Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It was cool and overcast today and while I was driving to the beach I was passing in and out of rain showers. There was no rain once I parked but it was breezy with gray clouds that looked like they had moisture in them. The water was clear and 55 degrees with small surf and a small chop moving from right to left. Sylvia and Evonne were getting ready to get in when I arrived. This was to be Evonne's third try at ocean swimming and she and Sylvia were going to do their own swim. For the 11AM swim we had Niel, Rob, Chad, Monte (who was over from the valley) and Conner. This was conner's first swim with us. He is a Cal Poly student and a triathlete and found us through the website. He was comfortable in the ocean but wanted to learn how to swim in open water. Well, he found the right group!
We decided to do the large triangle clockwise today. That would give us a route with different exposures to the chop and multiple points for shortening or modifying the swim if we decided to. We swam out, turned left and headed down the buoy line until we were opposite the big rock at the far end of the retaining wall. From there we swam to the end of the Avila Pier. As we approached the end of the pier we discovered that the pier had been flattening out the chop by about 1/2. The third leg towards the creek to where the last buoy used to be was across the chop and probably the most difficult technically. Once we grouped up at the creek we swan parallel to the beach, under the pier to our starting point and turned in to the beach. This swim was about 1.25 miles and we were in the water for 38 minutes.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday Evening, April 20, 2011

There was light rain falling as I drove to Avila at 5PM. It had slacked off to a mist by the time I got to the beach but there was a strong wind out of the West, blowing from right to left along the beach. I met up with Rob and we decided on a swim. Tonight we would go in on the right side of the pier, out to the lone buoy, down the phantom buoy line to the creek, over to the Poly Pier and retrace our route back. I had not gotten here early enough to get a water temperature but based on the temperature for our previous 3 swims we agreed that it would be cold, somewhere in basement of the 50's. Wading in the water felt nippy on my feet and hands but Rob, in his 'traditional' cold water gear, feels it all over and he was feeling the cold. As I was swimming out I started thinking that it wasn't that bad, maybe even mid 50's. Our leg down to the creek was into the wind and chop and took some extra work. I could taste the presence of fresh water as we neared the creek. Once we were off of the mouth of the creek we angled towards the Poly Pier and got a surprise. As we pushed towards the pier and swam out of the creek water we crossed a 3 or 4 degree temperature drop. This felt like 51 or 52 for sure. We did not spend any time idling at the Poly Pier and headed directly back towards the warmer water and the first buoy. Once there we stopped and reviewed the swim but not for too long. Treading water let our feet fall into the cold salt water that was below the fresh on top and our feet started freezing. We headed in, got dried off and changed. This swim was 1.55 K and we were in the water for 34 minutes.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday, April 17th 2011

It was too hot to walk barefoot on the beach but plenty cold in the water today! The nearest ocean buoy was running about 50 degrees but it was probably closer to 52 at the beach. Swimmers were myself, Duke and Sylvia. Duke and I swam to the end of the pier, over to the Poly Pier, back to the 1 buoy on that side of the Avila Pier, and then under and back to the beach which was good for about 1.3 miles. Sylvia did her own thing but spent about the same amount of time in the water as we did. Along our route Duke and I found some really cold patches. Midway between the Poly Pier and the Avila Pier on our way back we hit a patch that felt like a solid 4 degree drop, it was pretty brutal... luckily the sun was shining with reckless abandon this afternoon!

We'll be back out in the water on Wednesday after work around 5:30!

Rob D.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Evening, April 13, 2011

I guess that you could say that we had spring conditions this evening. There was a stiff breeze that would gust hard enough to shake the pier, as if a big wave was passing under it. The wind was unusual as it was blowing from right to left, almost directly from the west and parallel to the beach. The surface of the ocean was pushed up into a short, sharp and close spaced chop that did not have any whitecaps. The water was clear and the temperature was 52. Swimming tonight were Rob, John and Niel. John and I wear wetsuits and I kept looking over at Rob in his trunks and cap as we were wading in to see what kind of fun he was having. We started on the right side of the pier and grouped up at the buoy line. We swan down the beach to the right to the creek. This leg was directly into the wind and chop. For me it was harder work but an OK swim, as I found a rhythm that worked with the chop so I wouldn't catch any water when I breathed. From the creek we swam to the end of the Avila Pier. The chop was coming over my right hip now so I was getting a nice push, even sliding down a few faces, but the direction meant that it was easy to get a mouth full from the chop breaking over my head. From the end of the pier we swam along the east side of the pier in to the beach. The pier broke up the chop some and made this the easiest leg of the swim. We finished in 28 minutes. The idea of a shower in that wind didn't sound too inviting so we just got into dry clothes as quickly as possible.
I'm busy Sunday but Rob will be at Avila on Sunday for the 11 AM swim.
For those of you who knew Alan Freeman, he will be in town next week and he is hoping to swim with us on the 24th, Easter Sunday and possibly Wednesday (the 20th) as well.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday, April 10th 2011

We had a great day for a swim. It was really sunny and warm on the beach with a light wind blowing onshore. There was no real surf to speak of and the water was only lightly textured. There was no official temperature reading today, but everyone agreed about 53 sounded right. The nearest NOAA buoy was reading 51-52. We had 4 swimmers today - Rob, Sylvia, Duke and Chad - and everybody swam the same route. We swam down to the end of the pier, over to the reef buoy, and then back to the buoy line and in. According to my GPS it was just shy of 1500 meters.

We'll be back out on Wednesday at 5:30pm for a swim. If anybody is interested in a Saturday swim or bonus after work swims let me know (, I'm up for spending more time in the ocean right now!

Rob D.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday Evening, April6,2011

Rob and I met at 5:30 this evening for our Wednesday after work day swim. There was a light wind and a current from the east to the west and a small swell from the SW. The water temperature was 57. The waves were 2' to 3' with some occasional 4+ footers. We decided to do something different; we swam out to the first (and only) buoy on the right side of the pier. From there we did not head down the buoy line but headed straight to the Poly Pier to our usual stopping point about a third of the way out from the shore. From there we swam to the end of the Avila Pier and in along the pier to the beach. With the wind, current and chop running in different directions each leg offered different conditions. As were were coming in the surf had built up to 4' to 5' so we got to play a bit getting in. We were in the water for 40 minutes and covered 2.4K.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday, April 4, 2011

Today's water conditions were not like anything I have ever seen at Avila. The overcast was burning off, there was no wind, the water temperature was 55.5 and the ocean was a complete mess. There was a mix of small and large waves. The surface was not choppy but underlying the waves was a steady series of small swells out of the SW, one foot or so high and spaced about 6' apart, which created a very messy surface to swim in. A lot of water was getting pushed up onto the beach which caused numerous runouts and rips which was combining with a strong eastward current along the shore. A couple of times the competing currents formed rotating whirlpools out by the buoy line! Today's swimmers were Duke, Susan, Sylvia, Niel and Chad. We elected to go out and start along the buoy line and see how things went. Sylvia swam the left side of the buoy line down to the point and back. The rest of us started in the same direction but turned around at the end of the sea wall and swam back to the first buoy. From there we headed out to the end of the pier and turned around and came back along the length of the pier to the beach. Back and forth along the buoy line was across the direction of the small waves and was messy swimming. The legs out and back along the pier were mostly into or with the waves which was harder then easier, but easier swimming. The water today was the same temperature as last Wednesday evening but felt considerably warmer to me. Our total time in the water was 32 minutes.