Sometimes It Is All About The Conditions
Avila Beach was grey and cool with what was either high fog or low overcast. There was no sign of the gusty winds that had been in San Luis Obispo when I left for the beach. The water was 59 degrees, flat with knee high surf. It was warming up so there was a chance that the fog would break up and we would have some sun to swim in. Looking to get in were Sylvia, Niel, Duke, Ali, John Hanse, Rick and Amy. I'd seen Mark on my way down the hill from my car. Mark swim with us on Wednesday evenings and was going to rent a SUP and keep us company.
Since it was nice and flat and Mark would be along to shepherd us, Duke, John, Rick and I decided to swim out and around Avila Rock, which would be a 1.5 mile swim. Amy and Ali were going to swim down to Fossil Point and back and Sylvia was going to get in at her own speed. Amy and Ali got started first. The four guys swam out to the first buoy, turned left and swam to the end of the line. From there we turned towards the rock. It was not long before it started getting sunny and bumpy. It was starting to feel pretty choppy when Mark, who was standing up on the SIP, called a halt. The wind had picked up quickly and between the building chop and the wind he was not very happy trying to stand up on the SIP. Avila Rock is more exposed to wind and waves than where we were so we agreed to forget our trip to the rock and to swim to the end of the Avila Pier. Duke said that this was about the roughest chop that he had swum in. I would agree with that. I had the experience of rolling to my left to breathe (towards the chop) and have a large perfectly timed wave flip me over onto my back. We got to the pier and headed in. Bailing on the rock was the right thing to do. Was swam 1.2 miles that felt like a lot farther. Thanks Mark for coming along and keeping us safe.