Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday Evening, August 10, 2011

It was another warm Wednesday, and there will be more on that later in this post. It was breezy but sunny and pleasant at Avila. There was enough of a breeze to push up a decent chop out of the SSW. There were no whitecaps but it would be enough to make this a real ocean swim. I measured a water temperature of 62. While I was out on the pier I did not see any bait fish/bird/seal activity. Swimming this evening were Rob, Ryan Kim and Niel. By the time we were ready to get in the water some pelicans had gathered on the west (right) side of the pier so we decided to start on the left side, swim out to the end of the pier and see what things looked like. Our initial plan was to go to the left from the end of the pier to either the last buoy in the line or to Fossil Point before coming back along the buoy line to the pier. The chop was surprisingly bumpy swimming out along the pier, especially as this side was in the lee of the wind and the chop usually is reduced as it passes through the pilings. I found the water to be very comfortable, thinking that my temperature reading might of been low. Ryan and I waited at the end of the pier for Kim and Rob and got pushed steadily to the east by the wind and swell. Kim wanted to go to the last buoy and since she was the least experienced ocean swimmer of the group we decided to stick together, thinking that she could return down the buoy line by herself if the rest of us decided to extend our swim down to the point. Well we didn't. We grouped up at the buoy and everybody swam back along the line to the pier and in to the beach.
Kris and I stayed for dinner and at about 7 a huge scrum of fish and birds formed at a point about even with the end of the pier and moved back and forth, to alternate sides of the pier, for 20 minutes. It looked like we were too early for the buffet.
The next swim is Sunday at 11.

About Warm Wednesdays. For the last two months the water temperature at Avila Beach has been significantly warmer for our Wednesday evening swims than on the previous or following Sundays. On Wednesday, June 22, the water temperature was 63.5 and has been no lower than 60 and as high as 67 (! on 7/6) on every Wednesday since. On the Sundays starting with 6/19 the water temperature has been in the 50's from 55.5 to one lonely 60 on 7/24. Now I'm not complaining, the Wednesday evening swims have been great, but I don't get it. This is more fluctuation than seems 'normal' and being warmer on every Wednesday evening is just strange. That this has been going on for two months seems to rule out tides or currents and I do not think that the later time of day can be the cause of this much variation. Unfortunately there are no other records for comparison. The water temperature station on the Poly Pier has been inoperative for about a year and historically, the one at the port does not follow the trends at Avila close enough to be useful. So, does anyone have an idea about this? I ready for an explanation that relies on whales farting, residual effects from the Shell oil spill or some secret government testing program.


***Bonus Swim!!! Avila to Olde Port Beach on August 16th***

Next Tuesday the 16th I'm looking for some people interested in doing a point to point swim from the Avila Pier down to Olde Port Beach (the dog beach). A trade group I'm involved with (the SLO Creative and Marketing Alliance) is having its annual beach party down there an I feel like making an unnecessarily dramatic arrival :) On top of being a good swim this might be a fun networking event for you if you're in a creative or marketing field or need to meet some people who are. We'll leave Avila at about 6pm and hit Olde Port Beach probably around 6:45pm. If you're interested in doing the swim or possibly kayaking please let me know so we can come up with a plan in advance for transportation since this is a point to point swim.

Rob D.

No comments: