Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

After almost a month storms (and very welcomer rain) of swims washed out by water loaded with debris and bacteria, we got a beautiful Sunday at Avila Beach. A lot of people must have agreed because the beach was crowded like a summer's day.  The port had been hauling off the accumulation of driftwood and trash but there were still acorns and walnuts on the beach that came down the creek and a black dusting of oil particles the large surf had tossed up from the ocean. The bottom had been recontoured so it was almost flat, I just kept walking out further until it was finally deep enough to start swimming.
Late week samples by Surfrider and the County had bacteria levels in the creek and ocean well below limits so we were OK getting in. There was a light wind that gave the water a little bit of surface action. Waves were 2 to 3 feet.
Getting in today were Niel, Heidi, Amy, John, Johnny, Sydney and Clara. The reported water temperature over at the port (about 1.3 miles to the west) was 55 degrees but as we waided in my toes told a story more like the low 50's. Heidi had her new thermometer watch so we had a reading during the swim of 51 degrees which seemed about right.  We swam out and down to the creek mouth, to the end of the pier and in for a distance of .91 miles. 

Getting in

John, Heidi and Sydney

Clara, Johnny and Amy

John, Sydney, Clara, Johnny, Heidi and Amy

John's foot, Sydney, Amy, Johnny, Heidi, Niel and Clara

Johnny, Heidi, Amy, Clara, John, Niel and Sydney
 Rain is predicted for late this coming week so swimming next Sunday is on hold until we see if the water stays clean.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Sunday, January 8, 2017

We did not swim this Sunday. The recent storms had loaded up San Luis Obispo Creek with silt and bacteria so we stayed out of the water. 

The local Surfrider Chapter's Blue Water Task Force samples the mouth of San Luis Obispo Creek on Thursday and found Enterococcus bacteria levels more than 60 times the state recommended maximum. Enterococcus is the EPA's lead indicator for the presence of human waste.

You can see all of the BWTF results at


Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 1, 2017

It looked and felt wintery at Avila Beach today. Clouds were moving in, there was a light breeze out of the SW and the air temperature was in the low 50's which would turn out to be the same as the water temperature.  Swimming today were Niel, Amy, Sydney, Sam, Heidi and John Hampsey. Rob Dumouchel and Allison Baine were in town and joined us on the beach.  We decided to swim on the left side of the pier and would start out parallel to the beach. This would be the coldest swim of the year so far and people would need an opportunity to acclimate or cut their swim short.

Rob, Sydnes, Niel, Sam, Heidi, Amy and John
 The water was quite a shock to my feet so I was guessing a water temperature of 52 or so.

John, Heidi, Amy and Sydney before we started along the beach.
Sam had found the water temperature to be just too uncomfortable. 

Sydney at the end of the first leg parallel to the beach. She was the only one wearing a shorty wetsuit and small goggles and had been swimming with her head up or doing the backstroke because she couldn't keep her face in the water.  

John at the same spot

Amy and Heidi, at the same spot.
Heidi and Sydney were getting cold and returned back along the beach while Niel, John and Amy swam to the end of the pier and came in along the pier to the beach. Amy was getting cold so I doubled back to her several times so I could both keep swimming and keep track of her. 

Sydney and Sam finished up by jumping in with the Avila Beach New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim
After everyone had left the beach the sun broke through and made some nice patterns on the water. 

We will be swimming next Sunday unless the tentatively predicted large rainstorm dumps like it might, the creeks rise and dirty up and we stay out to avoid the dirty water.


Neoprene booties and gloves review by Heidi Bezaire:

Hi Niel,

Well, the gloves and booties I wore were a flop.  While they did keep me toasty warm for the first 5-10 minutes, they they filled up with water and became heavy.  I think the material I chose is too thick (3mm neoprene) and they weighed me down, I was just sloshing around inefficiently.  Good for surfing, not for swimming.  Oh well, it was worth a try.
So, I plan to swim without them next time and, as usual, exit when I’m getting cold and deal with the frozen feet & hands afterwards.  It is much more fun to swim this way than with soggy sponges on my hands and feet.