Sunday, January 25, 2015
Today we swam the same route as last week but with two swimmers who we have not seen in a while and one new friend. Swimming today were Chad and Duke (welcome back), Stephanie, Tom, Niel, Pete, John Hampsey and his friend Doug Cerf joined us for the first time. We did a staggered start; I joined Tom and Stephanie who were already in the water. Everyone else was taking a bit more time so we started swimming. Chad and Duke caught up to us at the point and we came back together. John and Doug swam together. We picked up Dale most of the way back to the pier.
The swimming conditions were great for any day but especially for January. The water was 58 degrees and there was no wind. There were some occasional 4' sets when we got in at 11, by 12 there were consistent sets of 4 to 5 foot waves with some nice barrels. It was sunny and warm on the beach and 79 degrees in San Luis Obispo.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Niel, Sylvia, Dale, Pete, Amy and John Hampsey enjoyed excellent conditions today. It was warm with high thin overcast, no wind , a glassy ocean and 58 degree water. We went out to the end of the pier, down to Fossil Point and back parallel to the beach to the Avila Pier. We covered 1.16 miles in a casual 44 minutes.
Looking back towards the pier from the point. The water doesn't get much flatter than this.
Looking the other way at the caves in Fossil Point
Amy and John
I'll be back and looking for more of this next Sunday.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Tom Lorish, Stephanie Roberson, Niel Dilworth and about 85 other swimmers completed the 2014 Will Swim For Food today. The date of the swim slid into 2015 because on the traditional day, the second Saturday of December, the 10' waves, dirty water and floating debris changed the idea of swimming around the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf from a fun event into a very bad idea. So, step forward one month to today and conditions could not have been better. It was sunny and warming up nicely. The water was 55 degrees with 2'+ surf and a moderate swell on the west side of the pier. For the 5th year of the swim the traditional direction was reversed to allow the swimmers to complete their parade down the length of the pier and to the water without crossing traffic. The duck thing is very cool. One of the original swimmers was given a little rubber Santa Ducky to take with him on the swim The duck became the mascot for the event. Now, if an individual donor contributes a minimum of $150 the organizers provide a full sized duck decoy that the swimmer can tow behind them during the swim. The donor or the swimmer can decorate the duck as they please. It makes for quite a show;
The Duck Lineup
Tom's duck is painted to look like his Great Daine
Stephanie's four ducks, from gold to attired in a sweater and scarf and mine on the step above in yellow with Christmas lights and three ducklings.
Being GoPro equipped was popular this year
Is this the Sherman and Megan of ducks?
So many stories......
So, here is the start of the parade down the pier.
One swimmer and 10 ducks!
Tom and I met up at the end of the pier.
Done, a one mile swim completed. Three of us raised $3,227 which is about 12,900 meals.
Thank you all for your support!
Sunday, January 11, 2015
January in Avila Beach is not too bad; sunny, no wind, small waves, clear 58 degree water all make for nice swimming conditions. Sylvia and Pete did their own swims. Niel, Tom, Stephanie, Leslie, Amy and John Hampsey swam the triangle counterclockwise. Stephanie and Leslie went in at the end of the pier while Niel and Tom swam the rest of the triangle. John Hampsey had gotten in after we had and was catching up so Amy waited for him and they completed their swim together.
I did plots with both the Garmin 910 and my Finis Hydro Tracker for comparison. I got my problems with the ragged plots with the GArmin by switching it to Open Water Swimming from Running. My confusion was because the Hydro Tracker lets you classify the type of workout after the data is uploaded and the Garmin wants it determined before the activity begins. So here are both plots.I started the Hydro Tracker first so it logged a slightly longer distance. The plots are not quite what I will usually post because both(!) the Finis and the Garmin websites were down this afternoon.
Stephanie, Tom and I will be in Santa Cruz next Saturday to swim around the Muni Pier for the Will Swim For Food fundraiser. So far we have raised $3,077 for local food banks. You can still donate to your local food bank by going to
Thanks and I'll be back in Avila on Sunday
Sunday, January 4, 2015
We had a lovely winter day at Avila Beach today; sunny, no wind, 1 - 2 foot waves, 55 degree water and an empty beach and a nice group of swimmers. Rob and Allison were here to get some sun and beach exposure before returning to Arcata. Joining them were Rick, Niel, Dave Van Mouwerik, Sylvia, Stephanie, Amy, John Hampsey, Dale and Pete Kelly. Allison was going to paddle with us in her little white kayak and DanniLu and Brett were on the Big Red tandem kayak. Dave and Rob, the no wetsuit contingent, were happy with doing about a mile along the line where the buoys are in the summer so we swam out to the catamaran and turned left.
We grouped up at the big rock near the end of the seawall and headed back the way we had come, went under the pier and continued parallel to the beach down to the mouth of the creek.
We had nice swimming conditions the whole time. After our amazing summer of warm water I am having to work at getting reacclimated to more normal water temperatures. The first 5 or 10 minutes is now like the first couple of hundred meters in the pool or the first mile of a run on a cold morning, something that has to be pushed through before I get comfortable.
Changing the sampling setting on my GPS made only a small improvement to the accuracy of the plot. I'm going to do two things next Sunday to see if the plots improves. First, on the last two plots I had forgotten to change the sport setting in the device from Running to Ocean Swimming. I'm hoping that the Swimming setting does more buffering of the data, to both account for the movement of my wrist and the occasional loss of signal, and thereby smoothing out the plot, and I'm going to run both my old FINIS Hydro Tracker and the new Garmin 910 on the same swim and see how they compare. The FINIS has always produced a very accurate plot. It attaches to my goggle strap and rides on the back of my head and has a much more stable location while I'm swimming.
It was great to see and be on the water with Rob, Allison and Dave.
Rob and Allison, travel safely and we hope to see you again in a few months.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
We had a beautiful day at Avila Beach today; sunny, warmish, clear skies and water, no wind, no waves and a very low tide. In this photo you can see the Guadalupe dunes and the lighter piece of land to the right of the point is either Purisima Point, which is 27 miles from Avila Beach, or possibly Pt. Arguello, which is 39 miles away. Sylvia, Kelly and Danni- Lu, and Stephanie (on a break from her bike ride) were on the beach. Niel, Amy, John Hampsey and Rob Dumouchel !!! were swimming. Rob and Allison are in town for Christmas break so Rob joined us today. The water temperature was 56 degrees. I have not recorded a water temperature that low since May 5, 2014, so thanks Rob for bringing Humboldt conditions with you to the central coast. ;-). Since Rob has been doing school and not swimming much we got to see a somewhat extended version of his famous chicken dance as he waded in.
Once we got going the swimming was nice. I just needed to remind myself that before this last summer we considered 56 degrees to be a pretty nice water temperature. Rob impressed us when he said that he quickly got comfortable with the water temperature but he really felt his lack of conditioning from not having done much swimmiing over the past semester.
We did about a mile along the phantom buoy line, getting kind'a spread out as we age still getting used to navigating without the guidance of the swim zone buoys which are pulled out for the winter.
You can see from the plot of today's swim that I've switched from the Finis Hydro Tracker to a Garmin 910. When swimming the plot from the 910 is all over the place compared to the results from the Hydro Tracker, which accounts for the greater than expected distance that it logged. I've made an adjustment to the GPS settings of the 910 so we'll see this Sunday if it smooths out the plot.
Rob, and possibly Allison, should be with us on Sunday for a second immersion before they head back to Humboldt so come on by and join in on the fun.