Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Pictorial Report on Today's Water Conditions 
A water temperature of 57 that felt colder.

It was just me at 9, Tom was planning on getting in at about 9:15. 
Since Tuesday I've been nursing an injured shoulder. 
It felt OK but I decided to go short and easy.  

Tom and I crossed paths at the first buoy on the west side of the pier. 

I didn't see this until I was out of the water.
I spoke to a lifeguard and learned that there was a credible 
sighting of a 10 foot Great White Shark Wednesday afternoon.
I wonder if this is the same one that was seen over near the CP Pier about three or four weeks ago.

My shoulder felt OK before I got in but was not happy about me swimming today, so, I'm going to do what I know will work. I'll be riding instead of swimming in the mornings for the next two weeks and then should be good to be back in the water.

Tom, Teresa, I'll post whatever swim reports you can send to me. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tuesday, July 28,2020

Today Tom swam his Fortune Cookie Route and Teresa joined him after doing a lap of the buoy line. I made it for the first 5 strokes and then had to turn around and sit this one out. My shoulder had felt tight when I was getting into my wetsuit and then kind'a popped, or something. Anyway, it felt just a bit painful but really didn't like the motion of of pulling my hand forward. So I'm icing it and hoping for a quick recovery. 
Avila was back to being overcase and cool with a flat and glassy ocean and a water temperature of 57 degrees.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sunday, July 26, 2020

We had a nice change in the weather today, the sun came out just as we began swimming. The fog moved off because the wind picked up earlier than it has been so today was also the end of our glassy surface conditions. The water temperature was 14.5°C/58°F. Swimming were Brittany and Niel and I met Kim in the surfline as I was getting out. She will be joining us this coming week. Brittany and I agreed to do the triangle counterclockwise, once for her and twice for me. With the wind and chop coming up not going clockwise was a good choice as doing this route clockwise puts the longest legs into the wind and chop, and neither of us felt like doing the additional work.

Me on the second lap at the 4th buoy on the east side of the Avila Pier. From here I needed to swim down the buoy line to the first buoy at the pier, round the buoy and swim to the beach. 
Do I look tired to you? I hope so because I pulled off a personal first and I'm looking for a excuse. I managed to hit the first buoy with my head. I've grazed them with my hand before this but never made a direct hit. I spotted the buoy from about 20M and angled to pass it on the left, swing around it and head to the beach. I'm saying that the current pushed me into it.   

Our next swim will be Tuesday morning at 9:00.

Thank you Jef Mallett for seeing the humor in the triathlon brain. 


Saturday, July 25, 2020

The same weather and swimming conditions and a nice group this morning, including some familiar faces that I haven't seen in a while.
Tom, Niel, Teresa, David, Maria (welcome back!) and Brittany swam this morning. The sky was grey, water was flat and the water temperature was back up to 15°C/59°F after falling to 56 - 57 on Thursday. There were some colder spots that were down a degree or two.
Our route was the same as Thursdays, two triangles, except that we started counterclockwise, with the same plot. 

Maria, Teresa and David wading in.

Maria, Teresa and David doing the otter float at the end of the Avila Pier.

That is Teresa and David. They swam both triangles in the same direction and Maria and Niel reversed direction for the second one, so we passed each other on the leg between the 4th buoy on the east and the end of the Avila Pier. 

I'll be back at 9:30 tomorrow for an easy(er) Sunday swim.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Thursday, July 23, 2020

It was just me this morning, Tom's back is out, Hillary is still in the Sierras and Teresa may be working on her theseus, or surfing.  Conditions were the same as the past two weeks with gray skies, no wind and a flat and glassy surface except the water temperature had taken a dive to 13.5 - 14°C/57°.
I swam a clockwise and then a counterclockwise triangle for 3308M.

Route map by Garmin:

Selfie on my first stop at the end of the Avila Pier.

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


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Tuesday, July 21,2020

Alternate Venues, Swim Where You Are

Tom is having trouble with his back and I'm out of town so no one from our group may have swum today except for Hillary. She is backing in the Sierras and doing some swimming and sent this report;

I'm spending this week swimming in June Lake. The official water temp
is 68°F, visibility is to the bottom, and there is no wildlife (except
for the tourists that show up around 11am - just like Avila). It is
essentially a 1 mile long swimming pool! I highly recommend June Lake
for swimming. It is, hands down, an epic place to swim.



Saturday, July 18, 2020

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Today was more of the excellent swimming conditions that we have had for the past week; gray skies and cool temperatures early in the morning but no wind, flat and glassy water and a water temperature of 15°C/59°F.
Niel, Cyril, Tom and Teresa swam out the buoy line and over to the Cal Poly Pier. Brittany swam the buoy line.   

Teresa at the start


Teresa, Tom and Cyril at the 4th buoy on the east side.
I'm way slower than that group so this is the last time we were together.

At the third crossbeam on the CP Pier.
The ocean doesn't get much flatter than this. 
The third crossbars looking towards the ocean end of the pier from under the pier.

It is not true that we do not have lane lines on our ocean swims.
I swam from the third to second cross bars down this big lane with no circle swimming!

Our next swims are tomorrow, Sunday, at 9:30 and Tuesday and Thursday at 9.

I'll be out of town until Thursday


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Thursday, July 26, 2020

It was just Tom and Niel swimming this morning with conditions the same as on Tuesday; overcast, grey, still air, calm seas, a glassy water surface and a water temperature of 58 to 59 degrees.  Tom and I decided to do Tuesday's route in reverse, west to the 4th buoy, over to the CP Pier, to the end of the Avila Pier, to an unmarked spot off of Fossil Point near the kelp beds, to the 4th buoy on the east side and back to the start. 

This route has legs in the 500, 600 & 700 meter range so 
a swimmer can really stretch out and get into your stroke.

This otter has been hanging out near the first buoy on the east side of the Avila Pier for about a week. It seems to be asleep and so relaxed and comfortable, Tom and I tried it out.  

Notice that even with the buoyancy of out wetsuits the otter floats much higher out of the water. Being higher out of the water will reduce heat loss and help an animal to stay warmer.
Niel over at the Cal Poly Pier.
At the 4th buoy on the west side Tom and I split up. He is both a faster swimmer and wears less neoprene than I do so he gets cold waiting for me.    

The view from the end of the Avila Pier to the next spot on this route off of Fossil Point. The hills behind Shell Beach are in the background. I aimed for the middle of the Shell Beach hills until I was close enough to Fossil Point to see where the kelp beds were.   

Fossil Point. I have kelp beds behind me, to my right and left 
and between me and the point. 
From here is swam to the 4th buoy on the east side and down the buoy line to Mr. Otter's buoy at the start. 
What's wrong with this picture?

A group of 30 sand chairs was set up this morning I walked up the beach to my stuff.

We will swim at 9:30 on Saturday morning.


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tom, Teresa and Niel got to enjoy flat and glassy conditions today. Avila Beach was gray, overcast, spitting and calm. The water temperature was down a degree or so to 15°C/59°F but the cool air and grayness made the water feel colder. The surf was knee high. The plan was to do two miles; down the buoy line to the east, to the edge of the kelp off of Fossil Point, to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the second crossbars on the CP Pier and then back along the west buoy line to the Start/Finish. Tom and Teresa didn't wait for me after we swam the buoy line.  

 I encountered some really stinky water off of the creek mouth and reversed course back to the buoy line. Luckily for Tom and Teresa they missed it, This was probably stagnant water from teh lagoon along the creek that has broken through the sand at the creek mouth. 

Niel, Teresa and Tom getting in.

Tom and Teresa catching up to me at the first buoy. 
This would be the only time that happened.  

Down at the edge of the kelp beds off of Fossil Point.

At the end of the Avila Pier.

We will swim Thursday at 9.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sunday July 12, 2020

Sunday at Avila was sunny with a light breeze, a comfortable temperature on the beach and a water temperature of 15.5°C/60°F, all looked good for a nice swim. Tom and I were looking for something shorter than our usual distance and Dave and Teresa were interested in doing a bit more so we planned a route over to the CP Pier that would work for all of us.

Tom and David
This photo was taken looking west towards the Avila Pier. 
The long white line on the water's surface in the
background is our destination, the Cal Poly Pier.  


Tom and Niel did 1.6 miles. 
Teresa and Dave added a finishing lap along the buoy line for an additional half mile.  

Niel, David and Tom at the third crossbars on the CP Pier.

David, Tom and Teresa at the third crossbars.
Teresa had gotten in a bit after us and caught up to the group here. 

Tom, David, Teresa and Niel at the end of the CP Pier

Tom, David and Teresa.
The end of the CP Pier is a favorite destination for me. The end of this pier is 876M offshore, more than twice the distance Avila Rock is off of Fossil Point, and it feels like you are on the edge of the open ocean. The pier makes swimming out here more sheltered from chop and watercraft than a more open destination like the Avila Rock.
This pier and the previous wooden pier were built by Unocal to support the transportation of petroleum products by tanker and pipeline to and from the Central Coast and production facilities in the central valley.

The next swim will be Tuesday morning at 9.


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Niel, Teresa, Tom and Leslie swam at 9:30 today. It was surprisingly foggy in Avila Beach but looked like it would clear soon. The water was pretty flat and measured at 16° C/60.8 F.
Not knowing when the fog would clear we agreed to do two triangles, the first counter clockwise and the second clockwise.  

Niel at the first buoy with Teresa, Leslie and Tom in the background. 
this would be the last time in the swim that I would be in front of them.  

Hillary's ducky now has competition.
We were convinced that the child's ducky tub thermometer that is part of Hillary's flotilla was reading high, she says that it is because of the feathers, but I have acquired a 6" lab thermometer that will ride on my water bottle and it was reading 16° C.   
 Once Hillary is back from a backcountry hiking trip we'll have a comparison.

Teresa and Leslie at the first buoy.

Tom at the first buoy.
Really smooth water with the fog.  

Teresa and Leslie at the 4th buoy at the creek mouth.
On the way to this buoy Teresa had an almost too close encounter with a pelican.  It dove for a fish and hit the water just in front of her head. Possibly it had heard about her adventure on Friday and was looking for a handout.

Tom at the same spot. 

Teresa's Friday Swim Adventure - Teresa swam by herself on Friday. She swam the buoy line but stayed close to the surf. At one point she was tossed about a bit and discovered that a small fish was caught inside her swimsuit!  The little fish got out and Teresa was fine but what an experience and a story to tell.    

We'll swim tomorrow at 9:30.