Saturday, April 30, 2022

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

It was nice and warm at Avila Beach this morning. There were no clouds but there was a strong offshore wind. I measured a water temperature of 51.5°, but Jodi and I thought it was colder, maybe even 50°. Perhaps it was the wind.  Our route was a reverse of what I did Thursday, leaving out the touch at the end of the Avila Pier.
On the weekends the Pale Kai outriggers launch at 8:30 - 8:45 so we have been dodging each other if we are between the Avila and Cal Poly Piers when they launch. Neither Jodi or I wanted to tread water for too long today because at that point neither of us could feel our hands or feet. 

Jodi, Niel and the first buoy.

I didn't see Tom, his car or Sue. Maybe they swam Cayucos.

The Lifeguard Academy was in its final weekend and coming in we shared the buoy line with the guards. They were swimming our and around a buoy, back to the beach, run up to the sea wall and back to the water and do it again at the next buoy for all 8 buoys. We saw Tiki before we got in and while she was in the water.

Jodi will leave Wednesday for the big island of Hawaii for 10 days so we will not see her tomorrow or the following weekend, and not on the 14th or 15th unless she just can't wait to get back into her wetsuit and the cold water.

I'll be back tomorrow to swim at 11.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

Nice - 

I saw Dr. Kolofer yesterday and was massaged and adjusted so I felt really good this morning. I got in at 7:50 and had a great swim. 
It was nice and sunny with no wind and just some swell on the water. The air temp was 45°but felt warmer, the water is stuck at 52°. The NOAA buoy at Diablo Canyon was also reading 52°. During the summer the water is usually warmer in Avila and at the port than it is outside of the breakwater in the 'open' ocean.  I'm guessing that the water will be 52° is for a while until the offshore wind quits and and the summer weather pattern is established. 

I did a counterclockwise loop and for a change hit both ends of the swim buoy line and the end of the Avila Pier.

I spoke to Sue for a minute. She and Tom were getting in as I was leaving.

I'll be back at 8 on Saturday.


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022


What a surprise. Before I left for the beach the wind at my house in San Luis Obispo was strong and gusty and clocking between 14 and 23 MPH, so I was expecting very windy swimming conditions this morning. But what do I know? Avila Beach was 54°, sunny and calm. The surface of the water was pretty messy from multiple swells of different sizes and directions. The water temperature was still 52°.  The surf was up a bit but nothing worthy of the NOAA High Surf Advisory. The west facing beaches were probably a different story. 

I decided to do a couple of big triangles which would give me eight different exposures to work with on that messy surface and take me past all eight of the No Boats/Swim Zone buoys. 

At the reef buoy on my way back. 

And just after that I met up with Tom between buoys 1 and 2.

I'll be back Thursday at 8.


Sunday, April 24, 2022

Sunday, April 24th, 2022

 Summer - 

At 10:30 it was 76° in Avila Beach with no wind or clouds. If felt like it was going to be warm unless the wind came up. The water was still 52°. If the offshore wind holds off in this coming week I'm hoping the water temperature will creep up to say 54° or 55°. The surf was 2 to 3 foot.
Jodi and I planned a route that would celebrate the return of the Swim Zone buoys. With the lifeguards and now the buoys back, Avila Beach looks ready for summer.     

We swam down a real line of swim zone buoys past the creek mouth, to the end of the pier, over to Fossil Point and angled back in to line up with the buoys and swim along them to the pier.  

Jodi and I hung at the end of the Avila Pier to 
give this boat with day fishermen a wide clearance.
There were some real cold spots out there today, several degrees colder than the rest of the water. The end of the pier was one of them. The temperature was the same as the rest of the water at the surface but much colder at my feet. It was a relief to lift my feet up out of the water. Inshore of the reef buoy was another cold spot. The swell must have been pulling up water from the bottom when it broke over the reef. 

Jodi and Niel at the first buoy on the left side of the pier. 

The wind had not gotten into Avila when I was leaving at 12:45 and the thermometer in my car said 90°.  There was a nice breeze in SLO and it was 74°.

I'll be back Tuesday morning at 8.
Jodi will be back to swim on Saturday and then off to Maui for 10 days.

Gear Tip - I'm swimming in the ocean four times a week and a salt crust had built up around the buttons of my Garmin watch. They had all gotten sticky with the UP button, the one at 8 o'clock, just about refusing to work. I soaked my watch in warm tap water for 15 minutes and hit the areas around the buttons with an old toothbrush and it is now fully functional.  😃👏


Saturday, April 23, 2022

/saturday, April 23rd, 2022

Saturday morning at 7:30 the wind was doing a nice job of blowing the tops off of the waves.  There were sets of large swells that were making 5 to 6 foot breakers. There were long gaps between the big sets with 3 plus foot waves. The air was 53°, the sun felt warm and the water was 52°.   
Jodi and Niel got in at 8 and did the same route that Jodi had done solo on Sunday morning; out to the end of the Avila Pier, to the third crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier, to the second crossbars, back to the end of the Avila Pier and do it again in the opposite direction.  

Jodi and Niel at our second stop at the third crossbars.

The wind was steady and strong. At our first stop at the third crossbars the chop off of the beach was white capped and the swim along the CPP to the second crossbars was some work. The wind died down a bit after that but left plenty of character on the water.  

I'll be back tomorrow to swim at 11. Jodi, Pat, Duke and David are possibilities. 


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Thursday, April 21st, 2022

 A Man of Few Words Swim Report from Tom

Here are the conditions for this morning. The buoys are back. Water temp was 52. About the same as Tuesday. Excellent day of swimming. 

The barge putting in the swim zone buoys

Thanks Tom

I'll be back Saturday morning at 8.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Tuesday, April 19th, 2022


It was sunny, 57°, and calm at Avila Beach this morning. The water was up to 52.5°, three degrees warmer than last Thursday and without the wind and gray skies , so it was much more comfortable than last Tuesday. I tired to hold onto that thought when I started swimming and it still felt COLD.  When it arrives, 55° will feel almost relaxing.
At 8 o'clock the tide was a -1' and there was a lot more beach than we usually see. The 'swim' out to the gate on the pier was more of a stroll.  

I did a couple of sloppy triangles. The water was noticeably colder near the surf line. I have no idea why.  
After I got out I spoke to Tom on the beach. Neither of us will be swimming on this Thursday, I have a in person (!) meeting at 8 and Tom will be south for a water polo tournament. 

I'll be back Saturday at 8.


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Sunday, April 17th, 2022

Sunday was a lot like Saturday except for there being no rain and plenty of sunshine. At 10:30 the air temperature wsa 67°, there was a slight wind and the water was still 52° and very clear (for Avila Beach). I could see the bottom in about 10 feet of water. There were plenty of small swells from the SE but not much in the way of waves.

Lifeguard Academy was underway and I think that is Tiki who is closest to the front of the Harbor Patrol boat. Later I saw her running down the beach with her rescue can and fins. 

I was on my own today and decided to do an out and back along the Cal Poly Pier.  I wasn't sure how long this route was but it turned out fit in with my usual swim at 59 minutes and just under 2 miles.

Tom had been out earlier. I do not know where he swam but he guessed the water temperature at 52°. His toes are getting calibrated.

I heard from Jodi. She swam at 8:30 and did 3800M.

An art shot of the end of the CPP.

Looking at the Avila Pier from the CPP.

I was one or two degrees colder and bumpier at the end of the CPP.  On occasions it is also colder at the end of the Avila Pier. It must have something to do with the pilings causing currents that bring up the colder water from the bottom. 

Afterwards it was lovely on the beach and as I was gettin got my car I had a drive by from Duke. 

I'm back Tuesday morning at 8. I won't be able to swim on Thursday morning.


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Saturday, April 16th, 2022

At 52° the water today was warmer but with the clouds and rain it swam like 50 - 51.  

It wasn't raining when Jodi and I got in at 8 and swam a route I'll call The Broken Martini. We swam along the beach to Fossil Point instead of to Avila Rock so the martini glass is lopsided and sort of broken and our distance was a couple of hundred meters short of the full Martini's 2.4 miles/3862M.  
The water is still really clear and felt a bit warmer than Thursday's 50° but that may have been because there was no wind today. There was always some rolling and lifting to the water but no chop.   

Niel and Jodi at the Cal Poly Pier 

Tom on his way out as Jodi and I were heading in.

As Jodi and I were walking up the beach we got to say a quick hi to Tiki as she was running back to the pier as part of the Lifeguard Academy.  Tiki, keep smiling and kick their butts!

I'll be back tomorrow at 11. Jodi and Pat may join me.


Thursday, April 14, 2022

Thursday, April 14th, 2022

 When 50° Is Warmer
I'll take what the ocean gives.  A water temperature that was a half a degree warmer (?) from Tuesday combined with a warmer air temperature (47°) and less wind and I was working to see the up side to today's conditions. 

When I got in at 8 the water was nice and smooth. The wind was starting by 9:15 when I got out.  The wind that has been pushing the water temperature down is also making the water nice and clear. It is a partial compensation to not being able to feel your hands or feet. Like Tuesday, except for the water temperature, the swimming was wonderful.  

I spoke to Tiki and a friend near the reef buoy. They were on paddle boards, and I said a quick hi to Tom as we passed each other in the surf zone.

Jodi and I will swim Saturday morning at 8. There is a 40% chance of rain before 11 so we'll see what that is like. 


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

49.5° - This may be some kind of a record.

I'm not referring to the water temperature today, we have seen spring water temperatures of 47° to 50°, but the water at Avila was 55.5° on Sunday and I do not recall ever seeing a 6 degree drop in two days.  The wind was really howling yesterday and through last night and that will push the water temperature down. 

Otherwise, it was sunny and 47° at Avila at 7:30, the wind was gusty, from still to really blowing. The surf was small and the watter nice and clean. I was thinking that I might have read the thermometer wrong but when my face hit the water all doubts were over.      

The second crossbars on the CPP, the end of the Avila Pier, the end of the CPP, in to the third crossbars and to the beach where I had gotten in. 

At the end of the CPP.
The swimming today was great. The water was very clear and the chop and wind kept me pushing and working with the water. 
I was in my 3.5/4.5 full suit and thinking about Tom and how he would get in at 9 and be out here in his thin farmer john and a rash guard. It didn't make me feel any warmer or virtuous. Then I realized that it was 10 years ago that Rob Dumouchel swam bareback from Avila to Pismo on New Year's Day in water that was 50°- 51°. It took him 4.5 hours because of an incoming storm and he said that he felt 'fine' when he got out. That didn't make me feel any warmer either, or interested in going without my neoprene.     

On my was to my car I met Tom on the beach as he was getting in.

And me wondering when I would again be able to feel my feet. 

Product Report - Costco Microfiber Beach Towel

I picked up this really beautiful microfiber beach towel at Costco on Sunday. It was really nice looking, large enough at 30" x 60", and would be more compact and faster drying than a cotton terry towel. I went right by the part of the description that said 'sand resistant'. One use and I understood. This towel is for laying on on the beach, not drying yourself off. The surface is very dense with no discernable pile, so it does not pick up sand, but it barely wicks up water so it is not good for drying you off.  A quick lesson on a windy morning after a long cold swim.

I'll swim at 8 on Thursday morning and I'll bring my old, huge, heavy, terry cloth towel.



Sunday, April 10, 2022

Sunday, April 10th, 2022


At 10:20 this morning it was 70° at Avila Beach and warming up nicely. It was clear and sunny with a light breeze and almost too warm if you were out of the wind. The water temperature was holding up at 55.5°.
While I was out on the pier checking the water temperature I saw Duke arrive. It was great to see him. Pat was going to swim today and they had decided to join me for lunch after the swim. 
Duke was not swimming so it was just Pat and I in the water. When it is sunny and warm and the water is above 55 the water loses it edge and getting in and swimming are a different experience.    
Pat and I did the same route that I had done earlier in the week; swim parallel to the beach to the creek and then back the other way until we were off of Fossil Point, then back to the starting point. Fossil Point is out of the shadow of the breakwater at the port and conditions there will be more like the open ocean. Today between the big rock and the point it was the full washing machine. It was fun work and nice to know that it would lay down as we swam back. By the time we were sitting down to lunch the whitecaps were in to the surf line.

Niel and Pat at Fossil Point 

Duke and Pat

A Duke's Back update - He is arranging a trip to UCLA and Marina del Rey to see two highly recommended surgeons to see what they have to suggest.

I'll be back at 8 on Tuesday morning and the conditions should be colder and quite different.


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Saturday, April 9th, 2022

Niel, Tiki and Jodi were toes in at 8 on Saturday morning. The water was 56°, a number we have not seen in a while. The air temperature was 47° and there were low clouds that were burning off. The wind was not up yet so the water was pretty smooth and the waves were unremarkable.
 We swam directly to the end of the Cal Poly Pier, over to and around the reef buoy, along the beach to the Avila Pier and to the end of the pier. Tiki's wetsuit was rubbing so she headed in at this point while Jodi and I swam over to the second crossbars on the CPP and back to our getting in point.  
The wind picked up during our swim and the surface got lumpy but was never bad or annoying.  56°s was nice and comfortable. I even found myself thinking that the colder places felt pretty good. 
Tiki, Jodi and Niel near the reef buoy.

A better one of Tiki, Niel and Jodi's feet.

We won't see Tiki again for a while. She is going up to Berkeley tomorrow to check out housing and the next two weekends she will be doing the Avila Lifeguard Academy. She is going to have a very busy summer so I do not know how often we will see her.

Jodi and I will swim tomorrow at 11.



Thursday, April 7, 2022

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

I got in at on the right side of the pier 9. Tom got in at the about the same time on the left side of the pier. We spent an hour swimming in the same part of the ocean and never saw each other until we got out. It was great out there this morning.  Avila was sunny, 62° and still calm. The water was 54° and pretty smooth until closer to 10 o'clock. I was ready for colder (51°?)  water because of the strong winds so I was a happy swimmer at 54°. Today was an X marks the spot/melted hourglass route, just something different.

I expect that I will see Jodi and Tiki Saturday morning for the 8 AM swim.


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Tuesday, April 5th, 2022


Springtime In Avila Beach -  At 8 AM it was clear, sunny and 61° with a strong and gusty NE breeze. I doubt that you can see it on your phone but the water was rippled up so it looked like corduroy. The low tide at 7:55 was .23 feet, which is really low. The swim out to the 'buoy' line was quite short.

I got in at 8 and decided to swim the length of the beach a couple of times, then changed my mind when I got to the east end of the beach and continued on until I was off of Fossil Point for a bit of an open water experience. 

Me and Fossil Point.
As soon as the water warms up a bit I think that we should arrange for 2 or 3 paddlers and do a group swim from Avila to Pirate's Cove, a 3 mile round trip. It has been several, maybe 4 or 5, years since the last one.   

9 o'clock and I'm handing off to Tom.

I've an early start to my day Thursday (a 7AM ZOOM meeting is just the wrong way to start your day) so I'll be getting in at 9 and clearing my head.


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

 Sunday was pretty much a rerun of Saturday except that the swimming conditions were rougher. At 11 it was overcast and gray, 55°and felt cooler, 54° water with small surf. The water was nice and clean except for the loose kelp and seagrass that has been common recently. 

Niel, Jodi and Pat were interested in doing about an hour so we planned a circle that started by swimming over to the Cal Poly Pier. The water was rougher than it looked and the leg out along the CP Pier into the chop was a workout, followed by the long leg to the reef buoy with the swell and current pushing on our rear quarter.        

It was a well earned two miles. 

Pat and Niel at the end of the CP Per with Jodi out of the frame to the right, so

this is from yesterday.

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


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Saturday, April 2nd, 2022

Today's stats were; fog and low clouds, water that measured 54° and swam like 52°- 53°, an air temp of 50°, no wind, glassy seas with a slight swell and 2 to 3 foot waves.

It was foggy enough that we stayed around the Avila Pier, sort of making up our route as we went.  

Niel, Jodi and Tiki at the end of the Avila Pier

Had a close encounter with Tom as we were heading 
in to the beach and he was heading out.

Leslie sent this great message with Dolphin cap from Kawai.

Jodi and I will be back tomorrow at 11.