Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012 Adventure Swim

Rob and I have been scouting the beach between the Dinosaur Cave Park and the Shelter Cove Inn.  The little beach at the base of the cliff has public access so we have been thinking of what kind of swims we could do from there.  There are some small beaches to the north of there and some nice coves and spots to the south towards the north end of the sand at Pismo Beach that are possible either point to point destinations or out and back turn around spots.  Rob and I decided that Saturday morning we would give it a go and plan a swim dependent on the conditions.  I got there first. and parked in the lot at the park.  I walked down the sidewalk to the cliff above the beach to see what things looked like.  Ewwwweww.  The water at the beach was a really strange color.  It was reddish brown, the color of kelp, and the color extended from the cove up along the cliffs of the the park.  Tthe water at the sand was full of what appeared to be small pieces of kelp.  Hummmm.  I walked back to my car and met up with Rob and Allison.  We decided to walk up to the beach stairs north of the park and see what things looked like there.  The water here looked better, with just a bit of the same color.  We decided to do a point to point swim, from this beach south to the beach at Shelter Cove.  We walked back to the cars, got into our stuff and walked back and climbed down the steel stairs to the beach.  (There may have been more walking done today than swimming -:) ).  We waded in, trying to avoid any rocks with our toes, swam out a ways and held the first of many conferences about the route.  The water felt comfortable and was probably in the high fifties, and once we got away from the beach it turned a deep open ocean clear blue.  We would agree on a goal, swim to it and then plan the next leg.  There was one one boat around and a group on a kayak excursion so we stayed closer together than usual, because this is not a place where people on the water would be expecting to find people in the water.  This swim was great fun.  There were sections of kelp crawling, swimming through the surge between rocks, close (in Rob;s case, once too close) encounters with submerged rocks and we were buzzed by a pod of dolphins.  According to Rob's GPS we covered 1100M in 28 minutes, but this swim was not about distance or time.  The views were wonderful and it was exciting just to be in the water around these cliffs.  There are more routes to try, including some that would be out and back, plus rocks, caves and coves to explore, including the stretch south of the beach at Shelter Cove to to the north end of the sand at Pismo Beach.  Saturday turned out to be the perfect day to swim here.  The swimming here will be best on a high tide, with a smaller swell and mild winds.  We will definitely be back for further adventures.  Anyone who is interested in coming along next time should let us know.   Rob's pictures are posted at


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