Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Evening, September 20, 2017

Swim report by Craig Bowman:

Heidi and were the only swimmers tonight.

No water pix but here's a selfie after we finished and got dressed.

45 minutes from the stairs till we walked on to the sand. No GPS but, 4 buoys, around the pier and 4 buoys,
through pier, around the 1st buoy and in.

58° water.

Now dinner at the Custom House with my wife.

See you Friday.
Attachments area

Craig Bowman

7:58 PM (13 minutes ago)
to me
Forgot to add that for last third of the swim Heidi had a flippered friend as an escort. The rather large seal kind of spiraled side to side under her, popping up to look at us a few times. Its dark shadow under her was a bit freaky though.

Rather calm otherwise with a great ominous fog bank rolling in with the sun still shining.

You missed a good one.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017


I can hear Fall's footsteps. Costco has Holloween stuff and Trader Joe's is starting to fill with all things pumpkin, and there was a hint of fall at Avila Beach today.  It was sunny but comfortably cool and the water temperature, at 59.5, was below 60 degrees for the first time since July 9th. Last summer we had very few 60+ days so this summer's warm water has been a treat, with one day at 66 degrees which is warm indeed for the ocean north of Point Conception.  59 degree water is still pretty comfy for the Central Coast but today was a reminder that we will be back to water temperatures in the mid-50's around the holidays.

In the water today were Sylvia, Niel, Paula, our only skin suit today, Karen, Duke, Amy, Hilary, Heidi, Tom, Maria, Pete, Jonny, John, Pete Kelley and Gerry Gross. Jonny's friend Shawn joined us in his kayak.
There was almost no wind, the water was pretty flat but with patches of red tide.
We had some dolphins along the buoy line before we got in. 
Today's swim was the triangle clockwise with a Cal Poly Pier option.  Niel, Hilary, Heidi, Karen, Pete and Maria did the additional 1/2 mile over to the CP Pier and back.
There were a lot of seals with us over at the Cal Poly Pier. 

Hilary and Karen at the Cal Poly Pier

Heidi and Shawn. It is nice to have a paddler along. 

Karen, Hilary, Pete and Maria. 
Ready to start back from the Cal Poly Pier.

A number of people have asked me how long the Avila Dolphins have been swimming at Avila Beach. Steve Snyder was the group's beachmaster and record keeper when he talked me into breaking from the pool and showing up at the beach. He provided me with this tally of the first swimmers beginning in 1991.  
There are a lot of familiar names here, most of which we have not seen in some time, but Paula Donnelly and Pete Kelley swam with us today.
Sylvia tell sme that there were other informal ocean swimming groups prior to 1991, but that no records were kept. 

We will swim Wednesday evening at 5. 


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wednesday Evening, September 13, 2017

Heidi, Hillary, Maria and Niel swam a very bumpy and fun mile.
The water was 64 degrees but rough. There was a steady wind out of the SW, one foot chop, wind swells and a strong current.  
We got in at 5:30. Maria and Heidi at the start. The water felt warmer than 64 to me.

Maria, Hillary and Heidi at the creek mouth

We swam just over a mile with different conditions on each leg. A lot of work for a short swim but fun and a open water experience.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Sunday, September 10, 2017

We had a great day for a swim. Nobody felt particularly inspired so we did the triangle clockwise. The weather was cool with broken overcast and humid with a wind and swell out of the SE. The water temperature was 63 degrees. We did have a pod of large porpoises near the beach the entire time that we were swimming. 
Today's swimmers were Sylvia, Niel, Steve (who is attempting a crossing of the Anacapa Channel this weekend), Heidi, Amy, Tom, DUke, Sydney, Sam, Kyley, John and a special hello from Allan Freeman, former Dolphin, who was in town visiting.

Kyley, John and Heidi

Steve, Sydney, Sam, Duke and Kyley

AT the last buoy near Fossil Point, everyone is 
watching the porpoise near the beach.

We'll swim at 5:30 this Wednesday evening


Friday, September 8, 2017

Wednesday Evening, September 7th, 2017

Wednesday's swim report is by Heidi

Swimming tonight were Hillary, Maria and Heidi.  It was sunny and air temp around 72 F. There were swells from the south and a strong current and steady breeze out of the west, creating some chop.  The Port reported a water temp of 62 F but it felt a little warmer.  We decided to go head on against the current first, so entered the water on the west side of the pier, swam to the first then to the fourth buoy.  From there we swam to an anchored boat.  It was a bumpy and fun ride on this side of the pier.  

Then we had a nice smooth push to the end of the pier and to the fourth buoy on the east side.  Back to the pier along the buoy line and we finished our one mile swim as daylight was fading.

Cheer on Maria and Hillary as they tackle the Santa Cruz triathlon this weekend.  They won’t swim with us Sunday but the three of us gals plan to swim again next Wednesday, toes in the water at 5:30 instead of 6, due to the shortening days.

Local open water swimming legend Dave Van Mouwerik successfully swam Lake Tahoe the 'short' way on 8/28. His report follows: 

Just a heads  up  that  the  swim  went  well.
A couple hours in  darkness, then sunrise,  then  about four more hours.
Had a great crew that performed  well:
Tom Linthicum  the boat pilot
Cathy Harrington the observer
Gill  Hulse who observed the observer
Mark  Holmes  the kayaker
Uneventful swim,  no  winds,  flat water,  69 degree water temp
5 hrs 51 minutes; 10.5 miles
The Viking swim  is  a natural  route,  from  Cave Rock Landing  to  Vikingsholm-in-Emerald-Bay
1. pre-sunrise, kayak with  glowsticks,
2. Dave and Mark angling  towards Emerald Bay
Dave Van Mouwerik

What a great spot to swim.

Dave also has a successful south shore to north shore crossing, a distance of over 20 miles.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day Swim -

Avila Beach was a very different place than it was yesterday. Tropical moisture had moved in overnight with rain showers and thunderstorms. At 10 AM Avila Beach was overcast, humid and much cooler than Sunday. The water temperature had dropped 5 degrees to 61 F and there was a quarter of the number of people on the beach. 
Today's swimmers were Maria, Niel, Heidi, Craig, Sarah, Jonny and Pete. Craig was the only one who went without a wetsuit. We decided to do the triangle with a option to go over to the Cal Poly Pier. At the buoy at the creek Jonny and Craig headed back along the buoys while Niel, Heidi, Maria and Sarah swam over to the Cal Poly Pier. Pete had gotten in after we started and caught us up on our way back. 
Jonny, Sarah, Craig and Heidi at the start

Jonny, Sarah and Heidi.
The clouds were kind'a spooky looking. 
We could see rain over near Pismo but no thunder or lighting. 

Heidi and Craig

Sarah, Maria and Heidi back at our starting place. 

We will swim Wednesday evening. In the water at 6.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday was hot, sunny and very crowded with superb swimming conditions. I measured a water temperature of 66 degrees F / 18.889 C. The highest water temperature at Avila that that I know of was 67 degrees so this was very warm. The ocean was clean and flat with an occasional 2 to 3' wave and no wind. 

We had 17 swimmers today.  John, Karen, Bob, Barbara, Emerson, Duke and Chad went with wetsuits while Niel, Steve, Paula, Heidi, Amy, Jonny, Maria, Saga, his friend and Peter went bareback.
I didn't spend much time taking pictures. I took only a group photo that turned out all green and this one of me at the start to document that I was in the water without a wetsuit. The water felt great and so much more tactile than with the wetsuit, but I didn't feel that I could linger with other swimmers because I didn't know if I would get cold.
There will be a Labor Day swim tomorrow, in the water at 10 with a pot luck afterwards. 


Wednesday Evening, August 30, 2017

John, Niel, Heidi and Hilary swam in water that was flat, clean and 65.5 F / 18.611 C. There was a bist ball out past the end of the pier on the east side so we started on the west. When we grouped up at the end of the pier the birds had cleared off so we completed our swim on the east side. 

Hilary, John and Heidi


Hilary, John and Heidi

We'll swim at 11 as usual on Sunday and at 10 on Monday with a pot luck brunch to follow.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday,August 27, 2017

We enjoyed our run of great swimming conditions today with a water temperature of 62 degree F/ 16.66 degrees C, no wind, flat water, a swell or push out of the SW and an overcast sky that cleared to sunshine halfway through the swim. We had 17 swimmers today. 
Duke proposed a 2+ mile swim so we swam a route that would allow people to drop of when they wanted to. 
Today's swimmers were Tom and Leslie, Sylvia, Duke, Steve and his son Ross, Karen, Amy, Niel, Sydney, Sam, Kyley, Paula, Clare, Hillary, John and Maria.
Sylvia would, as usual, do her own swim. 
Tom and Leslie swam the witch’s hat: Out to the #1 buoy on the east side of the pier , turned left and went to the last buoy.  Then, returned to the #2 buoy before going around the pier to the #2 buoy on the west side.  From there to the end of the buoy line and back to the #1 buoy on the east side.  Hence, a perfect “witch’s hat.”
The long route was to swim to the #1 buoy on the east side, east to the #4 buoy, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the #4 buoy at the creek mouth on the west side of the pier, to the Cal Poly Pier, to the end of the Cal Poly Pier, return to the end of the Avila Pier and in to the beach for 2.25 miles. We were in the water for an hour 23 minutes and spent an hour and one minute swimming. There were 6 stops along the route so it took 3+ minutes at each stop for the group to reform and make sure that we knew who was continuing and who was dropping off.
Duke, Niel, Hilary, Karen, Steve, Heidi and Maria did the full distance. 

Forming up at the #1 buoy on the east side of the Avila Pier.

At the #4 buoy on the east side. 
Hilary is pointing at a dolphin that swam close by the group.

Heidi, Karen, Duke, Hilary and Steve at the end of the Avila Pier. 

Duke, Hilary, Heidi and Karen at the #4 buoy on the west side of the Avila Pier

Duke, Karen, Heidi and Maria at the 'crossbars' our 
waypoint about 1/3 of the way along the Cal Poly Pier

Hilary, Steve, Karen, Maria, Heidi and Duke at the Cal Poly Pier
looking back towards the Avila Pier. 
It is 620 M from this point to the end of the Cal Poly Pier.

and 716 M from the end of the Cal Poly Pier to here, the end of the Avila Pier.
Both legs are nice chances to stretch out and get into your stroke.

Wednesday Evening: Hilary and I will get in the water at 6 PM on 8/30. The conditions have been great and it is a wonderful way to finish off a work day.
Next Sunday, 9/3: We will swim as usual, in the water at 11 AM.
Monday, 9/4, Labor Day: We will swim at 10AM with a potluck brunch afterwards.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Wednesday Evening, August 23, 2017

Heidi's Swim
We enjoyed the best of summer swimming conditions Wednesday evening. Avila was sunny, pleasantly warm, no wind, flat water at 63.5 degrees F / 17.5 degrees C, and, excellent visibility for the central coast.
Niel, Heidi, Hillary and Maria swam this evening. There was already a traditionally clad swimmer with a green cap out lapping the buoy line that was probably Steve from Bakersfield, who swam with us last Sunday, and had hoped to get some additional pre race miles in this evening.  We never connected with him.
Heidi picked our swim. We went down the buoy line to the creek mouth, out and around an anchored sailboat, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the last buoy on the opposite side of the pier and back along the buoy line to our starting point.
Our time of 48 minutes for 1.25 miles tells you that we spent a lot of time at the turns just floating, talking and enjoying being in the water. 

Heidi, Maria and Hillary, a.k.a, the Silver Dolphin
Note the shiny wetsuit.

A selfie into the setting sun. 

Heidi and Maria, who just removed her Cone Head disguise.

It is supposed to be warm this weekend and I'm already looking forward to Sunday's swim.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

It was a strange gray summer day at Avila Beach. There was no wind and the  overcast was high and thick and did not look like it was going to cleat. The water was flat and 61 degrees F / 16.11 C and very clean. Beautiful swimming conditions except for the lack of sun.
We had 15 swimmers today; Niel, Duke, Steve (over from Bakersfield), Sydney, Sam, Kyley, Heidi, Tom, Karen, Hillary, Chad, Maria, Pete, Sue and Peter Kelley. Tom picked today's route. Tom dislikes routine so he laid out a route to make a parallelogram. 
The group forming up at the first buoy

The rest of the group

At the opposite end of the parallelogram.

There will be a Wednesday evening swim, in the water at 6.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Sunday August 13, 2017

Sunday's swim report is by Tom Lorish

Avila report for Sunday August 13, 2017 – from TOM.

It was pretty socked in today at Avila – a solid marine layer.  The water was calm with small waves rolling in.  Swimming today was Duke, Heidi, Paula & Sue (sans wetsuits), Karen, Leslie, Tom, and a woman whose name I did not catch.  Duke’s daughter, Nikki was there as paddle support.

The water felt colder than the 57 degrees Heidi’s watch reported, but there you go.  We swan to the first buoy, turned left and headed out to fossil point.  After passing the last buoy on the way the point, the red funk made itself known.  By the time we got to the point, it was well known.  I was told this was ‘nothing compared the last Wednesday.’

About half way through the swim, the sun poked through.  There was quite a bit of sea bird activity – based on my understanding of pelican, I believe they were organizing a possible interspecies bait ball for later in the day, but who knows.

All in all, another good day swimming in the ocean

Avila report for Sunday August 13, 2017 – from DUKE.

Sunday's open water swim turned out to be Ladies Day, with only two dudes invited to attend (Duke & Tom). We were missing a number of our regulars but present were Heidi, Leslie and Hillary with Sue strolling up as well. In addition we had a Kona Legend,  Karen  (25 time plus Kona Iron Man) and a cameo appearance by Paula D.  (who I became aware was one of our charter members from the 90's). My daughter Nikki, visiting from Seattle accompanied us as well with a SUP. The water was reported is 61° fairly calm but unfortunately with remanence of a bit a red tide. The route was first bouy to the point and back along the bouyline. A route that all chose to do with no alterations. Once completed Rick and Rhonda showed for their weekly Sunday beach time until about 1:30 when all those remaining decided to call it a day. In general pretty good water, very nice weather and great conversations.