Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday Evening, May 29, 2013

It was windy but comfortably warm at Avila Beach.  No surf or whitecaps in close but bumpy, 53 degree water.  I was the only one who showed and didn't feel like getting in on my own, so I enjoyed the warmth and scenery for a while and then headed home.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

The sun was shining out at Avila on Sunday but the water was very cold. With Niel on the road we didn't have an official temperature but the Port San Luis Buoy was reading 52 while we were in the water. Thanks to a mix of big crowds for the holiday and the Blues Fest as well as some questions as to how clean the water was we didn't have too many swimmers in the water. Susan and Brad swam the left side of the buoy line first while Dave VM and I thought about it... ultimately we got in and swam two laps of the left side. While we were out the wind kept building and building making for a very burly swim.

After swimming Susan and her friend went off to the concert across the way and Brad took off as well. Dave and I stayed on the beach enjoying the sunshine for a couple hours while trying to determine what we might be able to sell our parking spots for on the way out of town :)


Going further back in time to Friday, we had a good crowd out at the lake which is probably up to about 65 degrees now. For the first time the skins outnumbered the wetsuits. Byron, Brad, Dave VM, Rob, went skins and Loch and Penny wore suits. Allison paddled her kayak alongside us. Kim and two of her friends hit the water about 20 minutes later and the three of them went without wetsuits as well.

The main group swam to the point on the right side of Mallard cove. Dave, Byron, Loch and Brad split off to swim to the buoy and then to the right towards a patch of beach we use a lot. Boat traffic killed that plan and they turned early instead of hitting the buoy. Penny and I made our way towards the beach direct without the buoy detour. We stopped about 2/3 of the way there because she had some bad leg cramping. She ended up hopping out and walking back and I rejoined the main pod. Back at the entry point to Mallard cove we caught up with Kim and her friends. We all swam to the far side of the cove and then back in towards the parking lot. In the middle of this a boater got way too close at way too high of a speed. Allison exchanged some words and hand signals on our behalf :) Hopefully next week is back to normal as far as motorized lake traffic goes!

Rob D.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday Evening, May 22, 2013

We had real open water conditions this evening; there was a very strong wind out of the WSW, chop, wind waves and a water temperature of 54 degrees.  Getting in were Niel, Mark, Marie, Rob and Brad.  We decided to do a mile along the triangle and to go counterclockwise, as this would have us doing what would probably be the toughest part of the swim first.  We went out to the buoy line and headed east under the pier.  Marie has not been swimming with us for long and this was the roughest water she had ever been in.  She decided to head in before we got to the end of the buoy line at the creek.  It was rough. The current and chop were coming over my left shoulder.  The current was strong and pushing us back while the wind waves were breaking over my head.  The leg to the end of the pier was across the chop which was easier but the wind seemed to be freshening.  When we grouped up at the end of the pier Mark headed in.  The wind waves were now peaked up and breaking.  The leg to the end of the buoy line was 'downwind'.  I was getting turned and twisted by the chop, surfed down the face of the wind waves and not swallowing much water.  I had thought that the last leg would be easier than the first as we were behind the pier but the increasing wind made it as least as rough as the first leg.  We finished up and headed in.  We had covered just over a mile in 41 min. 42 sec.  I wish that I had a power meter on my Finis Hydro Tracker.  I'd love to have a readout of the effort I put in on this swim.  Why don't you look into that Rob?


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday, May 16, 2013

We had eight swimmers today.  The wind was strong and offshore so it was holding up the faces of the waves nicely but it had also pushed the water temperature down to 54 degrees.  Swimming today were Casey, Bob, Tom, Leslie, Brad, Catalina, Robert and Duke.  I was stuck on the beach when I found out that I had forgotten to bring my wetsuit.  No, I waded in and declined to go without a wetsuit.  Catalina is from Bakersfield and had come over today to swim with us. The group swam about 1.4 miles in 45 minutes, unless you were Brad or Casey, in which case you finished quite a bit earlier.  The rout was east to the end of the buoy line, to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the point 1/3 of the way out along the Poly Pier and then back to the buoy at the creek and along the line and under the pier to the starting point.  It looked like a really nice swim.  
 We will be swimming Wednesday evening at 5:30 and I will definitly remember my wetsuit.. 

A big congratulations to Ronda Marina who finished her first full ironman today at Ironman Texas.  She was bib number 1712 and finished in 12:12:28.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wednesday Evening, May 15, 2013

This evening Byron, Mark and Niel were joined by Mary Ann and Chandler.  Chandler is a senior at Cal Poly and Mary Ann is a recent grad and is teaching at San Luis High.  There was chop and a strong current driven by a steady wind out of the SW.  The water temperature was 57 degrees.  Nobody felt like going large so we decided to start a clockwise triangle and see how we felt about the conditions  and the distance.  We grouped up at the first buoy and headed off along the beach.  Chandler and Mary Ann were fast swimmers so they and Byron went off of the front with Mark and I as the caboose.  The leg from the end of the buoy line to the end of the Avila Pier was directly into the wind.  This leg was the roughest and the most work.  At the end of the Avila Pier Mark went in while the rest of us headed to the end of the buoy line at the creek.  This leg was across the chop and was easier but still some real work.  The finishing stretch along the buoys came with a nice push.  We covered 1.1 miles in 37 minutes.

Avila Beach didn't look like its usual self with all of the preparations for the stage finish on Thursday.   Looks like it will be a great show.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

We did some distance today.

I've been wanting to do this route for a while and today turned out to be the day.  The conditions were right for doing something a bit adventurous with just a mild wind from the east, 59 degree water, not much of any surf or swell and plenty of support.  Sylvia and Yvonne went out early on their own and down the buoy line to the east.  I lost track of them once the main group got in the water.  The main group was Niel, Rob, Marta, Susan, Duke, Tom, Amy and Casey.  For company we had Allison on her little kayak, Byron and Sharley on Allison's tandem kayak and Mark on his big gun surfboard.  We went out on the east side of the pier, grouped up and swam under the pier and down to the last buoy at the creek.  We then swam over to the Poly Pier and along its length to its seaward end.  From there we came back to the end of the Avila Pier and in along its length to our starting point.   We covered 1.65 miles in a total time of 57 minutes,  about 10 minutes of which was spent reforming the group at the turns.  If you look closely at the plot of the swim you can see that I swam the length of the Poly Pier under the pier.  I enjoyed swimming between the pilings, looking at all of the sea stars and critters clinging to the pilings.  The water was a bit cooler under there in the shade but it was also better swimming  because the pilings flatten out the water's surface.   
Thank you to Rob and Allison for bringing the boats and to Mark for being with us on his board.

Casey would like to swim to the rock off of Fossil Point next Sunday.  That is a 1.5 mile swim and the rock is 1/2 mile offshore.  Going out there will depend on the conditions, adequate support and enough interest.  I'm in if the day is favorable.  Anybody else interested?    


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Evening, May 8, 2013

We had very nice conditions tonight.  It was sunny and windy at Avila Beach when I arrived.  There was a strong wind out of the WSW that was pushing a strong current and wind chop that was running right to left almost parallel to the beach.  The water temperature was 59 degrees.  Swimming tonight were Niel, Byron, Mark and Marie.  We decided to go out along the pier and to do the left half of the triangle and then see if anything else was tempting.  When we got to the buoy line Marie decided to stay and play in the surf so there were three of us to continue to the end of the pier.  When we stopped and grouped up I could tell that the wind was going down and the water was flattening out.  The rest of the swim was done in improving conditions.  We were all so relaxed when we got back to the pier that we called it a great short swim and got out.  The water was almost glassy when we were walking up the beach.  1200M in 28 minutes.  



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday, May 5. 2013

Swimming In Storm Conditions

Avila Beach was a real surprise today.  Everything looked like November in a storm.  The sky was grey with low clouds and the ocean was a complete mess.  There was a steady, strong and gusty wind blowing onto the beach from the SSW that had created chop and wind waves that were combining with the surf to make water conditions just like a winter storm.  The water temperature was 57, so at least it was not cold.  Niel, Tom, Leslie, Kurtis, Steve and Rodney were willing to have a go at a swim while Sylvia, Yvonne and Rick would watch.  We started with the idea that swimming the left half of the buoy line would probably be enough in today's conditions.  I found that getting out was the most changeling part of the swim.  You had to push hard to get out through the waves & chop, but they were so close together that both breathing and ducking was difficult.  Once out we formed up and headed along the buoys to the east.  This was some of the  most changeling water that I have been swimming in.  The photos don't do the conditions justice.  The waves at the buoy line were head high with a surface that was made up of chop and smaller wind waves.  The big waves were not breaking this far off of the beach so I could just swim and ride up and down with them, except for the occasional combination of conditions that would both dunk and half flip me over.  At every good dunking I would stop and then try a different combination of breathing and timing.  Rodney was not comfortable in his wetsuit so he made a wise choice to go in.  The rest of us made it to the end buoy and back to the pier in about 25 minutes.  The swim in looked formidable but was straightforward.  I guess having everything trying to push you onto the beach really helped.   I had a great time being out there messing with these conditions.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday Evening, May 1, 2013

59.5 Degrees!
Wow, what a nice surprise and I can't explain it.  The water temperature at the port was 57+ late in the day but there was no reason to expect it to be this warm at Avila Beach.  It was also sunny, windy, choppy and there was a strong current, all out of the SW.  There were no whitecaps but the water was really moving.  There were some 2 - 3' waves and a lot of surge. Tonight's lucky swimmers were Rob, Brad, Niel, Mark, John and Kurtis with Allison on her big red kayak.  We went out directly to the end of the Avila Pier, it was choppy but not bad because we were on the lee side of the pier (the shop flattens out going through the pilings).  The water temperature changed around a bit but it was mostly warm.  The leg to the end of the buoy line at the creek was a different deal.  The chop was close together and the current was pushing us to the east so this leg had a couple of challenges to deal with.  From this point we swam back to and under the pier.  Mark and Niel went in while Rob, Kurtis, Brad and John continued to the east end of the buoy line and doubled back to the pier.  Mark and I covered about 3/4 of a mile while the rest of the boys did 1.2.
I know of no reason why the water temperature would stay this high, but we'll see what Sunday brings.