Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday, October 14, 2019

 Fall is a great time to be in Avila Beach and today was a good example of why. It was clear, calm, sunny, comfortably warm with great swimming conditions. The air temperature was in the upper 70's, the water was 57 degrees with 1 foot surf and just a hint of a breeze.  

Checking out the water quality while taking the water temperature. 
It wasn't as clear as last week but looked pretty good but a bit green. You can see the thermometer hanging below my shampoo bottle float.

We had a large group today of 16 to 18 people with several new swimmers;  I did get the names of Niel, Ben (visiting from Seattle) Tom, Duke, Maria, Jonny, John, Stephanie, Tim, Teresa, Brenda, Peter, AnneMarie and Dana. There were too many swimmers with the similar colors of caps so I gave up keeping everyone sorted out in the water. There were at least two separate routes. 
Group A did what Tom called the Figure 8, which was a combination of some familiar routes combined into what turned out to be a 1.5+ mile swim; out to the end of the pier, to the 4th buoy on the east side, back to the pier along the buoy line, under the pier and to the end of the pier for the second time, to the 4th buoy on the west side at the mouth of the creek and finishing up by swimming along the buoy line to the pier and in. The water was exceptionally clear in places with a fog of red tide junk below us near the end of the pier.
I think that Group B swam to the end of the pier west towards the Cal Poly Pier, around an anchored boat and back to their starting point. 

Group 1 getting in. 

Grouping up for the first time at the end of the Avila Pioer. 


Group 1 forming up at the 4th buoy on the east end of the line. 


This is Maria, a new swimmer and Teresa at the end of the swim at the first buoy. 
Maria gets special mention for being the only swimmer today to go bareback but also 4 Gold Stars to have shown up to swim today after having completed the City to the Sea half marathon this morning in a time of about 2 hours. 

niel

Monday, October 7, 2019

Sunday, October 6th, 2019


We had a beautiful fall day at Avila Beach and wonderful swimming conditions. It was comfortably warm and calm but not too hot with a flat and glassy ocean. The water was exceptionally clear for the Central Coast with visibility of 20'. The water temperature was 57 degrees.
We had two groups swimming today: Tom, Leslie and Niel went over to the Cal Poly Pier for a distance of 1.3 miles while Heidi, Amy, John, Jonny, Brenda and JoAnne swam the buoy line/end of the pier triangle for a mile+. 

Niel, Tom and Leslie's route

Niel taking notes before the swim.
Beautiful clouds

Leslie and Tom at the end of the Avila Pier
 
Niel and Leslie at the end of the Avila Pier with 
the Cal Poly Pier in the background

The water was unusually clear which allowed some fun photos.





Tom and Leslie at the Cal Poly Pier before we headed back.

Around noon after we were back on the beach the wind picked up and messed up the water so we got the good conditions that day.

niel



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Sunday, September 29, 2019


Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019

It was a leisurely gathering at the beach before our swim, and folks seemed to like it that way. On this crisp, sunny, gorgeous day--swimming were Jonny, Duke, Pete, Anne Marie, Dana (who joined us for the first time), Brenda, Stephanie, and myself. Also with us on his kayak—Sean Greene, which was a treat! We entered the ocean around 11:10am; the water was choppy and tempestuous under the influence of a stiff north/east wind. Anne Marie swam to the second buoy, Pete did his Pete swim, and the rest of us headed south along the buoy line. The water temp near the shore was 58, but farther out it was 56 degrees. The red tide was history, and blue tide was in! The sea was clean with good visibility, but there were heavy clots of kelp in places that had been kicked up by two weeks of ocean upwelling. After pausing at the 4th buoy, we headed to the end of Avila Pier, directly into the wind and wild chop, which made for an adventurous and challenging swim. It felt like we were surfing with our faces. At one point, so much kelp engulfed Duke that he had to walk on top of it to free himself! After a Buddha float at the end of the pier, we sailed back to the beach where a warm sun and quieter wind greeted us. Folks generally dispersed except for Jonny and me. Aspiring demi-gods... we lounged with our coffee.


--John Hampsey


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Over the previous few days there were several news reports about a large red tide event in San Luis Bay, where Avila Beach is, so swimming on Sunday looked iffy. I decided to show up regardless and even if swimming conditions were not favorable I'd enjoy my lunch on the beach.
The red tide is very wind and tide dependent and when I arrived at Avila Beach the conditions looked really nice. It was warm (80 ish), calm and sunny with 1 to 2 foot surf that had clean transparent barrels. I got this picture from the Avila Pier while I was taking the water temperature; the water was clear enough to get a good look down the pilings. That is my line and the float (from an old shampoo bottle) on the right. The water temperature was 58 degrees so all things were looking good for a nice swim.



On the beach today were Duke, Marguerite, Niel, Brenda, Tim, AnneMarie, Jim and Sylvia Glenn! Sylvia has been swimming at Paul Nelson Pool in Santa Maria and doing the Night Moves swims in Santa Barbara. At the younge age of 81 Sylvia has been swimming at Avila for 73 years, always bareback, and is the most knowledgeable ocean swimmer that  I know. 
Niel, Duke, Marguerite and Tim wanted to do about a mile and a half so they planned a swim over to the Cal Poly Pier. AnneMarie, Brenda, Jim and Sylvia would do a triangular route made up of the buoy line and the end of the Avila Pier for a distance of closer to a mile. 

Dule, Tim and Marguerite at the start.



Marguerite and Duke leaving the end of the Avila Pier
heading for the Cal Poly Pier, about 650 M away.

At the Cal Poly Pier
Marguerite, Duke and Tim behind the water drop.
Our destination, the ocean end of the Cal Poly Pier, is in the background.


Time, Duke and Marguerite at the end of the CAl Poly Pier.



The group back at the end of the Avila Pier.

MAX, I found your keys on the beach today! If you, or anyone else who knows you, will respond to this post I'll arrange to return them to you.


niel

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019


After two 100 degree days in San Luis Obispo I was expecting and hoping for a very summery day at the beach, but, the high pressure that had been pushing the warm are to the coase collapsed Saturday evening and the fog came in. It cooled things off nicely in San Luis Obispo and had Avila Beach wrapped in complete grey. 


 

The slot of light off to the west held some promise but I 
would not make a guess if it was going to clear. 

The silver lining was that the water temperature was 62 (Heidi measured 59) and the conditions were flat and windless.
We decided to do a counterclockwise triangle for about a mile with a Cal Poly Pier add on  option for about a mile and a half.




Swimming today were regulars Niel, Heidi, Brenda, Maria, Amy, Stephanie and John with Tim making it his second swim and Max, Mike, and Jim joining us for the first time.

The Cal Poly Pier group was Niel, Stephanie, Mike and Jim. 

Stephanie, Jim and Mike at the Cal Poly Pier.

The two groups came back together at the finish at the first buoy 
on the east side of the Avila Pier.
Maria, Max, Stephanie, Jim and Brenda.
The sun broke through at the end of the swim,  just in time to warm up the beach.

After the swim: Mike, John, Maria, Amy, Heidi, Niel, Brenda, Max, Jim, Stephanie.
Tim had already headed to the showers.

niel


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday, September 8, 2019


It was clear, calm, sunny and warm at Avila Beach at 10:30. I measured a water temperature of 59.5 off of the pier.

Notice how nice and flat the water is? This was going to change.

Swimming today were Niel, Louis, Agustin, Heidi, Amy, John, Brenda and Tom.
Niel, Louis, Agustin and Tom swam to the end  of the Avila Pier, over to the Cal Poly Pier and back to our starting point.
Amy, John, Brenda and Heidi swam to the first buoy, out to the anchored boat in the second photo, to the second buoy, to the 4th buoy, to the end of the Avila Pier and in. 

The standard photo of Tom, waiting for the rest of us to get our acts together and to get in and start swimming.
Shortly after both groups began swimming a west wind began and within a few minutes built to the point of pushing breaking whitecaps.
The the route of the swim from the end of the Avila Pier to the Cal Poly Pier was about 20 degrees off of the direction of the wind so we had a fun time of it pushing through the waves and current.

Agustin and Louis at the Cal Poly Pier. Louis has done a half Ironman and is 
really game but this was his first ocean swim!  It was quite a day for your first try at ocean swimming. He was smiling when we got out and will be back.

The back and forth loop at the Cal Poly Pier was Agustin and I. The first swimmers to a waypoint along the swim usually swim back along the route to the last swimmer and then back to the waypoint. The faster swimmers get some extra distance and they don't get cold waiting. 

The swim back to the beach had following swells with an occasional large long period swell that were almost large enough to get a short ride on.

The Group 2 route.




niel

Monday, September 2, 2019

Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2019

Niel and Craig got in the water at 9 and did a counterclockwise triangle. The sun was already out and the water temperature was about 60+. There was a very light breeze and a swell out of the SE that was hard to see from shore but that gave the swim a bit of vertical motion and push and pull. A great way to begin the day!

Craig

Niel and Craig

niel

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Avila Beach cleared early today giving us warm and sunny skies and 62 degree water. There have been reports of red tides in Pismo but the water at Avila was clean. It was flat and windless.

Swimming today were Niel, Tom, Amy, John, AnneMarie, Chris, Stephanie, Tim and Brenda.

Niel, Tom, Chris, Stephanie, Tim and Brenda swam on the west side of the pier. John, Amy, AnneMarie and Brenda decided to swim on the east side.

I have not seen any bait balls since last summer but today there was a huge one 200M beyond and to the east of the end of the Avila Pier. While we were getting ready it moved onshore, inside the end of the pier. We decided to swim on the opposite (west) side of the pier to the mouth of the creek and make it up our route from there. 
By the time we were wading in the bait ball had moved to the west side of the pier so we swam west to the creek mouth and evaluated the situation. It looked like the bait ball might be moving over towards the Cal Poly Pier, which had been our original destination, so we decided to do two laps of the buoy line on the west side. 

This is Stephanie, Tim, Chris and Tom on our second stop at the last buoy at the mouth of San Luis Obispo Creek. Tom is looking to the east because is noticing a large gray porpoise swimming past within 20' of our group.

John, Amy and Brenda swam on the east side, down to Fossil Point and back.


Duke and Marguerite swam over near the Harford Pier, from the kayak rental shack to the base of the breakwater and back.


Labor Day Piece of Pie Swim:

I am going to swim at Avila tomorrow morning. In the water at 9, done and home in time for our block party at 11. Might be foggy but the water will flat and the parking easy. 
Join me and earn the ability to have a guilt free piece of pie tomorrow afternoon.

niel

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday, August 25, 2019

At 10:30 I was out on the Avila Pier getting a water temperature and checking out the swimming conditions. If the fog didn't lift we would be swimming up and back along teh buoy line. 
The fog was moving in and out, making it difficult to know if it was going to cleat or not. Just before we got in at 11 the fog opened up and moved way off shore, making for fine swimming.
The water temperature was 60 degrees. With the sun out the air temperature was rising from 65 to eventually 80 degrees. 
Swimming today were Tom, Duke, Amy, John, Niel and AnneMarie. 

Tom proposed today's route: a witches hat, complete with tie strings.

Tom getting in.

Tom decided to go formal today so he added a fashionable kelp scarf to his ensemble. 

AnneMarie

Niel and Duke at the last buoy on the right, if you are looking at the plot,
otherwise on the left from the beach.

The water was nice and clear close to the shore so Tom tried to get a photo of 
Niel (on the left) and Duke (on the right) swimming towards him. 

Niel

Niel as a green streak passing Tom.

Niel

Tom

We will be swimming next Sunday and polling interest in a Monday morning swim on Labor Day. 

niel