.

At the end of the pier

Enjoying the patch of blue water

We covered about .8 of a mile and felt that we deserved credit for a greater distance because of the energy spent getting out and back in. ;-)

Thanks to Sue, Sammy and Sidney's mom. for the photos from the shore. 

niel


Still Big and Red







Conditions were much the same as last Sunday except that the breakers were down to 5 to 6 foot. The water was 59 degrees and dirty from the action of the waves.  Niel, Duke, Chad, Sam, Sidney and Johnny got in the water. 
Johnny, Niel, Duke, Chad, Sidney, Sam





We were more successful today and Sam was the only one who couldn't get out. Sam is also our youngest swimmer and I'm impressed that she is game to try and get through the surf when it is this rough.  Once we were beyond the surf line we found that there was still a strong red tide. Yuch!  We swam to the end of the pier hoping for clearer water but instead found it to be worse. It looked like there was a blue spot to the west so we headed towards it and did find clean water, but we couldn't' stay there all afternoon so we came on the west side of the pier through the crud.

At the end of the pier

Enjoying the patch of blue water

We covered about .8 of a mile and felt that we deserved credit for a greater distance because of the energy spent getting out and back in. ;-)

Thanks to Sue, Sam and Sydney's mom. for the photos from the shore. 

niel


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday, November 5, 2016

Whitewater



It was warm and comfortable at Avila Beach. The big swell that was pushing up 13 to 16 foot breakers on the west facing beaches today was producing waves that were overhead +2' in Avila. The tide was 1/2 way to full, the water was 60 degrees and full of silt. There were gaps between the sets when things flattened out but the period between the waves would vary between 15 and 7 seconds. Getting out would be dicey.
Niel, Tom, Sydney, Sammy and Michael waded in while Sylvia waited on the beach. Tom was the only one who made it outside on the first try. Niel and Michael made a second try and Michael made it out.  They swam to the end of the pier and back in and called it good enough. The rest of us watched from the beach. I lost my goggles in the surf, another donation to the water gods.  A pod of dolphins came by outside of the surfline while Tom and Michael were in the water.
The big surf will last until mid-week, sso we should have easier swimming next Sunday.

The lifeguards are done for the season and will be back in mid March.

niel


Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Concerns about water quality and stormy conditions kept all of the regular swimmers out of the water. Steve Walker had emailed me. He was going to be in town and was interested in swimming with us. He showed up and ran into Peter Kelly. Pete's story about Steve's swim follows:

Hi Niel,
 Here is what happened yesterday, the 30th
I went down at 11 to see if anyone was swimming. the red tide was in full bloom and the sea was as nasty as it's been all year. Only one lonely soul on the beach, wearing a speedo and carrying a swim bag. He headed toward the lifeguard stand and I met him there. The lifeguard asked if I was going to swim and I said no because of the conditions. The speedo man said he was going to swim and started asking me about distances, like, How far from Whiterock to the pier? I asked him if he was an experienced open ocean swimmer and he replied" English, Irish, and Catalina channels" as well as others. He was attempting Ocean Sevens and only had Molokai and the Japanese Island channel to accomplish that. He said his daughter was going to meet him at four so he was going to swim for about three and a half hours. In he went swimming towards White Rock on the roughest day this year.! 
 I went home and googled him. His name is Steve Walker, he swims with the South End Rowing Club in S.F. He just released a new book, "Where the crazy people Swim". So, after three hours I returned to the life guard stand, he had come in, drank some water, ate a  couple of power bars and continued swimming! When he finished, an hour later. he took a hot shower at the Yacht Club and I snapped this picture! We shot the bull and his daughter came and picked him up. He is on his way to San Pedro for the Catalina Channel Banquet and also the Rough Water Swimming Gala!
 We traced his swim on a chart in the yacht club, a little over eight miles on the Gnarliest day of the year!
 Please forward to all Dolphins,
 Pete Kelley
p.s. The big black dolphin passed in front of the life guard stand, in the surf, 5 minutes before he finished. You can purchase his book on Amazon.


I wish that I had shown up so I could have met him. 

niel

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016


In today's group were Niel, Duke, Heidi, Amy, Tom, Michel, Pete and John Hampsey.

We have two swim plots today, Heidi's for her, John's and Amy's swim 


                             and Niel's solo .6 mile swim

while Duke, Tom and Michael swam to Fossil Point and back.

The eight buoys marking the swimming zone have been removed for the winter. Duke says that now there will be fewer things to run into while swimming.  

Tom and Duke at the start

Michael at the start

The turnaround point where the last buoy used to be and the far end of my swim today.  

Tom


Duke

The Walrus Himself, Pete Kelley.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016



We had perfect fall conditions at Avila Beach today; it was warm and sunny with no wind or crowds and very clear 57 degree water.
Swimming today were Duke, Niel, Amy, John, Tom, Leslie and Michael.  We had a large pod of dolphins do an east to west drive by as we were getting ready to get in. In spite of what the plot from my Garmin shows we swam the standard triangle route counterclockwise without a crazy detour back through the pier. 





Leslie at the creek buoy. 

Duke and Tom at the same spot.

Tom got ahold of the camera and had us attempt some synchronized swimming moves. 


Then it was underwater photos - Leslie

Ton's knee and parts of Duke, Leslie and Niel

Leslie and Duke at the end of the pier.

Tom at the end of the pier.

Tom needs to explain this one

This was to be an underwater photo taken by Tom of me swimming. His technique needs some polishing.

niel

News from Kona:

Rhonda Marina finished second in her age group (60-64) in 12:49:05 and shows all of the guys on the beach how to race!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016
  
It was a startling day at Avila—serene and bright, quiet and warm. Parking was readily available and at 10:45am there were only three groups of people on the beach south of the pier. We had a small group of swimmers—Amy, Heidi, sisters Sammie and Sydney, Pete, Sylvia, and myself. Pete and Sylvia did their own thing; the other five of us swam along the buoy line south. The ocean was glassy and smooth when we entered, and amazingly clear. Water temp was on the cool side, about 56 degrees, and there were intermittent 5-6 foot waves that seemed to rise up out of nowhere and majestically roll into shore. After reaching the 4th buoy we decided to head to the end of the pier through a water surface that was now undulating and against a fairly strong current. As we approached the pier, conditions altered again and we found ourselves surrounded by a playfully choppy sea with white caps. At times it seemed like we were surfing the water with our faces. From there we swam to the second buoy on the north side, under the pier and back to the beach. Near the shore Sammie and Sydney frolicked in the waves, the water so clean they could count the hermit crabs on the ocean floor. It was a fantastic swim (distance .85 miles) on a gorgeous and sublime day.

Thanks to John Hampsey for writing this Sunday's blog post.

niel

Ironman World Championships, Kona, HI, October 8th, 2016 

Rhonda Marina will be competing in Kona this Saturday so send good strong thoughts her way all day.

Her bib number is 363        Mareina Rhonda               F60-64                 USA

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016


It was warm and sunny and was going to get hot at Avila Beach on Sunday. There was very little wind and no sign of birds or sea life. There were a couple of Jet Skis jumping the waves near Fossil Point so we decided to swim in the other direction. The route was out to the first buoy, under the pier and on to the last buoy near the creek mouth. Then over to the Cal Poly Pier and back along the same route. This should be about a mile swim. Doing their own rout today were Peter, Sylvia, Claudia and Gerry Gross. In the other group were Niel, Duke, Rick, Heidi, Goffrey, Ben, Tom, Kim and Michael.  The water had been warm the last few weeks, hanging around 60 degrees but it had fallen back to something like 57 today with a couple of cold spots that felt like 55. 
An Update on the Avila Pier; With the pier closed due to safety concerns since early last summer at this time the Harbor District is working to determine who they will hire to do the feasibility study for the fundraising campaign to raise funds to repair and rebuild the Avila Pier, so, having a functioning pier (and a spot where I can once again take a water temperature) is many years in the future. In the meantime we will be relying on our toes to tell us what the water temperature is.

Heidi and Kim at the first buoy getting started
Michael, Goffrey and Ben at the creek buoy
Tom, Duke, Kim, Ben, Rick, Michael, Goffrey and Heidi at the Cal Poly Pier.
From this point a swim out to the end of the pier and back will add .8 of a mile to your swim.

Duke, Tom and Rick at the finish.


niel




Monday, September 19, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

This week's post was written by John Hampsey;

Swimming today were sisters Sam and Sydney, along with Pete, Sylvia, Heidi, Ben, Geoffrey, John, and Michael (without a wetsuit). Pete and Sylvia did their own thing, the other seven of us started out doing the buoy line south. At 11am the sea was calm and glassy and the water temperature was a warm 61 degrees, just terrific swimming conditions. After we reached the last buoy, Ben and Geoffrey decided to return along the buoy line and the other five of us took off to the end of Avila pier. Along the way the wind started to increase and the water picked up some chop. After gathering at the end of the pier, we headed to the 3rd buoy on the north side of Avila. We then did a buoy-sprint between the 3rd and 2nd buoy that exhausted all of us, followed by a relaxing swim back under the pier and into the beach. Our swim distance as measured on Sydney’s gps was 1.15 miles. Near the shore we re-united with Ben and Geoffrey who were playing in the 3-4 foot breaking waves. It was noon, and still the beach was not crowded. The weather was warm and sunny, the vibe peaceful. Meanwhile, in another dimension up on the promenade, the annual apple festival was festive and happening.

--John Hampsey   Sept 18, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016


This Sunday started out gray and cool. I was wrapped up in fleece and Uggs to stay warm o the beach. The water temperature was posted as a balmy 60 degrees, which would swim 3 degrees or so colder because of the lack of sun. There was no wind and 1 to 2 3 foot waves. Swimming today were Niel, Jim, Duke, Sammy, Sydney and Peter. Sylvia held down the beach for us. We did the triangle counterclockwise. Several people on the beach reported that we had 4 dolphins swimming along with us on the last leg back to the pier, but nobody in the water was fortunate enough to see them. 
Next time I'm going to try some anti-fog on the camera lens to see if I can keep the water drops from hanging onto the lense.  

Jim, Sammy, Duke and Sydney at the first buoy before we swam under the pier

Jim, Duke Sydney and Sammy at the buoy at the creek mouth.

Sydney, Duke, Sammy and Jim at the end of the Avila Pier.

Duke, Jim Sydney and Sammy at the last buoy on the left (east) of the pier.
niel