Thursday, April 29, 2021

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

I got in the water at 8:30 this morning. Avila was sunny and feeling like summer at 60°. There was a light breeze and swell/chop out of the SE. The water was 52° and getting a bit cloudy. I was on my own and looking for something predictable so I did my two triangles with a swing out and around the fabled 9th buoy, which is not a swim zone buoy but marks some rocks about 200M farther offshore than the last swim zone buoy on the east side. 

Tom Lorish got in at 9 and we connected near the west end of the buoy line. He got an underwater photo of me.

My next swim will be at 8AM on Saturday.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

At 8 AM Avila Beach was pure springtime, sunny, clear, cloudless and calm, with an air temperature of 44° and the water at 49.5°. The water was nice and clear and the surf was 1 to 2 foot. I was by myself and was feeling the need for some kind of a push so I selected a course that would be around 3200M and swam it with just one stop for a photo. The ocean can be so nice that way, the water to yourself with no lane lines, no turns and three 600M to 700M legs between navigation points.    

I stopped at the end of the C.P. Pier for a photo.
The end of the Avila Pier is behind my left ear.

I was so focused on getting done that I swam right past Tom Lorish as I rounded the end of the Avila Pier and headed for the beach.

I'll swim at 8:45 on Thursday.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sunday, April 25th, 2021

At 8 o'clock this morning Avila Beach was gray, and a cool 50°. The morning offshore flow was still moving out over the ocean, carrying the bacon grease smell from the grill at the Custom House out over the sea. There was a closely spaced swell out of the SE, typical of an impending storm and 2 to 3 foot surf. The water temperature matched the air at 50°. 

I was on my own and that storm swell was interesting so I decided to do my two triangles so I could work with the swell from all directions. The water was nice and clear and everything was set for a nice swim. Once again the water on the west side of the pier was noticeably colder by a degree or so.     

When I was walking out Tom Lorish (on the right) and a surprise guest were just getting in. Laird is a P.T. at Spirit Winds that Tom and my wife see and this was to be his first open water swim. Tom reported that Laird enjoyed himself and will be back.

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 8 and Thursday morning at 8:45.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tuesday, April20th, 2021


I don't know if this is low clouds or high fog, but we could see to swim and the surface conditions looked great. The air temperature was 51° and the water was UP to 52° and was exceptionally clear. It looked like a great morning to swim. 
I had to go check my notes. On 11/8/20 the water temperature was 55°, which was typical for that time of the year and it would be expected to hang around 55° until spring winds would push the water temperature into the low 50's for a few weeks. Well, one week later on 11/15/20 the water was 49°, has it has not been above 52° since then, though it has dropped as low as 47°. That makes this the longest run of cold water I know of since starting to swim at Avila Beach in 1992.

Niel,. Sara and Duke were ready to swim. We decided to go down the buoy line and on to off of Fossil Point. Then to return along that route and do a lap of the swim zone buoys on the west side of the pier.  

Sara, Duke and Niel at the last buoy on the east side before heading to Fossil Point.
Sara got out when we were back at the pier while Duke and I did the lap of the western buoys.

I saw Theresa and Grace wading in when I was at the showers. 

I'm going to be out of town so I won't be swimming until this Sunday or maybe even next Tuesday. 


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday, April 18th, 2021

 An Adventure Swim In The Fog

This morning Avila Beach was full of thick fog. I could barely see any of the swim zone buoys from the beach. From the pier I could see only the first buoy on the lefts side but I could see the second buoy on the right side. The air temperature was 47° and the water was 50°. The surf was 2 to 3 foot and there was a slight offshore breeze. The water had cleared up and there was no trace of that ugly red brown tint it had earlier in the week.   

This Blue Heron was using the Avila Pier to check the surf line for breakfast opportunities. I tried to glide by him on the right side of the pier but he didn't like it and made sure that I knew it when he took off.    

Up for an adventure swim today were Jodi, Duke and Niel. The plan was to swim out along the Avila Pier, around the end, back to the first swim zone buoy on the opposite side and along the buoys to the fourth one at the creek. We couldn't get lost with the peir and the buoys to follow. We'd make a further plan based on what we could see from the fourth buoy.
From the forth buoy the shore side half of the Cal Poly Pier was in bright sunshine so I proposed that we swim to the second crossbars, out and back along the pier and then back to the Avila Pier. That worked pretty well. Duke kept the pier on his left shoulder, Jodi swam out and back on the east side and I swam out on the east side and came back under the pier between the pilings.
Back at the second crossbars we could not see anything of the Avila Pier, but the sun was shining through the fog so I lined up pointing to where I thought the shore end of the Avila Pier would be and kept the sun in that position while I swam. I impressed myself by coming right up on the fourth swim zone buoy. I found Duke and Jodi half way along the buoys and we continued on in. Jodi and I felt warmer today than yesterday, which doesn't make any sense but is the way it works sometimes. 

I plan on swimming Tuesday morning at 8, then I'll be out of town until Sunday. Sunday is a maybe for me so I'll post if I'll be there.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

 Stephanie, Jodi, Niel, Grace and Theresa got in the water a little after 8. It was 50°, overcast and  still with flat 50° water. We decided to do two triangles and then, because the buoys are not as far apart as we have been swimming, added one more triangle to make 3200M.

Stephanie, Jodi and Niel at the last buoy on the east side.

With the overcast the water felt a degree or so colder than 50° and it took us most of the swim to get 'comfortable'. The sun came out as we were doing the last triangle and was most welcome when we were changing.   

We'll swim tomorrow morning at 7:30. 


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thursday, April 15th, 2021

The big news at Avila Beach today was that this morning the swim buoys were put in for the summer. It means that summer is coming, that we will have some more things to assist us with our navigation and Jodi and Stephanie will finally know what the rest of us have been talking about when we say that we will 'swim to the last buoy at the creek' when it is not there.     
As I was taking the water temperature from the pier the barge was putting in the last of the eight buoys that create a No Boats Allowed zone for swimmers. 

Duke and I planned to get in at 9 today instead of our usual 8 to 8:30 start. I'm not really sure why we did that except when Duke suggested it on Tuesday it sounded like a nice chance to sleep in a bit. Sara joined us today for the first time. She has swum by herself on the weekend and was a welcome addition to the group. Being 9 o'clock Tom Lorish was getting in so he joined us.  The plan was to first do a triangle on the east side of the pier. Duke and Sara would probably get out then. I was going to do a second triangle on the west side to make about 3000M and to swim by all eight buoys.  The air was about 50° and the water 49°. There was a light breeze, small surf and hte water has dirtied up to a red brown, almost the color of a plankton bloom color but the water is too cold for that  to be happening.  

Sara, Duke and half of Tom moving beyond the toe test zone. 

At the last buoy on the east side

Duke and Tom at the same spot. Tom wears a sleeveless wetsuit was starting to feel the cold so he went on by himself. Duke Sara and I swam to the pier and to the end for a second time. Duke and Sara went in from there and I did my second triangle on the west side.
The next swim is Saturday morning. Stephanie, Jodi, Sara and I will get in at 8.  Then Sunday at 7:30.



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

At 8 o'clock Avila Beach was just like it was on Sunday; overcast, grey, feeling cool and damp at 50°, a glassy ocean with 49° water and waves you could walk out through. So Duke nad I decided to do the same swim as Sunday but in the opposite direction.  


Out to the end of the Avila Pier, to the end of the Cal Poly Pier, along the pier to the second crossbars and back to and under the Avila Pier before swimming to the beach.  

Niel and Duke at the end of the Avila Pier.

A big part of swimming at these temperatures in mental. If you are thinking about being cold before you get in you will be cold. Sunday, in the same conditions, Duke and Jodi were OK and I couldn't get my mind off of the cold. Today I was OK with the water temperature and Duke, who wasn't in the best of moods before we got in, was cold.

Duke and I will swim at 9AM on Thursday. It would be nice if we had some sun but in any case we'll swim. 


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday, April 11th, 2021

 Starting Sunday Off With A Cold One -

Possibly not what you were first thinking...... Avila Beach was gray with solid overcast this morning, a 45° air temperature and a 49° water temperature. The lack of sunshine would make today's swim a chilly one. 
Duke, Jodi and Niel were ready at 7:30 to get in. Stephanie came just as we were heading towards the sand so she would meet us at the end of the CP Pier. We had decided to do a zig-zag route between the Avila and Cal Poly Piers that would be a bit longer but the water temp changed our ideas about going that distance. There was no wind, surf that you could walk through and clear, glassy water.   
It is surprising how much having the sun out effects how the water feels. We all remarked that it felt cold, colder than yesterday, as we were getting in. My toes hand hands were saying 47, maybe 48 degrees. Nobody wanted to idle around in the water so we got started and met up at the second crossbars on the CP Pier.  

Jodi, Duke and Niel at the second cross bars along the Cal Poly Pier.
For the leg to the end of the CP Pier Jodi took the left (east) side, Duke swam on the right (west) side and I took the lane down the middle. 
I had a lane 620M long, with just one jog around the third set of cross bars. 

Niel, Duke, Stephanie and Jodi at the end of the Cal Poly Pier.
The end of the Avila Pier is between Duke and Stephanie.

I saw Tom Lorish getting in as I was walking back to my car after I had changed. 
Duke and I are planning on swimming Tuesday morning at 8.  I'll swim Thursday at about 8:30.

A bit of fun history. I first started swimming with the Avila Dolphins in 1992. I'd known Steve Snyder (5th from the left in the first row) for years and we regularly saw each other at the pool in San Luis Obispo. He had been swimming in the ocean for several years. He worked on me for a while and eventually got me down to the beach to try swimming in the ocean. The photo is the Avila Dolphins before getting in to swim on a Sunday morning between '92 and '95. We had two dozen people in the water that day. Duke and I are in the back row, 6th and 8th from the left.  Another 10 or 12 are still in that area but I don't see them at the beach anymore.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday, April 10th, 2021

Todays swimmers were Jodi, Stephanie, Niel, Tom I., Theresa and Grace. We spoke with Tom L. at the the end of the Avila Pier near the end of our swim. 

It sunny with a light wind and 46°. The water was 50° and still very clear. I plotted a route that would take us at about 2,500M at the second crossbars on the CP Pier, giving us optional routes to add as much distance as we wanted. Returning to the end of that Avila Pier and retracing our route out put us at 4,008M.

Getting in. That is me, Theresa, I think, Tom washing out his goggles, Jodi behind him and Stephanie on the right.   

At the end of the CP Pier. Jodi, Tom with his head in the water, Grace and Niel

The rest of the group; Grace, Stephanie and Theresa

People were getting cold at the end after 1:28 in 50° water. I'd could stay in longer (I wear a 3.5/4.5 surf suit) but would need to bring some calories along.

We'll swim tomorrow at 7:30.

Avila Beach is starting to get crowded like summer. Popups and families on the beach, groups of students and about 25% of the people wearing masks, so plan your visit accordingly.


Thursday, April 8, 2021

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

I got in at 9 this morning. Avila Beach was clear, sunny about 60 degrees and felt like the day would warm up nicely.  The ocean was very clear and 50°. There was no wind but there was a small swell or chop on the water. The surf was 1 to 2 foot.    

I didn't feel extra ambitious so I did my 2 miles in an hour and called it a nice start to the day.

The water from the creek was being held inside the surf line and was several degrees colder than the ocean.

I'll swim at 8 on Saturday and 7:30 on Sunday.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

 Duke couldn't join me this morning so I swam solo. I did my Two Triangles course for 3,200 M and an hour in the water. 

Avila was sunny and calm with knee high surf and very clear 51° water for very nice swimming conditions.

From the Avila Pier looking east.

The water was clear enough that it was difficult to tell where the surface of the water was on the pilings The thingy is the float for my thermometer. If you look closely you can tell that the float is a used shampoo bottle that was pressed into service in the early 90's. 

I'll be back Thursday morning at about 8:30 to 8:45, after a ZOOM meeting.



Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sunday, April 4th, 2021

At 8 this morning Avila was sunny and 40° with a very light wind, an occasional 3 foot wave and a pretty much flat 50.5° ocean.  Yes, colder than yesterday, but at least not back in the 40's.  

This doesn't look like much but it is the best photo I was able to get of one of the large black dolphins that have been in the area the past few days.  It is always nice to see dolphins. They are fun to watch and they don't tolerate having sharks around. 

Duke had a plan for a swim that would get him to his 9AM phone call on time. We shortened his route and it worked OK. 
Out on the west side of the Avila Pier, over to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, to the end of the pier and back to the Avila Pier and in.  
It turned out to be just under 2,700M and an hour.  

Duke and Niel at the end of the CP Pier.

Tom Lorish is swimming regularly now but needs to get in later in the morning. Leslie Tappins will be back as soon as her elbow is happy with that idea. 

Duke and I will swim at 8 on Tuesday. I'll be getting in at about 8:45 on Thursday.


Saturday, April 3, 2021

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021

 At 8 o'clock on Saturday morning Avila Beach was grey, calm and 52°. The lifeguards were there for some training and a large group of Cal Poly athletes were jogging up and back along the beach. The surf was not worth mentioning, water was glassy with just a ripple on the surface and also 52°.  Jodi had a plan for a swim; over to and along the CP Pier, back to the Avila Pier and over to Fossil Point and back. It sounded good to me so we got in and headed out to the end of the Pier.  
The water didn't feel any warmer wading in, maybe because to the lack of sun or due to our anticipation of a more comfortable water temperature. Getting my face in felt plenty cold but not as shocky at the high 40's and I found that I was comfortable in the water when I was half way out along the pier instead of at or even beyond the end.  

We were in for 1:36 and covered almost 4200 meters.

Niel and Jodi wading in. 

At the end of the Cal Poly Pier. 

On the leg from Fossil Point back to the Avila Pier things began to get a bit bumpy but it never became more than enough to give the water some character. 

Duke did a ride by while we were at the showers.

Duke, Niel, Jodi and anyone else who cares to join us will swim tomorrow at 7:30.