Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Whitie Is Back In Town

On Thursday there was what the lifeguards termed a 'credible' sighting of a white shark near the end of the Avila Pier.  No other sightings had occurred by Sunday and the beach wasn't closed so Niel, Jonny, Heidi and Duke got in and enjoyed the warmest water we have had this year. Since New Year's Day the water temperature had been between 49 and 53 and today I measured 55 degrees off of the Avila Pier. Spring conditions may be behind us!

It was warm in San Luis Obispo but surprisingly cool and foggy at Avila Beach. There were holes in the gray and a hint of wind so chances were that the wind would come up enough to clear off the fog.  

There were a lot of seals on the rocks to the west of the creek mouth so we decided to do a mile on the left side of the pier. 

Heidi, Duke and Jonny wading in. 

Heidi, Jonny, doing his shark imitation and Duke

What a difference a few degrees and sunshine makes!  We had wonderful swimming conditions with no sense of urgency to keep moving or to get out of the water. The wind did come up out of the SW, cleared out the fog and pushed up a 12" wind swell that was running towards the beach across our line, making things interesting.

We covered 1.01 miles and had a great time. 


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Blown Out

Jonny, Heidi, Christina, Maria and Niel swam today and we had real ocean conditions for our swim.  The air temperature was about 60 degrees with thin high clouds cutting down on sunshine.  There was a strong and steady wind out of the NW that was making flags standing straight out and umbrellas take off down the beach.  When we were getting in there was 6 to 12 inch chop but not yet any whitecaps. I had recorded a water temperature of 52 degrees from our pier. 
The water temperature took 1 to 2 degree drop when we cleared the surf line. We swam under the pier and down the beach towards the last buoy at the creek mouth.  In the water the chop was more like a foot plus with a strong current making it a lot of work to make headway and to try and not swallow too much water. The was Christina's first time in rough conditions. It was cold, windy and she was trying a new top that was opening up in the water, so she headed for the beach. Jonny went with her. The rest of us went to the last buoy and came back along the buoy line and picked up Jonny.  We swam to the end of the pier and then in along the lee side of the pier.  We all had a great swim but .75 miles was enough. 
The leg down to the buoy at the creek mouth was almost into the wind and if you could figure out the chop it was just work. The leg out to the end of the pier was across the chop and was rough. I was doing best by breathing on my right so I could see when the chop was going to break over my head and catch a breathe on the left side. Coming in along the lee of the pier was the easiest leg as we had a bit of a push.

Heidi, Christina, Maria and Jonny before heading under the pier. 

Heidi at the creek mouth

Maria and Heidi at the same spot. The swell was messing with my photography 

Jonny, Heidi and Maria arriving at the end of the pier. The chop was starting to whitecap now.

Heidi and Maria.

In June of last year we were enjoying water temperatures in the upper 50's.  If we see that again this year it will be time to start planning some longer swims.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Rainy Sunday in May

I didn't go to the beach today. Maybe it was just the strangeness of going from 85 degrees to cool and gray in 2 day just put me off. It began raining around midnight Saturday and was still raining at mid-morning. While the water would have been warmer and the swimming nice I had been looking forward to sitting on the beach and relaxing, so, no beach for me today.

Next week for sure.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Avila Beach was warm and sunny today with almost no wind, 2' waves with nice clear water and the buoys are back for the season.  There was almost on one in the ocean.  I waded out and got a water temperature of 51 degrees in knee deep water.  The shallow water inside the waves is usually warmer than that which is outside the surf line so most beachgoers were finding it too chilly.  We confirmed this during the swim. The water temperature was about 1 degree lower outside the surf and the water between the Poly and Avila Piers was probably two degrees colder yet.
We had a big group today with some new faces; Niel, Christina, Heidi, Duke, Amy, Jim, Sam, Sydney, John Hampsey, Pete, Maria, (both had done the SLO 1/2 marathon this morning), Margarite, Sara and Sue.
Most people swam the route in the plot. Christina (this was her first ocean swim and no wetsuit) and Sam doubled back from the stop at the creek. Jim didn't come in along the pier but continued to the last buoy on the east side of the pier and came back parallel to the beach. 
I lost track of one or two people.

Getting in

Grouping up at the Avila Pier

Part of the group at the creek mouth

Sue, Jim, Sydney and Duke at the Cal Poly Pier

Sydney, Duke and Margarite

The water temperature should have bottomed out today so we should start seeing conditions more supportive to longer routes in May.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

It was a great spring day at Avila Beach today; warm sunny, windy and cold water. About 10:30 it was 75 degrees on the beach and would warm up as the day went on. Initially there was no breeze, flat water and 2 foot waves. I got a water temperature of 51 degrees in the wave wash from the Avila Pier. We Planned to do a triangle that would end up at the end of the Avila Pier.  Once there we'd poll the group and see how people were feeling and what they felt like doing. Swimming today were John Hampsey, Amy, Heidi, Niel, Jim, Pete and Maria.
Heidi, Amy, John, Pete and Maria getting in. 

Jim and John at the end of the first leg.

Heidi, Jim, John, Pete, Maria and Amy

Jim at the end of the Avila Pier. 
John, Maria and Pete at the end of the pier
  From the end of the pier we decided to swim parallel to the beach over to an anchored catamaran. Niel and Jim rounded the cat, swam in towards the creek mouth and then parallel to the beach back to our starting point.  John, Amy, Heidi, Pete and Maria went on a diagonal from the cat to our starting point. 
The cat, 'Tunnel Vision'

Jim when we stopped off of the creek mouth.

Niel and Jim covered 1.38 miles. For the rest of the group it was 1.13 miles.
By the time we ere at the showers the wind had come up and the area near the cat was of white caps and chop.

Maria, I have your shopping bag. I'll bring it next week. Thanks for bringing goodies to celebrate your birthday!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The lifeguards were out training this morning. 

We still have spring conditions at Avila Beach, an air temperature of 60 to 70 degrees (except when it is raining), a water temperature in the low 50's and not much wind.  It was low tide at swim time today so I could not get a water temperature from the pier. The NOAA station 2 miles away at the port was reporting 53 degrees. Our consensus based on the amount of time that was required to approach being comfortable was 51 or 52 degrees.

There was the potential for a sci fi movie confrontation between objects I've found on the beach . 

Swimming today were Niel, Heidi, Jonny and Stephanie. We decided to swim to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the Cal Poly Pier and back to the base of the Avila Pier. Stephanie had not been in the ocean in a while so she would swim to the end of the pier and back.

Jonny and Heidi at the end of the Avila Pier.

Stephanie and Jonny at the end of the Avila Pier.

Heidi, Niel and Jonny at the Cal Poly Pier.

The route was 1.16 miles with nice water and good swimming conditions. The water was clean and mostly flat with some small chop and swell on the last leg back to the Avila Pier.

I saw Jon Harmse running on the beach, training for lifeguard season, before we left.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Avila Beach was about 60 degrees and cool with thin clouds blocking the sun.  There was an offshore breeze, occasional 3'+ waves and the water looked really clean. The Blue Water Task Force samples on Thursday showed the Avila Beach and the creek mouth to be well under the limit for bacteria but the estuary and the creek beyond were all up to 5x above the limit. An inch of rain on Friday complicated things because there was no way of knowing if the rainfall had pushed the creek's bacteria load into the ocean. We talked it over and decided to stay away from the mouth of the creek. I was able to get a water temperature of 51 degrees from the pier.

Niel, Jonny, John, Amy and Heidi decided to start out with last week's short course and see if we felt like more once we arrived back at the pier. 

Avila Beach and the pier from halfway to the end of the pier. 
 There was a one or two degree temperature drop when we got beyond the surf line. 
Jonny and Amy at the end of the Avila Pier.

John and Heidi at the end of the Avila pier. The Cal Poly (formerly Unocal) Pier is in the background.

Niel at the end of the second leg. No my foot is the first tar blob that I have picked up in a long time.
I'm glad that I still carry shop towels and baby oil in my beach bag.

Heidi at the same spot. The water was very flat and clear.
Great swimming conditions except for the chill. 


John, Amy and Heidi

Trying to frame John and Heidi with my feet wasn't so easy.
John, Amy and Heidi were getting cold so we came in. I had a distance of .93 miles. 
The wind had died down, the clouds cleared off and it got nice and warm on the beach after the swim.
We'll have to think of something fun to do for our next swim on  Easter Sunday.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring Conditions at Avila Beach

The fog was burning off at 10:15 and it promised to be a nice day for a swim. There was very little wind and an occasional set of 3' breakers. The tide was out so I could not get a temperature reading from the pier but the lifeguard said that the had measured the water temperature at 49 degrees.  Niel, Heidi, Jonny, John, Amy, Jim and Sydney were ready to swim. The plan was to go out along the pier to its end, swim by the anchored catamaran on the way to the end of the sea wall and then to come back along the beach to the pier. Those that were interested could swim under the pier and down to the creek and back. 

Jim, Sydney, Keidi, John and Amy experiencing the toe freeze

Sue took this one of us getting in.
Heidi, Jim and Sydney at the end of the pier. 

'Are your toes warmer in the water or out?'

Sydney, John and Jim at the ed of the sea wall. 

Once thoroughly chilled, why not swim farther?
Niel and Jim swam down to the mouth of the creek.
The short course group on back the beach.

The long route was 1.24 miles

The short course was .83 miles.