Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Plans for the 4th of July Swim

The plans for the 4th of July Swim are as follows;

At this point we have 7 swimmers and 4 support people with kayaks or SUPs.  We will meet at our usual spot in Avila at 8 and carpool to the port, aiming for a swim start at 9.  We will be back in Avila about 10. Pot luck brunch on the beach after and finish up by shuttling people back to the port to pick up their cars.

If I don't like the conditions near the Harford Pier (too many seals or dirty water) I'll either swing farther to the west of the pier or start 100 M to the east at the dry dock ramp. You are all free to make your own call on this.

The current water temperature at the Harford Pier is 59.7 degrees.  :-)

You can see real time conditions at www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=pslc1 

Jon - Would you let the other lifeguards know about our plans and schedule.  Thanks!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunday, July 28, 2015

I was out of town and missed the swim around the rock. This weeks post is provided by John Hampsey.

Our plan to swim to Avila rock worked out today! There were no mammals or networks of birds out on the water. In the words of the lifeguard-- “you picked a perfect day to go to the rock.” The sea was calm and about 62 degrees, the sky partially cloudy with just a light breeze. We had hoped for two paddlers but were fortunate to have three—Mark on paddle board, Jim in his kayak, and Cindy in her outrigger. Big thanks to them! The swimmers were Duke, Rick, Dave, Amy Hewes, Amy 2, Bridget, Brandon, Tom, and I (Sylvia swam the buoy line). Sighting was easy because Mark led the way, his tall figure in line with Avila Rock. There was one mass of kelp, but a canal gave us passage through it. Once we reached the other side of the rock we languished for a minute listening and watching the sea swells break and froth down the low side of the white iconic rock. The journey back seemed to pass more quickly and with less effort. It was a great swim overall, a little over a mile and half, and, within our Avila world, somewhat mystical.

4th of July Swim -

The Pier to Pier to Pier Swim - 1.75 miles from the Harford Pier over at Port San Luis back to Avila Beach passing the ends of the Cal Poly and Avila Piers. Meet at our usual spot in Avila at 8AM, Saturday, 7/4. Carpool to the start. Shuttle back afterwards to pick up cars. Pot luck on the beach afterwards. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Avila was a hole in the fog so it was sunny but coolish with a light breeze from the SE. The port has closed the pier because of safety concerns due to the large numbers of people on the pier looking at the whales so I wa not able to measure a water temperature, but the consensus between the port and the lifeguards put the water temp at about 60. 
There were no whales, pelicans or bait balls to be seen. Swimming today were Niel, Sylvia, Duke, Dave Van Mouwerik, Amy P. and John Hampsey.  Sylvia was going to do the buoy line, the rest of us were looking to do about a mile and a half, so we laid out a course down the west side of the buoy line, over to the Poly Pier, back to the end of the Avila Pier and on to the east end of the buoy line, finishing by coming back to the Avila Pier. We covered 1.48 miles. This was one of the best swims we have had. The water conditions were very nice with just a bit of current and small chop from the breeze. Everyone had a great time. 
There will be a 1.5 mile swim to Avila Rock next Sunday. John has two people to paddle. 

Duke, Amy and Dave at the Poly Pier

Amy, Dave and John at the Poly Pier

Duke, Amy and Dave at the Avila Pier
Dave, Amy, and Duke at the east end of the buoy line. 

The lifeguards had seen whales over by the Poly Pier earlier in the day but we did not encounter anything while we were in the water.  About 1 PM John saw a whale over by the Poly Pier, close to where we had been 90 minutes earlier.

The Duke Parmley Memorial 4th of July Swim;

Meet at our usual spot at 8 AM. We'll organize shuttling swimmers and kayaks over to the port.  We should be in the water by 9 and back at Avila before 10. This swim is 1.75 miles.
There will be a potluck on the beach afterwards.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

It was gray and calm at Avila at 10:30. The town was already jammed with people who came to see the whales. There were two between the Avila and Cal Poly piers out about even with the end of the Cal Poly Pier. They were still in the same general area feeding when I left at 1:30.  Swimming today were Niel, Sylvia, Rick, Leslie, Tom, Dave Van Mouwerik, Casey (back for her second swim with us after last Sunday) and Cliff and his son Gene, who live in Colorado. Cliff had joined us once before a couple of years ago.  We also had Dave's friend Jim in his kayak. The whales and the bait fish were far offshore so we swam the triangle clockwise.  The water temperature was 59 degrees (!) and flat until the wind picked up. With the wind came the sun so we finished in very nice conditions.  Dave, Niel, Tom, Leslie and Cliff did an additional left half of the buoy line for 1.43 miles.
Jim and Dave


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015


The whale turning left after passing offshore of us. The end of the Avila Pier on on the left.

 Camera photo from one of the people on the pier. That is Leslie, Amy 2 and I closest to the whale and Dave, Casey, John and Tom  

 Having passed between us and the pier now heading back to the west. If you can enlarge the photo you can see the blowhole.
That is not my thumb on the right of the photos. There was Salp in the water (they look like small sea jellies) and one appears to have gotten stuck to the lense of my camera.   
More Photos; Tom and Leslie contacted some of the people who had been on the end of the pier and several agreed to share their photos.  I'll post them here when I receive them. 

These were taken by a person on the pier.
This is before Dave knows the whale is behind him, but he had heard us yelling
and thinks the worst is about to happen.
Amy and Leslie up close.
From L to R; Niel, Amy, Leslie, Dave, Casey and John. Tom is just out of the picture. 

The Story;
Sylvia and Pete were swimming the buoy line while Niel, Leslie, Tom, Dave Van Mouwerik, Amy 2, John Hampsey and Casey (who just moved here from the Bay Area) intended to swim to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the Poly Pier and back. When I joined up with the group at the end of the pier Leslie was yelling WHALE and pointing out to sea. I looked around and saw Dave 50' from me swimming west with a humpback whale another 10' farther out from him swimming east. Dave herd Leslie yelling, assumed the worst, and swam towards us with his body about 2' above the water.  Sorry Dave. He was scared and pissed off initially but once he knew that he was not about to be eaten and calmed down he was able to enjoy what we were seeing. Our group was about 50' off of the end of the pier with the whale initially swimming east, towards Pismo offshore from us. It turned 180 degrees left and swam back west between us and the pier!   We shared our excitement for a bit and then started to swim towards the Poly Pier.  I went three strokes when I heard Leslie yell again. I popped up my head up and saw the whale swimming towards me crossing 20' to my left.  At this point we decided to bail on swimming across the open water between the two piers, swam to the last buoy at the creek and on in to our starting point. Amy 2, Dave and Tom did another 1/2 mile down the buoy line and back. The whale continued to cruise back and forth parallel the beach for another hour.
Casey has been swimming in the Aquatic Park and is looking for a local tri team to hook up with.  I think we made her feel welcome and she had a good time.  :-)

The water temp was 56. It was sunny and felt much warmer than last week.