Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wednesday Evening, September 1, 2010

Wednesday night was just weird. First off it was hot and totally sunny in San Luis Obispo all day. I didn't even think of taking a jacket with me when I left for the beach. The air turned cool and damp when I was getting off of 101 at San Luis Bay Drive and Avila was completely wrapped in a thick ground fog that extended half way from the beach to Avila Road. I couldn't see the buoy line from the sand. It was windless and the water was flat and glassy with only small surf. The water temperature was 60 degrees. Could of been great swimming conditions except for the fog and the birds. It was hard to see, but there were two very large rafts of 100's, maybe 1,000's, of sea birds, one on each side of the pier. All I was seeing through the fog was large dark areas on the water that could of been kelp, but there are no kelp beds that close in and in time I could pick out enough movement in the darkness to tell that it had to be birds. The one on the left side extended in to roughly half way between the buoy line and the sand. The one on the right was much farther out. I only saw two seals but with the visibility as poor as it was that was not an accurate count. Rob, Peter, Ryan and Eric showed up to swim. By 5:30 the birds had moved off out of site and the fog had lifted enough to see out past the buoy line from the beach, so the five of us decided to get wet. We decided to swim parallel to the beach keeping about half way between the surf line and the buoys. We started out towards the creek and the glare from the sun on the fog was so intense that it had me navigating by looking at the beach. The water was much colder by several degrees on the right side of the pier. A bunch of seals had us surrounded when we stopped to regroup at the creek. We headed back and under the pier. We were going to continue our course parallel to the beach and turn around a the big white rock at the end of the retaining wall, which is approximately the point along the beach where the last buoy used to be. However, just past the pier we found that the raft of birds had floated back in and was inside the buoy line, so Rob, Niel and Pete decided to head in while Ryan and Eric continued on to the turn around spot. The three of us waited on the shore for until they came in out of the fog, angling in to avoid the birds.

Kris and I stayed for dinner, and when we were leaving at 7:30 the fog had moved out to the end of the pier, leaving clear twilight sky's over the beach and no birds in sight.

Labor Day Swim - We will swim on Sunday at 11 as usual and on Monday, Labor Day, at 11 with a pot luck lunch afterwards.


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