Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

We had a total of eight swimmers turnout for our 4th of July swim.  The original plan was to swim from Avila Beach to Pirate's Cove and back which would be a round trip of about 3 miles, but it wound up being 3 different swims along the same route.  The water temperature was 55, there was almost no wind or swell.  It was overcast but not foggy.  Planning on going the entire route were Niel, Byron, Duke, Rob, Dave and Brad. Paddling for them were Beth and Allison.  Shawn needed to be back by 10 so he would turn around earlier.  Lindsay and one other life guard were with him on paddle boards.  Ed wanted to go 1 - 1/2 miles +/-, so he planned to turn around near Avila Rock.  Ruta was paddling for him.   Rob, Dave, and Brad swam traditional style while the rest of us wore wetsuits.  We had planned to shove off at 8:30 but it was 8:50 by the time we got in.  We all got off together and headed for a gap in the kelp that was just inshore of the Avila Rock.  We regrouped there.  I believe that Shawn headed back from the rock while Ed swam a bit farther before turning around.  The rest of us followed Beth on past the next small cove as she plotted a course for us that would avoid the large patches of kelp.  Once we rounded the point before Pirate's Cove we turned in towards the beach.  There was not much kelp there so we were able to head in to the beach unimpeded.  The six of us walked up onto the sand for a couple of minutes before getting back in.  Swimming out from the beach  there was a small swell pushing towards us that made it hit and miss when I looked for Beth.  Once we rounded the point and turned west towards Avila Rock it smoothed out.  Brad was getting cold when we got back to Avila Rock so Beth put him on her kayak and took him in to the beach.  We had gotten spread out by this time; Dave, Duke and Byron were ahead of Rob and I.  When we got to the east end of the buoy line we came straight in to the beach to see how Beth and Brad were doing.  The lifeguards were there helping getting Brad warmed up.  They decided to take him down to the station to be sure that he was OK.  He joined us on the beach for the post swim pot luck which featured five kinds of chocolate goodies (there are some people in this group that take their chocolate very seriously!) and plenty of real food too.  We hung on the beach for quite a while while the sun gradually broke through.
I had a swimming time of 1h 41m. Pictures are online here.
Rob and Dave are going to do the Santa Barbara 6 mile this weekend.  Byron and I will be at Avila on Sunday.
A special thanks to Beth as well as Allison, Lindsay and Ruta who came out and made this a safe swim.

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