Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sunday, July 21. 2019

A nice day at Avila today with the fog clearing early and 58 degree water. If the fog cleared early it means that the wind was up early so we would swim with a mixed chop and current out of the SE. There were 'absolutely stay out of the water' bad red tide conditions over near the port but the water in Avila looked clean and had just a bit of a bad taste, so we decided to jump in but to stay on the east side of the pier.
Niel, MaryAnne, Jeff and Leslie got in first. Mary Anne would do a short swim by herself along the buoy line. Niel. Leslie and Jeff would do one or two laps around the triangle. 
Heidi, Amy, John, Jeneane, Stephanie and Eric got in a bit later. 

I'd been sick earlier in the week so I did just one loop for .78 mile.

MaryAnne, Heidi, Leslie and Amy getting in.

Jeff, our annual summer guest from NZ

Jeff and Leslie at the last buoy on their first lap.

More from John about the Hampsey6 when it is available.


Sunday, July 21, 2019    Group Two - by John Hampsey
We started out as three—Eric swimming bare back, Stephanie, and myself. There was a catamaran anchored about halfway down the Avila Pier and in line with the second buoy. Since I can never resist swimming toward a boat, we headed for it... Eric and Stephanie sped past it and aimed for the end of Avila Pier. I lingered and yelled ahoy! There was no answer. Floating in the water, though, was an empty plastic peanut-butter jar. Figuring it came from the catamaran, I threw it up on board, then swam towards the end of the pier. After a few strokes, the jar splashed into the water next to me. Someone was on board the catamaran. I threw it back once more, and then swam like a demon...
At the end of the pier we ran into Heidi and Amy from Group One, and Janeane who had raced out to meet us from shore. We were now six. We decided to swim south-east to the fourth buoy, but the faster swimmers got tricked into swimming to the reef buoy instead, and kelp entanglements followed... Eventually, we corrected course, circled the fourth buoy, and headed back once more to the catamaran. We pivoted there and returned to shore. The water was choppy, and at times felt like we were surfing with our faces, especially heading into the wind. But swimming was a blast. It was a glorious day and we all felt an electric charge. Swim length—1.2 miles
--John Hampsey

Amy, Leslie, Niel and John. All wore their Avila Martini Swim hats Sunday. 

John's route map for Group 2

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Tom's Smith Rock Swim

Tom's Blog from Saturday July 20th:  Smith Rock Report

The Smith Rock swim.  Today’s swim went from our usual launch point, to the end of the Avila pier, out to the Cal Poly pier, and across to, and around Smith Rock, finishing at Fishhead Beach at the base of the Hartford pier – 2.3 miles.  See route below.   Niel and I last did this swim in April, 2016.  On that occasion the water was 51 degrees – very cold!  Today’s water temp was a more suitable 55-56.  The ocean was glassy calm with a solid marine layer above – classic summer time conditions.  My paddler Bryan and I completed the route in just over an hour – about 62 minutes.  It was good swim. 

Picture attached is: Fishhead beach with Smith and Whale Rocks in the background.  You can see how calm and glassy the water was. 

NOTE: The red funk is back in town.  FYI. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday,July 14th, 2019

Today's postare by Tom Lorish, Maria Taylor and John Hampsey :

Tom’s Blog for Sunday July 14th (aka Group One report).

It was a beautiful day at Avila – there was a nice breeze passing
through just outside the Avila pier.  The circling sail boats between
the Cal Poly and Avila piers was taking full advantage.
This breeze caused a nice chop in the water to go along with the
occasion bumps from the small swell. There was some lingering
fog hovering over fossil point, otherwise blues skies.

Swimming today in Group One was NZ Jeff, Phil, Teresa & Tom.
Group Two, the Hampsey Trio (not to be mistaken for the
Hampsey 5), was Amy, Maria & John.  Ann Marie did her own thing.
The water temp was what it was – who am I to label the ocean
with a silly sapiens contrived measuring convention?
I’m not doing it. 
Group One swam the “Southern Arrow” route – see June 9th
2019 post for map. It was about 1.5 miles despite Phil’s watch
telling him it was 2 miles.  Jeff was swimming particularly fast
today due to his adrenaline rush from NZ making it to the World Cup
Cricket grand finals (they ended up losing to England on some
kind of obscure ruling in the case of a draw!?). 

Group One converged at one point with the Hampsey Trio –
1st Buoy, Westside. We had a few puffs from the peace pipe, and
continued on our separate routes. Group two swam a route
of their choice.

Maria - 
The latecomers were in the water second, again today.
John, Amy and I regrouped near the ladder on the way out to the end of the pier.  On impulse I decided to take the leap. Scaled the ladder was easy with the higher water. I was a little wobbly easing out onto the pier plank and knees a little shaky, I sent out an affirmation to your Father-in-law and to our Mum’s. Seemed like a fitting tribute. Jane, Amy’s Mom, has been gone one year, nearly to the day. 


John - 
Sunday July 14, 2019  

Group Two--Maria, Amy, and myself. Our swim was mystical and adventurous.
It involved Maria's magnificent and sublime jumping off the end of the pier, dedicated 
to our mothers, and Niel's father-in-law, who have passed into another realm... and
 Amy's hailing ahoy! to an anchored motor boat and turning down their offer for 
a bloody mary... and me chatting with some paddle boarders who boarded an 
anchored sailboat because they thought it was their friend's boat, until they discovered 
it wasn't. But it didn't seem to matter to the men, who prepared to use the surfboards 
stored upon the sailboat. The boat had no name.
Water--57 degrees. Distance--one mile.
We all felt gratitude for our swim, the vibes, and the gorgeous day.
--John Hampsey

NOTE: Congrats to Teresa who was just back from her Santa
Barbara six miler – after being not sure she was going to swim
it at all, she ended up doing it, and came third in the women
category!  Well done to her.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

Today's post is a mash up of blogs by Tom Lorish and John Hampsey and a plot of one of the routes from Duke.

Blog from Tom. Sunday July 7th, 2019.    

There was thick marine layer covering Avila today.  Air and water temp must have been pretty close to the same, with the air maybe a bit warmer.  The water felt 56ish today, but it may have been a degree or two warmer as I tend to feel it a bit colder than it is.  Swimming was Geoff, our NZ friend (back for his annual holidays), Duke, and Tom.  That was the first group.  The second group was the Hampsey 5 (Heidi, Maria, Stephanie, Jonny, and John). 

Duke, Geoff, and I swam out to the end of the Avila pier over to the third crossbeam of the Cal Poly pier and returned by route of choice.  The Hampsey 5 did a route of their choice.  I did happen to see the Hampsey 5 at one point: they were gathered on the port side of a sailing boat as I was returning from the Cal Poly pier.  It appeared, and this is sheer speculation, that the folks on the boat were throwing food scraps out to the swimmers.  As I say, that’s just what it looked like to me – maybe the water was colder than I thought! 😊

Pete was there and did his own thing. It was good to see Geoff again, and am looking forward to swimming with him for the next few weeks. 

Sunday, July 7th, 2019
The day was cloudy and grey. Air temp 64. Water temp colder than last week, between 54 and 55 degrees. The Avila Dolphins went out in three groups. Group one--Duke and Tom and Kiwi Jeff-- swam to the end of Avila Pier, over to the Cal Poly Pier, and back to Avila Pier and to shore. Group three--Ann Marie and Pete--swam to the first and second buoys and then back to shore. Group two--Jonny, Heidi, Maria, Stephanie and I--entered at low tide, made our way thru some fairly large waves, and out to the end of Avila Pier. Half-way, we passed an unidentified dark mammalian object floating between the pilings. After re-grouping at the end of the pier, we decided to swim north to a sailboat anchored about ½ mile away, between the creek and the Cal Poly Pier. Upon arrival I asked for permission to board. When refused, I told them we were from the FDA. One of them was Dutch and one from Morro Bay. A third, a seafaring old gent at the stern, declared—“Prepare to repel the boarders. Throw out the chum.” After actually seeing the bloody chum in his hands, we departed with a ballyhoo and a wave, and made our way to the fourth buoy by the creek mouth. We performed a short mesmeric Buddha float, then returned back to Avila Pier, under it, and down the buoy line toward Fossil Point before returning to the beach. Distance – 1.2 miles. After showering and changing, group two shared coffee and home-grown peaches and plums. At 1:11pm, the grey clouds frittered away and a brilliant sun appeared. For the next hour, all seemed right in the world.

--John Hampsey

The Hampsey 5
Jonny, John, Heidi, Maria and Stephanie with Duke in the background

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday, July 30, 2019

The last day of June gave us genuine Central Coast June Gloom; gray and cool mornings with sun later (south facing beaches only) as the wind came up. At 10:30 the air temperature was in the upper 50's and the water was 60.5 degrees. The flat water in the first photos lasted only until the wind came up and the sun came out, which is  a pretty nice trade.

Today's plan was to swim left along the buoys to the end (4th) buoy, to the end of the Avila Pier, then either to the end of the buoy line at the creek mouth and back along the buoy line to the start for a mile or to head over to the third set of crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier and then back by some route to our starting point. This would be about a mile and an half.
John, Jonny, Amy and Heidi did the one mile while Niel, Tom, Jim and Duke opted for the longer swim. 
Tom, Jim and Duke at the 4th buoy before heading to the end of the Avial Pier.
The sun is coming out, making the water feel warmer, but the wind is coming up. We had some chop to swim into on the way to the end of the pier. 

This is Duke modeling the new Arena Tr-Goggles.

At the end of the Avila Pier. Jim, looking for a great white whale, Tom and Duke.
The sun is out and is has gotten bumpy. The next 700M over to the Cal Poly Pier was not sheltered from the wind so it would a real ocean swim.

Tom, under the Cal Poly Pier at the third set of crossbars.

Niel, Duke and Jim. The same place

Niel and Jim swam towards shore under the pier to the second 
set of crossbars and from there to the base of the Avila Pier. 
Duke and Tom didn't need any lane lines so they took 
a more direct route back to the Avila Pier.
The leg back to the Avila Pier was with the current and chop at our backs so it was a nice way to finish. I had 1.62 miles on the clock when I stood up at the beach. 


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday, June 23, 2019

More June Gloom and the Introduction of a New Swimmer

Avila Beach was in full June Gloom mode this morning; thick gray overcast, maybe even a little spitting, about 55 degrees with a calm and flat ocean and with a warm water temperature of 59. As the water warms the visibility fades away and we are down to being able to see your feet and that is about all.
Swimming today were Heidi, Niel, Amy, tom, John, Jonny, Maria, Peter and AnneMarie
AnneMarie would do a short swim on her own. The rest of the group felt like doing about a mile and the familiar triangle sounded just fine. 

That is Peter and Tom getting in.

Tom and Niel at the forth buoy on the left of the pier. 

Niel swimming past Tom

Niel, John, Morgan and Jonny White with Huxley White, at 2 months our newest swimmer, Amy and Kevin Clark, Heidi, Maria.

There is a rumor of a new swim format, possibly begun by Heidi, Maria and Niel; In the water at 11 as usual for a mile to mile and a half swim, out, lunch, back in for a lap around the Avila Pier in the wind chop, bareback.


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday June 16th, 2019

To the Poly Pier Another Way

Conditions were gray, overcast, cool and calm with the wind just starting to come up. I measured a water temperature of 57 but it felt more like 55 in the water, possibly due to the overcast. 
Swimming today were Tom, Niel, Duke, Emily, Heidi, Jonny, Eric and Teresa. 
This was Emily's last swim with us. She graduated in architecture yesterday and is traveling back to her home state of Minnesota on Tuesday to begin her career.  Congratulations and we'll miss you!
and this was Teresa first day to go bareback!
The plan today was to go down the buoy line on the west side of the pier to the creek mouth, over to the third set of crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, back to the end of the Avila Pier and in. Going to the third set of crossbars instead of the usual second set would swing us out past the kelp bed that is close to shore. 
Tom with Eric behind him, pointing the way, Jonny and Heidi 
in the background and Teresa and Emily doing the chicken dance getting in.

Tom, Teresa, Emily and Eric at the 4th buoy. 
The wind had come up enough that there was a current 
and noticeable chop on the way to the Cal Poly Pier. 

Teresa, Emily, Tom and Eric at the Cal Poly Pier

The water clarity isn't what it has been.

10 feet away and all you can see is Emily or Teresa's blue cap. 

Duke got a late start, swam almost the same route 
but never quite caught up with the group.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sunday, July 9th, 2019

Tom's Jeopardy Route - What was the question that this route is the answer to?

Conditions today looked pretty nice, especially compared to the last few weeks.
The water temperature was 55 to 57 with some exceptional 
spots of much colder and warmer water. 
The wind was mild and out of the NW but was going to build as the day went on.   

Swimming today were Niel, Tom, Duke, Amy, Heidi, Sue, Jonny, John, Margarite, Annemarie, Emily and Katy.  Tom came up with this route and would let us know what question the plot would be the answer to. 
Niel, Tom, Margarite, Duke and Emily swam Tom's route for 1.51 miles. 
Amy, Heidi, John, Jonny, and Katy swam part of the buoy line and out to the end of the pier and back, for about .8 of a mile.
On the west side of the pier I swam into water that was both about 4 degrees colder and warmer. The warmer water was from San Luis Obispo Creek. I don't know what was the cause of the upwelling that would have made the cold spots.

Sue, Margarite, Emily and Tom at the end of the Avila Pier

NIel, Emily behind and Tom giving a hint. At the end of the Avila Pier

Niel and Emily giving Tom's hint.

A couple of water clarity checks.
The water is still nice and clear. 

Another hint from Tom. Tom had to tell all of us what the question was;
Which was is South?

 Next week we need to start planning a 4th of July Swim.


Monday, June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019

Avila was gray and wintery looking but there wa no rain or fog and the water was flat, so things were lined up for a very different swim that the week before.

I measured a water temperature of 53.5 degrees from the pier.
The view to Shell and Pismo Beaches to the east did not look like a regular June day.
Swimming today were AnneMarie, Niel, Duke, Heidi, John, Jonny, Loranne, Tom, Sara and Emily. The A Group (Niel, Tom, Duke and Emily) swim was 1.5 miles, out to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the end of the Cal Poly Pier and back along the same route. The Group B (John, Jonny, Heidi, Amy Sara and Lorraine) swim was along the buoy line to the left, to the end of the Avila Pier and in for about a .8 mile swim. AnneMarie is getting familiar with ocean swimming by going out to the first buoy and back.
Yes, the plot keeps going. I hit the Start button after getting out and continued the track all the way to San Luis Obispo.

Tom, Duke and Emily at the end of the Avila Pier. Wading in was a big surprise for everyone, my toes were telling me 51 -52, not almost 54. Emily's face was bright pink from the cold. 

Niel Dukw, Tom and Emily at the end of the Cal Poly Pier.  
The distance between the ends of the two piers is about 716 M, 
a nice opportunity to stretch out and think about your stroke.


The water was still pretty clear (for the Central Coast) without the fog 
of plankton that comes with the warm(er) water during summer.

Duke and Emily saying it more like it was, 
'I'm cold and I don't feel like smiling for the camera'. 

Instead of doubling back the way we came with us Duke decided to swim in along the Cal Poly Pier and then over to our starting point. This was 1.55 miles and we arrived at the beach at almost the same time. 

Except for the water temperature we had great swimming conditions. I'm ready for numbers above 55.