Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

It was sunny, clear and 45° at Avila Beach this morning. There was no wind, the water was 56° and had a nce SW swell running, the surf was small and the water not as clear as it had been over the weekend.

I got in at 7 and just cruised around the swim buoys and the end of the Avila Pier. 56° and early in the day was cooler than mid-day Sunday's 58° but it was still comfortable enough to not have a shock factor when my face hit the water. The swimming was easy but the swell was enough to make each leg different and occasionally bring me back from the far corners of my head to the swimming.

Tom did his solo swim at 9 and texted that he also had a great swim.

My early Thursday morning in person meeting is scrubbed due to too much COVID so unless they switch to ZOOM I'll be getting in at 7.



Sunday, May 29, 2022

Sunday, May 29th, 2022

Sunday was a wonderful day at the beach. When I arrived at 10:15 it was more crowded than a non-holiday Sunday but not like it would be at 1 PM. It was 70°, heading for 80°, clear with a light but gusty wind. The water temperature was 58°!
David, Tiki and I got in a bit after 11. Tiki and I went without our neoprene caps.  The water felt really nice, pretty smooth and relaxing. 
At the end of the CP Pier the wind was picking up and we had a chop to ride back to the Avila Pier. Tiki went in to do a workout with the lifeguards while David and I continued to the last buoy on the east side and back along the buoys to our starting point.  

Tiki, David and Niel at the end of the CP Pier.
The water was nice and clean today.

By 1 the ocean was white capped all of the way into the surf.  Then a whirlwind came down the beach picking up umbrellas and pop ups and scattering them across the beach.

I left a bit after 1 and had people following me to snag my parking spot completing my summer experience today

I'll be back at 7 on Tuesday.


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Saturday, May 28th, 2022

The numbers lined up nicely this morning, the air was 56° and the water 56.5°. It was still except for a random quick gust which had me thinking that it was going to be windy by noon. There were patches of blue in the clouds and it felt cool but I couldn't tell if it was going to clear or cloud up.  It was clear and windy and choppy at noon. 

Niel, Jodi and Tiki got in just after 8 o'clock. After a fall from tripping over her cat Jodi's shoulder is bothering her but she planned on swimming today using a hand paddle on her good side and 1/2 strokes on the other.  We started out and left down the buoy line, then to the end of the Avila Pier, to the last buoy on the opposite side and back to the end of the Avila Pier.Jodi and tiki went in from there and I swam to the end of the CP Pier, in to the second crossbars, over to and along the swim zone buoys and in.    

Jodi's bum shoulder didn't slow her down a bit. She was even off the front a few times.

Tiki, Jodi with her hand paddle and Niel just getting started at the first buoy on the left.  

Niel, Tiki and Jodi at the last buoy on the right.

I didn't see Tom but he was probably out there.

I'll swim at 11 tomorrow. Neither Jodi or Tiki will be joining me. We'll see who else shows.


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

It was gray and spitting at Avila Beach this morning but the swimming conditions were great. There was no wind and the ocean's surface was glassy with a slight swell. The air temperature was 58° and the water temperature was holding up at 56.5°. 
I got in at 7ish and swam an out and back course that started with the end of the Avila Pier, then the end of the Cal Poly Pier, where the water was noticeably colder, and in all of the way to the rocks at the base of the pier and then back the way I came.

It was a bad day for technology for me. 

I didn't shoot any still photos this morning and experimented with shooting two videos, but my inexperience with the GoPro software resulted in the videos being deleted from the camera instead of transfered to the blog.  😖

and getting the plot of the swim uploaded required going into Garmin Express and updating that software, but I got that done so here it is. 

I spoke with Tom before he got in.

I'll swim at 8 on Saturday morning.


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022


Mr. Lindsay predicted that we would be having June Gloom and he was correct. It was solid overcast at Avila Beach, 52° with a slight wind and a short period swell that would make for some messy swimming conditions. The best news was that the water was 57°, a number that I have not recorded in over 6 months. Even with the gloom today would be a nice swim.      

I switched up my schedule today and got in the water at 7 and was able to get home and start work an hour earlier.  Hummm, there might be something wrong with my plan. I was able to beat the wind. Tom got in at 9 and said that it was really blowing for his swim. 

At the reef buoy. 
Today was my first time with my GoPro camera. It defaults to a wider angle view and a more square format than my recently departed Ricoh, so the blog will have a different look.
The quality of the pictures is very nice.   

I've no meeting this Thursday so I'll try getting in at 7 again. 


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

A Sunday Swim In Avila Beach

Mr. Lindsay was correct, we are now having June Gloom. It was sunny at Avila but there was a thick bank of fog offshore and a breeze that was cool and full of moisture. It was 60° and shorts and a sweatshirt weather.  I was hoping that the fog would continue to burn off and that it would warm up.
We had a nice group today: Hillary, Jodi, Tiki, David and Niel. We planned to do a counterclockwise loop over to and out along the CP Pier, back to the east end of the buoy line and along the buoys to the Avila Pier.  The water was 55°, a temperature that I haven't seen since November and we swam in relaxing conditions except for the wind chop out of the SW which made the first leg over to the CP Pier the hardest and then each of the rest easier.  
Jodi's shoulder started bothering her so she cut her swim short, Tiki headed in from the end of the Avila Pier in order to join the lifeguard's workout. Niel, David and Hillary completed the loop over to the last buoy and back to the pier.

Will the water stay 55°? I doubt it, it is too early for that,  but I'm confident we will not be seeing below 53° until next winter.

I'll be back on Tuesday morning at 8.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Saturday May 22nd, 2022

Avila was clear this morning with no wind, a nice swell on the water and small surf. At 8 the air temperature was 48° and rising quickly and the water was 53°.  Tiki and I got in at 8:20. Our plan was to swim out to the end of the Avila Pier, back to the first buoy, along the buoy line to buoy #2, out to the end of the pier and back to #2 and repeat for all four buoys. On the return to the 4th buoy we swung out round the reef buoy which messed up the plot.    

 The water is getting a little dirty but the swell made the swimming more fun.

Tom swam today. We didn't see him.  

David, Jodi and probably Tiki should be joining me tomorrow at 11. 


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Thursday, May 19th, 2022


I got in the water at 9:30 this morning, a nice way to follow up a 90 minute ZOOM meeting. 

It was 62° in Avila, sunny and a bit breezy with a small chop and swell on the water, knee high waves and 54° water. The water is starting to lose its nice winter visibility and take on it's summer brown cloudy tinge, which is a trade we make for warmer water temperatures. 54 is much more comfortable than 51-52. There were some much colder spots near the piers and close to the shore.

I swam out to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the end of the Cal Poly Pier and back and forth between them.
I did not see Tom but his text says that he got in about 9 and swam around the Avila Rock, and that the water near the rock was much colder.

I'll swim again on Saturday morning at 8.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

I got in at 7:50 and swam a clockwise loop. Avila was overcast with a light wind. The air temperature was 51° and the water was 51.5°.  

Tom and Sue swam at 9.

I'll swim at 8:45 on Thursday.


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday, May 15th, 2022

At 10:30 Avila was 60° and cool with no sun, white clouds with gray bottoms and a light wind. Not really shorts and t-shirt weather. The water was up to 53°, very clear and green colored. The breeze was out of the east and strong enough to put a small chop on the water. 

Tiki and I got in at 11 and swam down to Fossil Point. Tiki wanted to swim to the sea level cave on the cliff face. When we got close to the mouth of the cave she kept going so I followed her. The tide was high enough that we floated over the rocks and ended up sitting on the clean rocks in the cave. What a great spot! We swam back to the end of the Avila Pier and in.

As a first year lifeguard Tiki is working just Saturdays and had two rescue/assists yesterday. 

I wish I'd had my camera on today's swim but it flooded yesterday. That was my fourth Ricoh WD-70. They have been very reliable, lasting 3 years or so before they die by leak, a electronic failure or in one case, being flung out of my sweatshirt pocket to land hard on the street. I was ready to buy another one but first decided to browse the GoPro website and, well, they were having a $200 off sale on the GoPro10, so soon I will be able to shoot high definition video myself cliff diving off of Fossil Point and wrestling sharks.

I'll be back Tuesday morning at 8.


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Saturday, May 14th, 2022

Avila Beach was bright and sunny this morning and 70° at 7:30. There was a light offshore wind but the water was pretty smooth and 51°.  The surf was minimal.

Tiki, myself and a new friend got in a bit after 8. The new guy (sorry about forgetting your name)  is a member of the Dolphin Swimming Club in San Francisco and moved here a year ago.  He swam a mile bareback and Tiki and I did 2.25 miles.

Tiki and I will swim tomorrow at 11.


Thursday, May 12, 2022

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

The swimming conditions were beautiful this morning. Avila was 52° at 7:45. It was clear, the water was glassy and flat in places with just some ripples. The water temperature was up from Tuesday's 49° to 50° (I didn't feel the difference) and it was very clear. Tom thought it felt like 51°. Good for him and his positive thinking. My hands and feet were cold the whole time which is a 50 degrees or less thing for me.    

I swam one of many possible variations of out to the end of the Cal Poly Pier and back. I didn't find any changes in the water temperature but there was a small pushy ripple on the water I had to swim against going out along the pier. Going back in was easier but I didn't feel like I was getting the same amount of help that I earned on the way out.

I pushed the whole way and was ready to get our when I stood up.

I'll be back at 8 on Saturday. I'm not expecting much of a bump up in the water temperature.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

 The Revenge of the Wind People

The recent wind has pushed the water temperature at the Avila Pier down to 49°. The water was 50.1° over at the port and weirdly, the Diablo Canyon buoy was reading 54.4°. Other offshore waverider buoys are reporting 54°+/- so I guess it is the way the wind is blowing off of the south facing beaches. No matter why, it was going to be a cold swim this morning.
It was sunny and the air temperature was 47° with small surf and a slight offshore wind.  

Tom was out there and texted that he was with a pod of dolphins on the line between the reef buoy and the end of the Avila Pier. None of them had yellow caps on so they must not have been the REAL Avial Dolphins.  :-)  That must have been very special.

It is going to be windy all week so Thursday's 8AM swim may be much the same. Today I avoided thinking about how my feet and hands were feeling by focusing on Jodi, struggling in water that is 30° warmer in Hawaii and having to return to swim in Avila Beach this coming weekend.

I have also been seeing more large flocks of birds on the water, cormorants and grebs (?) which along with the cold water is another sign that summer is just around the corner.   😁


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Today's word was WINDY, as in umbrellas and pop ups cartwheeling down the beach windy. The wind was out of the west at 10 mph, gusting to 24 mph and making whitecaps all of the way to the shore. The water's surface was all broken up with occasional larger swells. The surf was 3 to 4 feet with an occasional 5 footer. The water temperature was 53° and the air temperature 64°.     
Tiki and Niel were going to swim for an hour so Tiki would have time to join the lifeguards workout and I figured after yesterday's three mile swim and the rest of the day working in the yard that a short but harder swim would be OK.  Before we got in I received a text from Tom saying that it was messy and mixed up out there and he was anxious to know what I thought of the conditions.  

I had planned on swimming to the end of the Cal Poly Pier and coming back to the end of the Avila Pier, but by the time I had reached the first buoy to turn towards the creek I was already thinking about shorter routes. 
Where's Tiki? 
I was easy to lose each other in these conditions. Going down the buoy line to the creek and over to the CP Pier we were headed directly into the chop. I found my pace and was doing fine, just banging along, except for the occasional larger wave which would pick me up and drop me into a hole on the other side so I'd go under the next wave. There was so much going on I wasn't even aware of the water temperature.      

At the second crossbars. This is one of the larger waves. The smaller ones were breaking. 

From the second crossbars we swam to the end of the Avila Pier and in to the beach. Our swim was 47 minutes for 1851M. Someday Garmin will be able to tell why you are going slow and adjust the stats for the conditions. There is a hint in today's data, my time for 100M was 35 seconds slower than usual. 

Tuesday it will not be breezy until the afternoon so my 8AM swim should be less special.



Saturday, May 7, 2022

Saturday, May 7th, 2022

Avila Beach at 7:45 this morning; sunny, no wind yet, glassy water, a 58° air temperature and a 53.5° water temperature and 2+ foot surf.  Very nice swimming conditions.
The conditions were good for a longer swim so I planned to do an out and back route to the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier. 
Tiki had gotten to the beach as I was swimming down the buoy line so she jumped in and swam to cut me off.  I bumped into (literally) her at the second crossbars and we swam the back loop of my route together. The wind was picking up during the last part of our swim and was getting gusty as we were getting ready to leave. 

Me and the youngest new Avila Beach Lifeguard at the end of the Cal Poly Pier!
She would be in Tower 1 at 11 today.  A big congratulations and a job well done.

I saw Tom's car so I know he was out there somewhere. 

Tiki and I will swim at 11 tomorrow.


Thursday, May 5, 2022

I got in at 8:15. There was low clouds or high fog, either way the visibility was fine but there was no sun. The water was glassy and almost flat. The surf was 3 foot. The air temp was 48° and I measured a water temperature of 52.5°.

 It was cold wading in and cold swimming. The lack of sun was making the water feel a degree or two lower than my measured temperature. Initially I had thought that after I'd hit the end of the Avila Pier the second time I'd swing over to and around the reef buoy and come back to the pier along the buoy line but I was ready to get out. That worked out OK because Tom and I passed each other about half way along the pier.

Tom and I will swim at 9 and 8 as usual on Saturday morning.

No Jodi Saturday because she is out of town in Hawaii, bearing up under the pressure of 78° water.


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022


The water has been around 52° for three weeks now so it is getting to be familiar. 52° again this morning and Sundays more comfortable 53° is already just a memory. One degree in water temperature and about 20 degrees in air temperature made the difference. I didn't get comfortable today but still had a very nice swim. The surf was inconsequential, the water clear and the surface was glassy with some rollyness from the swell. In another month we will have traded warmer water for 4 to 6 foot visibility
The wind was coming up and putting some chop on the water as I walked back to my car. I saw Tom and Sue turn left at the first buoy and head down the line towards Fossil Point.

I'll be getting in a bit later on Thursday, between 8 and 9.


Sunday, May 1, 2022

Sunday, May 1st, 2022


I had a beautiful swim today. Avila was sunny and 70 something degrees with a strong and steady wind out of the west. The water was white capped all of the way in to the surf. I was surprised to measure a water temperature of 53°. I thought that with the wind it would be colder than yesterday. I saw Tiki with the other guards doing their final day of the Lifeguard Academy. I was going to do counterclockwise and clockwise loops around the pier. I started heading west down the swim buoy line and was more comfortable than yesterday so I changed plans to swim out to the end of the CP Pier and coast all of the way to the reef buoy and come back in to the pier. The Start along the buoy line and over to the CP Pier was the roughest part of this swim. The water was very clear and warmer enough that I felt relaxed and comfortable.
I spoke to Tiki at Tower One while she was waiting to begin the final task on the final day of the Lifeguard Academy.  She was going to do a surprise rescue of a 'victim'.
Afterwards it was windy but warm on the beach. I got distracted figuring out which people were going to go home with a case of early summer sunburn. 

I'm swimming at 8 on Tuesday.