It was sunny and warmish at Avila Beach today. There was only a slight breath of wind, no clouds, flat water and only occasional small waves. Other than a raft of water birds down near Fossil Point there wasn't any other sea life to be seen. At 50 degrees, the water temperature was a surprise. It is supposed to be clear, sunny and in the upper 60's this coming week so hopefully the water temp will pop up a bit before next Sunday. I was a little unorganized getting ready to swim and was confused as to why I was having trouble remembering how to get ready until I realized that that our last swim was on 11/25, 7 weeks ago! Since November rain has kept us out of the water except for Robs' 3 Martini Swim on 12/9 and our short swim on New Years Day. Maybe we will have to hold an in-service next Sunday and retrain ourselves about how this is done! Rob was not feeling well so it was Byron, myself and Kyle. This was Kyle's first time with us. He is a poly student and surfer who is from Santa Cruz. The buoys have been removed for the winter so our route was more of a 'self-guided' tour than usual. We decided to go out, turn parallel to the beach and regroup at the end of the retaining wall, about where the last buoy was. At this point Kyle decided to head in to the beach while Byron and I headed for the end of the pier. Beth and Allison picked us up on this leg. They had launched their kayaks about 30 minutes before we began swimming and swung back by to escort the rest of our swim. Beth said that she had been initially surprised that there appeared to be such a large group of swimmers but as they got closer they realized that it was a pod of approximately 30 dolphins! They came close to our route but Byron and I didn't see them. At the end of the pier it was time to get out and start warming up so we came straight in along the pier. We covered .8 of a mile.
This was the last time we will see Beth's for a while. She is moving to Vermont (!) and will leave the first week of February. Beth has been a super support paddler and was with both Rob and I on our recent 10k swims. We will miss her happy presence and extra confidence that the knowledge of having her support would bring someone contemplating doing something kind'a silly in the ocean.