Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

Blown Out

The wind really came up around dawn on San Luis Obispo, guesting hard and making the trees sing. And it was warm, 70 degrees at 6AM.
When I got to Avila at 7:35 there was a strong and steady offshore breeze. Flags were standing straight out and snapping and the surface of the water was torn up. The chop was starting to break at the buoy line and out at the end of the Avila Pier it looked narly. The air was 71° and the water a surprising 57°.  The NOAA weather station over in Port San Luis was recording a 20mph wind with gusts to 25, but the port is more sheltered than Avila.....  
Duke wasn't able to join me so I got in just before 8 and figured that I'd go out and find out about the conditions. I planned to swim out to the end of the pier and do two big triangles, reversing the direction after the first, which would give me 8 different swimming problems to solve. 


The view towards shore from the end of the Avila Pier.

Tom was there when I stopped at the end of the pier before coming in.
Yes, the photo is out of focus.
He had gone over to the third crossbars on the CP Pier, in to the second crossbars and back to the end of the Avila Pier. 

Afterwards Tom and I compared notes and agreed that the leg in along the Avila Pier directly into the wind and chop was the toughest. I was getting head slapped by the chop every second and it didn't let up until I was in the surf line. 

It is supposed to be 103° in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday. Leslie and Jodi will swim at Avila at 5:15. Meet at the east/left lifeguard tower. Everyone is welcome. It should be an incredible swim.  

I'm doing a short swim at 9 on Thursday.



Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sunday, June 13th, 2021

 Pat's Thirty Five Hundred

Pat wanted to swim 3500M today so Duke laid out a route that would get us there; down the buoy line and on to Fossil Point, to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, over to the west end of the buoy line, all the way to the east end of the buoy line and back to the pier. Finishing up we turned in at the second buoy to avoid the fishing lines near the pier.  We were closer to 4,000 than 3,500 but that's just an open water bonus. 

It was grey and cool at Avila, 56° with 55° water. There was no wind and the ocean was glassy and nice and clean. We did run into a smack of Moon Jellies that was about 30M across near the end of the Avila pier.  A Google search says that their sting is not powerful enough to penetrate human skin. They are capable of lifecycle reversal, so while they only live for a few months, they can grow younger rather than older. 

Tom, Pat, Duke and Niel at the last buoy on the east side. 
Tom was just starting his swim and we were about to head to the barn.

Wednesday Evening Swims -
Leslie and Jodi have started swimming at 5:15 on Wednesday evenings and would welcome anyone who wants to put a great end to their day. Meet at the lifeguard stand on the east side of the pier. 

I'm planning on swimming at 8 on Tuesday and Duke may show to do his 1000 yd sprint workout.


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Saturday, June 12th, 2021

 It was warm and sunny at Avila when I got there at 9. It was 75 degrees and felt like it was going to be a lot warmer. The water was very clear and 54°. 

While I was measuring the water temp. I caught Leslie and Jodi 
coming along the buoy line back to the pier at the end of their swim.
They told me that they had encountered lots of jellyfish out near the end and to the west of the Avila Pier.
I spoke to Tom Lorish as he was getting in just after 9.

David Cheney and I got in at 9:30 and stayed close to shore. We swam down and back along the buoy line, over to the Cal Poly Pier and another half lap along the buoy line. We didn't see any jellyfish. We did meet Tom Lorish who had been out near the end of the pier and he saw 1000's of jellyfish. Fortunately they were deep enough that he wasn't in amongst them.      

Just as I was turning in around the first buoy I saw Theresa. She had been swimming all over th eplace and had encountered a lot of Moon Jellies. Trust a graduating marine biology major to know what they are. 

I'll be meeting Duke at 7:30 tomorrow morning and we'll see if the Moon Jellies get up early.

If you want to see Moon Jellies from a comfortable distance the Monterey Bay Aquarium has a big exhibit that in itself is worth the trip. 


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Thursday, June 10th, 2021


Duke, Niel and Tom Lorish had beautiful, cloud free and breezy morning swims in Avila Beach.  The air temp was 58°, the water was 55° and the offshore breeze was gusting and would become a major factor.  

Someone had created some very nice art on the beach. 

I had gotten to the beach at 8 instead of 8:30, Duke was already there so we jumped in. Duke did his 1000 yard sprint swim. Tom got in at 9. I think he swam over to the Cal Poly Pier, back to the end of the Avila Pier and over to the last buoy on the east/left side. I was thinking that I'd swim to the end of the buoy line on the left side, swing around the reef buoy and head directly to the end of the Cal Poly Pier for a 1,200M stretch, return to the end of the Avila Pier and zig zag over to the second or third crossbars and come back to the beach.  
On the leg to the Cal Poly Pier conditions became increasingly bumpy as I got farther from shore. I was getting moved around a lot but the swimming was OK. The chop was coming over my right hip and giving me a push. Reversing directions at the end of the CP Pier and having the chop come over my left shoulder let me know just how bumpy and pushy it was. Right at the end of the CP Pier I swam over a smack (yes, I Googled it) of 100's of dinner plate sized sea jelly's. The were completely clear. My fear about getting stung kept me from trying to get a photo. I wish I'd tried. 
The wind must have been increasing because the chop got bigger and the current stronger as I swam towards the Avila Pier. Before I arrived at the end of the pier I had decided that I was done with swimming this morning and abandoned any idea of going back over to the CP Pier and just came in.

When I was changing I could see Tom hammering his way from the CP Pier to towards the Avial Pier. It was impressive. He was easy to see because there was a lot of big splashing from his arms banging on the chop.

I'm going to swim at 9:30 on Saturday and 7:30 on Sunday.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021

It had a beautiful sunny morning at Avila Beach today; a cloudless sky, a light breeze with a 53° air temperature and a 54.5° water temperature.  Sarah and Niel got in at 8 and Duke was just behind us. Niel and Sarah did a big triangle, Sarah went in and I did a second lap. Duke does a speed swim along his own route on Tuesdays. 

Surprisingly, we met at the end of the Avila Pier. 
Sarah, Niel and Duke

A better one of Sarah and Duke.

Jodi and Leslie are going to swim Wednesday evening at 5:30. Company welcome.
I'll swim Thursday morning at 8:30, Duke may join if work allows. 



Sunday, June 6, 2021

We had storm conditions in July this morning. A weather front was moving through with a steady wind and chop out of the SE and spitty drizzle to go with the low gray lid that cut off the tops of the hills that circle San Luis Obispo Bay.  There would be 'conditions' for today's swim. The air temperature was 57° and the water temperature was holding up at 56.5°.  I proposed swimming out to the end of the Avila Pier, then over to the end of the Cal Poly Pier, along the pier to the second crossbars and back to the buoy line on the west side and in. This turned out to be a route that swam a lot longer that it measured.       

As an introduction the swim out along the Avila Pier seemed longer than usual.

Sue out of the frame to the left, Jodi, Leslie and Pat at the end of the pier. 

Pat with Duke joining up at the same spot.

Our direction from the Avila to the Cal Poly Pier was across the chop making this leg a splashy bit of work. 
That is Duke in the center of the photo trying to keep his head down.  

Pat, Duke, Jodi, Leslie, Sue and Niel at the second crossbars.

After we go out I spoke with Tom Lorish as he was getting in and Paula and Heidi up on the boardwalk. Paula was joining a group of Masters swimmers from Sinsheimer Pool in SLO who were getting in and Heidi is an Avila Dolphin who I had not seen since the pandemic. She has been swimming at Morro Bay and was getting in by herself to get reacquainted with Avila.

I spoke with Sue as I was getting changed. She will swim tomorrow morning before heading back to London. She will be back next month.

I'd like to go back to swimming at 11 on Sundays once I get comfortable with the crowds and how things are going. I miss the group and sitting on the beach. I'll post more when that change seems like the right thing to do   

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 8.


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Saturday, June 5th, 2021


Today the water temperature in Avila was 57°, two degrees higher than Thursday, which was two degrees higher than it has been in the last month. Avila was also grey and the air temperature was 57° but it didn't seem too important. There was a but of wind and a small current and swell out of the SE.
I got in at 9:30. Leslie, Grace and Theresa were just finishing up their swim. The water was warm enough that they were playing in the waves. 
I had decided on this route before hand. I liked the idea of the six 600 to 700M legs back and forth between the piers. It turned out to be just short of 5K. The warm water was very relaxing. I am still wearing my 3.4/4.5 surf suit and never thought about the water temperature. 

I spoke to Jodi near the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier. She was already at 5K+ meters and heading back to the Avila Pier.

Duke, Jodi, myself and whoever wants to join us will jump in at 7:30 Sunday morning. 


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

I finished my 7AM ZOOM meeting at 8:15 and headed to Avila thinking that a nice long swim would be nice. I had a 2200M loop scouted, a variation that I had never done before, and I was thinking about doing two laps of the loop if the conditions we neither too cold nor bumpy. Today was my day. Avila had it's usual June overcast with a light wind out of the SE, the air temperature was 57° and the water was up to 55°! The water was glassy and the surf was up with sets of 4+ foot. I saw Tom Lorish as he was heading to the water as I was getting ready.
The water felt warmer wading in and didn't have any shock value on my face. 

The loop was out to the first buoy on the east side, under the pier and to the last buoy at the creek mouth, to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the last buoy on the east side and back along the buoys to the start.   
The first lap was the 'harder' one. I was doing a lot of thinking, anticipating doing the whole distance, and it made each leg feel long.  Once I began the second lap the anticipation fell away and I was just swimming, the legs felt shorter and I swam harder for the last 1000M. 

I took this picture from the second crossbars looking out to the end of the Cal Poly Pier. I didn't realize that there was such a big long swell running until I saw the photo. 
I never noticed the swell while I was swimming.    

The view of the 620M leg from the second crossbars on the 
CP Pier to the end of the Avila PIer. Great swimming conditions; warm(ish) water, a glassy ocean, no lane lines and no turns and definitly no crowds.  

Tom spoke with Peter Kelley after he go out. Peter had had a hip replaced and is now taking short walks. On behalf of all of the Avila Dolphins I'd like to wish him  a speedy recovery and hope to see him back in the water this summer. 

Kris and I will go to the Madonna Farmer's Market Saturday morning so I'll be at Avila to swim at 9:30.


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

I had a nice solo swim today. Mornings in Avila are overcast and gray this time of the year and will clear by 10 or 12 o'clock. The air temperature was 54° and the water 53.5°, which surprisingly felt noticeable warmer than Sunday's 52°. I did my two triangles route and pushed the east and west ends out past the last buoys in order to make almost 3,200M. Towards the end of the swim a SW wind and chop was starting up. The chop wasn't very pesky but near the end of the Avila Pier the accompanying current was pulling up deep water and dropping the water temperature by a few degrees. It is sure motivating to swim into that large of a temperature drop!  

I spoke to Tom Lorish along the pier and saw Sue on the beach. She had just missed me when I was getting in and we never connected in the water.   

I have an early meeting Thursday and will be getting in the water about 8:45 or 9. 


Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sunday, May 30th, 2021

Everyone felt cold this morning. Avila was much the same as yesterday so maybe we were just tired from keeping up with Jodi yesterday. We had the same gray lid, no wind and a smooth surface. There was a SW current that felt much stronger than the small chop that was on top. The air temperature was 57° and the water was 52°. Jodi, Leslie and Niel were joined by Sue, who we have not seen in some time. Sue lives in England and drops in to swim with us when she is on the West Coast.  Leslie wanted to cruise the buoy line so we decided to start with her and continue on once she went in. That plan only lasted until we grouped up for the first time at the last buoy on the east end. Sue does all of her swimming bareback and by the time I caught up she was getting cold and had started back along the buoys toward the pier. Leslie suggested that we go to the end of the Avila Pier and then to the west end of the buoy line so we headed off. Stephanie caught up with us at the end of the Avila Pier. At the west end of the buoy line Leslie was ready to swim back to the pier and go in. Stephanie, Niel and Jodi did a point to point swim, figuring out where we wanted to go next at the end of each leg. With the SW current against us the 730M between the ends of the Avila and Cal Poly Piers felt like a lot longer than usual.    

Jodi, Sue and Leslie wading in at 7:30

I spoke to Tom Lorish as I was coming in along the Avila Pier. He usually gets in at about 9.

I'll swim Tuesday at 8AM.

My Thursday morning is getting crowded. I'll confirm when I'll swim in Tuesday's post. 


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Saturday, May 29th, 2021

At 8 o'clock Niel, Jodi, Stephanie, David, Leslie, Theresa and Grace were ready to swim. Avial was very gray and cool and felt chilly but there was no wind and the ocean was flat and glassy. The air temperature was 58° and the water 51.5°.  

Theresa and Grace were a bit behind so the rest of the group got started and swam down the east buoy line and and back to the opposite end near the creek. Then over to the second crossbars on the C.P. Pier. Leslie is nursing a sore shoulder and headed back. The group swam to the end of the pier where Grace and Theresa caught up, then over to the end of the Avila Pier. David and Stephanie headed in. The final four swam to the last buoy and back along the buoys to the pier. Grace, Theresa and Niel headed in. Jodi wanted to do another lap and swam to the end of the pier, to the end of the buoy line and back to the pier. At this point Jodi checked her new Garmin swimming watch and had 4600M, which was short of her goal of 5K, so she swam back out to the end of the pier and back in to make it 5045M in 1:55. 

A peak of Jodi behind my head, Niel, Grace, Theresa, Stephanie and David, 
at the end of the Avila Pier. 

We will swim tomorrow morning at 7:30.


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Three times, three swimmers, three routes and one lucky guy. 

Avila was all grey overcast and a light wind. The air and the water temps were 53°. 

Leslie got in at 8 and swam parts of the buoy line and to the end of the Avila Pier. 

Niel got in at 8:25 and swam two big triangles.

Tom Lorish got in at 9 and swam over to the CP Pier.

I spoke to Leslie on the beach as we were getting out and in the water.

I crossed paths with Tom near the end of the Avila Pier and spoke to him for a few minutes.

There was a small swell surprisingly strong current out of the SW. My route gave me eight exposures to the water conditions and kept my swim interesting.

During my second triangle the sun came out and the wind picked up, which was a reasonable bargain.

The lucky guy was Duke. He didn't make it to the beach because he found a wet floor in his garage and traced it to the kitchen. The story ends well though. The source was his water softener outside and the water was running into the garage under the garage door. He is probably figuring that he just saved enough money for a nice toy!   

Google got the problem with the Blogger fixed and I was able to add the image of my route at 6:34PM. 

I'll swim Saturday morning at 8.



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

This morning was the nicest Avila has been since last summer. At 7:30 it was 65°, sunny and  calm with 53° water, 2 foot plus surf and clean water.  Duke, Niel and Sarah got in at 8:05 and swam a couple of triangles. The swim was very relaxing and enjoyable and not being cold when we got out was really nice. The swell was starting to pick up near the end but it was just enough to give the last leg some character.      

Duke, Niel and Sarah at the end of the Avila Pier. 

I spoke to Tom Lorish briefly near the start of the west line of swim buoys.

Duke and Sarah will swim Thursday at 8, I'll probably be getting in about 8:30.


Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sunday, May 23rd. 2021

It was gloomy gray in Avila when I arrived at 7 but it was calm and 51°. From the pier the water temperature was up to 52° and the water was very clear. The surf was small and there was a slight swell on the water. 

Grace, Theresa, Stephanie, Duke and Niel got in at 7:35. 52° is still cold, especially with no sunshine, but the few degrees increase since yesterday took the edge off. We swam a flattened big O.

Theresa, Stephanie, Grace and Duke at
the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier 

Heading back from the Cal Poly Pier to the Avila Pier we passed three otters, 
each floating in their own spot of kelp.

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 8.


Saturday, May 22, 2021

Saturday, May 22nd, 2021


After a very windy and clear Friday, Saturday began cool and cloudy with Avila looking very unspring like with thick overcast, an air temperature of 49° and, thanks to Friday's wind, a water temperature that was back in the 40's at 49.5°. 
Swimming today were Sarah, Leslie, Grace, Theresa, Tom Israel, Stephanie and Niel. We decided to head down the west line of swim zone buoys, group up at the last one and see what route felt good for the swimming conditions, i.e., how far did we want to stay in at this temperature? 

Leslie shoulder is still recovering so she headed back along the buoys for a short swim. The group swam over to and out along the Cal Poly Pier and back to the end of the Avila Pier. The water was a degree or two colder near the Avila Pier. Half of the way back to the Avila Pier it suddenly felt like I was just getting in. The group went in along the Avila Pier while Sarah and I went to the end of the buoyu line and back to the pier for 3000M.  

Tom and Sarah at the first buoy with the rest of the group in the background

Form the left, Sarah, Stephanie, Niel, Grace, Theresa and Tom 
near the end of the Cal Poly Pier

We will swim tomorrow at 7:30.


Thursday, May 20, 2021

Thursday, May 20th, 2021

 Avila was warm and windy this morning. 59° and an offshore wind that was strengthening. The water temp was 54°, a nice surprise because an offshore wind usually pushes the water temperature down. Tom got in a bit before Sarah and I. I do not know where Tom swam. Sarah and I swam a big clockwise triangle, she got out and I did one more. The wind continued to build so my second lap was a lot more work. 

We will swim at 8 on Saturday.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

I was a beautiful morning at Avila Beach today. It was sunny, the clouds were clearing off, 53° with 55° water. Strong winds were predicted but it was still when I let at 10+ AM. Duke got in at 7:30, swam a hard 1100 yards and headed for work. Sarah got in after Duke but before me. I got in at 8 and didn't see her in the water, but I did stop to speak to Tom who had gotten in at 9. It was almost flat the whole time with just some hint of a swell starting up on the west side of the Avila Pier. I was really nice having it warm(er) and still when I was changing.   

It is weird but since Sunday it seems that someone moved the buoys. I have done the route I swam today several times before and was thinking that it was about 4K meters. It seemed like a long swim today and when I stood up in the surfline I had 5166M and 1:45. That fit how I was feeling but I need to go back and check my old plots for this swim. 

What a dufus. My old plots for this route were for ONE time around, for about 2800M, not TWO. I conned myself into a long workout.    

I swim Thursday at 8:45.


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sunday, May 16th, 2021


There was some sun sneaking through the clouds this morning, highlighting the remaining green on the hills above Port San Luis.  The air temperature was 50° and the water was 53°. It was still, the water was flat and the waves small. The water near the Avila Pier was clear but there were some areas with plankton blooms towards the Cal Poly Pier. Today's swimmers were Jodi, Duke, Theresa, Grace and Niel. 

We planned a nice swim that would be well short of yesterday's' distance.
2,600M worked out well for me; I swam about half of yesterday's distance and felt almost as tired.  

Niel, Jodi and Duke at the end of the Cal Poly Pier. 
Really nice swimming conditions.

Niel, Theresa and Grace at the end of the Cal Poly Pier.

Duke and I will swim Tuesday at 8, I'll swim Thursday at 8:45.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Saturday, May 15th, 2021

 50° air, 52° flat water and misty/drippy low clouds. I was getting wet just getting into my wetsuit, but the swimming conditions were really nice so Stephanie, Leslie, Niel, Jodi and Theresa and Grace had a nice swim this morning.  We had a plan to start by swimming down and back along the swim buoys on the east side but we threw that over when we first formed up at the last buoy and decided to head to the end of the Avila Pier. From there it turned into an all of the way over to there and back course. This may have been the first time I've swum a complete return trace of the route out. 

Leslie's shoulder is giving her trouble so she headed back from the end of the Cal Poly Pier where we picked up Theresa and Grace who stayed with us for the rest of the swim.    

Leslie (pointing), Jodi, Stephanie and Niel at the end of the Avila Pier 

Jodi, Niel, Grace, Theresa and Stephanie at the end of the Cal Poly Pier.
Photo by Leslie

You know how pesky dolphins are when they want to play with you in the water, you have to give them a toy to make them happy. Flipper was being a pest so even though dolphins are lousy photographers (no opposable thumbs) I gave her (?!) my camera so she could take my picture. This was the best she could do.
Did you know that Flipper was played by 5 female; Susie, Patty, Squirt, Scotty and Kathy and one male, Clown, dolphins? And the only scenes Clown could do were the tail walks.
Check it out on the IMDB. 

We do have a swim lane at Avila Beach. Under the Cal Poly Pier the lane is 620M long from the second crossbars to the end of the pier, and has no turns.

As I was getting out I spoke with Sarah and a friend who were getting in.  

Great news today. Congratulations are due to Theresa who is so close to finishing her thesis and has a job offer from a water quality monitoring company in Irvine.

Duke, Niel and whoever cares to join us will swim tomorrow morning at 8. Most certainly something shorter than today unless Jodi talks us into another long one.