Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday, November 23. 2020

Duke and Niel got in at 7:30. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the air temperature was 45 degrees. I could tell there was an gentle offshore breeze because out on the pier I could smell the hot grease from the Custom House kitchen getting ready for breakfast. The water temperature was 51 degrees. We decided to do about a mile and a half. Neither of us had been over to the Cal Poly Pier in some time so we plotted a course from the end of the Avila Pier over to the third crossbars, in along the pier to the second crossbars and back to our starting point.


Duke and Niel at the end of the Avila Pier
  

Duke

and Niel at the third crossbars



At the second crossbars.

We swam hard and didn't spend much time treading water. The 45/51 combination made things chilly and it turned into a sprint finish when we swam into a 1 to 2 degree temperature drop on the leg from the second crossbars back to the Avila Pier. Getting out and being dry and in the sunshine felt good.

I'll swim at 8 on Tuesday and at 9 on Thursday.

niel





Saturday, November 21, 2020

Saturday, November 21, 2020

 It was sunny and warm at Avila Beach this morning. The air temperature was 65 and the water 51.5. There was no wind and the surf was 2".  David Chaney and I swam a 1.5 mile route.   



Niel at the end of the Avila Pier

David at the same spot


Duke and I will swim tomorrow morning at 7:30. Probably about 1.5 to 2 miles. Anybody who wants to get done early can join us.

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 8 and Thursday morning at 9 so I will feel virtuous and deserving when I hear the question "would you like some pie?" later in the day.


niel

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020

 I swam at 9 this morning. I saw Theresa and Grace at the showers. 

The conditions were much calmer than those on Tuesday with just a offshore breeze and small waves. The air temperature was 58 and the water was up a notch to 52 degrees, but I didn't notice a difference. I did a nice stretch out swim along the triangle. The harbor district began taking out the swim zone buoys this morning and will likely finish the job before Saturday, so we have full winter conditions with no lifeguards or lines of buoys to give structure to our routes. We will plot our courses by landmarks until next summer.  


You can see the small offshore wind chop and our last view of the 
buoys on the east side of the pier until next summer. 

Just naked ocean now on the west side

Me at buoy number 1.

Swimming by landmarks is fine, actually nice in its own way.
The buoys keep boats away from the shore, new swimmers like having then and if there is fog thick enough to hide the beach you can still swim buoy to buoy.

Niel, Grace and Theresa will swim at 9AM on Saturday morning.

niel


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

 StOrMy CoNDiTiOnS - 


A storm was heading into town with rain predicted for Tuesday night and the conditions at Avila Beach had already changed. The air temperature was 55, the water was 51, the wind was steady and had swung into the SW. The chop and swell were from the SE and varied from 1 to 5 foot. The waves and chop were close together and mixed up. Swimming out through that mess was about watching when to breath and when to duck and required all of my attention, so I found myself thinking that the water felt warmer than 51 degrees.  

I turned right at the buoy, swam under the pier and found 
Theresa and two friends at the first buoy on the right side. 
We swam to the last buoy at the creek mouth with plans to do the whole buoy line. 

Theresa and one of her friends at the buoy at the creek mouth.
Swimming down the buoy line across the chop/waves I did a lot of experimenting 
to see what side and tempo would let me breath the least water.  

Theresa's other friend and Theresa on the right.
I asked them their names twice and still forgot them. 

At the last buoy on the right side of the pier. Alternate breathing worked the best.

I'll swim at 9 on Thursday, after my 7:15 ZOOM meeting.

Mr. Lindsay says no rain on Thursday but the wind will shift back into the NE and the messy swell and chop will linger.

niel  







Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday, November 15, 2020

 Sometimes your are glad that the weatherman is wrong.

John Lindsey's forecast predicted strong to gale force offshore winds developing late Saturday and continuing through Sunday. Offshore winds will push the water temperature down so I was trying to be prepared for supper chilly water this morning. Fortunately for us the winds were mild and the water temperature Sunday morning was still 51 degrees. The air temperature had dropped to 40 and the surf was up with some occasional 4 to 5 footers. There was a light offshore breeze that kept shifting direction.

Swimming at 7:30 this morning were Duke, Brittany and Niel. We decided to do a triangle that began and ended at the end of the Avila Pier. Instead of stopping at the buoy line I'm liking swimming directly to the end of the pier because it takes about that long for the shock and awe feeling of the water on my face, hands and feet to become just cold.




We swam out to the end of the Avila Pier, to the last buoy at the mouth of the creek, along the full length of the buoys, back to the end of the pier and in.
When we stopped at the last buoy before starting to the end of the pier the breeze was coming out of the NE and was strong enough to push up a wind chop from where we were to the end of the pier.  This may be the first time I've had a push in that direction.


Niel, Duke, the far background, and Brittany, at the end of the Avila Pier and starting to the last buoy on the west side.

When we got out Theresa was getting ready to get in. They had a good swim yesterday and she was totally beat but was back this morning. 
 
I'll swim at 9AM on Tuesday. 


niel



Saturday, November 14, 2020

 Brittany and I got in at 8AM. It was clear and sunny with a bit of an offshore breeze. The air temperature was 55 and the water was 51, which was 'warmer' than Thursday's 49 but it didn't feel any different to me.  I wanted to try and swim an arrowhead shaped route that I don't recall doing before. It would be a bit longer than I have been swimming and would have three possible bail out spots if I started getting cold. Brittany planned to swim the same route until she needed to get out. 

The Avila Pier. In the center on the horizon is the ship that is here 
laying fiber optic cable from Grover Beach to the orient.  


Brittany and I at the end of the Avila Pier.
She pealed off at the end of the buoy line on the east (left from the beach) end of the  buoy line and swam back along the buoys to #1 and got out.

While I was at the showers I saw Theresa and Grace nera the mouth of San Luis Obispo Creek getting in with a kayaker. They were planning a long swim, possibly to Bird Rock.

As I was picking up my stuff Leslie was getting in. 
 
niel    


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020

 The Frozen Triangle Swim

A catchy title but according to my thermometer the water was 51 degrees, actually two degrees warmer than Tuesday, except that it felt colder than Tuesday and I'm not sure that I can really tell much difference when the water is around 50 degrees.  While I'm rambling here, the coldest water temperature any of us have swam in at Avila was 47 degrees and that did feel much colder than 50. The coldest swim I have done was one of the Will Swim For Food one mile fundraising swims around the Santa Cruz Pier. The water was 51 but the air temperature was 38. My feet were frozen before I got to the water and the first shock when my face hit the water was with me until I got out, and yes, some swimmers went bareback.

Duke and Calvin were just getting out when I arrived at 8. They had gotten in at 7. A group that I took to be teh CP Tir Team got in just before me, swam to the creek buoy and headed towards the Cal Poly Pier. They were not out when I was leaving.     
A simple triangle seemed right today.

I stopped swimming long enough to take this one picture 
at the first buoy on the left of the Avila PIer.

I'm going to swim at 8 on Saturday and at 7 with Duke on Sunday. Anyone who wants to start their Sunday early can join us.  

niel


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

 The Less Than A Dollar Swim

That is what I had today, a 50 degree air temperature and a 49 degree water temperature, which equals less than a dollar.  I also swam for 49 minutes so that must be todays number.  
 
It was clear and sunny at Avila Beach at 8 AM with a strengthening offshore breeze. I could thank the that breeze for pushing down the water temperature.  Otherwise the water was clear with a bit of chop.  Nice swimming conditions for between when you got numbed out and stopped noticing the cold and when you did get cold and needed to get out.   

I use a 300mm lab thermometer that is certified to one degree accuracy. 
So the water temperature could have been 50.  ;-)


I decided to swim out to the end of the pier and do a triangle. 

The neoprene cap and the large goggles prevent me from getting a brain freeze headache at these temps, so once my face goes numb it is just my hands and feet that feel the cold.
I'm wearing a Patagonia R3 surf suit and everything that is covered felt OK.

I'll be back on Thursday at 9 AM. 

nniel  


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Swimming On Sunday Morning at 7AM With Duke

My baptism by wind

I got to Avila Beach about 6:45 and started getting into my gear. I wanted to be ready when Duke arrived because he had told me that he puts on his wetsuit at home before the 3 minute drive to the beach. The surf had laid down since Saturday morning so we wouldn't be beat up getting in but the wind was already up and blowing, so today's swim would be bumpy and physical in a different way. Hey, welcome to ocean swimming.  The water was 55 degrees yesterday but swam like 53 today. Maybe it was the wind but my hands and feet were cold for the entire swim.  

The water actually looks kind'a friendly from here.

Duke and I were content to do one triangle. 
I suggested going counterclockwise because with the wind out of the NW this would give us somewhat more favorable swimming conditions along each leg.   

Niel and Duke at the first buoy facing the sunrise.

At the end of the Avila Pier

We had a nice sunrise with clouds to enjoy on the leg from the end of the Avila Pier to the last buoy on the east (left looking from the beach) side.  The wadded up paper look that the  surface of the water has tells you how hard the wind is blowing.   



Duke at the last buoy. The Avila Pier is in the background. 
The swim back to the pier was into the chop, wind and current and an exercise in patience because if you just had to do the work long enough to get to the second buoy. 
Then we were close enough to the pier to feel the way the pilings make the chop lay down so it almost felt like a coast to the finish.  

I definitly be back next Sunday.  

I'll swim Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8:00

niel
    

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Saturday, November 7, 2020

A Full Fall Experience 

I was at Avila to swim at 8AM. It had rained overnight and was still cloudy but looked to be clearing. The wind was just starting to pick up and there was storm surf; messy and closeout waves with an occasional 5' to 7' set that made for spectacular but very short rides for the small group of body surfers and boogie boarders that was next to the pier. The water temperature was 55. All of this made it feel very much like winter. Especially because the previous Saturday was one of the nicest days ever at Avila Beach.

Theresa came by to let me know that she and Grace were going to do an adventure swim so I was on my own.  I waded out and spent enough time duck diving while trying to find gap that would let me get out to the buoy line. I wished that I had a set of fins. I finally decided that I wasn't having enough fun in the washing machine and got out.

I'm going to swim with Duke tomorrow at 7AM.


niel   

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Thursday, November 5, 2020

 It was pleasant at Avila Beach this morning with a hint of coolness in the air. Theresa and I swam at 9 o'clock. There were thin high clouds and haze on the water. I measured a water temperature of 58 degrees off of the Avila Pier but both Theresa and I felt that it swam colder. My hands and feet felt cold longer than they should at 58 degrees. The water was still flat, clean and clear so there was nothing to complain about.   

I swam one triangle and Theresa swam two.


I haven't been out here in a while.

Theresa and I are going to swim at 8 on Saturday, to beat the crowds and to help her make it to a conference in time to give her presentation. 

This morning there was a large ship anchored off of Shell Beach. Much too large to be a commercial fishing boat, so possibly research, government, Navy?
Did anyone get a decent look at it?    

 
niel 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

It was nice and quiet in Avila Beach this morning. It was cooler with a bit more high overcast and larger waves than on Sunday but the water was still 58 degrees an nice and clear.  I saw Theresa. She had goetten in early in order to make a 9 o'clock meeting so I was by myself. There was a huge raft of sea birds between the ends of the Avila and Cal Poly Piers that the wind was pushing towards the buoy line on the west side of the Avila Pier. I decided to not swim in bird poo and did two laps of the buoys on the east side of the pier.      


Can you spot what is missing from the beach?
The lifeguard towers have been dragged back to their winter locations, 
so we are swimming on our own until next summer.  


Got my mile+ in and ready to head to the beach.

I have a 7:15 AM ZOOM meeting on Thursday but will make it to the beach to swim at 9:00 

niel

 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Sunday, November 1, 2020

 

Sunday was an exceptionally beautiful day at Avila Beach. It was comfortably warm, clear and calm. The water was 58 degrees and very clear. 

That is my thermometer float on the surface and you 
can see the growth on the piling 4 to 6 feet.

Niel. Hillary, Maria and Leslie got in at 9:30 and were joined later by Theresa and Brittany.
My plan was to stick to the buoy line and do a mile. Leslie went directly to the end of the pier. Hillary and Maria swam with me to the last buoy on east of the pier and then headed to the end of the Avila Pier. They went from there over to the third crossbars on the CP Pier where Theresa caught up with them.  They swam to the second crossbars and back to the end of the Avila Pier.  



Hillary at the first buoy

Maria at the first buoy

Niel at the first buoy with Leslie's cap in the background.

Hillary relaxing at the 4th buoy on the east side of the pier.

Hillary's Photos and video link:





Duke stopped by. Besides some impressive scars he seems to be doing well.  It was good to talk with him. 
 
Theresa, Grace and a friend swam from Avila to Pismo yesterday! That is 10k, so they deserve a big hand. The conditions were great and they had a good time, finishing in a bit over 3 hours. 
I'll hope to have photos soon.

I'll swim at 9 on Tuesday and Thursday this week but I'm going to swim earlier on the weekends. Maybe 20% of the crowd on Front Street were wearing masks or acting safely today. I can't be part of that kind of crowd. I'll post what my weekend plans are.

niel