Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nothing Wrong With This

Just two days before Halloween and we had a beautiful summer day at Avila Beach for today's swim.  It was sunny, calm, cloudless and warm with an air temperature that started in the 70"s and  headed into hot later in the day.  There was no surge or current in the water and the temperature was in the high 50"s, I'd guess 57 - 58 degrees a glassy surface.  I'm guessing about the temperature because my new calibrated thermometer arrived Saturday and I switched it out without checking it over carefully enough.  At the beach I found out that about 10 degrees worth of the medium had separated and was stuck up at the top.  Bummer!  In any case the lack of a definitive number couldn't detract from such great swimming conditions.  Swimming today were Yvonne, Sylvia, Duke, Amy, Dale and Niel.  Chad and Casey were at the beach but going on a run.  The tide was just before full and with only small waves it was a good day to swim down to Fossil Point.  This swim is a short mile and consists of heading down the buoy line to the left (east) from the pier and continuing past the last buoy parallel to the beach until reaching the rocks of the point.  There is a nice photo of this swim on the opening page of our web site;  We grouped up at the first buoy and again at the last.  Dale decided to turn back at this point and the rest of us swam to the point.  We returned to the pier in one leg and headed in.  It was so comfortable in the water that we spent a lot of time gabbing after regrouping so we wound up in being in the water for 43 minutes while our swimming time was closer to 23.  The sun had warmed up the wall behind our chairs so it felt great to lean against after showering off.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday Evening, October 26, 2011

Rob and I met up for our last evening swim of the season. It was sunny, about 70 degrees and calm. I saw one otter along the buoy line on the east side and one pelican resting on the water inside the surf line. The water temperature was the same as Sunday, about 58 degrees. General agreement that the new replacement thermometer that I have been using seems to be reading high has prompted me to order a more accurate, certified thermometer. In the mean time we will go with the toe test method.
As we were getting ready to get in there was a surprise appearance by the Avila Beach AQUAMAN! Dressed for this final swim of the season he was ready to carve a path through the ocean in search of evildoers, or dolphins in need of instruction on their swimming technique.
In such company Rob and I humbly swam out to the buoy line, hung a left and swam to the end. After a brief reconnaissance of the conditions we headed to the end of the pier. When we paused at the end of the pier the sun was just slipping behind the hills behind Port San Luis. We swam in the shadows along the pier to the beach. As we were drying off a dolphin came in along the buoy line, possibly looking to do some speed work with AQUAMAN.

Rob and I will continue swimming on Sundays at 11, canceling only when storms cause the water quality to deteriorate.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Avila seemed to be its normal self when I arrived this morning.  It was sunny and calm, with no wind and some fog hanging way off over Pismo Beach.  Sylvia and Rhonda were already here.  The water looked clear and fairly calm, with some small, close packed ripples coming in out of the SE.   I got a water temperature reading of 60 degrees. I always take the temperature on the left side of the pier because the usual NW wind will push the thermometer away from the pilings.  Today I had to drop it in on the right side because the water was moving in the opposite direction.  There was one fisherman on the pier, one seal in the surf line and nothing else to be seen above or in the water.  High tide had been just before 8 AM but the water seemed to be really high, still almost near the high tide line. The significance of this would soon become apparent.  Swimming today were Bill, Amy, Sylvia, Niel, Dale, Duke and Rob.  We decided to do the triangle route counter-clockwise starting on the east side of the pier.  I started straight out from the beach and when I cleared the surf line the push from the waves toward shore didnt' slack off, but got even stronger.  The short swim out to the buoy line felt like I was in a river swimming up stream.  WE gathered up everyone at the buoy line and headed under the pier and towards the last buoy at the mouth of the creek.  This leg was surprisingly rough, with water water trying to get in my mouth no matter which side I breathed on.  The leg to the end of the pier was straight into the chop, which seemed to be building even though there was still no wind.  Duke likened this leg to a round in a Maytag.  It was a lot of work against a current in rough surface conditions. Also, the fog that had been hanging over Pismo Beach had moved in and was warping itself around Fossil Point.  The third leg was across the waves and current which I found to be easier but still a workout, getting bent all over the place by the chop passing underneath.  Half way there the fog moved over the cliff and covered my siting point.  The last leg parallel to the beach seemed easier, with a little push from the left rear quarter.  The swim is about a mile.  We finished in 42 minutes which seemed reasonable considering that it felt like I did enough work for a mile and an half.  By the time we were all out and cleaned up the beach was all fog thick enough so that you could not see the buoy line from the beach.  It was even starting to spit so nobody hung around too long.     

Rob and I are still swimming Wednesday's at 5:30 until it gets too dark.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday Evening, October 20, 2011

Ryan and I pulled up at the same time and the water looked fabulous so we decided to not wait and to just jump in.  The wind that had been blowing in San Luis Obispo and out on the mesa was not to be found at Avila.  It was sunny and warm and the water was flat and glassy.  The only thing that was off was the color of the water; it was dark as if there was a mild red tide.  We decided to do a repeat of last Sunday's swim so we headed out to the buoy line and turned left.  I got comfortable really fast so I'd estimate the water temperature was 60.  The water was so flat the swimming was great.  From the last buoy we turned to the pier and swam directly into the glare from the setting sun.  On the third leg towards the creek the water warmed up even more and actually felt warm to the touch at times.  We finished off by swimming along the buoys from the creek, under the pier and turning in to the beach where we entered the water.   We were in for 34 minutes.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Niel, Sylvia, Rob and Duke swam today.  We all did the triangle route clockwise.  The water was 59 degrees with a small ripple that was pushed up by a light breeze out of the SW.  But the time we finished the wind was starting to pick up and shift into the NW.  At 12:30 there were whitecaps in to the surf line.  We had a real nice swim. We saw one seal.  It looks like the baitfish/shark season is over.  The water was comfortable enough that we spent a lot of time at the turning points visiting, taking 44 minutes to cover a mile and having a great time.  Before we swam Chad and Casey took Duke out on a short run and dropped him off before doing the rest of their 8 miles.  They looped back and soaked up some sun with us before we all headed home.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Evening, 12 October 2011

Rob and I swam this evening.  It was hot at Avila with an offshore wind that was veering from NE to NW.  There were some large waves but the biggest sets were spaced well apart so getting out was just going to be a matter of timing.  Low tide had been at 4:44 and the larger waves were beginning to break just inside the buoy line.  There wasn't much out there; a few gulls and one seal.   Rob and I swam out on the east side of the pier to the end with the thought of going to either the poly pier of the end of the buoy line at the creek, depending on what seemed like a good idea once we got there.  I had measured a water temperature of 61 but it felt a lot colder once I got out to the surf line.  At the end of the pier my feet were cold and I could still feel the water moving around in my suit.  Idling at the end of the pier we were rising and falling 4 or 5 feet with the swells.  We agreed to swim to the end of the buoy line at the creek and come back towards the pier.  When I breathed on the side towards the ocean during the leg along the buoy line towards the pier I would be looking way up at the face of the incoming waves.  Our timing was good when we headed in towards the beach and we both got in just ahead of the next big set.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I got to Avila about 10:30.  It was beautiful, clear sunny and just a bit cool from the wind off of the fog bank.  The water was calm with very few birds, no seals or bait fish.   I had done the City to the Sea 1/2 earlier and came by to stand in the water for a while.  Chad and Brittany had also done the race and were going to come by but not swim.  Duke and Sylvia were there and getting ready to jump in.  Rob was swimming support on a Catalina Channel crossing attempt.  The water felt very cold on my legs but I stayed in with my top half in the wind and my bottom half in the water until I started feeling chilled.  
Rob, Ryan and I will be back to swim on Wednesday evening at 5:30.


Friday, October 7, 2011

No Posts for a While

I have missed several swims lately.  I was out of town last Sunday.  Rob, Ryan and I skipped Wednesday evening thinking that the creek flow from the rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday had probably made the water at Avila toxic.  I'm doing the City to Sea 1/2 this Sunday morning and Rob will be in the Catalina Channel supporting a swimmer attempting a channel crossing.  The weather should be nice so if anybody swims let me know how it was.  We should be back in the water on Wednesday the 12th.