Sunday, October 2, 2022

Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

Today, right on schedule, we had fall conditions. AT 10:30 the air temperature was 60°, it was overcast with a light breeze out of the NW and a small wind chop from the SW. The water temperature was 59° and there were some patches of reddish brown water, but the majority of the ocean was nice and clean and beautiful to swim in. 
Swimming today were Niel, David and Tim. Tim and his family were visiting from the bay area. He usually swims at the Aquatic Park in San Francisco and he was looking to get in the ocean while he was here. I had been looking for a day to go around Avila Rock and today was going to be it. David had never been out to the rock and he was up for a bit of an adventure. Tim was comfortable staying along the buoy line. There was a bait ball way out there in line with the middle of the buoy line that didn't concern us. There were also a couple of big orange triangle buoys that marked the course for a regatta. In order to stay well away from the boats we decided to head to the rock from the end of the buoy line instead of the end of the pier which would keep us tighter in to the shore.     
We got in, turned left at the first buoy and met up at the 4th buoy. Tim headed back along the buoy line and David and I headed to Avila Rock.  2/3's of the way to the rock the wind had driven the bait ball almost too us. Fortunately it was behind us and we continued to the rock without needing to work around it. 

Tim, Niel and David at the forth buoy

David and Niel with Avila Rock in the background. 

The tide was high and it is late in the season so there was much less kepl to swim through near the rock.  The chop was just enough to make it feel real like the ocean but not enough to be bothersome.

Tom swam this morning. The water was nice and clean enough that he could see a seal looping under him. 
It was just a seal, right Tom?

I'm going to have the meniscus in my right knee trimmed up on Tuesday so I'll be beached for about two weeks until the incisions are completely healed.  I'll post whatever swim reports are sent to me while I'm in drydock. 



Saturday, October 1, 2022

Saturday, October 1st, 2022

I got in at 7AM. It was very gray in Avila Beach with dense overcast, spitting drizzle and some fog on the water. It was 58°, the surf was small, there was no wind and the water temperature was 15.5°C/60°F. My Plan A was to swim to Avila Rock but the rock was coming and going in the fog so Plan B was to swim the Cal Poly Pier and swing around in a big loop.  

From the third crossbars to past the end of the CPP the red funk was in and yucky dense in one spot. Otherwise the water was great. 

The Avila Pier from the CPP at the second crossbars.

This guy had me wondering if he was trying to decide if I was part of the breakfast buffet.

Tom and Sue swam in Cayucos this morning. There was a thick marine layer, no red funk and an estimated water temp of 58°. The swimming was wonderful.

I'll swim tomorrow at 11.


Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

 Avila Loses It's Magic -

On my way to the beach there were areas of dense fog so I was hoping that the Avila Beach Weather Magic would be in and I'd be able to swim around Avila Rock today. I had no such luck. I swam a couple of laps of the buoy line and wandered all over the ocean just doing that.  

A view of the Avila Pier from the fourth buoy on the left side.
Trust me, it's there. The pier is a slightly darker line between the water and the fog.
Good luck finding the next buoy though.

The air temperature was 58° and the water 59°. There was no wind and the water was glassy, but, I couldn't see any red funk in this light but I tasted it several times on the east side of the pier. 
I know that I was unusually all over the water this morning but not this bad. 
I think my GPS was also lost in the fog.  

It looked like it was clearing with the sunrise when I got out at 8+ 
but Tom got in at 9:45 and it was still socked in.

Tom got in late and swam for 90 minutes. 

I'll be back Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

 Avila has its repetitive fall weather conditions this morning; 58°, 59° water, complete overcast, no wind, 2 to 3 foot surf, some swells to swim over but no chop, and, no red tide!

I'd been out for a week so I was cautious and did a couple of triangles. It seemed colder than 59 to me but I'll write that off to having been out of the ocean. 

Tom got in at 10:30 and swam around Avila Rock. I was thinking of that swim for today. I'll plan on heading out there Thursday.

I ran into Kevin Watkins this morning after I swam. That was great! 
He is retired and is volunteering with Operation Surf and was there helping with the setup for today's session.


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday, September 25th, 2022

 The Swim Report Is By Tom -

Tom's Sunday morning swim report: I decided to go north this morning to Cayucos. Sue and I arrived at the Cayucos pier at around 930. Solid marine layer. There was a decent 3 to 4 foot wave going. The water was smooth and glassy. And the best part about it, the water was virtually free of red funk. We swam around the Cayucos pier and then south to whale rock. Beautiful day of swimming. Back at Avila on Tuesday. 

Thanks Tom.

I'll also be back at Avila Tuesday morning.


Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday, September 23rd, 2022

 Today's post is by Tom -

Solid marine layer at Avila this morning. Flat calm waters. Still a light medium red funk present. Swimming was excellent, though. The pelican squadrons were stationed on all sides of the Avila Pier. Perfectly socially distanced, of course.  I inadvertently swam into the middle of a inner squad Pale Kai race on the west side.  Most of them just smiled and waved.   

As for me in Eureka, Kris and I swam Friday morning at the Community Pool in Arcata. 25yds., indoors and narrow lanes but it is the best public pool option in the area. For me it was the first time in 2- 1/2 years that I got chlorinated. I did sort of remember how to do a flip turn and didn't run into the wall.


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

 Today's post is by Tom:

Good morning. Beautiful at Avila this morning. Slight breeze, fall Crispness and clarity in the air, and way less crowds.
as I drove down from the Bluffs to my usual parking spot, I could see a clear funk line… The good news was the funk 
was just out past the Avila Pier and beyond. Clear beautiful water inside for swimming. I did a few triangles and wrapped 
it up.  By the time I got out the breeze was blowing a little harder and pushing the funk out further to sea. Several 
squadrons of pelicans were staked out on the pier at the end as they have been lately.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

A home run for Avila Beach this morning.

There was thick fog in San Luis Obispo and all of the way to the turn into Avila Beach, then I was in a big hole of bright sunshine.  The air temperature was 58° and there was a slight breeze. There was still some swells from the recent storm and the surf was topping out at 3 feet plus.  The water temperature has been holding up at 59° to 60°.

I swam two two full laps of the buoy line with a loop around the pier each time by. 

There were areas of light to mild red tide but a lot of nice clean water otherwise.
Quite a nice way to begin the day.

I'll be out of town until next Tuesday but Tom will be feeding me reports on his swims for the blog.


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday, September 18th, 2022

There were wonderful clouds at Avila Beach today. I could feel that a storm was coming but it was 71° with a pretty flat ocean, small waves and very little wind so it was a nice summer day with a change in the weather on the way. It was also after Labor Day and there might have been two dozen people on the beach east of the pier.  It was really calm and nice.      

David was here and Drina, who swam with us about 5 years ago and was back for another go at the ocean. She would swim the buoy line while Pat and I were going to head over to the Cal Poly Pier, see how the red tide was distributed today and plan on changing course if it was required by deteriorating water conditions. 
As we were getting ready the ocean began changing rapidly.  A very short period swell out of the south began building rapidly. The swell looked like a one to two foot chop with a 3 second period but there was no wind and it wasn't breaking, so we think that this was the waves from a storm that was close but was not yet present. I don't think that I have seen this many pelicans in Avila Beach before. There were enough to perch on the railings on both sides of the Avila Pier from near the shore to the end. Probably hundreds of birds. They were alternatively perching or feeding in an area that was even with the end of the Avila Pier and half way along the east buoy line which moved to the NE until it was in the surf zone near the big rock.            

David and I decided to go down the west buoy line and over to the second crossbars on the CPP and to swim out to the end of the pier and see how the water and feeding conditions were. 
There was a bit of red tied in a few places but generally the water was clean and 59° to 60°.  

By the time we were swimming over to the second crossbars the waves were up to 1 to 2 foot. We headed to the end of the CPP.  Swimming into the waves was a piece of work. Not far past the third crossbars we found a major bait ball directly in our path so we turned around and surfed back to the second crossbars. 

David and Niel back at the second crossbars. 

I'm not sure how to judge this wave but I'd say that they were now 3 feet plus with a 3 to 5 seconds period.
We decided to swim over to the end of the Avila Pier. I thought that this leg was much more difficult than going out along the CPP. Swimming across this swell was more like gymnastics.  We got to the end of the Avila Pier, decided that we were done and turned left towards the beach.    

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 7 and be out of town until the following week.


Saturday, September 17, 2022

Saturday, September 17th, 2022

Bummer. The crud from the red tide is still around. Thursday was so clean that I got to thinking that we were done with the red crud for the year. It was dirty along the swim buoy line on both sides of the pier but not further out. It might have been a day to best dodge the crud by swimming over at the Cal Poly Pier. I might try that tomorrow.
At 7 this morning it was all gray and a cool feeling 56°. There was a bit of a swell out of the south but the waves were small at 2'- 3'. There was no wind. There was a lot of floating weed in the water and large piles of it on the beach. The water temperature was 59° - 60°.   

Today I swam the 2/3 Yo-Yo route that I was planning on swimming on Thursday, before I was lured by the siren song of 'More Distance' to try the 3/4 Yo -Yo. So for future reference, Thursday's 3/4 Yo -Yo was 750M longer than today's 2/3 Yo-Yo.  

So there you go, I swam 3900M today and felt like I was going short.  

I looked bad in the pictures with me in them so this is it. 
None of the pelicans are wearing a mask so they are properly social distancing. 

I'll swim at 11 tomorrow. Chris Gaggero from the Bay Area will probably drop in. He swam with us once before and is faster than I am so he could use some company from the more speedy swimmers who follow this blog.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Tom and I get our wish - 

Tom and I agreed that colder water would be better than the red tide and we got out wish.

Today's water was down a couple of degrees to 59° and wonderfully clear and clean tasting.  Well worth a bit of a chill especially when thinking about the winter days when anything above 55° sounded like heaven.

I got in close to 8 and didn't see Tom. I did a version of the Yo-Yo, first out and left down the buoy line to the #3 buoy, from there to the end of the pier and back to #3, swim to #4 and to the end of the pier and back from there, then back along the buoys to #3 on the opposite side and repeat, enjoying the clean water the whole time

At the first buoy on the west side of the Avila Pier.

My fan club was lined up all along the pier.
As soon as I pointed the camera at them they took off. Are pelicans camera shy?

My next swim will be at 7 on Saturday.


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

Tom and I did simple swims today. I got in earlier and found the red tide on the west side of the pier, so Tom stayed on the east side. He is using me as a redt tide cannary!  

Simple stats today; 62° air, 61° water, flat, calm, small surf, gray everywhere above the horizon.
I tried staying in close to avoid the red tide which had been out past the end of the pier but it was thickest along the west buoy line but and generally clear everywhere on the east side. 

Towards the end it started to get bumpy and felt like a storm was coming in but I think it was just one of the quick hints of the coming winter that pass through in the fall.

I conducted a survey of this mornings swimmers and Tom and I agreed that 53° winter water would be much preferable to swimming in red tide.

I'll be back at 7 on Thursday.


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Sunday, September 11th, 2022

Your Sunday Swim Report from Maui - 

Yes, I know, it doesn't look like Maui but it feels like it in all other aspects so I'm trying to hold onto that idea.

At 8:30 it was 72° in Avila Beach with 100% humidity, clouds that looked like they had the possibility of rain, It did spit a bit before we got in, no wind, 61° water and a SW swell that was rolling up some good sized sleeper waves.  Thank you hurricane Kay for the break from the heat. The waves looked nice and clean but it turned out that the red sludge was lurking seaward of a line even with the end of the Avila Pier. 

No sharky signs and no dead seals today.

Margarite started it off by wanting to swim at 9:15 after her run. Pat and Duke liked that idea of swimming at that time after their bike ride and Tom and I jumped in. Five people would be the largest group we have had in a while.   

Niel, Duke, Margarite and Pat.
Pat thought that swimming bare would be better than the experience of into his wetsuit after his bike ride. I didn't see him afterwards to find out how that idea worked out.

The group was late getting in so Tom went ahead and did his own swim.
The plan was to do Duke's U Burner sprint route which involves getting in on the west side of the pier at about the second buoy, swim out until even with the end of the pier, turn left and swim east until even with San Rafael St., the last street in Avila that goes up the hill, swim in and get out. Duke, Pat and Margarite did that, I decided to double back for more distance. 
The red tide was a strange one today. The water was nice and clean from the shore out to a line even with the end of the Avila Pier where the red tide began. Swimming parallel to the beach there meant going through areas of from light to incredibly thick and yucky red tide. Coming back I turned in along the pier to get into clean water and finished along the buoy line.       

Margarite, Duke, Pat and Niel out in the red zone before turning in to the beach. 

Red tide and predators permitting, I'll be swimming Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Friday and Saturday, September 10th and 11th, 2023

The sharky signs were not up on Friday as I had expected after finding a partially eaten sea lion on the beach on Wednesday. 
While I was running on Friday I came across another dead seal. It was between Tower 2 and the pier and looked like it had been in the water for some time. I reported it to the Harbor Patrol, they took a look and didn't remove the carcass.
I checked in with Tom and we agreed to wait until Sunday to swim to give the water time to clear of red tide and maybe sharks too.


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

 A Running Blog That Has To Do With Swimming - 

I ran on the beach at Avila this morning. The beach was pretty empty at 7AM.  About 100M west of the #2 (west) guard tower there was a dead sea lion at the high tide line. It's left flipper was missing at the shoulder.
I called the Harbor Patrol and they picked it up. I expect the sharky signs will be up for a few days.
Bummer, the water looked a lot cleaner than it has been this morning and the swimming would be great.

But don't be like a seal.