Wednesday, June 29, 2011
There is something going on with Wednesday evenings. Last Wednesday we have amazingly warm 63.5 degree water. Sunday the ocean was back to its seasonal 55.5. This evening it was back up to 60! It was sunny and warm, breezy, blowing from the west, but not as windy as it had been in San Luis Obispo or on the coast. The water had small wind waves and some small chop from the SW but there were no whitecaps. Niel, John and Rob were joined by Kim and Lynne, both of whom had been regulars but had not been swimming with us in a while. We decided to do a counterclockwise triangle, starting on the right side of the pier. The swimming was a little bumpy but not bad and the water felt comfortable. At the end of the second leg at the end of the pier, Kim wanted to head in so we all swam in parallel to the pier to the first buoy in the line, dropped her off and continued down the buoy line to the last bouy and doubled back to the first buoy. While we were at the last buoy I notices a raft of sea birds about 150m farther out. There were some pelicans diving with them and several gray dolphins swimming back and forth through the birds. Seeing dolphins is always a nice thing but we reflected on our being close by at snack time so we got in gear and hustled our way back towards the pier. There were no birds or dolphins to be seen when we were getting out. We swam about 2000m and with all of the visiting we did at the turning points we were in the water for 44 minutes.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
It was sunny, calm and comfortably warm at Avila this morning. The water was almost as clear as last Wednesday and a more seasonable 55.5 degrees. Sylvia and Yvonne went out early and were still swimming when the 11:00 group started. Swimming at 11 were Niel, Rob, Duke, Jerry, Kamber (who was a regular with us last summer and is back), Berto (a tir buddy of Duke's and his first time with us), Dale, Amy (who is a local triathlete but new to us) and her brother Bill, who was visiting from LA and is is also a triathlete. The plan was to do 1+ laps of the triangle route which would allow people to do the distance of their choice. Avila put on a great show for us by having a pod of gray dolphins met us as we swam out to the buoy line. They came within about 10m of our group and swam back and forth along the buoy line as we were working our way down to the last buoy on the left of the pier. We continued to the top of the Avila Pier, on to the buoy at the creek and from there back to the pier. At this point everyone headed in except for Niel, Rob and Bill who decided to go a additional 1/2 lap. We swam back to the last buoy on the left of the pier, to the top of the Avila Pier and in along the west side of the pier to the beach. The main group did about 1-1/4 miles, while the long route was 2800m, about 1-3/4 miles. I had us in the water for 64 minutes, but we spent a lot of of time reforming the group at the turning points.
Rob and I are going to swim Wednesday evening at 5:30. Next Sunday, the 3rd, Rob will be in Monterrey and I will be in Eureka. I wont be back until the 6th but Rob will be back for the 4th. Somebody should organize a Fourth-of-July swim and pot luck.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
When I arrived at Avila Wednesday evening I thought that maybe I was here on the wrong day. The town was packed with people like it is on Fridays for the farmers market. But school is now out and it has been hot in other parts of the state, so I guess the summer crowds have finally arrived. It was pleasant and sunny, but not hot and even with the mild temperature there were a lot of people in the water. All of those people just bobbing around in the waves started a nice train of thought that was confirmed when I pulled up the thermometer and saw 63.5! I did a double take, confirmed that I was not reading 10 degrees too high, and started making plans for a very nice long swim. The Port, Diablo and Santa Maria buoys were all reading in the upper 50's at this time so I have no idea why Avila was 5 degrees warmer than everywhere else, but I'm more than glad to enjoy the gift. The tide was coming in, there was a slight breeze out of the SE and only an occasional wave over 2'. Rob had been in that morning and said that the water had felt warmer than last Sunday, but not in the 60's. Rob, Ryan and I swam out to the buoy line on the left side of the pier, turned right and went under the pier and down to the last buoy at the creek. From there we went over to the second set of cross bracing on the Poly Pier, back to the end of the Avila Pier, to the second buoy on the left side of the pier and back along the buoy line to the pier and in. This was 2.3K and we were in the water for 50 minutes. The only place that the water felt cool/cold was in the white water at the shore. Everywhere else it felt great, from pleasantly cool to way warm. Some summers we have never seen a water temperature in the 60's so this was an unexpected treat. I expect that the water will be back to a more normal temperature on Sunday.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
It was gray, overcast and cool with a thick deck of clouds at Avila this morning. There was no wind and the ocean surface was either glassy or slightly rippled. The water was 55.5 and clear. We has a lone otter working the surf line who must of been finding some small clams or crabs to eat. There was no surf to speak of, just one wave large enough to get Rob completely wet and get him motivated as we were wading in. Sylvia and Yvonne went out early and did a long turn around the pier. Niel, Chad and Rob went out at 11 and swam down to the point and back. Without any sun the water felt colder than expected going out but became comfortable quickly. We swam 1.3K M in about 23 minutes. The sun broke through as we were finishing and by the time we had settled in our chairs it was sunny and warm on the beach.
We now have three buoys on each side of the pier, plus the single one our at the reef on the east side, so we again have a boat free swimming area defined near the beach. I'm giving Rob credit for the return of the buoys. About a week ago he sent a letter and a video to the harbor master that he shot after our Wednesday evening swim. It shoes a guy on a jet ski jumping waves in front of the yacht club. Glad we were already out of the water!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
It was beautiful at Avila Beach today with excellent swimming conditions. It was sunny and comfortably warm with only a light breeze that was too weak to put any chop on the water. The water was 56 with very small surf. Swimming today were Sylvia, Niel, Susan James, Pete, Rebecca and Jerry Gross. Susan is from Bakersfield and swims with us when she is over here. Rebecca is from Fresno and this was her first swim with us. They are both going to do the Alcatraz Shark Fest later this month. Sylvia and Jerry swam the buoy line. The rest of us headed out to the end of the pier, turned right and swam over to the second set of crossbars on the Poly Pier, came back towards the mouth of the creek to the the last of the now 3 (!) buoys in the line and along the buoy line, under the pier and in. This was about 1.3 miles and we were in the water for 44 minutes. The wind never picked up so I stayed until past 1 enjoying the beautiful weather.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Rob, Ryan and I swam Wednesday evening. There was a stiff wind out of the WSW that had pushed up a choppy sea that was whitecapping in to the surf line. The windwaves were about 1' and 6' to 8' apart. I measured a water temperature of 55, but it would feel colder. Not knowing just how changeling the water conditions would prove to be we decided to swim straight out to the end of the pier, do an assessment, turn to either the Poly Pier or the creek and then come back parallel to the beach to the pier. Since we were swimming out on the downwind side of the pilings I was surprised at how much I was getting slapped around, so I began expecting 'real' conditions when we came out from behind the pier. We grouped up at the end of the pier, confirmed for a family on the pier that the water was cold, and headed for the creek. This leg was perpendicular to the direction of the chop and was quite bumpy. It took me a while to find a stroke and breathing tempo that let me breath easily so I could get some power into my stroke. The leg back to the pier was downwind and kind'a fun. We covered 1.46K in 24 minutes. I was sore in my shoulders, back and legs the next morning for all of the bending the chop put me through.
Rob is doing an 8.12 mile open water race in the Great Salt Lake tomorrow. Wish him luck!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
It was just me and Ryan in the water on Wednesday night. I didn't bring a thermometer but the nearest buoy was running 49 degrees that evening, getting in the water that didn't feel too far off. It was definitely not warm! Ryan and I opted for a shorter swim and just did half a triangle on the right hand side of the pier. Out at the phantom creek buoy we saw the outrigger boats getting ready to launch from the beach and a seal sneaked behind us surfacing just long enough to check us out. There was a healthy current running left to right but it didn't really give us much trouble until we swam back down the length of the pier. It got a little bumpy and a little harder to swim through at that angle. We spent about 24 minutes in the water and swam around 1200m.
Earlier in the week I mentioned a night swim this coming Saturday, it doesn't look like the weather is going to cooperate. I'm going call off this weekend and to try and reschedule it for later in the month. I'll make sure to announce it here so everybody knows when it's happening!