Thursday, September 29, 2022

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

 Avila Loses It's Magic -

On my way to the beach there were areas of dense fog so I was hoping that the Avila Beach Weather Magic would be in and I'd be able to swim around Avila Rock today. I had no such luck. I swam a couple of laps of the buoy line and wandered all over the ocean just doing that.  

A view of the Avila Pier from the fourth buoy on the left side.
Trust me, it's there. The pier is a slightly darker line between the water and the fog.
Good luck finding the next buoy though.

The air temperature was 58° and the water 59°. There was no wind and the water was glassy, but, I couldn't see any red funk in this light but I tasted it several times on the east side of the pier. 
I know that I was unusually all over the water this morning but not this bad. 
I think my GPS was also lost in the fog.  

It looked like it was clearing with the sunrise when I got out at 8+ 
but Tom got in at 9:45 and it was still socked in.

Tom got in late and swam for 90 minutes. 

I'll be back Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

 Avila has its repetitive fall weather conditions this morning; 58°, 59° water, complete overcast, no wind, 2 to 3 foot surf, some swells to swim over but no chop, and, no red tide!

I'd been out for a week so I was cautious and did a couple of triangles. It seemed colder than 59 to me but I'll write that off to having been out of the ocean. 

Tom got in at 10:30 and swam around Avila Rock. I was thinking of that swim for today. I'll plan on heading out there Thursday.

I ran into Kevin Watkins this morning after I swam. That was great! 
He is retired and is volunteering with Operation Surf and was there helping with the setup for today's session.


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sunday, September 25th, 2022

 The Swim Report Is By Tom -

Tom's Sunday morning swim report: I decided to go north this morning to Cayucos. Sue and I arrived at the Cayucos pier at around 930. Solid marine layer. There was a decent 3 to 4 foot wave going. The water was smooth and glassy. And the best part about it, the water was virtually free of red funk. We swam around the Cayucos pier and then south to whale rock. Beautiful day of swimming. Back at Avila on Tuesday. 

Thanks Tom.

I'll also be back at Avila Tuesday morning.


Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday, September 23rd, 2022

 Today's post is by Tom -

Solid marine layer at Avila this morning. Flat calm waters. Still a light medium red funk present. Swimming was excellent, though. The pelican squadrons were stationed on all sides of the Avila Pier. Perfectly socially distanced, of course.  I inadvertently swam into the middle of a inner squad Pale Kai race on the west side.  Most of them just smiled and waved.   

As for me in Eureka, Kris and I swam Friday morning at the Community Pool in Arcata. 25yds., indoors and narrow lanes but it is the best public pool option in the area. For me it was the first time in 2- 1/2 years that I got chlorinated. I did sort of remember how to do a flip turn and didn't run into the wall.


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

 Today's post is by Tom:

Good morning. Beautiful at Avila this morning. Slight breeze, fall Crispness and clarity in the air, and way less crowds.
as I drove down from the Bluffs to my usual parking spot, I could see a clear funk line… The good news was the funk 
was just out past the Avila Pier and beyond. Clear beautiful water inside for swimming. I did a few triangles and wrapped 
it up.  By the time I got out the breeze was blowing a little harder and pushing the funk out further to sea. Several 
squadrons of pelicans were staked out on the pier at the end as they have been lately.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

A home run for Avila Beach this morning.

There was thick fog in San Luis Obispo and all of the way to the turn into Avila Beach, then I was in a big hole of bright sunshine.  The air temperature was 58° and there was a slight breeze. There was still some swells from the recent storm and the surf was topping out at 3 feet plus.  The water temperature has been holding up at 59° to 60°.

I swam two two full laps of the buoy line with a loop around the pier each time by. 

There were areas of light to mild red tide but a lot of nice clean water otherwise.
Quite a nice way to begin the day.

I'll be out of town until next Tuesday but Tom will be feeding me reports on his swims for the blog.


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday, September 18th, 2022

There were wonderful clouds at Avila Beach today. I could feel that a storm was coming but it was 71° with a pretty flat ocean, small waves and very little wind so it was a nice summer day with a change in the weather on the way. It was also after Labor Day and there might have been two dozen people on the beach east of the pier.  It was really calm and nice.      

David was here and Drina, who swam with us about 5 years ago and was back for another go at the ocean. She would swim the buoy line while Pat and I were going to head over to the Cal Poly Pier, see how the red tide was distributed today and plan on changing course if it was required by deteriorating water conditions. 
As we were getting ready the ocean began changing rapidly.  A very short period swell out of the south began building rapidly. The swell looked like a one to two foot chop with a 3 second period but there was no wind and it wasn't breaking, so we think that this was the waves from a storm that was close but was not yet present. I don't think that I have seen this many pelicans in Avila Beach before. There were enough to perch on the railings on both sides of the Avila Pier from near the shore to the end. Probably hundreds of birds. They were alternatively perching or feeding in an area that was even with the end of the Avila Pier and half way along the east buoy line which moved to the NE until it was in the surf zone near the big rock.            

David and I decided to go down the west buoy line and over to the second crossbars on the CPP and to swim out to the end of the pier and see how the water and feeding conditions were. 
There was a bit of red tied in a few places but generally the water was clean and 59° to 60°.  

By the time we were swimming over to the second crossbars the waves were up to 1 to 2 foot. We headed to the end of the CPP.  Swimming into the waves was a piece of work. Not far past the third crossbars we found a major bait ball directly in our path so we turned around and surfed back to the second crossbars. 

David and Niel back at the second crossbars. 

I'm not sure how to judge this wave but I'd say that they were now 3 feet plus with a 3 to 5 seconds period.
We decided to swim over to the end of the Avila Pier. I thought that this leg was much more difficult than going out along the CPP. Swimming across this swell was more like gymnastics.  We got to the end of the Avila Pier, decided that we were done and turned left towards the beach.    

I'll swim Tuesday morning at 7 and be out of town until the following week.


Saturday, September 17, 2022

Saturday, September 17th, 2022

Bummer. The crud from the red tide is still around. Thursday was so clean that I got to thinking that we were done with the red crud for the year. It was dirty along the swim buoy line on both sides of the pier but not further out. It might have been a day to best dodge the crud by swimming over at the Cal Poly Pier. I might try that tomorrow.
At 7 this morning it was all gray and a cool feeling 56°. There was a bit of a swell out of the south but the waves were small at 2'- 3'. There was no wind. There was a lot of floating weed in the water and large piles of it on the beach. The water temperature was 59° - 60°.   

Today I swam the 2/3 Yo-Yo route that I was planning on swimming on Thursday, before I was lured by the siren song of 'More Distance' to try the 3/4 Yo -Yo. So for future reference, Thursday's 3/4 Yo -Yo was 750M longer than today's 2/3 Yo-Yo.  

So there you go, I swam 3900M today and felt like I was going short.  

I looked bad in the pictures with me in them so this is it. 
None of the pelicans are wearing a mask so they are properly social distancing. 

I'll swim at 11 tomorrow. Chris Gaggero from the Bay Area will probably drop in. He swam with us once before and is faster than I am so he could use some company from the more speedy swimmers who follow this blog.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Tom and I get our wish - 

Tom and I agreed that colder water would be better than the red tide and we got out wish.

Today's water was down a couple of degrees to 59° and wonderfully clear and clean tasting.  Well worth a bit of a chill especially when thinking about the winter days when anything above 55° sounded like heaven.

I got in close to 8 and didn't see Tom. I did a version of the Yo-Yo, first out and left down the buoy line to the #3 buoy, from there to the end of the pier and back to #3, swim to #4 and to the end of the pier and back from there, then back along the buoys to #3 on the opposite side and repeat, enjoying the clean water the whole time

At the first buoy on the west side of the Avila Pier.

My fan club was lined up all along the pier.
As soon as I pointed the camera at them they took off. Are pelicans camera shy?

My next swim will be at 7 on Saturday.


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

Tom and I did simple swims today. I got in earlier and found the red tide on the west side of the pier, so Tom stayed on the east side. He is using me as a redt tide cannary!  

Simple stats today; 62° air, 61° water, flat, calm, small surf, gray everywhere above the horizon.
I tried staying in close to avoid the red tide which had been out past the end of the pier but it was thickest along the west buoy line but and generally clear everywhere on the east side. 

Towards the end it started to get bumpy and felt like a storm was coming in but I think it was just one of the quick hints of the coming winter that pass through in the fall.

I conducted a survey of this mornings swimmers and Tom and I agreed that 53° winter water would be much preferable to swimming in red tide.

I'll be back at 7 on Thursday.


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Sunday, September 11th, 2022

Your Sunday Swim Report from Maui - 

Yes, I know, it doesn't look like Maui but it feels like it in all other aspects so I'm trying to hold onto that idea.

At 8:30 it was 72° in Avila Beach with 100% humidity, clouds that looked like they had the possibility of rain, It did spit a bit before we got in, no wind, 61° water and a SW swell that was rolling up some good sized sleeper waves.  Thank you hurricane Kay for the break from the heat. The waves looked nice and clean but it turned out that the red sludge was lurking seaward of a line even with the end of the Avila Pier. 

No sharky signs and no dead seals today.

Margarite started it off by wanting to swim at 9:15 after her run. Pat and Duke liked that idea of swimming at that time after their bike ride and Tom and I jumped in. Five people would be the largest group we have had in a while.   

Niel, Duke, Margarite and Pat.
Pat thought that swimming bare would be better than the experience of into his wetsuit after his bike ride. I didn't see him afterwards to find out how that idea worked out.

The group was late getting in so Tom went ahead and did his own swim.
The plan was to do Duke's U Burner sprint route which involves getting in on the west side of the pier at about the second buoy, swim out until even with the end of the pier, turn left and swim east until even with San Rafael St., the last street in Avila that goes up the hill, swim in and get out. Duke, Pat and Margarite did that, I decided to double back for more distance. 
The red tide was a strange one today. The water was nice and clean from the shore out to a line even with the end of the Avila Pier where the red tide began. Swimming parallel to the beach there meant going through areas of from light to incredibly thick and yucky red tide. Coming back I turned in along the pier to get into clean water and finished along the buoy line.       

Margarite, Duke, Pat and Niel out in the red zone before turning in to the beach. 

Red tide and predators permitting, I'll be swimming Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Friday and Saturday, September 10th and 11th, 2023

The sharky signs were not up on Friday as I had expected after finding a partially eaten sea lion on the beach on Wednesday. 
While I was running on Friday I came across another dead seal. It was between Tower 2 and the pier and looked like it had been in the water for some time. I reported it to the Harbor Patrol, they took a look and didn't remove the carcass.
I checked in with Tom and we agreed to wait until Sunday to swim to give the water time to clear of red tide and maybe sharks too.


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

 A Running Blog That Has To Do With Swimming - 

I ran on the beach at Avila this morning. The beach was pretty empty at 7AM.  About 100M west of the #2 (west) guard tower there was a dead sea lion at the high tide line. It's left flipper was missing at the shoulder.
I called the Harbor Patrol and they picked it up. I expect the sharky signs will be up for a few days.
Bummer, the water looked a lot cleaner than it has been this morning and the swimming would be great.

But don't be like a seal.


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Brown Out

I went down to Avila at 7 this morning to check out the conditions for a swim. It was warm, 74°, sill and clear with flat water. Beautiful swimming conditions except the color of the waves was too red brown with red tide so I didn't swim.

Tom came at 9, got in, swam and sent this text and selfie:

"Once I got out to the buoy line it was pretty much the same as Sunday"

Unfortunately I have a meeting and an appointment Thursday morning so I think Saturday will be my next swim. 

It will be hot all week so I expect the red tide to be with for a while so getting in will be dependent on how the water looks and my tolerance and optimism for being able to enjoy swimming in yucky water. Late summer is usually the  time of the highest water temperatures and the red tide, but the crowds will thin out now, the red tide will end and the water should stay warm until late fall and we'll have our beach back.


Monday, September 5, 2022

Monday, Labor Day, September 5th, 2022

Labor Day Swim and Potluck

It was mellower at the beach today with smaller crowds and cooler at 78°F when I arrived at 11 and in the low 80's at 1. There was no wind so the ocean was flat and warmer. I measured water temperatures between 16°C/ 61°F and 18°C/64.5°F. The red tide was much worse than yesterday. The only bait ball I saw was way off shore on the left side of the pier but there was a lot of unorganized bird feeding closer.     

I decided to swim between the Avila and Cal Poly Piers to stay away from the birds and to look for cleaner water than it was near the shore.  The water was somewhat cleaner near the end of the Cal Poly Pier but that was dirtier still than the bad spots yesterday. At 1:30 when I was leaving the waves were bronze colored. 😝 

Looking back toward the Avila Pier from the end of the CPP.

After swimming Jodi, Peter and I had the Yacht Club all to ourselves for food, treats and swimming war stories.   

Just weekends from now on for the lifeguards. Not sure when they quit completely for the season.  

If the water isn't too dirty I'll get in tomorrow at 7 for an easy wind down swim.

I'll be swimming at 9 on Thursday.


Sunday, September 4, 2022

Sunday, September 4th, 2022

Avila Beach was a full Labor Day experience today. It was about 85° with a clear brilliant sky with a light breeze starting up, and it was crowded with beachgoers and soon to become a fully packed and a bit crazy summer holiday scene.
When I got there a bit after 10 parking was already harder than usual to find. When I left at 12:30 Avila was in full gridlock with people parking anywhere they could fit their car regardless of any signage. A guy in a mini-van spotted me walking away from the beach a block from my car and grabbed my spot.  
Just after I had just gotten myself settled I saw Tom getting out and walked down to ret a report: there was much less red tide today, the water felt the same and he had enjoyed a great swim. I measured 16.5°C/62°F at the end of the CPP. 

Russ joined me today. He is from Fresno and was here for the weekend. He had surfed and swam in San Diego and had a Wildflower Tri swim cap so we jumped right in.         

Russ was short on time so he headed back from the end of the Cal Poly Pier while I continued on to complete the loop. It was great being back out to the CPP. The water was really clean once we got offshore and didn't get red again until I came back to the buoy line towards my finish.

Niel and Russ at the end of the CPP.

I had been really smooth swimming up to this point but it got choppy as I headed east and out of the shadow of the breakwater. There must have been a strong west wind offshore judging by how lumpy it was by the time I was even with the end of the Avila Pier.  A nice swim and even the showers felt warm.   

For the first time the Sharkfest Swims are coming to Avila Beach next month. The 1K route is out and around the Avila Pier, the 2K is out to the end of the pier, most of the way over to the Cal Poly Pier and a loop back.  It will be nice to have a summer water event happening again at Avila Beach.
This would be a short workout for most of us but it should be fun and you'll get a first year t-shirt and help raise money for the SLO Surfrider chapter.

I'm swimming tomorrow at 11 and again on Tuesday at my usual 7AM get in. 
Gott'a enjoy the warm water while it lasts. If there are less than 12 of us tomorrow Peter has invited us to hold our potluck at the Yacht Club.


Saturday, September 3, 2022

Saturday. September 3rd, 2022

Full fall conditions today with arm air temps., the warmest water of the season and plankton blooms. When I got in at 7 it was already 60° with 62° water that tasted salty and was red brown. If the rest of the conditions weren't so good I think about staying out until the water cleans up, but this is too nice. 
The surf was a little larger but there was no wind so swimming conditions were flat. 

I did two triangles today.

At the first buoy on the east side. 
The low sun makes navigation a challenge when heading east.   

I saw two other swimmers in the water, a woman that I have seen before blew past me going west towards the 4th buoy at the creek. I spoke to her for a bit, and when I was going east on the east side of the pier a guy flew past me, hooked a left turn in front of me and had disappeared by the time I looked for him.

Tom was there, parking as I was leaving.

I'll swim tomorrow and Monday at 11. 


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Thursday, September 1st. 2022

Familiar Faces and Red Water

Everything was excellent at Avila Beach this morning except that the late summer red tide has shown up. YUCH! 
Today's numbers were 57°F air and 16°C/60.8°F water.  Small waves, flat water and a nice sunrise.
I've been keeping my routes limited to around the Avila Pier. The sharky signs are not up now but this is the time of the year when the big gray fish are more common around on the Central Coast so I'm staying closer to the beach. Today's route was a variation of the big triangle route that takes in the swim buoy lines and the end of the Avila Pier. Today's route was to start at the first buoy near the pier. go out and back along the buoys on that side, swim out around the pier to the first buoy on the opposite side, then out and back along that swim buoy line and back around the pier to the starting point. Repeat twice. I figured that this route would be a bit longer than two regular triangles, which is 3200M, with a bit extra for swimming around the pier, so maybe 4000M.        

So I'm a bit of a swimming doofus having done 3.33 miles, not the 2.5 miles I expected.
What? It is not as if I swam an whole extra mile....

When I was at the showers Duke walked up to say hi. He was wearing a farmer john wetsuit with cap and goggles. Turns out this was to be his 'I'm pissed about having my surgery rescheduled until December and since I'm already full of steroids and feeling pretty good I'm not sitting on my butt until then' back in the water U Burner Swim.  

After showering I met Tom on the Front St. sidewalk. He is pointing to Duke out in the water.
Tom got in and swam out to give Duke a high 5. 

Duke getting out.

It was great to see Duke and Tom today.

I'm planning on swimming Saturday morning at 7 and Sunday and Monday at 11.