Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sunday, January 30th, 2022

 We had more of the best of winter at Avila Beach today. At 11 AM it was in toh low 60's and heading for 70° with clear skies and for now, no wind. The water temp was 55°. 

Heidi and Maris had been in earlier. Tom and Sue were getting out at 10:30 after swimming around Avila Rock. 

Pat, Duke and Niel planned to do about 3000M by going over to the Cal Poly Pier, out along the pier to its end, back to the Avila Pier and then whatever was required to make the rest of the distance. 

Duke, Pat and Niel at the end of the Cal Poly Pier.

Tom Lorish was the only one of us who successfully dodged the Harbor Patrol and was able to get in and swim on the morning of the tsunami.  Duke though that was worthy of a cometerative t-shirt, I got it ordered and we made the presentation today. 
The Avila Dolphins logo is on the front and 'I swam and survived the 2022 Avila Beach tsunami' is on the back. 

Duke and I will swim at 8 on Tuesday.


Saturday, January 29, 2022

Saturday, January 29th, 2022

Jodi, Tiki and Niel swam this morning. There was solid gray overcast, a steady offshore breeze, an air temp of 44° and a water temp of 54°. It felt cold waiting to get in. The surf was 3 foot +/- with a lot of power and breaking close to shore. Our route was a single big triangle with a second trip to the  end of the Avila Pier and a stop for some frolicing.  

Getting in the water felt chilly, more like 52 -53. I got comfortable but there were a couple of spots, especially at the end of the Avila Pier, where the water felt two degrees colder.   

On our way in along the pier Jodi and Tiki wanted to stop and do a flip off of the pier.  
Jodi ready, Tiki watching.


Tiki  in position, Jodi climbing up for a second attempt.



Duke and I will swim at 11 tomorrow.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

Thursday, January 27th, 2022

Thursday was my birthday and Avila Beach started things off with beautiful clear skies, a light offshore wind, moderate surf, clean water and several lumpy swells out of the SE. At 8AM the air temp was 38° and rising and the water was 54°.   

Jodi brought cupcakes! The one in the lower right has a starfish, a blue fish tail sticking out of the top and a bunch of things that could be anemones. Wow.

Duke gave me a cinnamon roll with a candle and a new cap. Cool and thanks!

Since my recent 5800M swim with Jodi I'd started to think about swimming my age on my birthday. The idea got some legs and I showed up this morning with Cliff Shots and hydration to tow along with me. Jodi swam the first lap with me so it was nice to have somebody's bubbles to chase, except I can never stay that close to her. Duke swam his U Burner so we didn't see him in the water. I crossed paths with Tom near the end of the Avila Pier. 
I had guessed my nutrition correctly, the swim went well, came in amazingly close to my goal (7.200M on my 72nd birthday) without any messing around on the route and I was ready to stop swimming when I stood up to walk out.

So, to my fellow Old Men of the Ocean, you know who you are, when are your birthdays and let's see what you've got.

Jodi and Niel



Thanks to all of the Avila Dolphins for making this fun.
A special thanks to Big Steve Snyder, who persisted in harassing me at the pool until I showed up to try swimming with him and the Avila Dolphins at Avila Beach. That was 1992.

I'll be back Saturday morning at 8 for something shorter.


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022


Swimming With The Surf Gods, and they have a sense of humor.

When I drove down the hill into Avila I was looking for the big surf that was predicted for today and tomorrow but saw nothing, just the typical 3 footers and a beautiful morning for a swim. I was thinking this over as I walked out onto the pier to get the water temperature when a set of 6 to 7 footers rolled in, smacking the pilings hard and shooting water up through the gaps in the planks under my feet. The swells looked long and powerful.  So I started thinking about where would be the best place to get in.
The early morning air temperature was 38° and the water was 54° and sunny, with no wind. Duke was at work so I was on my own. I decided to get in on the right side of the pier. The swells are often smaller and less consolidated on the right side so I walked in there. I didn't see big swells out along the pier so I kept walking and was able to get out by just floating over a couple of waves. This was easy! It felt all of 54° except for neat the Avila Pier were it was a degree warmer.
I swam a little short and easy. I was thinking about a lot of other stuff as I was swimming in and was not paying attention to where I was. The first large wave in a set picked me up. I backpedaled trying to push myself back through the lip but it pulled my feet up over my head and I went over the falls feet first. I was bounced off of the bottom a couple of times and had to wait to get up to the surface only to find myself looking right at the next one starting to curl over. I caught a quick breath but my dive was too shallow so I got another ride in the spin cycle. After that I had been pushed in far enough to be in the smaller white water where I  caught my breath and finished swimming in.  I wish someone had caught me on video because it would have been a laugh to see.
For my lack of respect the surf gods taxed me my goggles, both of my caps and a wetsuit full of sand. I will be more attentive and humble in the future.

I did not see Tom's car when I left but he says that he did swim.
And Duke says he got away from work and was able to get in after lunch.

Neither of them claimed to have done anything as spectacular as I.

I will be back on Thursday at 8. 


Monday, January 24, 2022

Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

X Marks The Spot

We never knew when we were where our paths crossed but the X worked out pretty well. Jodi, Duke, David, Tiki and Niel started out with the 1000M leg from the beach to the end of the Cal Poly Pier, swam in along the pier, over to the end of the Avila Pier and in to the beach.
Avila Beach was so nice that I stayed extra long and I still had a hard time being responsible and leaving. A clear, cloudless, windless 70° day on the beach with January 'crowds'.
The water was 55°, clear and almost flat. The surf was just something to wade out through. We got in at 11 and swam for an hour.    

It was so nice having it warm and calm after the swim and then a nice warm wall to sit next to, start having thoughts about taking a nap and not being able to think of a better place to be.  

Heidi and Maria were in early and encountered Tom McNeil on a paddle board near the end of the Avila Pier. Tom swam with us many years ago.
Tom Lorish and Sue were getting out as I arrived at 10:30.

Tiki, Duke, David and Jodi with head by Niel 


Saturday, January 22, 2022

Saturday, January 22nd, 2021

Loop de Loop 

Avila Beach was clear and still, 38° with small waves and an almost flat 55° ocean.  A beautiful morning for a swim. Jodi, Niel, Leslie and Tiki got in just after 8 AM. We planned to do the same route that I did on Thursday, the two big triangles, and if I felt as good at 3,200M as as I did Thursday I would do another lap for 5K.
At the end of the first lap Leslie's foot was bothering her so she went in. Tiki got out at the end of the second lap (3,300M).  Jodi and I swam to the end of the Avila Pier where she went in and I completed the lap for 5,000M, and then decided that I might as well swim around the pier and made my swim 5,882M.

Tom and I did a swim encounter near the east end of the buoy line. I was heading in he was on his way over to the Cal Poly Pier. 
When I got out it had warmed up nicely and still wasn't windy so getting changed was pleasant.
Jodi, Duke and I, along with anyone else who shows up will swim tomorrow for a 11 o'clock.


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Thursday, January 20th, 2022


Everybody else was working this morning, except Tom who got in later than I, so I was solo. I got in on the west side of the pier and did a big triangle ending up on the opposite side of the pier and then unwound it for 3,733M. This route is more like 3,200M in the summer with the No Boats Zone buoys in place to mark the route but without them I wander about more over the ocean.

I had great swimming conditions. At 8 o'clock the air temperature was 40° and the water 55°.  It was a bit breezy but not enough to mess up the surface of the water much. The waves were small and the water clean.

My next swim is Saturday morning at 8.


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

 A nice morning at Avila Beach with a 49° air temperature, a 55° water temperature, broken clouds, no wind, nice clean water with a bit of swell on it and small surf with an occasional 3+ foot wave.

Heron vs Fisherman. I didn't stay on the pier long enough 
to see which was the first to get their fish

Duke had plenty of time this morning so we both swam my Two Triangles route. I thought that the water felt colder than 55° but my inner thermometer has been running cold lately.

We missed Tom in the water but I saw his car.  

Clean water.

Tom wants to get 'the country back on the right track' so he made me a t-shirt intending to jump start my presidential campaign. 42 head shots cribbed from this blog and a nice sentiment on the back.  I didn't know what to say. No one has ever encouraged me to run for president before.  
I'm tempted but Tom did not volunteer to join me as my running mate. 

I'll swim Thursday at 8.


Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sunday, January 16th, 2022

Back To Normal -

By 10:30 today the only sign of yesterday's tsunami was the debris on the beach and that the sand was wet all of the way up to the sea wall. The water looked nice and clean. I spoke to Tom as he was getting out and he said that the swimming conditions were wonderful. There were high clouds, no sun, no wind and the air temperature was 59°. The pier was still closed but the toe test and brain freeze estimate of the water temperature was 53° to 54°. There were occasional 3 to 4 foot sets and a big long swell outside, but a pretty smooth surface for swimming.

Niel, Duke and Jodi swam the route that we had planned for yesterday. Other than some debris in the water the conditions were great. Our route was out along the west side of the Avila Pier to the barrier on the pier, to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the end of the CP Pier and back to the beach where we got in for a bit over 2 miles.

Niel, Duke and Jodi at the second crossbars on the CP Pier.

I'm swimming next at 8 on Tuesday, Duke is a maybe.



Saturday, January 15, 2022

Saturday, January, 15th, 2022


Shut Out By The Tsunami

                                                                                                                                                          At 8 AM Leslie, Niel and Jodi had a route planned and were walking to their get in point when we heard a Harbor Patrol truck on Front Street announcing the the beach was closed and everyone had to get off of the beach. A tsunami surge from the volcanic eruption in Tonga was expected before 9AM and would arrive around high tide. A 2 to 4 foot surge was expected on top of the high tide so they wanted everyone off of the beach. We hemmed and hawed a bit and decided to respect the Harbor Patrol's concerns. So it was back to the cars, change and get into Leslie's banana bread and Niel's brownies as if we had spent an hour in the water.

We'll be back tomorrow at 11.


Photo from Tom who got in about 10:30.
Tom's tsunami report: conditions were… Interesting.  I swam @ about 1030, so a couple hours after the main part of the tsunami was supposed to hit Avila. I could see the water had been all the way up to the wall on the beach, but had receded a bit by the time I swam. There was a lot of debris in the water. And still a pretty good wave going with currents going many different directions. I swam down the imaginary buoy line on the east side, but then decided to go west under the pier and over on that side because there seem to be less debris over there.  I ended up swimming for about 30 minutes.  All in all, It was a nice tsunami swim!  What's next?  Earthquake? Locust? Godzilla?  

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Duke and I were set to get in at 8:40. Tom would follow at 9 or 9:30. There were high clouds, no sun, no breeze with 55° on the beach and 54° in the water.   For me gettin in was like 54-55 but my hands got cold which happens around 51 so I'm going to say it swan like 53°. The waves were 3 foot with occasional 4+ footers. I went with Duke on his U-Burner and when he got out I swam around to make my hour.  
Tom was there but we never saw him.

Duke and Niel

 I'll be back at 8 on Saturday.


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

It was 44° in Avila this morning, clear with strong and gusty offshore winds.  The water temperature was 53°. The 8 to 12 foot surf that was predicted showed up somewhere else.  Avila was 3 foot with a 4+ footer every 10 minutes. The offshore breeze was holding them up nicely.

There were three solo swims this morning. I got in at 8, Tom at about 9 and he was finishing as Duke got in. Duke didn't make it at 8 because he was having coffee with his daughter.

I did Duke's U-Burner 1000 yd. quickie. I had an appointment at 9:25 and needed to get wet and get going on my day. A quick, cold, choppy, hard swim worked out great. I think that I was the most awake person in the building at my appointment.  

I have another busy morning on Thursday and will get in at 8:45ish. I may see Duke or Tom.


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Sundy, January 9th, 2022

What a beautiful day at the beach today! It was sunny with some passing clouds, calm and nothing worth mentioning in the way of surf. There were several swells out of the SW that made swimming in that direction harder but hey, it's the ocean. 

Heidi and Maria got in at 8:30 and slipped a jump off of the Avila Pier into their swim.
Tom got in at 9 and swam by himself. Duke, Pat, Tiki, Jodi and Niel got in at 11. For fun we swam on the opposite sides of the piers as we were going and coming back just to give the swim a purpose. That is about as big a goal as we can get this group to agree to.      

                                        At the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier 
Tiki's fins, Niel, Pat and Duke

Tiki, Niel and Duke

Pat, Duke, Niel and Jodi behind my left ear.   

A whale must have swum by.

Duke and I will swim on Tuesday at 8 AM and Thursday at 8:30 AM.

Tom created a t-shirt that will change the world, one swim at a time. You'll see mine as soon as I figure out how to get them into the blog.

She found this about our summer drop in swimmer 'Kiwi Jeff' on Facebook:


Saturday, January 8, 2022

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

The 8 AM group had a 48° air temperature, a 54.5° water temperature, a steady and strong offshore breeze and clean water. The surf looked pretty flat but some 4 foot sneaker sets kept us on our toes getting out. The Blue Water Task Force's water samples for human bacteria from Thursday for Avila Beach and the creek mouth were in the safe zone so were were good to swim on the creek side of the Avila Pier.

Jumping in this morning were Tiki, Niel, Jodi, Leslie and Stephanie. Tom got in at 9. 

That's Tiki, Stephanie and Jodi walking down to the water on the right side of the Avila Pier.
If you take a close look you'll see that Stephanie's wetsuit is unzipped. This was not a mistake. The sipper had blown out earlier in the week so Steph was going to go 'bareback' and see how long she lasted.  I floated the suggestion that in solidarity with Stephanie others should unzip their wetsuits, but solidarity lost.  

We swam out to the fence on the Avila Pier, to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier and  to the end of the pier. From there Leslie, Stephanie and Tiki swam to the end of the Avila Pier and in.  Jodi and I swam to the creek buoy, in to the phantom last swim buoy and back to the pier. The swimming conditions were much like Thursday. Swimming out to the end of the CP Pier was easy. Heading back was into the chop was a nice piece of work.   

Jodi providing directions to the Avia Pier from the end of the CP Pier for Tiki and Niel.  

I connected with Tom on my way in along the Avila Pier. 

I'll be back tomorrow to swim at 11. Duke, Jodi and maybe some others should be there.


Thursday, January 6, 2022

Thursday, January 6th, 2022

There was a big change in the weather and water conditions today. It was warm, 55° at 8AM, clear, sunny and with a strong offshore breeze. The water was also 55°. The wind was blowing off of the beach and pushing up a nice chop that would be larger and stronger the farther you were off of the shore.
Niel and Leslie did a lap out and over to the ocean end of the Cal Poly Pier and back. The direction of the chop was aligned with our route, pushing us on the way out and in our face on the way back. 
Tom swam this morning. He got in later than we did and I did not see him.      

Niel and Leslie at the end of the Cal Poly Pier. 

I'll swim Saturday morning at 8 and Sunday at 11.


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

 A busy morning for the Dolphins; Stephanie got in first and swam by herself. Her report was "rough, bouncy, got tumbled", next were Tom and Sue who found similar conditions and swam about 3000M. Last was Niel and Duke at 11. The air temp was 58°, the water 55° and sets of 6+ foot breakers which pushed the king high tide way up the beach.    

The swells looked smaller and less consolidated on the right side of the pier so we got in on that side and did Duke's U-Burner route. Short but very physical. My plot looks screwy, we got out at the last set of stairs near the start of the seawall, much further to the right than the plot shows. I didn't take my camera because I did not want to risk beating it up or losing it in the surf. 

It was nice getting out when it was warm and sunny and seeing Peter Kelley up on Front Street.

Duke and I will swim at 8:30 on Thursday.