Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Today's posts are by Tom and Heidi.

Tom’s Blog for Sunday July 28th – Group One Report.

Beautiful day at Avila – sunny & clear, pleasantly warm, slight breeze – really nice.  As such, Avila would be packed by 1PM (well after our swim).  Cars looping the neighborhoods looking for the elusive parking space.  Nevertheless, it was a nice day.
Swimming in Group One was Leslie, Duke, Jeff, Heidi, and Tom.  The route started at our usual spot, #1 Bouy East.  From there we swam under the pier to #1 Bouy West, veered left and headed out the #3 Crossbeam of the CP Pier.  Then over the end of the Avila Pier and on to the #4 Bouy East and back to where we started.  I estimated this to be about 1.4 miles or so.  The water was the warmest it’s been this year – maybe hitting sixty.
Wildlife sightings: Two dolphins doing their thing just outside the Avila Pier, and three ring-necked phooies casually adrift, enjoying the day. 
Instead of swimming with us today, Niel was having fun (?) doing the SLO Tri (is anyone really having fun doing a Tri?).

Heidi's Blog for Sunday, July 28th -

Anne Marie did her own swim near the buoy line.  I began the swim with Tom, Leslie, Duke, Kiwi Jeff and Eric (the latter two bareback).  We swam to the first buoy on the east side of the pier, under the pier to the other first buoy, then off to the third cross bar on the Poly pier. Soon they were off in the distance, as I swam in “cruise mode”.  The water was about 60F, calm, somewhat clear.  It felt like a warm blanket compared with most of our chillier swims. Lovely.

When the group turned around at Poly pier, I turned around as well, into some mild chop, with Duke’s company to the end of Avila pier, then in to shore.  While at the end of Avila pier, we ran into John, Stephanie and Jonny.  There was apparently some kind of wetsuit / zipper debacle when they were gearing up for the swim and Jonny somehow managed to pull on a wetsuit with zipper closed…?  Would love to have seen that!

This was Kiwi Jeff’s last swim with us this summer, as he is heading back home, soon.  We look forward to your return and next swim with us, Jeff!


Marie and I did the SLO Tri today. This races was a pleasant morning workout for Marie and a slog for Niel. It was a beautiful day for the race. Your start time will determine what kind of an event your were participating in. The swim is in the city's pool so start times are spread out from 6:30AM to early afternoon. An early start time can get you cool and still conditions while by late morning it is often clear, warm to hot and with 15 to 20 MPH breeze paralleling the out and back bike route.  It was gray, cool and misty when I started at 7:30. I was wearing arm warmers and a shell vest on the ride and wiping the mist off of my glasses. Around 8:30 to 9 the fog burned off, it warmed up into the mid 80's and the wind came up. I was glad to be almost back in town at this point.
I'm looking forward to being back at Avila next Sunday.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sunday, July 21. 2019

A nice day at Avila today with the fog clearing early and 58 degree water. If the fog cleared early it means that the wind was up early so we would swim with a mixed chop and current out of the SE. There were 'absolutely stay out of the water' bad red tide conditions over near the port but the water in Avila looked clean and had just a bit of a bad taste, so we decided to jump in but to stay on the east side of the pier.
Niel, MaryAnne, Jeff and Leslie got in first. Mary Anne would do a short swim by herself along the buoy line. Niel. Leslie and Jeff would do one or two laps around the triangle. 
Heidi, Amy, John, Jeneane, Stephanie and Eric got in a bit later. 

I'd been sick earlier in the week so I did just one loop for .78 mile.

MaryAnne, Heidi, Leslie and Amy getting in.

Jeff, our annual summer guest from NZ

Jeff and Leslie at the last buoy on their first lap.

More from John about the Hampsey6 when it is available.


Sunday, July 21, 2019    Group Two - by John Hampsey
We started out as three—Eric swimming bare back, Stephanie, and myself. There was a catamaran anchored about halfway down the Avila Pier and in line with the second buoy. Since I can never resist swimming toward a boat, we headed for it... Eric and Stephanie sped past it and aimed for the end of Avila Pier. I lingered and yelled ahoy! There was no answer. Floating in the water, though, was an empty plastic peanut-butter jar. Figuring it came from the catamaran, I threw it up on board, then swam towards the end of the pier. After a few strokes, the jar splashed into the water next to me. Someone was on board the catamaran. I threw it back once more, and then swam like a demon...
At the end of the pier we ran into Heidi and Amy from Group One, and Janeane who had raced out to meet us from shore. We were now six. We decided to swim south-east to the fourth buoy, but the faster swimmers got tricked into swimming to the reef buoy instead, and kelp entanglements followed... Eventually, we corrected course, circled the fourth buoy, and headed back once more to the catamaran. We pivoted there and returned to shore. The water was choppy, and at times felt like we were surfing with our faces, especially heading into the wind. But swimming was a blast. It was a glorious day and we all felt an electric charge. Swim length—1.2 miles
--John Hampsey

Amy, Leslie, Niel and John. All wore their Avila Martini Swim hats Sunday. 

John's route map for Group 2

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Tom's Smith Rock Swim

Tom's Blog from Saturday July 20th:  Smith Rock Report

The Smith Rock swim.  Today’s swim went from our usual launch point, to the end of the Avila pier, out to the Cal Poly pier, and across to, and around Smith Rock, finishing at Fishhead Beach at the base of the Hartford pier – 2.3 miles.  See route below.   Niel and I last did this swim in April, 2016.  On that occasion the water was 51 degrees – very cold!  Today’s water temp was a more suitable 55-56.  The ocean was glassy calm with a solid marine layer above – classic summer time conditions.  My paddler Bryan and I completed the route in just over an hour – about 62 minutes.  It was good swim. 

Picture attached is: Fishhead beach with Smith and Whale Rocks in the background.  You can see how calm and glassy the water was. 

NOTE: The red funk is back in town.  FYI. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday,July 14th, 2019

Today's postare by Tom Lorish, Maria Taylor and John Hampsey :

Tom’s Blog for Sunday July 14th (aka Group One report).

It was a beautiful day at Avila – there was a nice breeze passing
through just outside the Avila pier.  The circling sail boats between
the Cal Poly and Avila piers was taking full advantage.
This breeze caused a nice chop in the water to go along with the
occasion bumps from the small swell. There was some lingering
fog hovering over fossil point, otherwise blues skies.

Swimming today in Group One was NZ Jeff, Phil, Teresa & Tom.
Group Two, the Hampsey Trio (not to be mistaken for the
Hampsey 5), was Amy, Maria & John.  Ann Marie did her own thing.
The water temp was what it was – who am I to label the ocean
with a silly sapiens contrived measuring convention?
I’m not doing it. 
Group One swam the “Southern Arrow” route – see June 9th
2019 post for map. It was about 1.5 miles despite Phil’s watch
telling him it was 2 miles.  Jeff was swimming particularly fast
today due to his adrenaline rush from NZ making it to the World Cup
Cricket grand finals (they ended up losing to England on some
kind of obscure ruling in the case of a draw!?). 

Group One converged at one point with the Hampsey Trio –
1st Buoy, Westside. We had a few puffs from the peace pipe, and
continued on our separate routes. Group two swam a route
of their choice.

Maria - 
The latecomers were in the water second, again today.
John, Amy and I regrouped near the ladder on the way out to the end of the pier.  On impulse I decided to take the leap. Scaled the ladder was easy with the higher water. I was a little wobbly easing out onto the pier plank and knees a little shaky, I sent out an affirmation to your Father-in-law and to our Mum’s. Seemed like a fitting tribute. Jane, Amy’s Mom, has been gone one year, nearly to the day. 


John - 
Sunday July 14, 2019  

Group Two--Maria, Amy, and myself. Our swim was mystical and adventurous.
It involved Maria's magnificent and sublime jumping off the end of the pier, dedicated 
to our mothers, and Niel's father-in-law, who have passed into another realm... and
 Amy's hailing ahoy! to an anchored motor boat and turning down their offer for 
a bloody mary... and me chatting with some paddle boarders who boarded an 
anchored sailboat because they thought it was their friend's boat, until they discovered 
it wasn't. But it didn't seem to matter to the men, who prepared to use the surfboards 
stored upon the sailboat. The boat had no name.
Water--57 degrees. Distance--one mile.
We all felt gratitude for our swim, the vibes, and the gorgeous day.
--John Hampsey

NOTE: Congrats to Teresa who was just back from her Santa
Barbara six miler – after being not sure she was going to swim
it at all, she ended up doing it, and came third in the women
category!  Well done to her.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

Today's post is a mash up of blogs by Tom Lorish and John Hampsey and a plot of one of the routes from Duke.

Blog from Tom. Sunday July 7th, 2019.    

There was thick marine layer covering Avila today.  Air and water temp must have been pretty close to the same, with the air maybe a bit warmer.  The water felt 56ish today, but it may have been a degree or two warmer as I tend to feel it a bit colder than it is.  Swimming was Geoff, our NZ friend (back for his annual holidays), Duke, and Tom.  That was the first group.  The second group was the Hampsey 5 (Heidi, Maria, Stephanie, Jonny, and John). 

Duke, Geoff, and I swam out to the end of the Avila pier over to the third crossbeam of the Cal Poly pier and returned by route of choice.  The Hampsey 5 did a route of their choice.  I did happen to see the Hampsey 5 at one point: they were gathered on the port side of a sailing boat as I was returning from the Cal Poly pier.  It appeared, and this is sheer speculation, that the folks on the boat were throwing food scraps out to the swimmers.  As I say, that’s just what it looked like to me – maybe the water was colder than I thought! 😊

Pete was there and did his own thing. It was good to see Geoff again, and am looking forward to swimming with him for the next few weeks. 

Sunday, July 7th, 2019
The day was cloudy and grey. Air temp 64. Water temp colder than last week, between 54 and 55 degrees. The Avila Dolphins went out in three groups. Group one--Duke and Tom and Kiwi Jeff-- swam to the end of Avila Pier, over to the Cal Poly Pier, and back to Avila Pier and to shore. Group three--Ann Marie and Pete--swam to the first and second buoys and then back to shore. Group two--Jonny, Heidi, Maria, Stephanie and I--entered at low tide, made our way thru some fairly large waves, and out to the end of Avila Pier. Half-way, we passed an unidentified dark mammalian object floating between the pilings. After re-grouping at the end of the pier, we decided to swim north to a sailboat anchored about ½ mile away, between the creek and the Cal Poly Pier. Upon arrival I asked for permission to board. When refused, I told them we were from the FDA. One of them was Dutch and one from Morro Bay. A third, a seafaring old gent at the stern, declared—“Prepare to repel the boarders. Throw out the chum.” After actually seeing the bloody chum in his hands, we departed with a ballyhoo and a wave, and made our way to the fourth buoy by the creek mouth. We performed a short mesmeric Buddha float, then returned back to Avila Pier, under it, and down the buoy line toward Fossil Point before returning to the beach. Distance – 1.2 miles. After showering and changing, group two shared coffee and home-grown peaches and plums. At 1:11pm, the grey clouds frittered away and a brilliant sun appeared. For the next hour, all seemed right in the world.

--John Hampsey

The Hampsey 5
Jonny, John, Heidi, Maria and Stephanie with Duke in the background