We had a real ocean swim for our first evening swim of the season. It was about 70 degrees and calm when I got to Avila. The waves were at least as large as they were last Sunday but the water conditions outside the surf line were excellent for swimming. I got a water temperature of 53.5, still cold but a welcome 2 degrees warmer than Sunday. With the very low tide and the big waves the water was stirred up and visibility was poor. While I was on the pier the largest swells were making it do the hula and had me thinking about strategies for getting out through the surf. Swimmers were Rob, Natalie and Niel. We decided to work out a swim plan once we got out to the buoy line, as nobody was sure how much energy it would take to get out. I got lucky and made my break at the right time. Rob and Natalie were enough farther in that they got pushed back. I waited for them at the buoy line, riding up and down 4 to 5 feet as the big waves came through. Once we formed up we agreed to do the triangle clockwise and to omit the ending swim under the pier. A offshore breeze has come up but didn't bother us on the first leg. On the way to the pier things were getting a little bouncy. The third leg from the end of the pier towards the mouth of the creek was a real adventure. the wind had pushed up a funny small chop, more like a super sized ripple, and combined with the other action in the water it felt like I was getting pushed in four directions at once. We came back along the buoy line to the pier, stopping short of the first buoy as we didn't want to risk getting too close to the pilings in these conditions. We got a lucky break and came in just as a nice gap in the big swells came along. We were in the water for 32 minutes and covered 1.8K according to Rob's GPS. I'll be back for our usual Sunday swim at 11 and again next Wednesday at 5:30. Check Rob's blog or the Swim Avila Facebook page, he may be slipping in some additional swims.