Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Thin clouds and a weak sun, but the air was 60 and the water 55. Very calm and glassy with some nice small waves. A few rafts of birds and our one seal were the only things out on the water. Sylvia waded and I swam. I unzipped my wetsuit for the swim in from the buoy line thinking that I should be preparing myself for swimming on New Years Day. Kevin Watkins came by on his way to ride some waves. Kris and I will be traveling next Sunday but I will be at Avila to swim at Noon on 01/01/10, weather, water conditions and water quality permitting. Have a wonderful and safe holiday!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday December 13th, 2009

We were downtown yesterday and by the way the creek was roaring along I felt certian that the water at Avila would be muddy and not too clean today, so I passed on going to the beach until next weekend.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

There were about 300 Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Avila this morning, and it was not what you might think. They all looked like hardware store managers and school teachers. Anyway, it was either sunny or cloudy form one moment to the next, the air temperature was 50 and the water temperature was the same as last week at 54. It was flat with no wind, a few small waves and no chop. I counted about 3 pelicans, a dozen other birds and no other sea life. Sylvia and Rob were at the Masters meet in Long Beach. I'm getting over a cold and thought that a swim would feel good so I swam by myself. I stayed in closer to shore so that i could bail out if my energy faded. I swam the buoy line and felt much better for having gone in.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This has been a fall to enjoy and remember, unless you happen to be a plant. Our warm sunny and dry weather continues to provide beautiful weather at Avila on Sundays. Wonderful for swimming but very dry for this time of the year. It was very clear and calm at Avila with not much sign of wind chop, even far across the bay towards Point Sal. There were only a few birds and no other signs of sea life. There were five kids boogie boarding near the pier. The water was 54 and a little cloudy from the big swell earlier in the week. Rob and I swam, Sylvia enjoyed the beach and spoke to Matt Farmer while we were out in the water. It was wonderfully warm and comfortable up next to the wall afterwards.

Sylvia and Rob will be in Long Beach next weekend for a 3 day Masters meet. I'll be at Avila unless it rains.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday November 22nd, 2009

Sunny, warm and a slight offshore breeze. Flat conditions with a water temperature of 55. One seal and 6 pelicans. Nothing else was in or around the water. Sylvia and Rob were at a swim meet. Dale and Al are in Florida. No one else showed and I decided not to swim by myself.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

It was sunny, calm, 70 degrees with beautiful swimming conditions at Avila today. The big surf is long gone. The water was 56. We had one seal cruising the surf line (where's Jackie?) and one small dolphin doing the same after we swam. Sylvia, Rob, Dale and I got in. My lower back is sore so I just cruised and worked at loosening up.
Next weekend Rob and Sylvia will be at a Masters meet and Dale will be in Florida, swimming in warm water. It it does not rain too much late in the week and muddy things up I'll be swimming, or just enjoying the beach.
On my way to the showers I spoke with a gentleman who wanted to know if it was typical to have this kind of weather here at this time of year. He had on a NORTH DAKOTA FOOTBALL T-shirt. I don't think that he could get over how nice the weather was and I could not help think about what it would be like playing football in North Dakota today (clear with a high of 49 and a low of 21) and realizing that there the outdoor pool season ends on Labor Day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday, 8 November 09

The Internet surf predictions did not have it quite right. The big swells that were to put up large waves on the west facing beaches were predicted to create only a 2' to 3' surf at Avila. At 10:30 there were sets with faces taller than I am. A strong offshore breeze gave them some shape but they were closing out so there was not much chance for a good ride. It was warm, very sunny and almost sweaty up near the wall. Sylvia and I decided to hang on the beach for a while and see if the waves would lie down some with teh tide change and by 11:30 things were looking welcoming enough that we got in. The water temperature was 57. Sylvia played in the waves and I swam the triangle. I has a first time experience of rounding the end of the pier and finding a wind chop coming straight off of the beach. I finished my swim just as a big set of waves came in so I idled at the buoy line until they laid down and came on in. Sylvia said that today was the most fun she has had in the ocean in a long time, and this is November!

There was a great article in the San Francisco Chronicle this week about the results of a long study of the migration behavior of the Pacific Great White Shark. You can find it at and search for 'Great White Shark Study'

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday November 1st, 2009

Today at Avila it was like one of those beer commercials; warm, sunny and calm with beautiful water. All we needed was some palm trees next to us and it would of been just l;ike on TV. We had slight offshore conditions, no wind, very small waves, no chop or swell and no birds or seals to be seen in or above the water. Rob and Sylvia said that their toe test read 60 to 61. The thermometer said 56. I didn't want to ruin their good mindset so I kept the reading to myself and just agreed that it looked great. Rob, Sylvia, Dale, Duke and I swam. Sylvia did her own thing for about 50 minutes. The rest of us swam the triangle route in about 31 minutes. It was lovely and warm on the beach afterwards.
It is supposed to be in the 80's all week so we may have more of the same next Sunday.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Today was a perfect fall day at Avila. There was no breeze at 11 and it was actually hot up next to the wall making it hard to get into my wetsuit. The water temperature was 60. There were some scattered pelicans diving for fish out beyond the end of the pier but no other feeding action. Our friend the large black dolphin and friends are still around cruising the surf line. Rob, Sylvia and I swam and everybody came out smiling. Today is the last day we will have the life guards on hand. Sylvia and I thanked them for keeping an eye out for us this summer and invited them to come back next weekend and swim with us.


If you want more pictures from today you can see them here

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday October 18th, 2009

I was sure surprised some of the conditions at Avila today. The air temperature was comfortable but there was heavy overcast and fog with very light winds. The surprise was the water temperature at 61.5! The water was very clear with no sign of silt from the creek and what wind there had been died and the slight chop laid down as we were getting ready to swim. The fog obliged by staying up high so we had plenty of visibility. Rob, Gary Cushing and I spent about 33 minutes swimming the triangle route clockwise in very nice conditions.
Both Gary and Rob are racing next week, Gary at the 1/2 iron tri in Santa Cruz and Rob at a 25M pool meet at UCLA. I believe that Duke and Angela are doing the Catalina triathlon that same weekend. I'll be at the beach.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Other than being gray and overcast, the swimming conditions on Sunday were about as good as it will get at Avila. It air was completely still so the surface of the water was glassy. There was no current, the water was clear and 57 degrees. The shore break was knee high. There was a huge raft of sooty shearwaters about 1+ miles offshore but they were just sitting on the water, not diving or feeding. There were 8 seals that were moving around the bay but they were more interested in playing than feeding. Our friend the big black dolphin made a pass along the beach 1/2 way inside the buoy line with two friends in tow. The life guards are here until the end of this month. Duke and I swam the triangle route counterclockwise, Angela enjoyed the beach and Kris rode her bike. The sun came out about the time were were getting out of the water.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday October 4th, 2009

It was very windy at Avila today. There was hardly anyone on the beach but the lifeguards were back. They may be with us through October but it will depend on the number of people on the beach. The wind and fog has helped the water temperature slide down to 57. It was sunny and would of been pleasantly warm without the wind. The water was still clean with an occasional 3 foot wave. The wind chop was head high with only occasional whitecaps. There was one seal, a few pelicans and the same big black solo dolphin that was cruising the beach last Sunday. Sylvia stayed on the beach and I swam the buoy line. The chop required some adaptation to my breathing timing and stroke to find the most air but once I got it figured out it was just a matter of doing the work.
It is supposed to be warmer late in this coming week and over the weekend.

Duke and Angela were doing the LA Tri and Rob was at a pool swim meet in Northern California. How sis you guys do?


Monday, September 28, 2009

There was a surprising amount of fog at Avila on Sunday, hanging over the beach while it was clear a ¼ mile inland. We could see the buoy line without trouble from the beach so we didn’t pass up what were otherwise great conditions. There was no wind so the water was glassy with and occasional set of 3’ to 4’ waves. The water was clear with a temperature of 59. Dale, Niel, Rob and Duke swam. Sylvia is nursing a sore foot and decided to sit this one out. We did the left side of the buoy line and then went out, around the end of the pier and in to the beach. That took us 30 minutes and Rob got to say hello to his first seal. It took the sun a while to break through but by 12:30 it was sunny and warm. The crowds are gone and the lifeguards appear to have packed it in for the season.

Thanks to Rob we have a website! Check out
If you click on the ‘NEWS’ link you will be sent to the Avila Beach Open Water Swimming Blog site; I am going to start posting my swim-mails there instead of maintain the e-mail list. You can check the site whenever you want or you can enter your e-mail address in the box on the right, hit Subscribe, and you will be notified whenever the site is updated.
We need some photos of our great swimmers and friends for the website so I will be taking photos on Sunday for the next few weeks. This is just another great reason to show up on a Sunday, be friendly and swim.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 20th

It was gray like the inside of a sock at Avila this morning. Not too cold but no sun and no horizon. Also no wind so there were glassy water conditions. A group of seals was playing to the right of the end of the Avila pier but there were no birds diving or other signs of bait fish. The water was a very clear green with a temperature of 59.5. Sylvia was there but she had been sick all week and elected to not get in Ally and I swam the triangle route in about 37 minutes. We didn’t see them but sylvia said that a group of dolphins trailed us for a while on the buoy to pier leg. The sun was out when we got out of the water and made for a very pleasant lunch on the beach.

My big thanks to Sylvia for bailing me out with the loan of a spare towel today. I don’t know if I would have gotten in without it.

Did anybody pick up a lonely rash guard off of the railing as they were leaving the beach last Sunday? Ally’s has gone missing.