Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

 Niel and Duke met just before 8 and planned a relaxing swim. Something easy to swim and  navigate that would just get the kinks out. The swimming conditions don't get much better then they were this morning with clearing skies, a 59° air temperature, 59.5° water that was very clear, no wind and a glassy surface.  

We met up with Tom when we arrived at the end of the Avila Pier for the last time. We were ready to head in and Tom was on his way out and over to the CP Pier. 

Tom, Niel and Duke

Duke and I spoke with Tracy as we were getting out and he was wading in. He was going to start along the buoy line. I missed what the rest of his plan was. 

After his swim Tom spoke to Peter Kelly as he was heading to the water to swim. It is very good to know that El Grande Effe of Avila swimming is back in the water. 

I'll be out of town for the rest of the week and back next Tuesday, the 27th, at 8.

Jodi, Leslie and Stephanie are swimming at 5 on Wednesday evenings. Meet up at the life guard tower on the left side of the Avila Pier. The parking is easy and the conditions can be really nice at that time of the day.


Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday. July 18th, 2021

 Sunday With A Chance of Thunderstorms

Avila started out like an average summer day with the fog cleared by 10 and the beach crowd starting to show up. It was 62° and the water was 58° although when the clouds came back in and we lost the sun the water felt colder. We had weird water quality today. Some areas, the water was super clear while farther offshore there were areas where I was swimming over clouds of yellow brown junk and the water itself was greenish and tasted funny.   

On the beach were Jodi, Leslie, Niel and Duke. We decided to swim a simple loop over to and along the CP Pier and back. Jodi did a bit extra for close to 4K.
Niel and Duke at the end of the CP Pier

Leslie, Jodi and Niel at the same spot. 
In the left rear is the Avila Pier.

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 8 and then will not be swimming until the following Tuesday. 


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Sunday, July 17th, 2021

Having Enough Shots Is May Be Enough To Finish 
But Not Enough To Beat The Competition 

Conditions permitting, I was wanted to go long today, so I added a couple of gels to my kit with the camera and car key. I never have gotten comfortable with hiding my key on someone's tire, so I have a 'dumb' version that I carry with me in the water.

I'd done the route I had planned once before and it came out at almost 4900M. If today's conditions stayed flat enough I was going to do a solid 3 miles today.

At 8:30 the conditions looked very nice. It was grey, overcast and still . The air temp was 57° and the water 58.5°. There was a bit of a swell out of the SW, so it was not as dead flat as Thursday but still looked nice. While I was out on the pier getting the water temperature I saw three swimmers heading towards the Cal Poly Pier. Could of been Jodi, Stephanie and Leslie if they go in at 8. I don't know. I didn't meet them in the water or after.

Tom was getting ready to get in so we planned to swim the same route for a while. Tom is a faster swimmer so I left first and we would meet up at the end of the Cal Poly Pier and when I arrived Tom was waiting for me. I don't know where he passed me, maybe I mistook him for some fast moving water creature. We swam down and back along the CP Pier, apparently passing Theresa and Grace going the opposite direction. From the end of the CP Pier Tom went to the Avila Pier and in for about 4K M. I doubled back on my route until I was at the first buoy. I had one gel left and didn't want to be short of 5K so I ate the gel and swam around the Avila Pier for 3.5 miles and 2 hours in the water. 

As far as the competition goes, I saw this BBQ set up neat the showers and new that I would always be outclassed by someone who had this level of commitment. 

Duke and I will swim at 11 tomorrow. You are all welcome.

A high five and congratulations to Theresa who has been a great swimming buddy these past 2-1/2 years. Theresa is starting her professional career in marine biology in Irvine on Monday.  Theresa, keep in touch and you are welcome to drop in for a swim whenever you are in town and want to do some cold water swimming. 


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

 The Flat Earth Swim

We had wonderful swimming conditions today. The air temp was 60°, the water was 58.5° and it was completely still so we had a very flat and glassy ocean. Niel got in a bit before nine and Tom soon after. We swam roughly the same route out to the end of the Cal Poly Pier and down the pier to the second crossbars. From there I went in to the west buoy line while Tom went back out along the CP Pier to its end and then back to the beach. The sun was just starting to burn through and it was still calm when we got out so we had great conditions for the whole swim.

The water was so flat that Tom said that he could see the horizon when he breathed. 

Tom and Niel at the end of the Cal Poly Pier
where we found  

Theresa on the deck of the pier! What a great surprise. She must have seen two people swimming towards the end of the pier and figured that it had to be some of the loopy swimmers she knew.   
A group photo.

There has been some trash texting about the subject of my new t-shirt.
Tom had these made to make it real.

I'm looking forward to swimming Saturday morning at about 9 and Sunday at 11.

Blog Master Niel, Avila

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Summer morning s at Avila Beach are all about the same; fog and/or low clouds until the wind comes up and the sun comes out. This morning was right to the program with low grey clouds, and air and water temperatures of 58° and 59°. There was no fog so the visibility for swimming was fine. Duke had texted me at 5:07 AM to say that he wouldn't be swimming this morning so I got there early and got in at 7:45. I had planned a simple solo hour. On my second of three passes by the end of the Avila Pier Duke grabbed me. He had decided to do a short swim and ride from Avila. It was nice to say Hi. Tom and I passed each other at my car as he was heading to the water.        

Duke and Niel at the end of the Avila Pier. 

I'll be back at 8 to 8:30 on Thursday.


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sunday, July 11th, 2021

The morning fog was clearing late. When I arrived at Avila at 10:20 there was a hole forming over Avial with sunny skys west towards the port and still clearing to the east towards Shell and Pismo Beaches.   

There wasn't much of a crowd at 10:30 but the beach was filling up and by noon it was full . 
We had a nice group today with people filling in who I have not seen since we stopped swimming at 11 more than a year ago.  Swimming today were Niel, Duke, Jodi, Sara (who I have not seen in a year plus), a friend of Sara's who is starting in open water swimming and Kore (?sp) who is the Masters coach at Cuesta, and a friend of Stephanie and Jodie's.     
I wanted to do the route that Theresa and I started last Sunday and had to abort because of the 4th of July Boat Parade. We got it done today in beautiful conditions. The wind was up and the water was a bit choppy but the air temperature was in the upper 70's the water was 62° (!), clean and very nice to swim in. Kore went bareback, Jodi wore her farmer john and I ditched my surf suit for a tri suit. Sara and her friend swam the buoy line. 
Kore, Duke, Jodi and Niel at the end of the CP Pier.  

Duke and I hung on the beach for a while soaking up the perfectly comfortable sunshine.

A Big Congratulations! 

Jodi's nephew has made the US Olympic water polo squad and at 6'-1", 185#, he is the smallest member of the team. They have two swimmers at 6'-7". Duke, who's collegiate water polo carrier was a while ago, cannot imaging what the game must be like now.

Duke and I will swim Tuesday morning at 8.


Thursday, July 8, 2021

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

I had a busy morning ahead of me so I got to Avila early. At 7:30 Avila was grey and spitting with solid overcast. The air temperature was 58° and the water temperature seems to be still sliding around and was down to 55.5°. For surf there was an occasional 3 to 4 footer. There wasn't much wind but the water was surprisingly choppy. The chop and current was out of the SE and about half head high.      

The chop made this swim was slower and harder. I spoke with Duke afterwards and he was feeling a bit used by the conditions.

I saw Tom getting in as I was leaving. 

I'll swim at 9:30 on Saturday and Duke and I will swim at 11 on Sunday.


Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Looking West from the Avila Pier towards the Cal Poly Pier

A nice Tuesday morning in Avila Beach. There was fog along the west facing beaches but Avila was a nice hole of sunshine. The air temperature was 60° and the water was 57°. It was calm and flat with a hint of a breeze starting up. The water was clear and the was almost no surf. 
Looking east from the Avila Pier towards Fossil Point and Shell Beach beyond.

Getting in was not going to be a problem.

Nice and easy was what was needed this morning so I swam my two triangles/two miles route. 
I stopped and spoke with Tom as I was coming in along the Avila PIer and he was heading out. 

I'll be back on Thursday morning at 8:30.


Sunday, July 4, 2021

Sunday July 4th, 2021

 Niel and Theresa Join the 4th of July Boat Parade

Well, it is more like they joined us be we did wind up swimming with the boat parade.

Today was the first time that I have swum at 11 AM in over a year. I arrived at 10:20 and just found a parking space near the Post Office, where I always parked in the pre-COVID days. Avila was bustling and the beach was crowded.  People and pets were getting organized for the 4th of July Dog Parade. I didn't know anything about a boat parade. 
It was still overcast, the air was 62° and the water was 59°. The wind was up so the water had a SE chop and current. The water was clean and the waves 3 foot +/-.   

This otter was near the first buoy, diving for clams and cracking them open with a rock. I could hear the sound from the pier. 
So, how many crunches would I need to do so that I could crack open a clam on my stomach? 

Theresa was my swim buddy today. We decided to go west along the buoys, over to the second crossbars on the CP Pier, to the end of the pier and from there swim the long leg to the reef buoy which is past the end of the buoys on the east side of the Avila Pier, and come back along those buoys to our starting place. 
Well, that was the plan. When we arrived at the ocean end of the CP Pier we found ourselves amid 8 boats of all sizes, all decked out in red, white and blue bunting and motoring towards shore between the Avila and CP Piers.  There was a Harbor Patrol boat following the pleasure craft so we swam towards it and asked what the plan was. The parade route was east along the west buoy line, out and around the Avila Pier, out and back along the east buoys, back around the Avila Pier, west along the west buoys and back out to sea. Our proposed leg from the ocean end of the CP Pier to the reef buoy didn't sound like a good choice so we retraced out route out in along the CP Pier and the western buoy line. As we were swimming east along the inside of the buoys the parade was coming west just outside of the same buoys so from the shore we were part of the parade, just going in the opposite direction.  I didn't hear any applause from the shore but I'm sure there was some.  

Niel and Theresa at the ocean end of the Cal Poly Pier. The sun had come out at this point. 

The swimming was fabulous, a bit choppy but the air and water were warm and comfortable. 

For the holiday I had brought a dozen chocolate blobs to share so Theresa made out pretty well. 

I'll swim at 8 on Tuesday.


Thursday, July 1, 2021

July 1st, 2021

 Avia didn't put on anything special for the first day of July. I arrived about 8:30 and parked next to Duke's car. He was already out on his 1000 yd. sprint route.  That is not an otter or other U.S.A. (Unidentified Swimming Animal) in the center of the frame but Duke bringing it home. The photo couldn't capture the impressive wake he was pushing up. 

Swimming conditions were great: grey, windless, small surf, 62° air, 56.5° water and no red tide. I spoke with Duke after he got out and he had encountered some really stinky water along the west side of the buoy line which was probably from the creek. I changed my route and swam down the east buoy line, over and around the kelp and buoy at the reef, directly to the end of the CP PIer where I met up with Tom Lorish who had seen me round the reef and head towards the CP Pier so he swam me down. We swam down to the second crossbars and back where Tom went to the end of the Avila PIer and I retraced my route out.     

Tom and Niel at the end of the CP Pier for the first time.
Tom got this one of me with the lane lines to the second crossbars in the background.

I'll swim at about 9 on Saturday and I'm going to try swimming at our pre-COVID time of 11 on Sunday.


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021


Avila felt and looked like winter this morning. It was 57° but felt cool and damp. The wind and swell was out of the SE with a second swell out of the south.  The water was 58° and the red tide was gone so that was a big plus. I was on my own. I got in at 7:50 and did two triangles with four trips along the length of the pier.  The conditions were quite rough at the start,  the chop wasn't too high but it was being pushed by a strong current so starting out along the pier had me wondering what this was going to be like. By the second half the wind had shifted around to the SSW and things were flattening out. The water temperature was very comfortable. 

I'll be back between 8:30 and 9 on Thursday.


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sunday, June 27th, 2021

 Avila was it's same self this morning, 58°, overcast, calm, small surf and 57.5° water. The red tide was worse with yucky water off of the Avila and Cal Poly Piers although I did find some really clear water along the west buoy line and off of the kelp beds between the mouth of San Luis Creek the CP Pier.

Today's group was Theresa, Duke, Jodi, Margarite, Niel getting in at 7:40 and Tom Lorish at 9. 

This nice sand sculpture was on the beach. 

We swam to the last buoy on the east side, to the end of the CP Pier, everyone but me swam to the third crossbars, around an anchored boat and in to the beach but I had missed some of the instructions and swam farther towards shore to the second crossbars, then over to the end of the west buoy line, along the buoys and in.  

Theresa is out of the frame to the left, then Niel, Jodi, Margarite and Duke.  

Theresa and Jodi.

This mystery swimmer is Tom Lorish getting in. 

This week I'll swim Tuesday at 8, Thursday at 8:45, Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 11.
Yes, I'm going going back to the old traditional pre-Covid Sunday schedule.


Thursday, June 24, 2021

Thursday, June 24th, 2021

Thursday was another cloudy and calm morning at Avila Beach. It was warm at about 60°, gray and the surf was 3+ feet.  
The ocean temperature was up to 58° today but it is too soon to leave the wetsuits at home.
This expert from John Lindsey's Wednesday weather report:



     A strong northernly flowing ocean current combined with

     the lack of upwelling has brought a warmer body of seawater

     to the California coastline. Last week, the Sea Surface

     Temperature (SST) was 51 degrees at Diablo Canyon; today,

     it is 60 degrees.


     Seawater temperatures will range between 57 and 61 degrees

     through Friday, decreasing on Saturday into Tuesday.

The warmer water has also brought the summer conditions of red brown yucky tasting water.

I hooked up with Duke at 8:10. He did is 1000 yd. spring and I had a lot of junk running around in my head so I swam for 89 minutes before getting out.  

Tom Lorish was out there somewhere, he would have gotten in at 9, but I never saw him.  

I have family coming to town so I will not swim Saturday but will be there at 7:30 on Sunday.

I am planning on switching back to 11 o'clock on Sundays beginning on July 4th. I'll be on the beach in our old spot.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Duke and I got in at 8, It was a perfect morning for a swim, the water was 57°, the air was 61° and it was overcast with no wind. The surface was glassy and only a little rolly. The surf was up a bit with an occasional 4 footer. 

We swam out to the end of the pier and did triangles. I did two and Duke did 1.5.

It must be summer because Junior Guards has started. It is a great program to get kids comfortable in the ocean and worthy of whatever support you can provide. 

I'll be back about 8:30 on Thursday. Duke will swim his spring workout at 8.



Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sunday, June 20th, 2021

Duke, Niel, Jodi, Leslie and Pat got in at about 7:40 AM. Avila was grey with thick overcast that was almost spitting but no fog, much like yesterday. The air temperature was 60° and the water temperature was hanging at 57°. The surf was a little larger with some occasional 4 footers but it was still glassy with a swell out of the SW. I suggested doing the swim that I did yesterday in the opposite direction, starting along the west buoy line and over to the Cal Poly Pier. At the 4th buoy on the east side Duke, Leslie and Jodi went back along the buoys and in. Pat was hoping to do 4K so he and I swam to the end of the Avila Pier, to the last buoy on the west side and back along the buoys to our starting point and in. It worked out to 4,090 meters.  

I saw Tom Lorish as I was leaving. He had been swimming in the same neighborhood as we were but we never met up.

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 8.