Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday, February 23, 2020

February at Avila Beach has turned around and we are now enjoying the best of the best; seasonal water temperatures in the mid 50's, as opposed to the basement 50's, and unseasonably clear, warm and dry weather. Just don't mention the drought word.
Swimming today were Niel, Heidi, Duke, Tom, Phil, Teresa, Hillary and Dave with a special non-swimming visit from Chad Iiano, former Avila Dolphin and his 3 year old son, having come over from the valley to visit the beach.

 The plan today was to swim to the end of the pier, to the reef buoy on the east side of the pier, back to the end of the pier, to the 'buoy' at the mouth of the creek, back to the end of the pier and in.  The water temperature was 55.5 off of the pier. Heidi had 54 -55 in the water. There wasn't much surf but a steady wind had been blowing far offshore. There was no wind in Avila but we had a one foot wind chop out of the SW that would make each leg of our route today a different experience. 

This plot is what can happen when you fiddle with the GPS settings on 
your Garmin watch and select 1-second intervals instead of AUTO. 

Tom, Heidi, Teresa, Dave and Phil

Tom, Duke, Phil, Teresa and Hillary at the end of the Avila Pier for the first time.  

A overview of the water conditions: along the pier, bumpy but not too bad; to the reef buoy, a nice push; reef buoy to the end of the pier, directly into the chop, work but not messy; end of pier to the creek, across the chop but some help from the current. Got slapped around; creek to the end of the pier, the worst, across the chop and into the current.
Probably Teresa, Phil, Hillary, Tom and Duke at the reef buoy.
At this point Heidi, Tom and Duke peeled off and headed for home while the rest continued back to the end of the Avila Pier. 

Phil, Heidi, Hillary and Dave at the creek 'buoy'. Heidi had had come parallel to the beach from the reef buoy, under the pier and met up with us.

I got 1.3 miles but I'm not too sure with all of the wiggles in my plot. 


The Kiss The Whale Swim

Tom’s Kiss the Whale report: Saturday February 22, 2020

While the Nevadans were caucusing Tom Lorish and Niel Dilworth were setting out to complete the third jewel of Tom’s 2 ½ Milers – Kiss the Whale – Avila Beach open water swimming. 

As the last rain drops soaked into the beach, Lorish and Dilworth began their swim at about 9AM departing from the Old Port beach public boat ramp – the “dog beach” – heading straight to the mid-point of Whalers Rock.  Niel’s safety paddlers/ escorts were Jim & Sue in a tandem, and Gigi in her rental; Tom was escorted by paddlers, Bryan and Chris.

Once the rain, cleared, it transformed into a beautiful winter day on the Avila coast – scattered clouds, deep blue skies, and excellent swim conditions.  The water temp was somewhere between 55-57, with a mellow roll in places.  Upon arrival at Whalers, it became quite clear, no one would be kissing this part of the whale – Lorish made his mark on Whalers beach a bit west of the rock, Dilworth ventured to within four clam shells from the barnacle encrusted Whalers rock, and called it good. 

The swimmers concluded the swim at Fish Head beach, and were enjoying breakfast 27 minutes later at The Custom House. 

Dilworth used this swim as his fund-raising swim for the Food Bank – he raised and impressive $2,017 for our local SLO food bank.  Well done, Niel! 

A good day.  Special thanks to paddlers, Jim, Sue, Chris, Bryan, and Gigi. 

The get in. We had a contingent of the Sheriff's Dept. Ocean Rescue Team on hand. 

Winter in Avila Beach, NICE.

Sue, Kris (my wife, taking photos) and Jim almost ready to push off.

Our route.

Sue and Jim on the way to Whalers Rock 

Jim and Sue with Smith Rock


Tom, kissing the sand at Whaler's Beach

Niel, almost done.

Jim and Sue, Niel and Gigi
Thanks for the wright up Tom


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Offshore winds and warm temperatures in the 70's made Avila Beach a great place to be today. It was almost hot on the beach if you were out of the wind. I measured a surprising water temperature from the pier of an almost normal 54.5 degrees. 
Swimming today were Niel, Tom, Heidi, Maria, Duke and Gary. Gary swims with a group in Ventura Sunday mornings at 7. They go bareback and do two miles.  

The water felt warmer than it has but not exactly bammly.
The acclimation period was shorter.
That is Heidi Duke and Maria on their way to the end of the pier. 

Tom behind that stubborn drop of water.

At the end of the Avila Pier.
Tom, me, Duke and Heidi. 

That is Gary on the left in the photo

Gary and Tom over at  the Cal Poly Pier.

Maria and Heidi at the Cal Poly Pier

Me with Duke at the Poly Pier

Maria on the left and me on the right, trying to stay underwater with a wetsuit on.
Maria wound up doing a summersault.


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Avila was sunny and windy with an air temperature of 60 degrees and a water temperature of 52 off of the pier and 50 to 51 toe test temp. See the following voting.
The plan was to swim to the end of the pier, over to the reef buoy, OK as it was high tide, back to the end of pier and in for a mile swim.
First getting in were Niel, Tom, Phil, Duke, Stephanie and Heidi. Teresa caught up with us. John and Jonny got in later and did their own swim.

Seasonal Central Coast weather today. Not too bad for mid-February

Tom, Duke and Phil feeling the first freeze. 

Stephanie, Tom, Teresa, Phil and Duke at the end of the Avila Pier for the first time. 

Tom and Niel at the same spot. Nice clean but cold water. 

Swimmers caucusing about whether the water temperature was above 51.5
There were no problems with our software with this method.  

Tom's vote.
It took swimming the length of the pier for me to get past the first shock and settle in.
That is below 52 for me. 

I think that is Heidi and Duke already heading west at the buoy that marks the reef. 

Dave and Phil (?) at the buoy.

Back at the end of the Avila Pier.
Teresa, Dave, and ? talking to John and Jonny in the background.

The current weather pattern looks pretty stable so we may not see seasonal/warmer water temperatures until May. That wouldn't be ideal but we are growing accustomed to spring temperatures in the winter, but I'm trying to not be concerned about the prospect of water temperatures in the high 40's this spring.


Monday, February 3, 2020

Sunday, February 2, 2020

I was out of town so Heidi, Tom and John contributed to this Sunday's blog.

Some photos (looks like John is trying to feed Jonny a banana) and maps of our swim.  The close up view of the map shows our route climbing on the pier before taking the leap into the ocean.  Our group was John, Jonny, Stephanie, Maria, Heidi.  

The first group was Tom, David, Duke and Sue from London who was swimming bareback!  They swam out to a ship anchored about 1/2 mile ?  from the pier.  My watch read 52F in the water today.  Clear, cold, large swells.

Thanks for the coffee & hot chocolate & whipped cream, Maria!
Thanks for the touch o’ Jameson’s, John!

- Heidi

John, Maria, Heidi and Jonny

Tom’s Blog Report for Group One

It was a beautiful crisp day at Avila – wispy blown clouds mixed with deep blue skies. Perfect February day.  Swimming in group one today was Duke, Sue, David, and Tom.  There was a pretty big ship anchored out a ways beyond the Avila Pier.  Initially, I thought it was a coast guard cutter – It was not.  Whatever it was, it was fitted out with a lot of electronic gear (research, maybe) and had some robust cranes/ lifting moving power in the stern of the boat (deep crab cage fishing?) – whatever it was, it was named the Independence, we swam out to it. 

It was about 1300+ yards away from the our starting point, and looked to be about 200 yards further out to sea than the Cal Poly pier – see picture.  The bridge of this ship appeared to be easily more than 3 stories high from the water.  There was a nice swell, the water by my internal thermometer was 53-54.  We all agreed, the way back was work – it was pushing out to sea.  All in all it was a good day of ocean swimming!

Group two was Heidi, Maria, John & Jonny – their route appeared to go vertical and horizontal…