Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Tuesday, January 31st. 2023

Today was a cold swim. I got in at 7:14, the air was 35°F, the water was 10°C/50°F and the wind was offshore. It felt colder as I was starting out and I was feeling the cold in my arms and back before I was at the end of the CPP. 
Before arriving and checking out the conditions I had decided to swim Sundays route the other way around. On Sunday the swell and chop was out of the SW so the leg towards the end of the Cal Poly Pier was a slog. Today the wind was offshore so the swim from the end of the CPP back to the beach was into the wind and chop, not quite as rough as Sunday but enough to make me wonder about why I didn't put that together before getting in.   

The view from the end of the CPP towards the Avila Pier

I did have a great swim. The water is nice and clear and it was a good workout. I was going to change in one of the single use restrooms but they were being cleaned so I had to stay with the cold concrete and wind at the outdoor showers. I danced around on the concrete and got changed quickly. My bottle of hot water was the best!   

Tom was heading to the beach at 9. I'll post his comments after his fingers thaw out enough for him to sent them.

Tom's Report: Definitely 50° in the water today… When I got here at 10:15 the air was about 56°, so that was a little more forgiving in the cold department. Great swimming conditions, though. 

I already have three things booked for Thursday morning so I will not swim until Saturday at 7:30.


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Sunday brought rainy/stormy weather and very physical swimming.
I wasn't expecting anyone else to show so I left home when I was ready and got in early at 10:30.  Tom showed up on time, we swam in the same ocean and never managed to see each other. 
The air temp was 51°F with gusty winds and spitting rain or showers. I decided to have a bit of an adventure and to swim down the beach, swing around the reef buoy and go to the end of the Cal Poly Pier.
The water was 11.5°C/52.7°F and felt warmer today then yesterday. Tom though it felt colder than yesterday. See his report below.  

As I swung around the reef buoy and turned west I found that I was in for a bit  more of a swim than I had planned for today. There was a one foot chop with a following swell out of the SW that I would be swimming into until I got to the Poly Pier.  

Looking towards the end of the Cal Poly Pier from the end of the Avila Pier. 

I took me 37:45 to cover the 1500 M from the reef buoy to the end of the CPP. 
The leg in along the CPP was a lot smoother. Coming back towards the Avila Pier things got more bumpy but the swell was on my right hip so I was getting a push.
I felt like I had earned more than the PB and banana sandwich I had in the car.

Tom's report:
Toms, " where is Niel?" Report: it was 51° air temperature at 11 AM.  The water was 50. Spirting down rain when I got in.  there was a consistently inconsistent bump on the water.  The sun came out  as glowing white orb behind the clouds and It actually cleared up for a while I was swimming, then it was spitting down rain again by the time I got out. Excellent swimming. 

I will be back at 8 on Tuesday morning.


Saturday, January 28, 2023

Saturday, January 28th, 2023

It was a chilly one today. The air temperature at 7:30 was 36°, the wind was offshore and the water was 10 - 11°C./50° - 51.5°F.  Not much different than earlier in the week but it felt colder to me. Tom swam at 10 and also thought it was the coldest swim of the week. He thought it was 10°C and his toes are usually pretty good.  

There was a small but pushy swell out of the SE. It didn't seem like much but I had to work against it to keep on track and my leg from the mouth of the creek to the end of the Avila Pier  had a pronounced uphill character to it. . 

Today 's route was another kind of triangle. 

A beautiful but chilly day. 

I'll be back tomorrow to swim at 11.



Friday, January 27, 2023

Friday, January 27th, 2023

Today is my birthday and I started the day off with a great swim. The water is cleaner that is has been in weeks so the west side of the pier is back in play. I planned on swimming some sort of a big triangle. I got in at 7:35 with clear skies and an air temp of 36°. The wind is still offshore but the bottom keeps changing. Today it was like walking across a plowed field, every step was either up or down, but level. I didn't have to start swimming until I was most of the way to the fence on the pier. The water was colder. I measured 10.5°C/50.9°F.

The wind pushed me around a bit but the chop wasn't noticeable so the swimming was smooth.

Avila gave me a great birthday present. Coming in at the end of Tuesday's swim I lost my Avila Dolphins swim cap in the surf.  The ocean decided to give it back. A kind person found it and left it at the showers where I found it today, full of sand but good as new after a rinsing.

I'm going to swim tomorrow at 8 and Sunday at 11.


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Tuesday, January 24th, 2023

Today was a beautiful morning for a swim at Avila Beach. I was joined by Jay Sandy who grew up in San Luis Obispo and surfing at Avila but is now living in Encinitas and swimming in those warm Southern California waters.    

We got in at 8. It was clear and sunny with a steady offshore breeze and 33°F. The water was 11.5°C/52.7°F. The tide was coming in and there were sets with 6'+ faces so I was not thinking about the water temperature while we were getting in. I was distracted enough that I didn't start my watch so there is no plot of today's swim, but, we did the same swim I have done the last two times; parallel to the beach on the east side of the pier until we were off of Fossil Point, then back to the end of the Avila Pier and in. This route is working while I get my swimming chops back and was good for Jay because he didn't have as much of a wetsuit as he would have preferred at these temps and would keep us closer to shore in case he got cold. There was not much chop on the water so the swimming was easy but those big swells were rolling through even out past the end of the Avila Pier. 
We swan for about an hour. 

This was a great way to start the day. 

I'll be back Thursday between 7 and 8. I'll help collect water samples from Avila Beach and SLO Creek Thursday morning and if the bug numbers are down from last week I start including the west side of the pier in my routes.

I heard from Tom Lorish. He swam this morning at 10:15 and spoke to Jay Sandy.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sunday, January 22nd, 2023

I swam at 11 today and it made a surprisingly large difference. The air was 57° and going up instead of Saturday's 33° and the water was 12.5°C/54.5°F. It was still windy but the swimming was much more comfortable. 
There were a lot of surfers in the water. I don't surf, the waves looked like the usual mushy Avila stuff to me so I don't know what had changed to bring them here. Fund to watch though.     

I swam down to the Fossil Point like yesterday but took a different route. I was feeling the effects of having been out of the water for 3 weeks and today's distance was enough.    

Stephanie Robeson flagged me down just as I was getting ready to head to the water. She was in town, visiting SLO and Morro Bay for her birthday. She still lives in Santa Barbara, is working, has her service dog, and is training for the Coeur d'Alene tri and the Morro Bay half.  She looks like she's doing well.

John Hampsey - I spoke with Dennis Combrink and he asked how you were doing.

I'll swim Tuesday AM and continue looking for where my swimming mojo wandered off to.


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Saturday, January 21st, 2023

I'm back in the water!

The bacteria levels in the water from the storms are down to reasonable levels so I got myself back in the water this morning. I last swam at Avila on 12/30/23 so it was a long break and I wasn't sure what to expect.

There was lots of things to make this morning special and not a cushy reentry, so I should be good for whatever from here. The air temperature was 33°F with a gusty offshore wind that had chopped up the water. I measured a water temperature of 11.5°C/52.7°F. On the right side of the pier towards San Luis Creek Avila Beach is buried in driftwood. There is none on the east side but the sand has been replaced with medium sized river washed cobbles that extend into the water. These are not good for someone walking barefoot. It was a very high tide so there wasn't much beach.  I hobbled over the cobbles and into the water, judged how the water felt on my feet (cold but not super cold) and began thinking about how it I would work out starting swimming. This was solved by a steep drop off where the water was knee deep to chest deep plus, so, suddenly in up to my neck and facing a breaking wave I figured I was going to start swimming now.    
I was going to stay on the east (left) side of the pier where the bacteria count was probably lower than on the west side. I swam out to the end of the pier, turned left and headed for Fossil Point planning to do a out and back course. This would also keep me fairly close to the beach in case I started to like the idea of getting out before I completed the route.

I had a good swim. Being away made it all new. I got somewhat reacquainted with how to swim, sorted out a hitch in my breathing and my reach on the left and played some mind games while swimming through the chop.

David may join me tomorrow for a swim at 11. 

No rain is forecast for at least a week so I hope to get my groove back.


Saturday, January 14, 2023

Saturday, January 14th, 2022

Avila Beach, 11:30 Saturday morning 

 I've no swimming to report. The water in Avila looks like fun except for the brown color and the presence of bacteria. Thursdays Blue Water Task Force samples for Avila Beach and lower areas of San Luis Creek were in the 500 to 900 range, a huge improvement from last week's numbers but still many time above the state limit of 104.

If the weather clears as predicted on Monday, Thursday - Saturday would be a window to get back in the water.

Thank you to 805webcams.com for saving me a trip to the beach to see what it looks like today.


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023


Noon on Wednesday a few hours before the next big storm is due. In Avila Beach the water and the surf on both sides of the pier is brown with silt. A good indication that the water is also carrying a high load of bacteria. If it wasn't for that today would have been a great day for an adventure swim.