Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wednesday Evening, May 4, 2011

It's All in the Top 18"! That was the story of Wednesday nights swim. Springtime is when the water at Avila gets coldest and the last 10 days it has been 51 or 52 with the cold spots certainly in the high 40's. Starting on Monday of this week we had offshore winds and unseasonably high temperatures and at 5 PM on Wednesday the air temperature at Avila Beach was 85+. I did not know what to expect for a water temperature and I had to read the thermometer three times to be sure that it was really reading an even 60 degrees. There was a very light breeze that was just able to ripple the surface and no visible current. The waves were small to tiny and the water looked very green. Rob and I decided to swim out parallel to the Avila Pier to its' end, then diagonally to Fossil Point and back parallel to the beach to our starting point. This would be a long mile. Getting in felt great but occasionally a wave would stir up the water just right and I'd feel a shot of very cold water well up around me. When we regrouped at the end of the pier it was clear to both of us that the warm water was limited to an 18 inched thick layer on the surface. Below that it was still frigid. The solution was to get to swimming and keep your feet up out of the chill zone. I was in front and when we stopped at the point Rob mentioned that he had tried drafting in my bubbles but had had to give it up as my kick was stirring up the water and it was really cold following my feet. With the glare from the setting sun right in our line coming back parallel to the beach was sort of Braille swimming. I navigated by sighting on a hotel on a hill to the right of our course and stayed straight enough to just miss running into one of the buoys. The water near the surf line felt so comfortable that neither of us wanted to get out so we played in what waves there were until a long lull. Rob's friend Dani joined us. She had taken advantage of the weather to pass on her bike ride and come to Avila for some boogie boarding, a very wise decision on such a hot and beautiful day. Sunday is supposed to see a return of our overnight fog and 70 degree temperatures so I do not expect to see a 60 degree water temperature again for a while.


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