Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday, December 31, 2017

For the last swim of 2017 we had a wintery day at Avila Beach. It was cool with thin high overcase which took all of the warmth out of the sun and made the water look metallic and opaque. This, combined with a light breeze out of the SE, an empty beach and a water temperature of 53 to 55 degrees made a very end of the year experience. Niel, Maria, Tom, Leslie, Duke and Heidi swam today. We did a simple triangle route that came out to be just short of a mile. 

Leslie, Tom, Maria, Duke and Heidi

Heidi, Tom, Duke, Leslie and Maria at the end of the first leg

Selfie by Niel

Duke, Leslie, Niel, Heidi and Maria waving goodbye to 2017.
Leslie, Duke, Niel, Maria and Heidi welcoming in 2018

Selfie by Tom

I've been using Rain-X to keep the water droplets from clinging to the camera's lense and messing up the photos but it is only working for part of the swim, as demonstrated by the difference between the first three and last three photos. Does anyone have a suggestion with something that will work better?

We'll be swimming next Sunday, 1/7/2018


Monday, December 25, 2017

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The sky was slated with thin grey clouds and the air temp was 60 degrees with a slight breeze. The beach was deserted and the water was glassy smooth with small rippling waves. There were two swimmers today—John Hampsey, and Amy’s brother Bo. The water by the shore was 53 degrees, but farther out the temp dropped to 52, as measured by our reptilian thermometer. The first part of our swim took us to the end of the pier, and from there northward to the actual mouth of the creek. A single seal saluted us there. Other than that, the sea seemed lifeless. From the creek we headed south, under the pier to the end of the imaginary buoy line just before fossil point. The water was astonishingly clear, even at 20 feet deep we could see the sandy ocean floor. During our last leg back to the pier, we were hailed by the harbor patrol boat; the captain wanted to know where the rest of our group was. After informing him that Bo and I were the entire group, he wished us a good holiday and sped away in his rubber vessel. Back on the beach it took us a while to warm up since the sun would not break thru the clouds. But Amy greeted us with hot chocolate and all would be well. For Bo and me, it was an invigorating and sublime swim. Distance—1 mile.

 --John Hampsey
John and Bo

John's hi-tec plot of their swim

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

We had 12 swimmers today; Heidi, Hillary, Niel, Sydney, Sam, Karen, Sarah, Duke, Emily, Sarah, (were there two Sarahs or did I miss a name?) Jonny and John.

The water was 55 degrees, a little wind ruffled but very clear with great swimming conditions. 
In spite of the plot we did a simple triangle today.

We looked like an Easter Egg Hunt when we formed up at the start.

Sydney, Sam and Duke.

At the end of the first leg.

At the end of the Avila Pier.

There will be a swim on the 24th. Several people will be out of town so the group may be thin. Maria is hoping to swim as are Sydney and Sam.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Thomas fire near Ventura is 120 miles south of San Luis Obispo. The wind has been out of the NE which was blowing the smoke from the fire offshore. The wind moved into the SE Saturday night and Sunday morning San Luis Obispo County woke to a red and smoke filled sky. 
Sydney, Sam and Niel swam today. The water temperature was 53 degrees but felt colder. The waves looked pretty clean but there were patches of red tide on the east side of the pier. The buoys have been removed for the winter so we have to estimate our location along the ' buoy line'.   The plan was to get in on the west side of the pier, do a counterclockwise triangle and get in about a mile.  
Sydney and Sam getting in

The girls have not been swimming at Avila in a while nor when it was this cold and Sam was having trouble keeping her face in the water. 
At the east end of our route.
Sydney, Niel and Sam, all red faced from the cold water.
When we returned to the pier Sam cam in while Niel and Sydney went back under the pier and a ways down the beach in order to make a mile swim.
Sam coming in

Sydney and Niel

Sue, Sydney and Sam were responsible for all of the dry foot photos. Thanks, they are great!


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Plans were in place for us to do a supported 1.5 mile round trip swim out to the rock off of Fossil Point today but the weather had other plans. At sunrise Sunday morning the wind was blowing hard out ot the north. If Avila was sheltered enough some kind of a swim would be possible but the idea of going very far offshore looked chancy. I loaded up my swim stuff and kayak and headed to the beach. The wind was blowing offshore hard enough to make flags stand straight out and snap against their pole. The water temperature was 55 degrees. A swim out to the rock would feel like a quick half mile on the way out and a mile plus long slog into the wind and chop on the way back. 
On the beach were Jonny, John, Hillary, Jim, Niel, Maria and Karen. Supporting us on kayaks were Hillary's son Emerson with his friends Bo and Brittany. We decided to get the boats and ourselves in the water and to swim out to the end of the Avila Pier where we would do an evaluation of the conditions and make swim plans accordingly. 

Hillary and Bo at the end of the Avila Pier. 

Emerson, Brittany and Karen at the end of the Avila Pier.

On the way out to the end of the Avila Pier I was thinking that I'd go to the rock but when I stopped and let the wind and chop catch up with me I changed my mind. Jim was the strongest swimmer in the water today and he decided to got to the rock with Emerson to keep him company.  The rest of us would swim over to the Cal Poly Pier and back to the shore at the Avila Pier with Bo and Brittany.  Our swim would be 1.2 miles as opposed to Jim's 1.5 but we would be swimming across the chop both ways instead of with and against for Jim's swim. There was no sign of the red tide that had been hanging around. The water was clear and a beautiful green color.

Hillary and Jonny at the Cal Poly Pier 

Maria and Karen at the Cal Poly PIer. 
The end of the pier is 625M from here and makes a nice leg
(with lane lines!) as part of a longer swim. 

Bo at the Poly Pier.

Jim and Emerson said that the leg back against the chop and wind required some extra effort. Well try to schedule another swim out to the rock this winter if the water temperature holds up.