Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Evening May 30th, 2012

Today we had 3 swimmers hit the water - Rob, Damien and John - with Niel holding down the beach while he rests his shoulder. The weather was excellent and the wind is gone. We had a current running left to right across the beach but minimal chop/swell/surf. Niel measured 57 degrees in the water so warm Wednesday lives on!

We planned on doing the classic triangle route with stops at each corner being a little more important than usual since Damien is much, much faster than the rest of us. While we regrouped at the tip of the pier we really noticed the current pushing us out towards the poly pier.

At the creek buoy we ran into the Pale Kai Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe people paddling out. A boat detoured over to recommend maybe we get out of the ocean. According to them (via a text from their safety officer) a shark was spotted over at the pier (that we just came from) not too long ago. Initially we scoffed at the idea since most sightings are dolphins anyways but they seemed pretty concerned about it. We figured a swim straight to shore as opposed to down the buoy line and under the pier was probably the best course of action at that point. We started with 3 swimmers and finished with 3, I count that as a win :)

This weekend our regular 11am swim is going on but I'm planning on doing a 4 hour swim around it from 9am to 1pm. Feel free to join in as a swimmer or paddler during that time for however long you'd like. I'm looking to get in about 8ish miles... not a crazy fast pace but we'll keep things moving. Any questions let me know (rob@robaquatics)

Rob D.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Labor Day Weekend 2012

I'd Really Like To Speak to Whoever Is In Charge
This has been the spring for crazy wind and it is constantly messing with the water temperature.  Looking back to the start of the month we have had water temperatures of 56, 51, 58, 58, 54, 56, so I have been thinking about breaking out my spring suit and expecting water in the mid 50's.  However, Sunday's strong offshore winds pushed the water temperature down to an even 50 degrees.  The wind was still gusty and the water surface choppy at 11.  We did have some small dolphins working along the buoy line.   Sylvia had decided to sit this one out.  Yvonne, Niel, Byron, Duke and Rob got in.  Rob and I had planned another long swim today but I was not going to attempt it in these conditions.  We decided to swim straight out to the end of the pier and to then plan the rest of our swim depending on how we felt about the conditions.  When we grouped up at the end of the pier the consensus was that it felt really cold, and we decided to swim back in along the pier and get out.  Rob, Duke and I all had the same experience; the water felt cold getting in but did not have quite the bite we would of expected of 50 degrees, however,  it got really cold shortly after we started swimming.  As I was passing the buoy line on the way out I was starting to feel the cold through my wetsuit suit in my chest and arms which I never do.  Don't know what was different today but all of us except Rob were all happy to get out.  By the time we had gotten back to the beach (about 14 minutes) Rob had gotten used to the water and stayed in for a while trying to catch some waves.  He certainly lives up to his advertising.

Monday, Memorial Day
It was just Rob, Niel and Kris today.  There was still lots of food for the pot luck.  It was still and hot at Avila with shade a much desired commodity.  There was only a slight wind but it was blowing directly offshore and offered no relief on the beach.  The water had warmed up to 51 degrees with knee high surf.   Rob and I waded in to cool off.  He stayed in and put in a determined effort to body surf something, but there wasn't anything to work with.   We ate lunch, got overheated and left before 1.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday Evening, May 23.2012

The conditions at Avila Beach this evening were a surprise.  It was warmer than in town, t-shirt and shorts weather.  There was a gusty wind that was blowing from the SE which was almost the opposite of the wind direction in San Luis Obispo.  The wind was pushing a combination of small chop and wind waves from left to right and into the shore at an angle.  The water temperature was 56.  Rob and I were the only ones swimming tonight.  We decided to go out on the east side of the pier and down the buoy line towards Fossil Point and to let the conditions dictate how far we swam.  The swim out to the first buoy set the there for this swim.  The swimming was tough, the current pushing in towards the shore was strong and the chop, while too small to break over my head, was just large enough to really mess with my stroke.  It seemed to take a long time to get out to the first buoy.  We swam some to the end of the buoy line (now back to 3 buoys) and compared notes.  Neither of us was having any fun but we decided to go to the end of the pier and to probably head in from there.  The leg to the pier was across at 90 degrees to the wind and every time I sighted on the pier I had to push more to the left.  I never had trouble swallowing much water but the combination of the small chop and wind waves made it very tough to find any kind of a rhythm.  We headed in to the beach from the end of the pier and felt well used when we got out.  We had spent 28 minutes swimming maybe 3/4 of a mile.  I felt like I had put in the effort for more like 1.5 miles.  
Sunday should see normal conditions.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

It was a beautiful say at Avila Beach today.  It was cooler than in town but still very comfortable.  It was clear, sunny and there was a slight breeze out of the SE.  I measured a water temperature of 54 degrees.  Swimming today were Sylvia, Yvonne, Niel and Dale.  Rhonda joined us to relax on the beach and visit.  Sylvia and Yvonne were already in the water when I got there at 10:20.  They swam the complete length of the now longer buoy line.  There were just walking up the beach as Dale and I were heading for the water.  I wanted to do 2 or 3 laps of the triangle route today so our plan was that Dale and I would do the first lap together and I would continue on my own.  I had brought a bottle of sport drink and a revised tether to tie it to one of the buoys so I would be able to make a pit stop at the end of each lap.  The water was just about flat and the temperature was pretty even, tending to be a bit colder on the creek side of the pier, but there were no big temperature drops.  When we returned to the pier Dale headed in and I swam under the pier and stopped for a drink at the first buoy on the other side.  I had been feeling just OK on the first lap but felt that I had another one in me.  I headed off down the buoy line to the creek and by the time I got to the last buoy I was very encouraged because I was feeling better than when I got in.  I apparently needed the energy.  I had debated having something to eat before I got in but had not because I was concerned about  feeling full during the swim.  Being by myself I didn't stop at any of the turns in the course and just continued on around.  The wind was picking up so I had a small swell to swim into on the leg from the creek to the end of the pier.  I was still feeling good when I returned to my starting point so I drank some more and headed off for a third lap.  The wind was strong enough now that a small chop had joined the swell.  I could feel it pushing me back on the leg from the creek to the end of the pier.  On the last two legs the swell wasn't bothersome except for all of the bending and twisting my body was going through.  I swam under the pier for the third time, collected my bottle and headed in to the beach.  I was in the water for 1 hr. 45 min. and swam about 3.5 miles.  
We will swim at 5:30 on Wednesday.

Memorial Day Swim -
Our usual Sunday swim will happen at 11 AM.  On Monday, Memorial Day, we will have our first summer swim and pot luck lunch.  We will swim at 11, eat at about 12 and then visit and trade training and event stories until we want to leave.  
What ever planning occurs will happen at the beach on Sunday and/or at the Central Coast Open Water G-mail group.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday Evening, May 16, 2012

There was no post about Sunday's swim because only Rob and Duke showed.
Yesterday evening Niel, John and Byron got in a short swim before attending the CCTC meeting which was held in Avila Beach.  There was just a slight breeze, no surf and very clear and warm water.  I measured 58 degrees on both sides of the pier.  We got in at 5:15 planning on swimming the left side of the buoy line.  Wading in felt very comfortable.  Byron and I were about 6' apart when John yelled at us to watch out and large sting ray swam between us!  I have not seen one here in some time but the water was unusually clear. We shuffle footed it the rest of the way out until it was deep enough to start swimming.  The 'rouge' buoy that has been anchored on a small reef farther off shore has been moved back into line with the other three buoys on this side and  now extends the buoy line farther down the beach towards the point.  This will be good for us; more room for swimming and less for jet skis.  We swam to the  last buoy and returned to the pier. The water temperature did drop off a couple of degrees after the second buoy but it was still comfortable.  This short swim took 18 minutes, was comfortable and very relaxing.  Rob is going to swim camp the rest of this week.  Our regular Sunday swim is on and we will get in the water at 11.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Evening, May 9, 2012

Warm Wednesdays May Be Back!
Last summer we had a long string of Wednesday evenings when the water temperature was much warmer that on the Sunday before or after.   We never did figure out why it was happening but this evening has me thinking that we could be experiencing a repeat.  Last Sunday the water was 51 degrees, this evening it measured 58 degrees!  The reading was influenced somewhat by the conditions.  I normally take the water temperature on the east side of the pier, if for no other reason than it has always been that way.  The evening there was a breeze from left to right so in order to prevent the thermometer from being pushed under the pier and in amongst the pilings I dropped the thermometer in on the west side.  Lately the water on the west side has been noticeably warmer because the water in the creek is much warmer than the ocean and the creek  is still flowing enough water into the ocean to have a large effect.  Other details were the almost complete absence of any surf and a moderate wind chop.  We had four swimmers; Rob, Byron, John and Niel.  We got in on the west side of the pier with the intent of swimming down to the creek and then either going to the Poly Pier or directly to the end of the Avila Pier.  It was definitely much more comfortable getting in and swimming out to the buoy line.  The swim down the buoy line towards the creek was into water of an ever increasing temperature.  When we grouped up at the creek I'd estimate that the water was 2 or 3 degrees warmer than at the pier.  We agreed to head over to the Poly Pier and to then come back to the end of the Avila Pier.  About 2/3's of the way over we swam out of the creek water and the temperature dropped but was still very comfortable.  We have not been over to the Poly Pier in some time and this was a nice opportunity to get reacquainted.  I like this swim, partly because the next leg to the Avila Pier,at 4/10 of a mile, is a nice long stretch and the navigation is easy so I can settle in and get into my stroke.  It was extra special this evening because our route was directly into the chop and current so there was some extra work to do.  From the end of the pier we continued to the last buoy of the line on the east side of the pier and then back along the buoys to the pier.  The water was noticeably colder but still 55+.  This swim was 1.5 miles and I had 51min. 30sec. for out total time in the water. 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

 Spring Conditions;
Spring is when the conditions get a bit confusing at Avila Beach and that is what we had today.  It was warm, almost hot, on the beach, with not enough breeze to cut the heat and a water temperature of 51.  Getting into a wetsuit did not sound like a good idea until your feet hit the water.  On the beach today were Ed, Ruta, Rob, Niel, Duke, Sylvia and Yvonne.  51 degrees did not sound like fun to Yvonne so she sat this one out.  Sylvia swam the buoy line and looped out to check out a nice catamaran that was anchored on the west side of the pier.  Ed and Ruta started early, swimming the east side of the buoy line.  Ruta is getting used to our cold water and increasing her distance.  Ed completed the buoy line with her and joined Rob and Niel as they were starting out.  Rob and I wanted to do another 2 to 3 mile swim and Duke was planning on joining us at the end of the first mile.  This is what we did last Sunday.  Rob and had I chatted a little about how the lower water temperature may effect today's swim but could only conclude that we would figure it out as we progressed.  As part of our plan Rob and I tethered a couple of bottles of sport drink at the first buoy in the line so we would have something to work on at the completion of each lap.  The three of us headed down the buoy line on the west side of the pier and met up at the creek.  It had been cold getting in and Ed and I were not acclimated yet.  Ed decided to continue to the end of the pier with us and to then come in along the pier.  When we got to the end of the pier I was still feeling the cold more than I should have.  Rob and I swam to the 1st buoy on the east side.  The water had been several degrees colder on the east side of the pier and when we got to the last buoy I decided that I would swim back to our starting place and if I did not start feeling more comfortable by then that I would get out.  Rob said that he was feeling tingly but was OK.  We collected Duke just before arriving at the pier and swam under the pier to our starting point.  Rob downed most of his bottle and sent it in with me.  Duke and Rob completed a second lap,  making it 1 mile for Duke and I and 2 for Rob.   I do not know why I was feeling the cold so much today.  I was well rested and had eaten a good breakfast, and last weekend I had been OK for 90 minutes in 53 degree water.  Today I just couldn't seem to shake the cold.  I also lost my goggles in the surf while I was getting out so maybe it just was not my day to shine.  It was hot on the beach so I warmed up quickly.  It was warm enough that I think I need to start bringing my umbrella. Last May and June we saw water temperatures range between 51 and 63.  I have no idea what this year will bring but I'd settle for a steady 55. 

Rob and I will swim Wednesday evening at 5:30 if anyone wants to join us.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday Evening, May 2, 2012

Warm and Bumpy -
At 5 o'clock the wind that had been blowing all day had not yet laid down so the water at Avila was  choppy, just short of forming whitecaps and had a strong current running west to east along the beach.  The water temperature was 56 degrees.  The wind was out of the SE, pushing the water onto the beach, and it was just before high tide, so this may be why the water temperature was up.  It was just John and I this evening.  We decided to swim the triangle counterclockwise, starting on the west side of the pier, which would be about a mile.  Getting in was easier and the water was much more comfortable so my water temperature reading must have been accurate.  Swimming counterclockwise had us going into the chop and current on the way to the creek, across it while swimming towards the end of the pier, with it following us on the third leg and back into the chop and the setting sun on the last leg back to the pier.  The largest waves were big enough to break over my head no matter which direction we were going so I was always trying some breathing or timing changes to minimize my sea water intake. We finished in 34 minutes, which is about 5 minutes longer than normal for this route so the chop and current must have taken more than it gave back.