Sunday, April 15, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
It was beautiful, sunny and warm at Avila Beach on Sunday. The water was 52 degrees, which sounded great after last Sunday's 48. We held a discussion about the water quality. Since the County takes water samples at the beaches on Monday and posts them on Wednesday their information is of no use to us to determine the cleanliness of the water on a Sunday, so up to now we have had to come to our conclusions. (More on this in a bit) The ocean on the west side of the pier near the creek was muddy and the curls of the waves looked dirty. On the east side of the pier things looked pretty clean; the waves were transparent and there was little silt in the water outside of the surf zone. We decided to swim and to stay on the east side of the pier. We had four swimmers today; Niel, Rob, Byron and Kim. Byron has been swimming with Dave VanMouwreik but had not been out with us before. Kim has been swimming with us last summer but now has a full 4/3 suit instead of the Farmer John and a rash guard that she had been using. We decided to start out with a repeat of last Sunday's swim, out and down the buoy line to the end and to then plat a route depending on how everyone felt. With the water being 4 degrees warmer than last Sunday I was expecting to be fairly comfortable. Getting in was easier but once I got my face in the water it just felt cold. At the buoy Kim was more comfortable than she had ever been before but wanted to head back along the buoys. Byron and I were interested in going a bit longer so we decided to all go back along the buoys to the pier where Rob and Kim would head in and Byron and I would go out to the end of the pier and back. There had been some spots along the buoy line that were a degree or 2 colder and we found some more near the end of the pier. I had considered going in along the west side of the pier but just as we stopped at the end I got some water in my mouth that had a very metallic taste. I do not know just what that taste was but it was not good. I stopped right there and headed back the way we had come and didn't encounter it again. We got out after being in for 26 minutes. Kim was real happy with her new wetsuit and Byron had a good time so we should be seeing more of them on future swims.
Casey, Chad, Duke and Berto didn't swim but ran and joined us on the beach.
Rob tell me that the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is about to start their own independent water quality testing. They have a grant for the equipment and a certified operator to run the tests. The lab will be in the Avila Sea Life Center. They will be able to turn around test much quicker than the County so we have the possibility of having water samples taken on Friday and results posted on Saturday, which would mean no more toe tests to try and determine water quality. Watch their website http://slo.surfrider.org/ for an announcement.