Sunday, April 29, 2018

We had full spring conditions today at Avila Beach; sunny with a few fleecy clouds, a light wind at 10:30 that would steadily build to really blowing, moderate surf in 4 to 5 wave sets with long flat breaks in between and very clear and cold water. I measured a water temperature of 52 degrees in the surf line with what felt like a 2 to 3 degree drop beyond the breakers.  49 or 50 degrees is about as cold a water temperature that I have measured at Avila Beach. 

Swimming today were John, Jonny, Maria, Pete, Tom, Niel, Duke, Ivana and Heidi. Maria and Pete had been pacers in this mornings SLO 1/2 marathon and Ivana was part of a four runner relay sponsored by Jamba Juice, so she rain in a banana costume.

The plan was to swim the buoy line to the east, go to the end of the pier and then, depending on water temperature and wind, swim either to the Cal Poly Pier or to the west end of the buoy line, before returning to our starting point. At the end of the pier everyone was numb enough to choose the shorter route. I had 1.22 miles. I don't know why I have a crazy dance in the plot on the west side of the pier.

Maria brought her waterproof camera and Jonny took today's pictures

It was warm on the beach. 
Tom, Duke, Heidi and John about to get very cooled off.

Duke and John at the east end of the buoy line 
with Avila Pier in the background

John on his way to the end of the Avila Pier.
Niel and Heidi at the east end of the buoy line

Maria at the end of the pier.

Pete at the end of the Avila Pier

Pete and swimmers heading towards the west end of 
the buoy line at the mouth of SLO Creek. 

The whole group on the same heading.

The wind continued to strengthen rapidly and by the time we were dry and settled on the beach whitecaps had formed and come in to the end of the Avila Pier and within another half hour they were in to the surf line.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Sunday, April 22, 2018

We had a beautiful day for a swim. Avila was warm and sunny with no wind. The surf was small and the water was 52 degrees. Today's crew consisted of NIel, Heidi, Tom, Matti, Chris, Karen, Irana, Amy, John, Jonny, Lee and Maria. 
The route was to swim east down the buoy line, to the end of the Avila Pier, over and around an anchored sailboat, back to the end of the pier and in along the pier.  There were at least three variations by the individual groups.  I pretty much did the planned swim and covered 1.2 miles.

Sadly, my Richo WG-20 waterproof camera that has served faithfully for many years has succumbed to its continual immersion in salt water, so there won't be any photos for the blog until I have sourced a replacement.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday, April 15, 2018

We had springlike conditions today at Avila Beach. It was gray with clearing overcast, cool, no wind, 2' to 3' waves with clear and cold water. The water temperature was 50 to 52 degrees and the swimming conditions were excellent.  Swimming were regulars Niel, Jonny, Karen and Duke who were joined by Tom and Sue whe we haven't seen in a while and we were joined by Matti and Ivana. Matti is a strong swimmer but this was her first swim with us and Ivana's first ocean swim ever. The buoys are in. All eight have been replaced with new ones that are easier to see.
The plan was to swim the buoy line but immediately broke up into 3.5 different swims; Niel, Jonny and Karen did the swim in the plot. Duke and Ivana went down a few buoys and back but spent a half hour in the water getting used to this ocean thing.  Tom, Matti and Sue (the fastest swimmers) also followed the route in the plot but at the end of the pier Tom and Matti went to the last buoy at the creek and back to the start while Sue (with no wetsuit) swam over to the Cal Poly Pier and back to the start on her own. The extra time in the water was not an issue for her. Sue lives in London and drops in with us when she is here visiting her son. She swims in the Long Water in Hyde Park year round and admittedly stops getting in when the water drops below 7°C, which is 44.6°F. She thought today's conditions were 'lovely'.

Qualifications for the lifeguards were underway.

That is Matti and Karen at the first buoy with Jonny, 
Tom, Duke, Ivana and Sue in the background

Jonny, Karen, Duke, Ivana and Matti at the first buoy.


Karen back at the start

Jonny back at the start


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Today's conditions were offshore breezes, a very low tide at 12:10 2 to 4' surf and clean and cold water. I measured 54 degrees in the knee deep water from where I can stand on the pier. Out past the surf line it felt like 52ish.
In the water today were Niel, John, Jonny, Amy, Heidi and Haley. Haley is a college swimmer who joined us today for her first ocean immersion prior to a Alcatraz swim with five friends.  She was smiling when we got out.
We swam out, turned east and swam parallel to the beach to the end of the sea wall. Swam to the end of the pier and over a reef we don't usually notice. The tide was low enough that we found ourselves in the kelp and almost grounding on the rocks. The reef is visible in the route map, it's the dark spot near the start of the leg towards the end of the pier. From the end of the pier we swam back around an anchored sailboat (in the top photo), around the boat and to the beach for a nice mile plus.
Amy, grouping up at the start

along with Heidi, 


Haley and


Haley, Heidi and John at the end of the Avila Pier.

Duke rode by and we spoke for a bit. He took a tumble and cracked a rib so he is not swimming for a while.  Dude, be safe with those peddlers and keep  shiny side up, rubber side down.

John, Amy and Heidi will be out of town next weekend. Jonny and I will be swimming with anyone else who cares to join us.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sunday April First, 2018

Avila Beach was trying to clear off the overcast when we were getting in the water. The water temperature was 52 to 54, flat, with no wind and 2+ foot surf. 
Duke, Sue (mom of) Sam & Sydney, Karen, Heidi, Maria, Amy, John and Jonny 
and Niel behind the camera
 Everyone swam out, under the pier and down to the mouth of the creek. John, Jonny, Sydney and Amy swam to the end of the Avila Pier, to where the last buoy would be on the east side of the pier and back parallel to the beach.  Niel, Duke, Karen, Heidi and Maria swam over to the Cal Poly Pier and back. Both groups covered a little over a mile. 

John, Jonny, Duke, Sydney, Karen, Amy, Maria and Heidi 
at the mouth of the creek. 

Maria, Karen, Heidi (and Niel) listening to Duke about his getting smoked by Sydney.
Duke you may have been a waterpolo star, but your mustache is white and she is 16.
You are going to have to get used to this.

When the other group was at the end of the Avila Pier John thought that he felt something swim across his feet. He yelled to the ocean that he was not an hors d'oeuvre!
Jonny was inspired to composed the following limerick:

An english professor named John,
Went for an ocean swim a mile long,
He said "I may have some nerve,
But I'm not an hors d'oeuvre", 
And then in one bite he was .........