Sunday, May 1, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
It was beautiful at Avila Beach this morning; sunny and warm with a very slight offshore breeze. The water was flat with no current and almost no waves. The only thing to keep it form being absolutely perfect was the temperature, which at 51 was a balmy 2 degrees higher than what was being reported by the tide and temp station a couple of miles to the west at the port. The beach closure that was posted Friday had been lifted, with a cryptic note on the County's Beach Health Advisory website that stated that upon testing, the bacteria count in the 'spill' that had caused the closure was found to be within state standards. When I walked out on the pier to take the temperature I saw Sylvia and Yvonne swimming in along the length of the pier on the west side. They had gone out the west side of the buoy line and were finishing up along the pier. Swimming at 11 were Chad, Duke, Pete, Jerry Gross and myself. Before we got in Alan Freeman came by for a visit. Alan has been living in Hawaii for many years but used to live in San Luis Obispo and was an original member of the Avila Dolphins. Before abandoning the central coast for endless warm water he completed many cold water individual and relay races (no wetsuit) including a solo Catalina Channel Crossing. With his normal water temperature running 20 to 30 degrees higher than todays temperature he rightly elected to stay on the beach, visit and enjoy the beautiful weather. We decided to swim on the east side of the pier and swim parallel to the beach all of the way to Fossil Point and back. Getting in didn't feel too uncomfortable until I put my hands in the water and they seemed to pop right back out all on there own! I had to work at keeping them in the water and when I started swimming the water on my face was 'bracing'. I was wearing a full 3mm wetsuit, a neoprene cap and earplugs and wanted it all. By the time we got in the wind had begun to pick up a bit and 3/4 of the way to the point we started to swim through some chop. As we swam past the little reef that is near the point I was just getting numb enough to get 'comfortable' when the surge over the reef pushed some water up from the bottom and dropped the water temperature several more degrees. Ouch! We grouped up at the point, trying to keep our feet high in the water and started back to the pier. Once we got back and regrouped we headed in. We were in for 28 minutes, which made this swim just under a mile. My hands and feet never did stop feeling cold. The sand was warm and felt great walking up the beach. The showers felt unusually warm too. By 12:30 it was getting hot on the beach so we each soaked it up until we had to leave.