Sunday, September 28, 2014
Today's swim started out under overcast skies but there was no wind, the ocean was glassy and the water was clear. Perfect swimming conditions except for the 58 degree water. We have not seen a temperature this low since May 18th. 58 is not really cold for Avial, some summers the water has not made it into the 60's, but coming on the heels of a summer of the warmest water temperatures that I can recall it felt cold. But, the swimming conditions were great.
We has a nice group today; Amy, Dale, Sylvia, Niel, Duke, Joyce, Rick, Rhonda, Jon Harmse, John Hampsey and Pete Kelly.
There were at least three different routes today with everyone doing some form of a swim along the buoy line. Rick, Jon, Duke and I swam down to Fossil Point and back covering 1.14 miles. I had a better workout in the cooler water, wanting to push at the start to get warm and then not wanting to idle around visiting.
I gott'a remind myself that there will be days in the spring when 58 degrees will sound tropical and keep enjoying this great place to swim.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Today's swimmers were Niel, John Hampsey, Jon Harmse, Sylvia, Yvonne, Dale (!) and Pete Kelly (!!). The water was 62 degrees, flat with some small surf. It was overcast with a very slight breeze. We all decided to swim the buoy line, either all or part. We all started going east, towards Fossil Point and doubled back. When Jon and I crossed under the pier the sun came out and the wind picked up. By 12:30 whitecaps were starting to form so our 11 AM start time got us done while the conditions were nicest.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Mark is tapering for his first Olympic distance tri this weekend in San Diego so he wanted to swim just the left side of the buoy line. He got a bit more than he planned. There was a steady east blowing parallel to the beach that created a strong current and chop. The water was a welcome 65 degrees so we had nice conditions to work in. Heading upwind was a real slog. The return trip was faster but still very bumpy.
Good luck to Mark next weekend AND
a high five and good luck to Sylvia Glenn. She is part of a women's relay team that is the first to attempt the Anacapa Channel crossing.
Destination: Anacapa Island to Silverstrand Beach, 12.5, or more, miles
First women's relay to swim a SBCSA channel, in addition to
60+ Hot Mermaid-Babes! no little old ladies allowed (Sylvia is 77!)
Jump off time is scheduled for 2:00 AM, Friday, September 19th.
You can track their progress at www.sbchannelswim.org/
Sunday, September 14, 2014
I was in Ventura this weekend for the West Coast Conference of the Surfrider Foundation. I got out at about 6AM on Saturday and Sunday and swam in water that felt like the very high 60's. Those of us from San Luis Obispo to Humboldt were loving it, while the members from Huntington Beach to San Diego and Hawaii were grousing about the cold conditions. A San Diego member told me they has seen 77 degree water earlier this summer.
Saturday morning my buddy Brad paddled with me so I headed out past the pier and down the beach. My navigation was all over the place. There was a 3 foot long period swell and in the pre dawn light all I could see when I look up was water and dark sky. The pier is well lit, including an illuminated flag pole on the seaward end, so finding my way on the return leg was easy. I had not been swimming at this time of day in many years and I had forgotten how beautiful it can be.
I was on my own Sunday so I did a loop around the pier. I floated for a while at the end of the pier. The sky was lightening and getting red in the east and there was enough light to see the outlines of the early surfers on the break at the point.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Niel, Mark, Kim, Sylvia and Yvonne swam the buoy line in 64 degree water. We strarted towards the creek and came back under the pier to the other end of the line and back. There was a steady breeze out of the ESE (?!?) that was strong enough to make a current and chop run parallel to the beach. It seemed like it took twice as long to swim east to the last buoy as it did to come back.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
The fog and low clouds cleared off just in time to give us sunny skies and calm conditions for the start of our swim today. The water was 59 degrees, colder than it has been in two months but still warm for Avila Beach. Niel, Sylvia, Duke, Tom, Rick, Amy and John Hampsey were joined by four new swimmers today, Stephanie, Walt, Joyce and Marcy. I want to thank them for joining us and acknowledge the efforts of our regulars in supporting the new swimmers. I planned a staged route of .5, 1 and 1.5 miles to accommodate everyone's ability and familiarity with cold water ocean swimming. We grouped up at .25, .5 and .75 miles, which was at the last buoy near the creek mouth. From here Niel, Duke, Rick and Tom swam to the Poly Pier and the rest of the group headed back. A breeze out of the SE came up on our way to the Poly Pier and made it a real ocean swim across the chop on the way back.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Avila was sunny and windy. There was a strong, steady breeze out of the SW. The ocean was 63 degrees and had a head high chop. All of the bait fish, birds and other critters seem to be in San Simeon because they are not here. Mark and I started west and turned to the end of the pier from the mouth of the creek. The water was warm but the chop was tough, just the right size to break over your head. From the end of the pier we swam to the second buoy and came in.