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.