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.  



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.


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.


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.


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.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sunday, September 4, 2016

We had a beautiful day for a holiday weekend swim. Avila Beach was surprisingly fog free, sunny and warm. The water was 59 degrees and flat at 10:15 when I arrived. There were small waves and a pod of whales moving from near the rock off of Fossil Point west towards the port. There were no close encounters this time. Swimming today were Niel, Heidi, David, Don, Jeff, Peter, Sydney, Sammy and Vanie. We swam the buoy line except for Peter who always does his own swim. We started out going left to the last buoy and returned to the pier. The wind was picking up and some chop was developing. Heidi was getting cold so she got out and the rest of us continued to the last buoy on the right side of the pier near the creek mouth. The right side was more exposed to the wind so there was more chop. At the creek David, Don and Jeff went to the Cal Poly Pier while Niel, Sydney, Sammy and Vanie returned along the buoy line.  Our swim was .9 mile.  David, Don and Jeff had a real ocean swim through white capped chop over to the Cal Poly Pier and had swum 1.4 miles buy the time they returned to the beach. 

Getting formed up for the start at the first buoy. 

Heidi at the last buoy on the left.
Not choppy yet but the wind is picking up.

Sydney, Jeff, Don and maybe Sammy at the last buoy on the left. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

We had another big turnout today with 19 swimmers in the water. The conditions at Avila were clear skies, just a slight breeze, probably 75 to 80 degrees on the beach and 58 degree water. Visibility was good and the surf was small with an occasional 3+ foot wave. 
Like last week, I got a  head count but with so many new faces I can not yet put the names and faces together in the water.  Swimming today were Niel, Sylvia, Sheryl, Matt, Amy, Duke, Jeff (visiting from New Zealand), Heidi, Sue (visiting from England), Archie (Sue's son, and on the Cal Poly swim team), John, Josh, Ben, Marcus, Sydney, Sammy, Ben, Jeffery and Gerry Gross. The was Marcus's last swim with us. A job opportunity is taking him to San Diego. 

We all went out to the first buoy and left to the end of the buoy line. Marcus and two others headed back to the first buoy. The rest of us swam down to the end of the beach near Fossil Point. From here Duke, Niel, Heidi and Sammy swam back to the first buoy while the rest of the group swam to the end of the Avila Pier. Sue and Archie came in along the pier. Jeff swam to the last buoy near the creek and Amy and John swam to the second buoy on the west side of the pier. Everyone else did something similar and came back in a group.

Ben, Heidi, Jeff and Sue at the start

Jeffrey, Marcus Amy at the start.

Three taken at the end of the buoy line.

The group at Fossil Point.

Tom Lorish did the 10k Golden Gate to Bay Bridge Bridge to Bridge Swim today.
They don't have any results posted.  :-(


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

We had a great swim today with nice conditions and 15 people in the water. It was sunny with a light wind . The water was clear and the temperature was posted at 59. It felt like the high 50's once you got away from the colder water near the shore. Swimming today were Niel, Hedie, Duke, Chad, Tom, Rachel, Cheryl, Holly, Peter, Jeff John, Sue, Archie, Sydney and Sammie. I apologize, we had a lot of new swimmers today and I'm not able to match all of the faces in the photos with the names.
The plan was to swim the east (left) side of the buoy line and continue to the end of the Avila Pier where we would break up into shorter and longer swims. When we formed up at the last buoy 3 swimmers decided to stay along the buoy line and returned the way we had come. At the end of the Avila Pier we had 5 people head over to the Cal Poly Pier, one swim in along the Avila Pier and the remaining 5 (Peter always swims solo) swam the the last buoy at the west end of the buoy line.
From the Cal Poly Pier we swam back to the west end of the buoy line, along the buoys to the Avila Pier and in. The route to the Cal Poly Pier was 1.42 miles The route shaped like a triangle the included both ends of the buoy line and the end of the Avila Pier was 1.1 miles.

Peter getting in. 

Archie, Sue and ?,? 

10 of the 15 swimmers wading in. 

Chad and Duke at the Cal Poly Pier.

Afterwards Sue treated us to a great cake with raspberries inside. Thanks!


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Blog report from TOM.  Sunday August 14, 2016.

In Haiku format:

Fog at Avila…
Many people; routes for all…
Sun pokes through mid-swim.

In longer format:

It was a foggy overcast morning at Avila to start.  Well beyond the pier out in the open ocean, there was a sailing regatta in full swing – boats heeled over pretty good.  But that was out there.  On the beach, it was calm, although there was a bit of a chop on the water.

Swimming today were many – some new, some regulars, and some infrequent regulars.  It was Duke, Chad, Heidi, Tom, Jeff from New Zealand, Amy, John Hampsey, and two youngsters whose names I didn’t get.  Mark was the paddle escort on his SUP.

Most of the swimmers did some form of the buoy line, with John & Amy doing their own route that included the end of the pier.

In the words of Jeff, coming from the dead of winter in New Zealand, “The water was perfect, tropical.”  It wasn’t quite tropical, but it was nice, probably mid-high fifties.

And this from John Hampsey - 

We had a good crowd with some newcomers—Jeff from New Zealand and two teenage sisters who had recently moved to SLO from Arizona. With about ten swimmers over all and mixed levels of experience, we decided to swim the buoy line and were fortunate to have Mark joining us on his stand up board! The water was about 58 degrees south of the pier and there was medium chop. As we entered the sea we were still enshrouded inside a thin fog. After reaching the last buoy Amy and I decided to swim to the end of the pier, everyone else returned along the buoy and under the pier to continue on the north side. As Amy and I swam our diagonal, the sun began to break through creating a mystical glint of light. At the end of the pier there was a commercial fishing vessel that Amy and I and Mark avoided by swimming fairly close to the pier on the north side. By the time we returned to the beach the fog had morphed into a puffy-white layer a few miles out to sea and we were under a gorgeous blue crystalline Avila sky.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday, August 7, 2016

We had beautiful conditions and a nice crowd with a mixture of familiar and new swimmers and a few we have not seen in awhile. Swimming today were Sylvia, Niel, Heidi, Rob, Danilu, Rachel, Ben, Jeffery, Chris, Jim, Johnny, Elizabeth and Gerry Gross. Most of us completed the triangle counterclockwise. Rob and Danilu did a half triangle and came in along the pier. Gerry Gross did his own swim. 

Rob Dumouchel dropped in from Humboldt County for a swim visit 

With the number of of new people I did not get all of the caps, faces and names sorted out,so I can't properly do captions. The water was clean, clear, flat and about 55 to 58 degrees, with some extra warm spots and much colder water under the pier. 

We enjoyed great conditions and a beautiful day to swim.


I'll be traveling and not at the beach the next two Sundays.