It was sunny, crowded and breezy at Avila at 5 PM. The wind was the 'traditional' Avila afternoon breeze from the NW. The chop was under 1' with not much white capping but certainly more than anything you would ever experience in a pool, offering an opportunity for a real ocean swim. The water was clean and 58 degrees. I saw no seals and hardly any shore birds before we swam. This evening we had Samantha, Bob, Ryan, Eric, Niel and Rob. We went in on the west side of the pier to best avoid the fishing lines that were trailing way off of the east side of the pier with the wind. We swam down the buoy line to the creek and grouped up to decide how we felt about the conditions and to plan the rest of the swim. Samantha chose to stay along the buoy line. The rest of the group elected to do the 'traditional' (or habitual) triangle swim. The leg to the end of the Avila Pier was across the chop. From there to the last buoy to the east of the pier we had a nice push and the leg home was into the chop. This was a great opportunity for me to make use of breathing on either side, choosing whichever worked better for that leg, and to remember to keep my head down. When it gets choppy I tend to want to lift my head up when I breath, instinctively thinking that I will be more likely to get a liquid free breath, but it actually works better to stay relaxed, keep my head down and just breath into the pocket of air at my shoulder on whichever side works better. We picked up Sam on the leg back to the pier and saw three seals nearby. The swim took us about 40 minutes and felt great.
Sunday Rob and Sylvia will be at a Masters long course meet in Fullerton. I am doing the SLO Triathlon. I should be at the beach in time to swim at 11 but if I am last I'll catch up in the water.