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. 


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Niel, Sara and Duke Swam this morning at 8. It was foggy but not dense enough to make navigating along the buoy line a problem.  The water temperature was 54° and the air was a slightly drippy 50°. It was still and the ocean's surface was glassy. By 8:30 the surface would have a ripple on it and at 9 the morning chop had arrived.  

To make navigation easier we swan the big triangle. Sara went in after the first triangle while Duke and I did a second. We intended to not stop but we found Tom Lorish at the last buoy near the creek and spoke to him for a bit. 

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

I'll swim at 8:30 on Thursday.


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Sunday, May 9th, 2021

Looking east from the Avila Pier along the buoy line.

We had a nice morning at Avila Beach today. At 7:30 it was sunny and still, 46° and what light fog there had been was almost burned off.  The water temperature was 53° and the water was clear and glassy. 

This ship has been mooring in the bay the last few days. I think it was here last year for work connected with laying undersea cables.

Swimming this morning were Duke, Pat, Niel and Jodi. Pat lives in Santa Maria and had connected with Duke about doing some open water swimming. This was to be his first ocean swim on this side of the Pacific. He previous experience had been swimming in the ocean around Okinawa.  We started out by going down the swim zone buoys to the east and back and then under the pier to the west end of the buoys at the creek mouth. There was no stinky water there today. We swam to the end of the Avila Pier and regrouped. Duke and Pat went in while Jodi and Niel went over to the third crossbars on the C.P. Pier, swam along the pier to the second crossbars and then back to the first buoy and in. 
The air temperature was not as warm as yesterday and the wind was not coming up as early but the conditions made for a very nice swim.

We saw Tom Lorish as he was getting in.       

Pat, Jodi and Niel at the forth buoy on the east side. 

Niel, Duke and Pat at the same spot.

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 8.



Saturday, May 8, 2021

Saturday, May 8th, 2021

This morning I had decided to go to the SLO Farmers Market at 8 and to swim at 10.  That turned out to be a good and not so good thing. At 10 AM Avila Beach was sunny, clear and warming up nicely. It was about 60° on its way into the 80°'s. Ther water was 53.5° and flat but there was a lumpy surface swell from the NW that was starting to wrap around the Port San Luis breakwater and work into where we swim. That was the good part. Not so nice was that Avila was already crowded and only about 10% of those present were wearing masks.  I found myself continually trying to decide whether to keep wearing my mask or not, always wondering what was safe. Yuch, extra stress. 

Tom Lorish got in at 9 and I got this photo of him at 9:40 when he was swimming towards the last buoy near the creek mouth. I didn't' cross paths with him in the water.  

I swam out, hung a right at the first buoy and swam two big triangles without stopping. The water was much colder under the pier by 2 or 3 degrees. The chop wasn't too noticeable on the leg from the creek mouth to the end of the Avila Pier. On the next leg from the end of the pier to the last buoy on the east (right in this image) side of the pier the chop built until it was troublesome where I turned towards the last buoy and came back towards the pier along the buoy line. The chop would lay down the closer I got to the pier.

Attempted underwater selfies.

It was really warm when I got out. It felt like the mid 80's, almost too hot to sit out in the sun. It sure felt nice while getting showered off and changed. 

I'll swim tomorrow morning at 7:30 with Duke, Jodi and whoever else shows up.

Right now I'm thinking that I be going back to getting in no later than 8, especially on weekends.


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Thursday, May 6th, 2021


It was very gray at Avila this morning with low clouds that went down to the horizon. No real fog and almost spitting, but the ocean was calm with a flat and glassy surface. The surf was 2 to 3 foot. It was 52° with 54.5° water.  I got there to swim at 9AM, Sara and Leslie were already there. We got in, went to the first buoy and turned left. This was to be Leslie's first swim since fracturing her right elbow about two months ago. She was going to try and swim a few buoys. Sara and I would swim a triangle and I would go an extra lap on my own.

Niel and Sara at the first buoy

Leslie is all smiles after having made it to the forth buoy before turning back.
Sara and I cut our swim to the last buoy near the creek mouth short when we ran into some really stinky water near the creek mouth. We angled back over to the pier where Sara went in and I decided to do another lap on the left side.

I ran into Tom Lorish at the last buoy. He was heading back in along the buoy line and I headed for the end of the Avila Pier.

When the amount of water flowing in San Luis Obispo Creek is low, like it is now, the water in the creek's estuary becomes stagnant. The bird and fish poop in the water does it's thing and when this water breaks out into the ocean it can taste and smell like sewage. Definitely something that will put a crimp in your morning and to be avoided.

I'm going the the Madonna Farmer's Market this Saturday at 8 so I'll swim at 10 and see what the midmorning crowds are like. 


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

The weather in Avila at 8 o'clock was clear and sunny with a swell out of the SE and occasional 3 to 4 foot surf. The air was 50° and the water 53°. I was wading in at 8 when Duke was coming down the stairs. We never connecting the the water but I did speak to Tom Lorish on my second lap down the eastern line of swim zone buoys. I swam out to the first buoy, turned right and swam two triangles made up of the buoy line and the end of the Avila Pier. I thought it would be closer to 3K but I got a bonus.      

I'll swim Thursday morning at 8:45 to 9, depending on when my 7:15AM ZOOM meeting winds up.


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

Sunday morning at 7:30 Duke, Niel, Jodi and Sara waded in to swim. The air temperature was 50° and the water was 53° . It was sunny, no clouds with the wind already picking up. Duke wanted to be out by 8:30 and Jodi and I were not looking for a repeat of yesterday so we planned about 2000M. 

Sara and Duke at the first Swim Zone Buoy.

Jodi at the same spot

We swam east to the last buoy, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the second crossbars on the C.P. Pier and back to the base of the Avila Pier. 
I stayed with Sara and we got out short of the base of the pier. 

At the end of the Avila Pier.
Duke, Jodi, Sara and my head.

I'll swim Tuesday at 8AM.


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Saturday,May 1st, 2021

  Warm Water, Long Distance

Jodi and I started off the month of May with a long warm(ish) swim. At 8 Avila Beach had high thin clouds so there were shadows but it wasn't warm. It was calm with an air temperature of 52° and a water temperature of 55°! I checked it twice to be sure. The last time I measured a water temperature above 52° was a 55° reading on November 11, 2020, almost five months ago.

The focus is poor but the red line is on the long mark at 55

Having begun swimming at Avila this year Jodi had never been in 55° water so she thought a long swim would be a good idea. Thinking that I'd like to do about 4K I suggested that we go down the swim buoys to the east end and back along the whole line to the mouth of the creek, over to the second crossbars on the CP Pier and out to the end of the pier.  From there we would decide how to complete our swim. I was thinking some kind of route back to the Avila Pier and in.

It had been smooth swimming until it started to get bumpy as we came out along the length of the CP Pier. At the end of the pier there was a good chop and push out of the SW.

At the end of the CP Pier Jodi suggested that we swim to Fossil Point. That would be a leg of 14 or 1500M but we would have a push from the swell so I said fine.    

Jodi and Niel at the end of the CP Pier.

At Fossil Point I vetoed the idea of going back to the end of the Avila Pier as I was starting to feel a bit done and going back to the pier that way would be too much work swimming against the chop. We came in to the buoy line and to the pier. I had us at 4600M and didn't want to get out just short of 5K so we swam out to the end of the pier and back to the beach.  
Two hours in the water and 5,316M. Neither of us were cold. 
What a difference those few degrees made.

We'll swim tomorrow at 7:30.