Thursday, March 31, 2022

Thursday. March 31st. 2022


Nice smooth water today. The water temp was 53° and the air 47°. I figured that things had cleaned up so I did a loop that included a swim by the mouth of the creek.  I got into doing the whole swim without stopping so there are no photos today.

I think it will be Jodi, Tiki and I on Saturday morning at 8.


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

 The air temp was 47°, the water 55°, it was sunny, not windy but there was a large post storm swell out of the SE. The swell was so long that I needed to look at the pier to see the water moving 4' vertically on the pilings.  A strange thing about swells like these is that for all of the energy in the water they don't create larger waves at the beach.  Someday I'll find someone who can explain this.

It had rained an inch or more Sunday night through Monday and the creeks may have dirtied up so I planned a route that stayed well away from the creek mouth.  

The blue plot of my pace looks at lot like the surface of the water. 

At the end of the Cal Poly Pier modeling proper attire for
 swimming in water with a potential bacteria problem.

Spoke briefly with Tom as I was heading in the 'buoy line' and he and Sue were heading out for a lap around the Avila Rock.

I'll be back at 8 on Thursday.


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Sunday, March 27th, 2022

 You can't see it easily but while I was taking the water temperature from the Avila Pier I could see rain falling towards Shell and Pismo Beaches. This was at 10:35. Note the surface conditions, pretty glassy with some ripples and a small swell out of the SE. This was about to change! The air temperature was 56° and the water 55.5° so I was expecting a more comfortable swim than yesterday.

I was the only one there so I got in a bit before 11. It turns out that Tiki was just behind me and didn't see me in the water so she did a lap around the Avila Pier with a Buddha float at the end of the pier. 
I swam out, turned right, swam to the creek mouth and over to the Cal Poly Pier. I was more comfortable than yesterday. Credit the sunshine and the warmer air temperature. When I turned left at the second crossbars towards the end of the pier I found that I was swimming up a flight of stairs. The water had formed up into a combination of chop and swell that had me trying to not think about when I would arrive at the end of the pier. Another left turn and the swimming was easier but still very lumpy. Occasionally a couple of large swells would roll through for a brief elevator ride.  I wasn't swallowing any water but I was sure getting massaged by all of the movement.  

It was still rough coming back along the beach and the waves were all piled together in the surf line. I got this photo of the conditions after I got out. It was very messy out there.

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 8 unless we get a huge rain dump into Monday and I think it has pooped up the water. 


Saturday, March 26, 2022

Saturday, March 26th, 2022


There was better visibility today, I could see the full length of both piers and the Avila Rock so the fog was not going to inhibit our choice of routes. The water temp was up to 55°, but with the lack of sun it would swim more like 53°. The air temperature was 50° and it was calm. There was a mix of swells from the south and southeast, right in sync with the approaching cold front. 
Jodi, Tiki and Niel got in just after 8. This route was just something interesting would make the desired distance and not intended to look like anything. Tiki was wearing a borrowed wetsuit that leaked like a sieve. She got cold and went in from our second visit to the end of the Avila Pier.  Going in with Tiki would put us just under 3200M so Jodi and I took pushed the distance and took a swing around the reef buoy. 

Jodi, Tiki and Niel at the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier.

I did not see Tom, his car or Sue because they swam in Cayucos

The big news of the day is that Tiki was accepted at UC Berkeley and will start there in the fall!  What a month for her; turn 18, get accepted into the Avila Lifeguards Academy and UC Berkeley! 

I'll be back tomorrow to swim at 11. No rain until Sunday night/Monday AM.


Thursday, March 24, 2022

Thursday, March 24th, 2022


Thursday began with a bit of a change in the weather from Tuesday. Avila Beach had fog thick enough to prevent me from seeing most of the Avila Pier. A route closer to shore would be today's plan. 

While I was measuring the water temperature I got these pictures of Tom and Sue getting in and heading towards the end of the Avila Pier. I had spoken to Tom earlier and he said that he would swim the 'buoy line' with loops out and around the pier instead of going under.  
The wind had died down and the water temperature was up to 54°. The air temp was 46°. I've found that foggy, sunless conditions like today depress the perceived water temperature by a degree or two. Tom of the sleeveless wetsuit thought the water was 51°. I have more neoprened idea of the water temperature than Tom so it felt like 53° to me.    

I got in at about 9:15 and started out along the route that Tom had proposed, thinking that we would encounter each other, but I never saw them.  Maybe they got our at the end of the beach and hung out at Kraken Coffee for an hour..... ;-)

By 10 the fog was lifting so I finished by swimming a triangle around the pier.

I'll be back at 8 on Saturday morning. Jodi and Sue should be there and I hope Tiki will be too. This weekend will be our last chance to see her for a while because her April weekends will be consumed by the Lifeguard Academy.


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022


My view at 7:45 walking out to the water. Not much to complain about. The air was 43°, the water 52° and still pretty smooth. By 8:30 or so the wind was messing up the surface making my leg from the Third Crossbars on the CP Pier to the Avila Pier a dog leg. Swimming into the sun with fogged up goggles didn't help.  If it wasn't for the jog to the left my route would have looked more like two isosceles triangles. 

I saw Tom getting ready to get in as I was leaving. 

I'll be back Thursday morning at 8:45, ready to swim and shake my 7:15 ZOOM business meeting out of my head and be ready to do some work.


Sunday, March 20, 2022

Sunday, March 20th, 2022

I got back from measuring the water temperature and found a plate of 3 blueberry muffins on my chair, a gift from Tom Lorish. They were shared with David and Tiki.

Tiki successfully completed the tryouts for the Avila Beach Lifeguards yesterday and will begin the Lifeguard Academy in April. This means she will be spending her weekends doing physical training instead of fun swims with us. GOOD LUCK TIKI and we hope to see you on a tower this summer.

The lifeguards were back today which means that the No Boats buoy line should be back soon. 

The air temperature was 60°, the water 53°, it was sunny with some SW wind and when we got in there was a nice surface on the water. There was an occasional 4+ foot wave. Neither Niel, Tiki or David felt like going long so we planned a route that would give us opportunities to add distance if we felt the urge. 
We went down the beach towards the Fossil Point,  to the end of the Avila Pier , towards the creek mouth, then under the pier and back to the end of the Avila Pier before coming in.  
After the first pass of the end of the pier the wind shifted into the West and rapidly gained strength, pushing up a whitecapping chop. This is Tiki and I near the Avila Pier. 

Tiki, David and Niel on the west, sheltered, side of the Avila Pier.  

David at the end of the Avila Pier.

I'll be back at 8 on Tuesday and at 8:45 on Thursday.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

Saturday, March 19th, 2022

 Bonus Photo -  That is better than saying that I took this photo Thursday and forgot to include it in the blog that day.  This guy was really moving. This is a hydrofoil with an electric motor. There are wings below the surface of the water on the vertical 'fin' that lift the board out of the water = almost no drag = speed. His speed was like that of a power boat, not something muscle powered. I wonder how long the batteries last?     

Jodi and I got in at 8 and did a loop out and around our usual points. The air temp was 52° and the water 53°, but it felt colder to me. The wind was out of the SE and the water roughened up as we got farther offshore. There were some large swells but the surf was not large or strong. 

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

Tiki was going to be at the tryouts for the Avila Lifeguards this morning and as Jodi and I arrived back at the Avila Pier both candidates were doing their 600M timed swims out and back along the Avila Pier. Yep, only Tiki and a guy were at the tryouts. We hung on the beach until she came in. Next for her was a 100M run/100M swim/100M run, not timed, and a interview.

When we were getting out we met Tom as he was getting in. 
Stephanie, Niel and Tom
December 7, 2014

Tiki and I will swim tomorrow at 11.

Driving home on Avila Beach Drive I stopped to let a rafter (Googled it) of 5 wild turkeys cross the road. They looked beautiful.


Thursday, March 17, 2022

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

I got in at about 8. The water felt colder than the 53.5° I had measured. Tom texted that his internal thermometer said 53°. Compared to Tuesday I took a bit longer to get comfortable, began pushing my pace to get warm and didn't stop to take any photos. The air temp was 49° and there was an offshore wind so it got bumpy towards the end of the Cal Poly Pier. The surf was a lot like Tuesday, maybe smaller and with a bit less energy, not worthy of the advisory NOAA has posted. The west facing beaches were probably a different story.

Today's route was just something that popped into my head before I got up to go to the beach. Something about swimming out to the end of the Avila Pier and turning around seemed intriguing. That's all I needed for a plan.

Tom's truck told me that he was there but we managed to share the ocean this time and to not run into each other.

NOAA is predicting RAIN for Saturday. That would be great. I'm planning on swimming at 8 on Saturday unless it has been raining enough to make me concerned about the water quality. Jodi, I'll text you at 7:15 about what I'm doing. 


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

 Avila was sunny, calm and 44°.  The water was 54°. The big surf that was predicted hadn't made much of a show yet. The waves had more power in them but the big ones were only 4 feet. I got in at 7:45. Tom usually gets in around 9 to 9:30 so I didn't know if I was going to see him. I planned to do a couple of big triangles for about an hour in the water.

I figured that I better look strong this morning or I might end up as this fisherman's breakfast.

Tom and I actually ran into each other on the leg between the end of the Avila Pier and the rock buoy. He was heading from the buoy and I towards the buoy. 
What are the chances of that?

I'll swim Thursday morning at 8.


Sunday, March 13, 2022

Sunday, March 13rh, 2022

 Avila Beach, Sunday morning at about 10:30. No crowds yet. Thin high clouds and 60°. No surf and flat water but I could feel that the wind out of the East was starting. The water was 54° and didn't feel any warmer than yesterdays 53. Pat thought it was colder but then he hadn't zipped with wetsuit up all of the way.   

I proposed that we take advantage of the water being so flat and swim all of the way down the beach and up close to the rocks at Fossil Point. I thought that we would double back along the beach all of the way to the mouth of the creek but instead we went to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the end of the Cal Poly Pier and finished with the 1000M leg back to the beach. That was fine except for that wind. The leg between the ends of  the Avila and CP Piers was really choppy, and that was with the chop behind us. Heading back to the beach was across the chop and even more physical until we had the Avila Pier between us and the wind and things flattened out some.     

Pat at Fossil Point


and David.

The water was flat enough that even with a negative tide we were able to swim close to the rocks.

I'll be back Tuesday morning at 8.


Saturday, March 12, 2022

Saturday, March 12th, 2022

Avila Beach was looking good this morning. The air temperature was 40°, the water was 53° and pretty flat with almost no surf and no sign of the wind coming up.  The life guards were starting their training, the guard towers are back in their summer locations and we should see the No Boats Zone buoys back in the water soon.   

Jodi suggested that we swim around Avila Rock. I liked the idea and Tiki had never been out there so this would be an adventure swim. 

Jodi, Tiki and Niel

There was a lot of kelp near the rock with more than a dozen otters showing 
off how easy it is to swim like an otter.  

Tiki, Jodi and Niel with Avila Rock in the background. 
The rock is the dark blob directly behind us that looks like part of the cliffs.

Jodi and I will be back to swim at 11 tomorrow.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

Thursday, March 10th, 2022

 It Is Still Windy Out There

In the last week the weather at Avila has become very sneaky. The early mornings are sunny and calm with an air temperature of about 50°, the water in the lower 50's, 53° today, the water is nice and clear and the conditions look flat and promising a nice relaxing swim. The wind must already be blowing over the hills on the west facing beaches because 30 minutes later I'm in very physical choppy conditions, slugging it out with the whitecaps with any thoughts of a relaxing, meditative swim replaced with 'you need to just do the work'.  
Tom got in at 8:50 and I at 9, we swam different routes. 
I'm not sure how, but Tom found me near the end of the Avila PIer.

Jodi and I will swim at 8 on Saturday and we will see what the ocean gods have planned for us. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Tuesday, March 8th , 2022

What a beautiful morning at Avila Beach! It was sunny and calm, 46° but warming up nicely.  52.5° water with small surf and an almost glassy surface. Beautiful swimming conditions. 

I decided to do a nice relaxing loop out and around the reef buoy and the Cal Poly Pier but the Big Pool had other plans for me.  

This was my brain wading in. So calm and relaxing, 
except for the water temperature.

This is my brain at the end of the Cal Poly pier after the slog to arrive here from the reef buoy.
It had become almost as bumpy as last Saturday. Somebody must have taken out the lane lines! The swim in along the pier and back to the Avila Pier was not much flatter. 

Tom had done a triangle around the Avila Pier and got good and cold.

After swimming Tom and Niel met up with Duke up on the bluffs to enjoy each others company and get caught up.  Duke is on the Temporary Injured Reserve List while he deals with some back problems that has him out of the water and off of the bike so we have not seen him at the beach for a while. We are looking forward to seeing him back on the sand after he is done helping his doctor's pay their kids college tuitions.

I'll be back Thursday morning at about 8:45.


Sunday, March 6, 2022

Sunday, March 6th, 2022

 At 10:30 Sunday morning Avila was 58°. the water was 53° and there was a steady wind out of the SW with whitecaps on the water in to the surf line so the swimming conditions were bumpy.

Got this photo of Tom coming in when I was on the pier getting the water temp. 

Tom had a good time and said that we were in for a bumpy swim.


Getting in were David, Tiki, Pat, Niel, Jodi. Jodi and I were ready for one lap around the buoy line with the chop making up some for the shorter than usual distance.      

David, Tiki and Pat getting in. Jodi was out ahead of me. 

Tiki, Pat, David and Jodi ready to make the turn out and around the reef buoy and do the hill into the current and chop from here to the end of the Avila Pier.

David and Pat did some additional distance before getting out.

Next week I'll be swimming Tuesday at 8, Thursday at 8:45, Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 11.


Saturday, March 5, 2022

Saturday, March 5th, 2022

Six Crossings and Extra Credit

Jodi and I got in at 8AM. There were high clouds and scattered showers. The air temperature was 44° and the water was 53°.  The predicted high surf wasn't happening in Avila so the surf was back to its usual size at 3' - 4'. The morning offshore breeze was not strong enough to mess up the water but Mr. Lindsay's prediction was for the wind to strengthen and to shift into the west during the morning.
Jodi had proposed this route last Saturday but it didn't get enough traction then. Today we were ready for about 4000M so off we went.     

The route was to cross between the Avila and Cal Poly Piers six times. We would get in on the west side of the Avila Pier, swim to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the third crossbars, back to the end of the Avila Pier, to the end of the CPP and either back to the end of the Avila Pier and in or to go directly from the end of the CPP to the beach.
It all worked out but the Mr. Lindsay was correct about the wind and the conditions became very choppy. The ocean started to have some character on the leg to the third crossbars and was really moving me around on the next leg back to the Avila Pier. Swimming to the end of the CPP was uphill and my hands were getting slapped around on every stroke. The last leg was easier until we came out of the wind shadow of the CPP, then it was whitecaps breaking over my head until we were close enough to shore for things to lay down.         

Jodi and Niel at the end of the Cal Poly Pier.
The pier was between us and the wind so it was pretty mellow here.
I clocked 4,600M and Jodi 4,700M (there was some confusion about which route to take back to the beach) and we were in the water for 1:40. 

We met Tom as we were getting out. He had stayed around the Avila Pier today and looked cold.  He wears a Farmer John (sleeveless) wetsuit and the wind on his arms and shoulders must have been chilling.  

 Jodi and I will be back at 11AM tomorrow.