At 5 PM it was sunny and warm at Avila with a light breeze. There were still lots of people on the beach and in the water, which is always a good sign. There were about a dozen pelicans in the area one of which would dive occasionally, but in no concentrated fashion. I saw no seals from the pier when I was taking the water temperature, which was a nice even 60. It was looking like a very nice evening for a swim. When I got back to our stuff on the beach Rob was introduced me to Cliff. Rob had met Cliff this summer at the Masters open water meet near Fort Collins, CO. Cliff was on the west coast with his family, having joined two other Colorado swimmers in a successful triple Catalina Channel crossing on Friday the 6th! That was three swimmers; two men and one woman, one boat, and all three of them completed the swim! While we were asking Cliff to explain where he did his open water training in Colorado (lakes), Lynn and Pete showed up, so we got ready and got in the water. Rob suggested a route I have not done before; out on the left of the pier to the buoy line. left to the last buoy (this is what used to be the third buoy, as the first and fourth buoys are now missing), to the end of the Avila Pier, to the 'crossbars' that are about a third of the way out along the Cal Poly Pier, to the last buoy at the creek and then along the buoys to the pier and in. I recon that this was about 1.75 miles and we were in for 55 minutes. We picked up one seal at the end of the Avila Pier, several more at the Poly Pier and a cormorant that continued diving for fish within reach of Lynn and myself. I had a great swim, good enough to skip the pool this morning and sleep in.
For those of you that haven't seen it yet, Dave swam the Santa Barbara Channel last weekend going from Anacapa to Oxnard! Here's a slideshow of his crossing