Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Absolutely the Best Summer Day In February -

The beach was empty but Avila was just beautiful today. A gusty offshore breeze gave us a clear blue sky, the ocean was flat with knee high surf and if you got close to the seawall and out of the wind it was nice and warm. That offshore breeze had pushed the water temperature down to 50 to 51 degrees, making this the coldest water temperature that we have seen since last April.
I had surgery on my knee on 2/20 so I'm beached for a bit but Heidi, Duke, Karen, John and Jonny were here to swim. Their route was out to the end of the pier, over to the single buoy on the reef, which is the only one we have to swim to in the winter and doubling back for a total of just under a mile. Everyone thought the water was extra chilly but that the sun made things more comfortable than last weeks stormy conditions. 

Route map from Duke. 


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Changing Conditions - 

Late Sunday there was going to be a major change to the wonderful warm summer like weather we had been enjoying. High winds, 10 to 13' surf and a hard freeze were expected in San Luis Obispo with the changes starting Sunday evening. Things were starting to change at Avila Beach at 10:30 with clouds coming in and a messy chop that was pushed by a SE breeze. The water was very clean and 53 or 54 degrees. The breeze and the lack of sun would make it feel colder.  Swimming today were Niel, Sue, Heidi, Kurtis and John. We decided to do the triangle route counter clockwise. John and Heidi planned on going short. John was making his comeback from the flu and Heidi was worried about getting cold.  
I found (!) a bunch of interesting information about the swim below 
the pace and strokes information so I've included it

Sue at the stop at the creek mouth, having a wonderful time with no wetsuit.
The leg to the creek mouth is parallel to the beach
and was  bumpy and changeling but not bad. 

Niel, at the same spot. 

Heidi and Niel at the creek mouth

Kurtis, who has no regrets about wearing a 
Farmer John wetsuit at these temperatures.

Sorry, a very blurry photo of John Hampsey. 

Kurtis, Heid and John at the end of the Avila Pier. The wind had strengthened and shifted into the SW so this leg wa across a building chop. Things were starting to get interesting.

John and Heidi swam in to the beach along the pier. Sue swam towards Fossil Point while Niel and Kurtis swam to where the last buoy on the east side would be. They got a push that included occasional body surfing on this leg. Sue had gone farther east than Niel and Kurtis because she is a much faster swimmer and without a wetsuit doesn't want to idle in the water while we catch up. We regrouped and swam the last leg back to the pier parallel to the beach. This leg was just a steady push into the chop and current.

For those of you not familiar with the 'buoys' I refer to, in the summer there are a line of 8 buoys parallel to the beach, four on each side of the pier, that define a no boating zone. We use them as navigation aids and goals for some of our swims. The harbor district takes the buoys out in the winter to protect them from storm damage so when we swim those routes in the winter we swim to phantom buoy locations.

Swim Tomorrow?
No one who was at the beach today will be swimming tomorrow. 

Sue sent me a message that Sydney and Sam were doing great at the Junior Olympics. Sam is in Clovis and Sydney at UC Santa Cruz. 


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday, February 11. 2018

We enjoyed a most excellent swimming day at Avila Beach. 
It was pleasantly warm, sunny and calm. The water was clear and 54 degrees with knee high surf. We enjoyed last Sunday's route so much that we decided to do it again today: out to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the Cal Poly Pier and back to the starting point for a mile plus swim that provides two 600+ M legs where a swimmer can stretch out. 

 We are at the end of the Avila Pier where we found that there was a bit of a chop running out of the SW. Tom, yellow cap in the middle, is providing directions to our destination point along the Cal Poly Pier. From the left that is Sue, Evan, Karen, Kurtis, Tom, Heidi and Jonny.  

I caught up with Sue, Tom and Evan at the Cal Poly Pier. 
They pushed on to the Avila Pier while I waited for the rest of the group.

After we got out and were at the showers a fog bank quickly rolled into Avila Bay all of the way to the surfline, reducing visibility to a quarter mile, then 30 minutes later it just as quickly withdrew to a point about a mile offshore. I've never seen that happen before.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday. February 4. 2018

Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day at Avila Beach no matter what you wanted to do. It was sunny, calm and warm but still cooler than in town. The water temperature at the pier was 55 degrees and the water clarity was close to the best that I have ever seen here; I could pick out individual shells on the botten in 10' to 15' of water. The surface was flat with 2 to 3' waves.
Today's route was 1.3 miles; out to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the Cal Poly Pier and back to our starting point.  Swimming today were Niel, Heidi, Amy, Tom, Sara, Chris and Jonny.  Today was Chris's first swim with us. Chris and his wife are relocating to San Luis Obispo from the Seattle area.

The back of Chris's head, Tom and Heidi at the end of the Avila Pier.

The 55 degree water temperature was questionable, 
so Tom had us vote for above, at or below 53.5 degrees. 

Tom's vote. Note: he is the only one wearing a Farmer John today.

Heidi, Chris and Jonny at the Cal Poly Pier.
Tom was off the front in order to keep warm.
Amy and Sara took a shorter route back to the beach.

If you are interested in the water quality at SLO County beaches take a look at 
I'm the program coordinator for the local Surfrider Chapter's Blue Water Task Force program. My volunteers go out every Thursday morning and collect water samples from creeks and beaches that are tested for the presence of Enterococcus bacteria. Enterococcus is the EPA's lead indicator for the presence of human waste. Our results are posted about midday Friday at the web address I provided above.