Rob and I decided to sneak off to the beach and get in a swim at noon today. It was comfortably warm and sunny with a moderate breeze out of the SE. There was a fog bank sitting offshore that extended from the port around the bay and hid Shell Beach. It seemed stationary, but later turned out to me kind'a play full. The water temperature was 55 and the surf was up. I could see the shapes of the waves in the water well out beyond the end of the pier. They were close together and running from 4 to 6+ feet. Not only would getting out be some work but all of that wave action would put short work to the wetsuitless Rob's usual plan of easing himself into the water. We had no swim plan beyond getting out and then figuring it out once we got through the surf and to the buoy line, although the thought of 'shoud'a brought our fins and then we could of just played in the surf' hit us both about the time our feet got wet. I had to swim full out in the wash between the waves and after diving under the third one I was out of breath and almost decided to bag it and ride back in, but I was out just far enough to breast stroke through the curl of two waves and gathered it back together enough to swim on out to the buoy line. Rob was not far behind me and we both spent some time catching up with ourselves and getting ready to swim somewhere. With the chop and the wind coming from the SE we elected to do the triangle route clockwise, thinking it would moderate the effect of the chop. When we got to the end of the buoy line and prepared to turn to the end of the Avila Pier, it wasn't there. A funny little patch of fog had materialized and was hanging on the end of the pier. We headed that way anyway and by the time we neared the end of the pier the fog had moved off. The chop was not bad on this leg but the swell was still large enough at this distance from the shore that I kept feeling myself getting moved around in the water. While we were treading water at the end of the pier I estimated that the water at the pilings was rising and falling 6' with each swell. When we were ready to head towards the end of the buoy line at the creek, the buoys were gone, shrouded in another (the same?) small fog bank that was hanging along the beach. We headed towards the buoy at the creek, navigating by the mooring buoys that we always swim past on this route. When we approached the buoy line the fog again moved off leaving us in sunshine. We came back towards the pier along the buoy line and turned left before the pier to head in. This was no day to try and swim under the pier. The swim in was easier than the one getting out but I still had to time the breaks and swim hard against the out rushing wash in order to get into water that was shallow enough so I could stand up. Rob and I agreed that we had not put in this much work for a 35 minute swim in a long time.
We will be back on Sunday for more fun in the suds and will probably be swimming at noon on Tuesdays of Thursdays as well for the next two weeks. Check this Sundays post for details.