Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A familiar June morning in Avila Beach: thick gray overcast and some surface fog, calm but a hint of wind in the next few hours, flat seas but some ripples starting and a the third day of colder water temperatures, something like 57 today.
Hillary, Tom, Niel, and Stefanie sway today. Stefanie has been dying to get back in the water, found this blog and decided the ocean was for her.

Hillary and Stefanie.
WOW, Hillary got a new wetsuit, a Orca Openwater SW. The orange arms are very visible in the water and it has a built in ring at the base of the spine where you can attach a pull toy.

We did triangles again. Tom reversed course for his second lap. Hillary and Niel kept the same direction. For her first ocean swim Stefane did a lap and a quarter.

Tom and Hillary at the first buoy. 

Hillary at the end of the Avila Pier.

Niel and Stefanie at the end of the Avila Pier

Hillary, Stefanie and Tom at the 4th buoy at the creek mouth. 

Niel and Hillary at the end of the Avila Pier for the third time.

We will swim again on Thursday at 9. Probably swim on Friday and give the beach over to the crowds on Saturday and Sunday.


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday, June 28, 2020

For Sunday Niel, Leslie and Tom swam a short course today. The water was a degree or two colder than the past few days at about 58 degrees, there was thick overcast and a chop was already building up when we got in at 9:30.  We swam  what Tom calls the Fortune Cookie, out to the end of the pier, to the last buoy on one end of the line, around and back to the end of the pier. The route comes out to 1.4 miles.  

Tom and Leslie at the start.
The surface was pretty glassy at this point. 

Tom, Leslie and Niel.

Niel, Leslie's foot and Tom at the last buoy near the creek mouth before heading back to the end of the pier. The water was getting messy, not bad swimming conditions, but not looking good for later in the day.

Tom and I and whoever else can join us will swim at 9 on Tuesday. 


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Saturday morning at 9:30, Niel Tom and Teresa, gray overcast, flat and glassy water but some wing coming up and a water temperature of about 60 degrees. The sharky signs were down but we stuck to the buoy line. We split up ans swam out own pace. I did 2-1/2 laps for just over two miles.

Teresa and Tom getting in.
Niel getting in.

This pool has lanes that are almost a half mile long.

Teresa and Tom at our first stop at the creek.

The power boat is the harbor patrol. 
I don't know if they were checking on us or looking for more big fish.

I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing swim tomorrow. 


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Sharky Thursday, June 25, 2020

It was overcast, gray, calm, flat and glassy this morning.  

And a very low tide. Usually, you will swim over those rocks to the right of Avila Rock. 

Tom and Teresa getting in. 
We have moved into summer conditions; warm water (way to show us up Teresa), about 60 degrees today, gray morning skies, maybe even spitting, opaque water and all of the food chain showing up, including the landlord.
On Tuesday when Hillary and I were out near the end of the Cal Poly Pier, some life guards on SUP's not far from us were following a 10' great white shark. We learned this after we got out. The beach is now posted for 5 days with a caution to "Avoid Contact With Marine Life". That sounds like a good idea. 
For lack of a better swim plan we decided to stay more or less along the buoy line today.

We split up with each of us finding our own parth back and forth along the buoys.
This is at the forth buoy on the left (east) side of the Avila Pier. 
That's Tom and the little green marble over his left shoulder is Teresa's buoy.   

Looking back to the Avila Pier.
No swell, current, chop, wind or big fish, and warm water. 

I did two and a half lengths of the buoy line.

Our next swim will be Saturday morning at 9:30.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tuesday looked the same as All four days we swam last week, overcast skies, calm and a glassy surface on the water. The big question was had the water temperature popped up? After a week of water temperatures in the lower half of the 50's the NOAA station over at the port was reporting 59.7 this morning. Could it have finally transitioned from springtime to summer water temperatures? 

Tom's plan was to swim out to the end of the pier and them do a counterclockwise triangle, which would be good enough for his first day back. The rest of us would add whatever additional distance seemed right.  
Tom, Teresa and Hillary.
Tom was out all of last week with what he claimed was lower back trouble but he may just have been embarrassed to show up without his own pull toy.
He says that he is just not ready to go there yet.

Niel and Hillary at the end of the Avila Pier.
After the near thing with two jet skis Sunday I decided to pull out my own visibility buoy. 

Niel and Tom at the end of the Avila Pier
The water temperature was feeling like 55 to 57 degrees.

Niel, Tom and Teresa at the 4th buoy east of the Avila Pier.
We'd swim from here to the opposite end of the buoy line
 at the mouth of San Luis Obispo Creek. 

Hillary was waiting for me when I arrived at the end of the buoy line.
Tom and Teresa had already left for the end of the Avila Pier.
I thought that we might run into them on our way back but we didn't.

Hillary and I decided to take a detour around an anchored
sailboat on our way to the end of the Avila Pier.

Once at the sailboat we decided to go over to the second set of crossbars on the CP Pier and swim to the third set before returning.
The water was warmer at the CP Pier and felt so comfortable we decided to swim to the end of the pier.

At the end of the CP Pier I think the water temp was 58+ and still glassy.
It was getting sunny at this point which was nice.

This is Hillary and her armada pulling up with me at the end of the Avila Pier.
This was a great swim. We were in the water for 1:28, covered almost two and a half miles and were still comfortable. 

When we got out the wind was picking up and clouds were coming back in so we swam at the right time.

The next toes in will be Thursday morning at 9.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Niel, Hillary and Teresa took an easy cruise around the triangle today. I enjoyed going short, Hillary's shoulder didn't act up and Teresa stayed in and did double our distance. Conditions were the same as yesterday, dense overcast but no fog, calm with flat water and a water temperature of 53. 
From the end of the Avila Pier to the creek mouth we took a small detour between two anchored sailboats and had a couple of personal watercraft come too close for comfort at a high rate of speed. Jerks.   

The next swim will be Tuesday morning at 9.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Saturday, June 20,2020

David, Niel and Teresa in the water at 9:30. Thick gray overcast but no fog. Calm seas and a flat surface. I had an ice cream headache until we reached the 4th buoy at the creek and my hands and feet were always cold so I put the water temperature at 53. Teresa and David agreed. Beautiful swimming conditions except for the water temperature. 
From the fourth buoy we swam over to the second set of crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, to the end of the CP Pier, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the fourth buoy on the east side of the Avila Pier and back along the buoy line to the start for just short of a full 2 miles.   


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Swimming In The Fog

Dense fog in Avila Beach this morning. I couldn't see the buoy line from the shore. The default swim for these conditions is to swim along the line of four buoys that are on each side of the pier, navigating from buoy to buoy.  If you get totally closed out you can swim in the direction of the surf to the beach. If it clears then more options become available.
Tom and Hillary are on the disabled list with muscle spasms in Tom's back and a sore shoulder for Hillary. Teresa and I stuck to the buoys for 2 - 1/2 laps for 2.25 miles. There was no wind and the water was flat except for a increasing swell. I'd estimate the water temperature on the east side of the pier at 54 and on the west side it was one to two degrees colder. The temperature change was strongly segregated which was unusual. Going from east to west the water temperature dropped as soon as you were under the pier and stayed that temperature to the end of the buoy line near the creek and then popped back up as you came out from under the pier on the way back. 

The next swim will be at 9:30 on Saturday.


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

There was a 600 acre brush fire near Avila in Shell Beach that began yesterday evening and had closed northbound 101 but it was knocked down enough this morning that we could get to Avila Beach without a problem. I couldn't see any smoke of other signs of the fire from the beach. 
Teresa, Niel, Hillary and Tom swam at 9 AM. Conditions were pretty flat with a bit of a swell coming from the SW. We did a simple two laps around the big triangle, reversing direction after the first to give the route more variation. The chill in my hands and the brain freeze I was feeling while swimming out along the pier put my personal water temperature thermometer at 53 degrees. We all had a nice swim. Teresa did an extra lap of the east buoy line and Hillary got out after one lap. She has spent too much time throwing a ball over the weekend and her shoulder was being grumpy. 

Teresa, Tom and Hillary.
Why is Tom the only one without a pull toy? 

Unplanned Equipment Upgrade - The above was the last of the pictures for a bit because I killed my camera today. After the last picture download I had not secured the door over the USB ports properly and I now know what a Ricoh waterproof camera looks like after it has been filled with salt water. I put the camera in the warming drawer of our oven to see if I could dry it out, which it did, but the effect of the salt water was terminal. I didn't think of immersing it in clean water before drying it out. I don't think it would have saved the camera.
I did find the newest model on line for $100 less than I had paid for this one so I'm upgrading.
The 'film' on the inside of the lense is salt scum. 

Dried salt in the battery compartment and memory card slot.



Sunday, June 14, 2020

Easy Sunday, June 14, 2020

After yesterday's swim Tom and I were looking for a nice relaxing route that would let us relax and stretch the kinks out. Leslie was with us and would go a bit farther as she had missed yesterday's swim. I could just feel the wind picking up but it was not to the level it was at this time yesterday, the water looked nice and flat. Tom suggested that we go to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the second crossbars at the CP Pier, swim along the pier to the third crossbars and come back to the Avila Pier.  

Tom and Leslie getting in. The water was colder than yesterday at about 55 to 57 in spots.  

Leslie, Tom and Niel at the end of the Avila Pier. 
I cannot explain what we are doing.

Over at the second set of crossbars on the CP Pier.
Tom, a peek at Leslie and Niel. 
To swim to the third crossbars we crossed under the pier and swam along the west side just to have a different view than usual.
Leslie finished with a lap of the east side of the buoy line making her swim closer to two miles. 

We'll swim again Tuesday morning at 9.


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Wind, Chop, Current, Kelp and a Rock - 

Tom, Niel and Hillary swam around Avila Rock this morning, we were in the water at 9:30. The wind had begun early and there already was a strong current and 1 to 2 foot chop coming out of the SW or from the lower left hand corner of the plot of our route. 

We got to experience the conditions three different ways, over the right shoulder on the way to the rock, over the left shoulder on the way back and straight into a diminished chop but strong current for the last leg back along the buoy line.  
Tom and Niel thought that the swim from the rock back to the 4th buoy was the toughest. hillary opted for the leg along the buoy line. 
Tom getting in. Avila Rock is that way. 

Hillary and her flotilla getting in.  The ducky is a child's bathtub thermometer which read 59 degrees today, but the feathers make it read warmer. We agreed on 57.  

Tom and Hillary at the end of the Avila Pier.

This is a view of Avila Rock looking north. There are kelp beds around the rock that flatten out the ocean's surface, but once we cleared them heading back it was back into the washing machine. .   

Hillalry at the rock. The yellow line is my tow rope for my water bottle, the white floaty thing near Hillary's flotilla. 
Yes the line if much longer than necessary. I've never bothered to shorten it. 

Niel and Hillary glad to be back at the 4th buoy and heading to the finish. 

If you look carefully at the plot you can see the directly western line Hillary and I took after we rounded the rock and cleared the kelp. We were thinking that we would return to the end of the Avila Pier but were getting so beat up swimming directly into the current and chop that we altered course and headed for the buoy line. The chop was about 2 foot and I thought that swimming into it was like running uphill and getting hit on the head with a Wiffle bat every 2 seconds. 

Tom and Niel are going to swim tomorrow morning at 9:30.