This was the best swimming day of the year.
Rob and I scored huge on the conditions Wednesday evening; the water was 67 degrees (I had to check it twice to be sure), the ocean was flat and windless with no swell, the water was amazingly clear (when I was taking the water temperature I could see the bottom under the pier) and empty of critters except for a few gulls. I did a toe test and it felt so nice that I decided to go without my wetsuit for the first time in a year. Allison was along to paddle with us. We swam the buoy line, starting left and then back under the pier to the creek and back to where we got in. The top 18" of water didn't have any 'bite' to it, so my legs and chest were comfortable, but with each stroke my hands would pull up some deeper water that was a more normal temperature. Maybe if I had switched to breast stroke I could have stayed completely in the toasty layer. There were also some spots where the temperature dropped but they weren't large. Rob wasn't real happy with the increased visibility, he doesn't want to know what is down there, but it was strange and fun for me to be able to see the bottom moving along under us all of the way out at the buoy line. I was in for 28 minutes and got a little cold after I got out, I'm such a clod water wimp, but this was a rare and special opportunity to experience conditions like this at Avila Beach. I'll have to try and remember this if we see some sub 50 degree water temperatures this winter.
Byron was sitting on the beach when I came back from taking the temperature, so we got to visit with him both before and after we swam. He experienced a bad bike crash on the 17-Mile Drive in Carmel about a week ago. He still looks pretty rough but a lot better than the day after photo. He came up on a car that had parked in the bike lane (to take pictures of some deer) and with traffic on his left, forest on the right and not enough space to stop he hit the pavement rather than the back of the car. Besides the abrasions to his back, arms, hands and chest he experienced some serious injuries to his face, exposing his jaw. He was treated in the ER in Monterrey by an excellent plastic surgeon and looks like he will have a complete recovery.
I'm sure that he would enjoy hearing from those of you who know him.
We will have to add him to the Injured Reserve list along with Duke and set up a special spot for the walking wounded.