Thursday, April 30, 2020

Tom, Niel and Phil's Farewell Swim That Wasn't - 30 April 20

The news hit the inter web Wednesday night that on the Thursday Governor Newsom would announce the closure of all beaches in California on Friday.  Sad new for swimmers but not entirely unexpected given what I had seen locally and on the news. 

Tom proposed marking the occasion of our last swim by doing a 2 mile route.

It was beautiful at Avila Thursday morning. We planned to get in at 9:30. There was a gusty offshore wind so the chop was worse the farther you were off of the beach. I'd guess the water temperature was 54 - 55; a bit chilly getting in but tolerable after the first 1/4 mile.

Tom's proposed route was a pretty complete tour of Avila Beach swimming spots and a lot more interesting than two laps of the buoy line. Out and over to the third crossmembers on the Cal Poly Pier, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the 4th (last) buoy at the creek mouth, down the length of the buoy line to the 4th buoy on east of the pier, back to the end of the Avila Pier a second time and in to the beach. I had 3432M or 2.13 miles when I stood up.  

Tom getting a toe test

You saw what out there?


Phil and Tom at the first stop, the first buoy on the right of the Avila Pier.  

Second stop. Phil and Tom at the third set of crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier.

Third stop. Tom and Niel at the end of the Avila Pier.
Tom is on the phone and pointing at something.

From here we split up. Tom went off the front, I followed. He and I swam the same route. Phil did something similar, not sure just what.

BUT, as of Thursday afternoon the Governor has decided to close just the beaches in Orange County. I'm hoping we continue to use the beach and ocean wisely and safely and continue to be able to enjoy this wonderful resource.

I'll be getting in the water on Sunday at 11. Hope to see you in the water.


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday, April 26, 2020

If you saw my post yesterday on the Central Coast Open Water Google Group you'll not know that my weather predicting skills will not make me a threat to John Lindsey.
Instead of 80+ degrees and very cold water Avila Beach had thin, high overcast, an air temperature of 70 degrees and a water temperature of 54 ish. There was no wind and the water was flat.
Tom got in early at 10:15 and swam the fortune cookie route which is about 2800M.
David saw him getting out as we were getting in, so he swam for 45 minutes. 

Niel, Teresa and David were joined by Matt (I think that's his name) at the get in and we connected with Stephanie near the end of the Avila Pier. We saw Jonny on the beach. He was going to wait for a friend before getting in. 

Our route was out to the first buoy on the left side of the pier, east to the last buoy on the left, Matt who was swimming bareback, went back at this point, to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier and back to our starting point at the Avila Pier. 

Matt, you left your cap and goggles at the showers. I'll bring them to the beach with me or you can post a comment to this post to let me know what you want me to do.

Teresa, Matt and David getting in.

Matt, Teresa and David at the end of the buoy line. 

Teresa, Stephanie and David at the end of the Avila Pier.

Teresa and David at the Cal Poly Pier

Stephanie at the same location.
The plot quick 3/4's of the way to the Cal Poly Pier 
but came up with a time that was about right. 


And this from John Hampsey:

Amy and I swam Avila around 3:45 Sunday afternoon... we left our bags by Blake's lifeguard stand and told him our swim route-- leg one out to end of the pier, and then prob over to fossil point and back in on buoy line. water was significantly warmer than last Thurs! we guessed 56 or 57, and clear, and beautiful... which earned us a deep conscious and unconscious Buddha float out by the reef buoy... Blake the lifeguard was very frustrated trying to keep the people from congregating in large groups on the beach without any social distancing, and it was a losing battle that we were disappointed to withness--so many clueless people ignoring the beach rule and ultimately jeopardizing the situation we have now-- still being able to swim. Indeed, because of so many uncool people flouting the rules, the beach and water access at Avila could be shut down entirely. we shall see....
but our swim was glorious and filled with adventure... halfway to end of pier the we watched harbor patrol inflatable motor boat race like a rocket from Avila Beach over to Pismo Beach, in he aftermath we spotted the snouts of two seals bobbing in the water directly in our path from end of pier to fossil point. As you all know, seals are never a good sign, so we ditched our plan and swam under the pier and toward the creek mouth, but halfway there we spotted a bait ball in the making--hundreds of birds ready to spin an aviary whirling darvish, so we back-tracked under the pier and swam the buoy line nearly to the end, and then back to the beach .... swim length about .9 mile.
experience-- exhilerationg with hints of vision, and best B Float in weeks ....
we plan to swim avila again this thursday around 3, if beach is still open.
peace and best wishes to all
--John Hampsey

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday, April 19, 2020 Covid-19 Swimming

Swimming in COVID-19 Conditions - 

This week the Harbor Commission imposed additional conditions on the use of Avila, Olde Port and Fishermen's Beaches.  No loitering is allowed. Walking and swimming (!) thankfully are allowed. This means no towels, beach chairs, coolers or any kind of setup is allowed on the beach. So, we can still swim but not hang out together before or after swimming.

Earlier in the week Tom proposed that we swim a new route today. Tom wanted to get in at 10:30 instead of our traditional 11 o'clock. I was able to get there earlier and we managed to met in the wash. The route we would swim Tom called the PingPong Route; in the water on the left side of the Avila Pier and out to where the first buoy is in the summer, under the pier and to the third set of crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, over to the end of the Avila Pier, back to the second set of crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier and over to the first buoy on the right side of the Avila Pier, under the pier and in. Tom had estimated this as a 1.7 mile route.  When I stood up in the shallows I had 3,140M on the clock.  A nice swim Tom!
I'd estimate the water temperature at 55 degrees, it was sunny when we got in with a SE breeze and a good chop and current pushing in from that direction. The water was nice and clean. I could see the reflection of the sunlight off of the bottom in 20 feet of water. 

Me with Tom in the background at the start at the Avila Pier

Me and part of Tom at the third set of cross bars along the Cal Poly Pier.
We had a current and a face slapping chop on our left shoulder on the way here. 

At the end of the Avila Pier. 
Tom and I had connected up with David who is in the background.
The current and chop was on the right on this leg but coming at more of an angle towards my head. I thought the first leg was harder. Tom voted for this one.   

Me at the second set of cross bars along the Cal Poly Pier. Tom was getting cold and didn't wait for me catch up. David is out of the picture to the right.
The chop and current was coming from behind between my left hip and feet.
This was the easiest leg. 

I'm back at the right side of the Avila Pier.
Chop and current the opposite of the first leg but laid down as 
I swam into the shadow of the Avila Pier.

John, Jonny and Brian were also out there around the time we were. 

We'll be swimming Tuesday and Thursday mornings, trying to get in between 9 and 10 before the wind comes up and back to 11 o'clock on next Sunday.

Thank you Jef Mallett for creating Frazz and drawing attention to the silliness of how we have fun.
The big pool has no lane lines or turns.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Sunday Swim, No Bunny

Looking towards Pismo Beach before we got in. 

The Easter Sunday swim began with overcast and lite drizzle making it pretty cool on the beach. I estimated the water temperature at 53 to 54. The water looked brownish in places but I could not tell if it was silt in the water or reflections of the clouds. There was a small wind chop coming from the SSE.
There were several other groups of swimmers in the water while we were there. Today we had Niel, Tom, Teresa, Phil, Hillary and Jonny. Between us we managed to do four different swims. Tom got in early by himself and swam the Avila Triangle clockwise. At 11 Phil and Teresa headed to the end of the pier, down to Fossil Point, back to the pier and around some more for a total of 2 miles. Niel, Jonny and HIllary followed Tom's route. Heading from the end of the Avila Pier to the creek mouth the water became silty and a bit stinky so Hillary turned back to the end of the pier while Niel and Jonny swam along the beach and finished the triangle for a mile. From the end of the Avila Pier HIllary doubled back along our route out, did some drills and was the last swimmer out of the water.  

Jonny coming out along the Avila Pier.

Hillary arriving at the same spot

Same spot. Hillary looking towards the chop was coming from.

Niel at the end of the beach and the first leg of the triangle.
Hillary and the SS Avila Dolphin with Jonny at the end of the Avila Pier. 

Tom left his water temperature estimate on the beach. 
I'd agree. With no sunshine to help I never got warmed up today. 

Afterwards we had less gray and almost some sun.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Saturday April 4, 2020

Rain is predicted for Saturday night and Sunday so Tom, Teresa and Niel swam today at 11.
It was cool, sunny and pleasant on the beach but the water was 53 degrees and felt colder.
Tom and Niel swam over to the mouth of the creek, to the second crossbars on the Poly Pier, back to the end of the Avila Pier and in. Teresa hadn't arrived when Tom and Niel got in but Tom crossed routes with her at the end of the Avila Pier. Teresa was on her way to the end of the Cal Poly Pier.

Not a raven but this pelican seemed to be commenting on what we were doing in the water. 

Tom before we crossed under the pier and headed to the creek mouth. It was cold enough that we didn't dawdle during the rest of the swim for photo ops.

We swam 1.2 miles.

I'll need to watch the rainfall in the coming week to see when we should next swim.