Saturday, April 13, 2024

Saturday, April 13th, 2024

 Vertical Swimming - 

Jodi, Tom and Niel did  a swim in storm conditions this morning. The air temperature was 52°. It was very windy with light rain. The water temperature was up to 53° to 54°. The surf wasn't large but the SW wind from the storm had pushed up a highly variable, large and confused swell that made today a very physical swim. The swells were close together so getting in sync with the water required me to do short and frequent breathing. We all swallowed a lot of water.   
The beach was covered with Velella velellas or By The Wind Sailors, palm sized colonies of small animals that number in the billions and are pushed by the wind. The steady onshore winds from this storm has driven large numbers onto the Central Coast beaches. They are a beautiful blue color but it is sad to see so many dying on the beach. 

I've also been seeing baseball sized globs of tar on the beach this week. I don't see nearly as much of this as was common before the big cleanup in the late 90's. Jodi stepped in some today. Baby Oil and a strong paper towel is the best way to remove the tar.  

Swimming parallel to the beach and parallel to the swell was the most difficult, across or into the swell was easier.  We did 2362 M in an hour which tells you that the conditions were swimmable but couldn't make good progress. 

Tom and Jodi.

Experience what it was like out there today:  

I'll swim tomorrow at 11 if we do not get enough rain to dirty up the water. 


Friday, April 12, 2024

Friday April 12th, 2024

Tom Lorish's Swim Report - 

Silly me…   I thought the rain and cold were done for the year. On Wednesday at 9:30 when I swam it was 73 ° and Clear blue skies at Avila… When I got in at 9:30 today, it was 54° With a drizzly rain. The water was about 51° and choppy. The good news is, the cold showers felt warm! 

Tom Israel's Swim Report -  
I jumped in today for a little swim. It was pretty rough out there.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Thursday, April 11th, 2024

 Avila was fogged in this morning. I could not see the buoys from the shore, so I swam both buoy lines whit a lap around the pier. The sun was starting to come and go when I was getting out. The tide was very low making it seem like I would be able to walk out to the buoy. 
The air temperature was 48°, the water was very flat with one to two plus surf and 52°. Out along the pier the water was colder, probably 50° or 51°.     
I could keep a reasonably straight course by judging my direction by the lights along front street. 
A bit of a Arthur C. Clarke moment with the #1 buoy 

It is hard to believe right now but we are predicted to get showers Friday night and .5 to 1 inch or rain and thunderstorms on Saturday. If the rain holds off the Saturday group will slip in a swim at 7AM.
Sunday could be washed out. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

I did a couple of triangles this morning. At 6:50 AM the weather at Avila was clear, 42°, the sun was up and the offshore breeze was gusty. The surf was flat and the water was glassy and 48° to 49°.

Yes, I am wearing booties at these temperatures so that my feet don't get so cold that I can't feel them or the cold water anymore and I can pretty much stand up and walk without embarrassment when I get out of the water, so wearing booties is not as entertaining for the people walking their dogs but better for me.

I'll swim Thursday at 6:15 to 7. There is a change in the weather coming Friday night but I hope the predicted showers don't keep me out of the water.


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Sunday, April 7th, 2024


The weather today at Avila was lovely and it was not crowded. At 10:30 it was sunny, 62° and breezy with nice cotton ball clouds. It was still flat offshore so this looked like a good day to swim to the Avila Rock. 
I spoke to Tom Lorish before I got in. He had swum over to the Poly Pier.
It is amazing what some sunshine, an additional 30° in air temperature and a positive attitude can make. Yesterday the water was 49°, today it  was 50 - 51°. At 7AM yesterday Jodi and I expected to be cold. Today I was expecting to have a much warmer swim and did.         

This coming week I'll be swimming Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday ay 7 and Sunday at 11. 


Saturday, April 6, 2024

Saturday, April 6th, 2024


Two Popsicles - 

Niel and Jodi got in at 7AM. In Avila Beach it was clear with an offshore breeze and 35°. The water was 49° and felt every bit of that. The surf was 2 to 3 foot. The was a medium wind chop on the water. It was going to be a cold swim.
We swam a route that Jodi suggested; left along the buoys to the last one, out past the kelp where the reef buoy used to be and over to the end of the Poly Pier. Then we doubled back along our route for a couple of miles in 1:20 (that's total time in the water).

The water was nice and clean. The offshore wind made the swim back a bit more work than the way out and it was sunny at the showers, which is a big bonus after a cold swim.

I'll be back tomorrow at 11.


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Thursday, April 4th, 2024


Jim and I got in a bit before 7 and both did short swims. Jim's shoulder is bothering him and I  was cold this morning. The water was 50°, about what it has been for the last 10 days, but I was feeling it more than usual. I think it was a mental thing more than physical. The swimming conditions were great, the water was flat and glassy, there was no wind and the water was clean. 
There was a big surprise getting in. I got one step into knee dee water and the next one had me in up to my chest, cutting the easing into the water down to one step. That hole was still there when I got out for a wave to push me into.   

I'd like to swim Saturday and Sunday but I'll see what we get for rain before deciding. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

 Tom's Swim Report -

Oh, Niel! The water was 50°, maybe even 49.  Of course, it may have felt colder because of the heavy marine layer.  The water was calm beautiful and glassy.  Excellent swimming conditions. 

Thanks Tom. I think that it may be spring conditions for a while.


Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

 Spring Conditions - 

Jim and I got in at 7. Jim swam on Saturday and Sunday and said that he enjoyed beautiful conditions with water about 53° - 54°.  My toes told me it was definitly not 54° this morning. The 47° air temp and slight offshore breeze had the water at 50° except over along the Poly Pier where it was about 1° colder. 
We got going and enjoyed the great swimming conditions while waiting to acclimate to the water temperature.  It took most of the buoy line for me to get evened out with the water temperature. Today's route was the west buoy line, second crossbars, the end of the Avila Pier, the end of the Poly Pier, back to the second crossbars and back to and along the buoys.  I don't think that I've done this exact route before. It turned out to be 3,742M which was plenty .

There is a 'chance of showers' Thursday night and Friday, so Thursday morning looks good and probably Saturday as well.

Update, Living with a GoPro10 -

I'm very happy with my GoPro10 and the support that the company has provided. The initial purchase came with a year of their membership program which I have continued for $50/year . Being in the water 4 times a week the programs once a year, no questions asked replacement of the camera seemed like a good investment. I've not needed that level of support but I've twice had small exterior parts replaced when years of salt water exposure took their toll.
Taking the photos for the blog used up 6+ water proof cameras before I tried a GoPro and their camera has outlasted anything else I've had. Recently I've started having trouble with water droplets hanging onto the lens protector and causing blobs in the photos. Today's photo is an example. This is a new issue. For years whatever GoPro coated the lens protector with would leave the glass clear. I have been unable to find anything that will stop water drops from clinging to the glass. I contacted GoPro this morning and I'll have a new lens protector in a few days.


Monday, April 1, 2024

Monday, April 1st, 2024

 Tom Bags Another One - 
Another amazing spring swim at Avila this morning.  Swam around the rock again. Met up with a bunch of otters in the kelp beds nearby and had a seal escort me back to the beach. Great start to the week. 

Hummm, nothing about the seal surfing in with Tom and giving him a magic shell and three wishes.

Tom's missed a holiday opportunity there.


Sunday, March 31, 2024

Sunday, March 31st, 2024

 Tom's Easter Swim Report -

It was a perfect day for a swim… On the east side. Clear blue skies with beautiful big puffy💨 clouds scattered in the sky. The water was clear and beautiful. The swell Waves were clean and lined up nicely. The water was 51 or 52. I swam around the Avila rock.  

Good for Tom.
I did not swim today. My prediction was off as I expected the water to still be brown with runoff. My to do list around the house profited but I missed a chance for a nice swim. 

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 look good. 


Friday, March 29, 2024

Friday, March 29th, 2024

Two Tom's Catch Get In Before The Storm -  

Swim report from Tom Lorish - 

Roughest, coldest swim I've had in a long time.  If you look closely, you can see the buoy riding up on that swell wave.  You get a sense of how big the swell was, and how rough the water was. 🥶

Nice photo Tom, the buoy is about 3 feet tall and it looks pretty small on that face so the wave is more than twice as tall.  

Swim report from Tom Israel - 

I swam today and it was very rough out there.... good luck tomorrow. Hope it's better for you guys.

Unfortunately Jodi and I will sit this one out. SLO has had an inch of rain between 2 and 9 PM and more to come. The water will be muddy and buggy tomorrow.


Thursday, March 28, 2024

Thursday, March 28th, 2024

 Down Looks Like Up From Here. 

Today the water was warmer than it was on Tuesday and felt more comfortable, but at 50° it was still at the bottom of the range for Avila Beach.  The air temp was also in the low 50's, there was light rain and wind. The water was glassy with 2 to 3 foot surf.  

I was late and got in about 15 minutes after Jim. I saw him swimming out along the Avila Pier but didn't manage to catch up with him. 

Swimming Saturday and Sunday will depend on how much rain we get before Saturday morning. If San Luis Obispo gets only a quarter inch or so I'll swim on Saturday. 


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Back To The Bottom Numbers -

The water looked beautiful this morning, flat and glassy with small surf. The air temperature was  43°, it was sunny and calm so Jim and I were looking forward to a nice swim. It all changed when our feet hit the water. The water was 48°or 49° depending on if you were in a warm(er) or cold(er) spot.  We did not spend much time hanging in the water at the meet up points. 
Other than the water temperature the swimming was great. 
When I was at the showers it was sunny, calm and warming up which helped me to warm up.   

Niel and Jim at the end of the Avila Pier.

I'll swim Thursday at 7. A powerful rainstorm is predicted for late Friday and through the weekend so swimming this Saturday and Sunday will be weather dependent. 


Sunday, March 24, 2024

Sunday, March 24th, 2024

Jim and I had a great swim today. The water was lumpy/stormy with swells out of the S and SE, rain clouds passing over, rain showers, sunshine and periods of strong wind out of the west, but no thunderstorms. We got beat up and pushed around and had lots of fun. The conditions kept changing with both the direction we were swimming and time. The second triangle was more sunny and not as difficult as the first. After we got out a strong gusty wind came up out of the west and hurried me into my dry clothes.
The water temperature was up to 53° and the area near the creek mouth was not muddy with runoff.      

Jim and I at the 4th buoy on the east side. 

I'm planning on swimming my usual schedule; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11. Rain is predicted for Friday night into the weekend so the schedule may change.