Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sunday, April 30th, 2023

Sunday started out gray, 59° and almost dripping but the sun cam out just as Pat and I arrived at the end of the Cal Poly Pier and made it a beautiful 70° day. And the water was warm out there, I measured 11.5°C/52.7°F at the end of the CPP. It was more like 51° on the east side of the Avila Pier. There was a wind and a strong current with some bumpiness out of the SW so Pat and I decided to start buy swimming out to the end of the CPP and then riding the current back to the Avila Pier. 

After getting out of the showers the wind off of the fog bank felt chill. I tucked in on the sand close to the wall and out of the wind for lunch.

I'm not swimming Tuesday and may have to skip Saturday. Check Thursday's post. 


Saturday, April 29, 2023

Saturday, April 29th, 2023

I was surprised to find Jodi waiting for me what I arrived. She has been benched while doing PT on her shoulder. She now a conditional (as in "don't screw it up") permission from her PT to swim if she keeps her shoulder motions within specified limits.  She swam the buoy line while I went around the Avila Rock.  I didn't see her after I got out. I hope she did OK because it is great to have her back. She hopes to continue swimming on Saturdays and Sundays.
Stephanie will be swimming on Tuesdays and Thursdays so my total solo days may be over. 

Niel and Jodi getting in.

It was very gray but the clouds were high with no fog so the visibility was good. At 7 the air temp was 52° and the water was a consistent 10°C/50°F.  There was no wind. The surf was 2 to 3 feet. Starting out along the Avila Pier it was bumpy and got more so when I turned towards Avila Rock, but about 2/3's of the way to the rock it flattened out and stayed smooth for the rest of my swim.  It was nice to be able to relax on the way back. 

I have not been out to the rock in a while. I feel like I'm really out in the ocean when I'm out there. The end of the Cal Poly Pier has some of the same feel but you are next to a huge built thing so it doesn't feel as wild. It is early enough in the summer that the kelp was not thick so I cut through it instead of swinging way out and going all of the way around.

I'll be back tomorrow at 11. 


Tom's Saturday morning, swim report: well, it was all happening at Avila this morning. Lifeguard training was in full swing, the Pale kai boats were out, there were numerous single person, outriggers out, and there was me swimming.  Despite the 55° air temperature and thick marine layer when I arrived at 9:45, the beach was filling up with humans.  The water was calm and glassy with a two or 3 foot swell rolling in. My toes tell me the water temperature was 50°, with sections of 49, most notably, at the end of the CPP.  The swim was a good morning vitamin.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Friday, April 28th, 2023


Tom's Friday morning swim report: it was gray and somewhat foggy at Avila when I arrived at 9:45. The water was glassy and calm. Air temperature was 53, and the water was about 52. I had a couple of the Cal poly Water Polo 🤽‍♂️ girls with me, so I decided to take them around Avila Rock.  Beautiful morning at the swimming.   

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Thursday, April 27th, 2023


Stephanie and I had a great swim today. There was thick fog in Avila Beach at 7 AM. The air temperature was 49°, it was calm, the water glassy and the surf small. We decided that swimming around both piers was a good fog plan. 
The water was noticeably warmer at 51°F but there were some cold spots that felt like less than 50°. 
Stephanie feels that she has her cold water swimming chops back and plans on swimming at regularly at 7 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with me. It is a great way to get ready for whatever your work has for you that day.

I'll be back at 7 on Saturday and 11 on Sunday. I'll miss Tuesday morning due to a early meeting.

Tom will be switching his work day swimming from Thursday to Friday. 


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Tuesday, April 25th, 2023


I arrived a bit early and got in before 7. Avila had heavy overcast that was dropping down to become fog and lifting again. The air temp was 44°, the water was 49° and felt colder, especially on the east side. It looks like we are not done with the 40's just yet. There was no wind and the ocean was glassy with a nice rolling swell out of the S. Great swimming conditions, just too cold.   

Garmin seems to think that I wanted to go all steelhead and swim up the creek.  


Tom's Tuesday morning swim report: what a difference a day makes… Yesterdays blue sky turned to gray, the minuscule swell picked up to about two or 3 feet, the smooth water surface turned bumpy, and the water temperature dropped one or 2°.  The air temperature was 52° when I arrived at 9:45 and it was foggy and gray.  My toe-mometer  told me the water temperature was 48 or 49… It felt particularly colder over on the west side. (I thought it was colder on the east side)  It was an excellent morning vitamin.  I will no longer be swimming on Thursdays as I now have a part-time job. I will be back on Friday.   

Monday, April 24, 2023

Monday, April 24th, 223

 Tom Does A Make Up Day -

Tom's Monday morning swim report

It was another typical spring morning at Avila. The air temperature was 57° when I arrived at 10 AM. The water was flat with a very minuscule swell. Blue skies, and a very slight breeze. The water temperature was about 50° with a few spots of 51. It was a good morning swim. 

I'll swim tomorrow at 7.


Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

It was almost like summer at Avila Beach today. It was sunny, comfortably warm and windy.  When I arrived at 10:15 it was clear and 55° heading to 70° at 1:00. There was a NW wind that had not yet but would blow out the swimming. 
I was the only swimmer today. I got in at 11 and was surprised about how not completely freezing the water was.  I quickly relaxed and got comfortable and only thought about the swimming conditions. 
It turns out relatively is everything. I measured a water temperature of 10°C/50°F, which used to be cold but after the last few months felt quite comfortable.   

Swimming was very physical today. At 11 when I was heading west along the buoys the was a good chop on the water and a real push from the west. It was easier swimming south out along the CPP but the chop got bigger with every 100M further offshore until it was quite bumpy.   
I turned east and rode the push to the reef buoy. It was less work swimming with the chop and current but the chop/swell was bending me every which way. My low back started to get grumpy with the strange twisting. 

Turning back west and swimming along the buoys to the Avila Pier was a slog but I would soon be finished.

I'll be back Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7 for some nice flat water and hopefully more water temperatures in the 50's.


Saturday, April 22, 2023

Saturday, April 22nd, 2023


It was a beautiful Saturday morning at 6:30 when Stephanie, Pat and Niel got in. Pat had a pizza making class in AG at 9 so we were starting a half hour early. The air temp was 54°, it was clear with a few high clouds and just a slight breeze. With two warm but windy days since my last very cold swim I did not know what to expect for a water temperature. Today the water was 9°C/48.2°F, still quite cold but better than the previous Thursday's 8°C/46.4°F.

We decided to do two triangles. Stephanie is still getting her sea legs back and would probably go in after one triangle. Pat and I planned to do two or more based on how we were feeling.   
Pat, Stephanie and Niel at the 4th buoy on the left.

Other than the water temperature the swimming conditions were wonderful. Stephanie cam in at the end of the first triangle and Pat and I called it good at an hour.

I'll be back tomorrow at 11.

Tom is at USC this weekend coaching the Poly women's water polo team at a meet. 


Thursday, April 20, 2023

Thursday, April 20th, 2023

This was a cold one but I had a great swim.
At 7AM plus the air temp was 54°. It was clear with scattered high clouds and windy. There wasn't much of a chop but there was a nice swell from the SW.  The water temperature was 8°C/ 46.4°F so the full freeze effect is back.     

I swam the west buoy line, over to #2 on the CPP, then to Fossil Point and back to the east buoy line.

At Fossil Point. 

Tom's Thursday swim report: 

It was a beautiful morning at Avila when I arrived at 9:15. Blue skies with wispy clouds. The air temperature was in the low 60s. There was a breeze blowing from east to west, which was the reverse of Tuesday. So I'm thinking, the air from earlier in the week was going back to where it came from. Despite the breeze, there was only a slight wind bump on the water and a decent swell. The waves were peeling off nicely providing a fun ride for the long boarder in the picture. My toes report that the water temperature was a brisk 47°.  A beautiful morning swim.  I won't be swimming this weekend as I will be down in Los Angeles with the Cal poly women's water polo team for our league tournament at USC. Back on swimming on Tuesday.  

Saturday morning Stephanie, Pat and I are swimming at 6:30 so Pat can be in AG at 9.

I'll swim at 11 on Sunday.  


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Tuesday, April18th, 2023


This morning was a beautiful time to swim at Avila. At 7 0'clock it was sunny and 42° with a slight wind. There was some small chop on the water. The surf was 2 + feet. I had a great swim doing two big triangles. I cut some corners which left me short of 4,000M. The water temperature was 9.5°C/49°F. I thought that with the wind we've had it would have been 46 or 47. 49° is still really cold but if anything, this winter's water temperatures have taught that things are relative.  I'm actually looking forward to water in the low 50's.     

Some clouds came in and the wind died while I was swimming so my second half was smoother.  I got into it and pushed to the finish. 

Tom's Tuesday swim report: 

There were blue skies and scattered clouds at Avila when I arrived at 9:30. The air temperature was about 62 and there was a slight breeze going from east to west. Along with the breeze, there was a small swell that added a bit of a bump and roll to the water. My toes tell me the water was 49° with spots that were 48.  My prediction/wishful thinking for a couple extra degrees of water warmth did not happen. Nevertheless, it was a nice morning swim. And, I forgot to mention, there were several dolphins frolicking out just passed the Avila pier. Always cool to see them!  

I need to do some water sampling early Thursday so I'll be getting in closer to 7:30.

Pat, Stephanie and I will swim at 6:30 on Saturday so Pat can be in AG by 9. 


Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday, April 16th, 2023

Tom's Sunday swim report: heavy marine layer again today. It was about 54° when I arrived at Avila at 9:45. The water was smooth and glassy. My toes tell me the water was 49°.  I swam on the west side in search of warmer water...  and found it...  maybe.  Hard to know for sure, but when I got back to the Avila pier it definitely felt colder. Excellent day of swimming. I am expecting another couple degrees of warmer water by next Tuesday

Niel's Swim report - 
When I arrived at 10:20 Avila was a cool feeling 53° and very gray with thick high clouds. There was a hint of wind which had put a ripple on the ocean. The surf was small and lifeguard training was happening on the east side of the Avila Pier.
Swimming today were Niel, Pat and Shawn who has recently moved to the area from Santa Cruz and had not been in the ocean since September.    
Our plan was to swim the west buoy line to the end. Shawn elected to do some laps of the buoy line, not knowing how he'd do with the water temperature. Pat and I swam over to the CPP at Crossbars #2 and to the end of the pier. At this point we found that the wind had come up and there was a one foot plus chop on the water out of the SW. We swam with the chop back to the end of the Avila Pier. The chop and swell had me stopping a couple of times to look for the boat that had caused the larger sets that rolled under me but it was just the chop combining. It was lot's of fun with the wind and chop following but at the end of the Avila Pier we decided an hour had been enough and came in. Especially because following the original plan and swimming back to the #2 crossbars and back to the buoy line would have been across the chop both ways.

I measured a water temperature of 50° with some cold spots.
It will be nice if Tom's water temp predictions are right. 

Pat and Niel at the end of the CPP

Next week I'll swim Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Saturday, April 15, 2023

Saturday, April 15th, 2023


Stephanie and I got in just after 7. It was 45°, cloudy, with no wind and a pretty smooth ocean with a minor swell from the SW. The surf was two feet plus.  Getting in the water felt really cold. I was 8.5°C/47.3°F, the same as Thursday but felt colder today.    

We swam to the end of the Avila Pier, in to the first buoy on the west side, along the buoys and over to the first crossbars on the Poly Pier.  This route is not verry doable in the summer because the area between the creek mouth and the pier is a large bed of kelp. Now is the only time heading straight across to the #1 crossbars is reasonable. Stephanie turned around at the Poly Pier having doubled her last Saturdays distance. I continued out and back to the Avila Pier. 
I couldn't get the water temperature out of my head today so I'm glad that the water wasn't 52° and that feeling the cold was real and not just in my head.
Today the cold and trying to keep up with Stephanie pushed me at the start and set me up to keep pushing for the whole swim. Cold or not, I had a great swim.

Tom Saturday swim report: solid marine layer at Avila when I arrived at 9:45. The air temperature was 53 with a very slight breeze. My toes tell me the water temperature was about 48°. Apparently the wind can remove warmth from the ocean much faster than the sun can replenish it!  I am ready for the water to be in the 50s again… Nevertheless, it was a good morning swim. 

Yes, that touch of 52°+ on Tuesday is had to forget and has us thinking about when the water will warm up into the low 50's!

I'll be back Sunday at 11 with Pat and anyone else who shows up.


Thursday, April 13, 2023

Thursday, April 13th, 2023

A Record I'd Rather Not Have Earned - 

As predicted, it has been windy. Tom and I were expecting that the water temperature today would be lower by a couple of degrees but what we got was a 4.5° drop in two days. Ouch! 
I recorded 52.7° on Tuesday and 8.5°C/47.3°F today. 
Otherwise, Avila was its usual beautiful spring self. At 7:15 the air temp was 42°. It was sunny with a few scattered high clouds and no wind. There was a lumpy swell out of the SW that was producing both a shore break and second break further out.  

I wasn't sure what to think as I was swimming out. I was much colder than on Tuesday but I couldn't tell how long the shock would last. I went ahead with the swim I had planned and would see if I decided to cut it short.  My route was the buoy line, to the second crossbars on the CPP, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the third crossbars (quite a belly in that leg), out to the end of the CPP and back to the end of the Avila Pier. My bail out point was the first pass at the end of the Avila Pier. At that point I was feeling evened out so I continued back to the CPP.  Once I was at the end of the CPP my feet had gone from numb to aching so I wasn't sure that pushing on had been the best of ideas but I had to swim back. 

At the end of the Avila Pier for the second time. 
An attempted smile by a person who's feet hurt and fingers don't work. 

om's Thursday swim report: it is under 50 again… My feet and teeth are telling me 47, 48. Regardless, the water is cold again!  The balmy 52 didn't last long… 5° drop in two days. Air temperature was 59 when I got in at 9:45. The combo of low tide and a bit of a swell was exposing the full length of Avila Rock. Interesting to see. All in all, a beautiful day at Avila. 

I'll be back Saturday morning at 7. 


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Tuesday, April 11th, 2023

 When 52.7° Feels Like a Hot Tub -

There was  a very nice sunrise at Avila Beach today. At 7AM it was 51° and calm with some high clouds and a bit of fog a good ways offshore. The water was glassy and the surf was 1 to 2 foot. I would measure a water temperature of 11.5°C/52.7°F at the buoy line. I have not recorded a water temp that high since early December and there has been a lot of swimming in quite cold water in the last four months. 

I swam to the fourth buoy and Yoyoed out to the end of the pier and back from each buoy.  Starting at the fourth buoy makes each lap shorter than the previous. 

An attempted thumbs up while holding the thermometer and taking the photo.

I never expected to write this but after the last few weeks of water temps between 47° and 49° 52°+ didn't feel cold at all.  Mr. Lindsay says that the winds we will have later in the week will push the water temp back down but weathermen are sometimes wrong in their predictions. 

Tom's Avila hot tub swim report: well, not quite a hot tub, but 52 felt like it after the 46° we've had for the last couple weeks.  Everything is relative. It was a lower tide today when I was swimming, so I saw several starfish at the end of the AP  and the CPP… Very cool creatures.  I had a nice long swim this morning. Here's hoping the warm water stays with us.

The GoPro Lifetime Warranty is the Real Deal -

I have been using a GoPro 10 Black for a year to take the photos for the blog. It has been in the ocean with me four times a week and has never given me a problem. I haven't been very diligent about rinsing the camera after swimming. Lately I noticed corrosion on the ears that fold out from the camera body and are used to attach it to a mount. I don't use them. I called GoPro, sent them a photo, and they offered to send me new ears and a screwdriver that would fit the tinny TORX screws. It was suggested that I try and do better about rinsing this area when I get out of the water but if I have the same problem with the replacement ears just call them and they will send me another pair.    
Can't ask for a better deal than that.

I'll swim at 7 on Thursday.


Sunday, April 9, 2023

Sunday, April 9th, 2023

 Today Was A Great Day To Be At The Beach -

I arrived at Avila at 10:30. IT was 60° and sunny. There was a fog bank offshore that was hooking into Fossil Point and the light breeze from that direction was chilly. Avila wasn't crowded, the surf was small and the water looked nice. I spoke with Peter Kelley and he said that John Lindsey's weather report for the coming week was for NW winds that would push the water temperature down several degrees.  Great.   Mr. Lindsey also predicted that we had seen the last rain of the season. I'm looking forward to a resumption of my 4 day a week swimming schedule without any rain days.
Pat Mead and Arno were swimming toady. Arno is from the Bay Area, swims in the bay a few times a month and will be doing tri in Morro Bay in May. Pat is signed up too and figured it was time to get back in the water.
The fog bank was kind'a pesky. While we were getting ready it came in until it hid the end of the pier, causing us to rethink our route. By the time we were getting in the fog had pulled back and we had clear sky's for the entire swim.  
The swimming conditions were wonderful. The water was clean and flat and about 50° with some spots that were much warmer, near the creek, and colder, near the Avila Pier.

We swam out to the buoy line, turned left to the 4th buoy, then to the end of the pier, the 4th buoy on the west side of the pier and along the buoys back to the pier. Then it was to the end of the Avila Pier and back to the 4th buoy on the east side. Arno went in from here and Pat and I Yoyoed between the end of the Avila Pier and the forth and third buoys, then swam in to the second buoy and came in.
For not being at the beach since last fall Pat was kicking my butt but when he pulled the plug on Yoyoing the second buoy I felt better.  
Arno, Pat and Niel at the end of the Avila Pier.

When Pat and I got out at 12:45 the beach was more crowded than I had ever seen. There wasn't a place to put another blanket. I had my lunch and left. I couldn't get past the dueling music and sunscreen aromas. There were what would be memorable sunburns happening. 
Tom's Easter swim report: it was about 57° when I arrived at Avila at 9:45 AM. A beautiful, clear day with deep blue skies. The water temperature was about 50°, which was downright balmy after a week of 46°.  Great day of swimming.

I'll be back Tuesday and Thursday at 7 to see what Mr. Lindsay's wind has for us. 


Saturday, April 8, 2023

Saturday, April 8th, 2023

 Normalcy May Be Returning

The wind has laid down and the water temperature was 49° today so we may have turned the corner on our Springtime water temperatures and be moving towards less demanding conditions.    

Niel and Stephanie got in just after 7. The air temperature was 45°, there were some high clouds, no wind and small waves.  Around the pier was enough for Stephanie. She went in and I went west down the buoy line and over for a lap along the Cal Poly Pier.  The water felt about as cold as it has been. 3/4's of the way to the end of the CPP fog moved in and shut down visibility to a few hundred meters. At the end of the pier I changed my route from swimming to the end of the Avila Pier and came back the way I'd come. At the second crossbars on the CPP I couldn't see any part of Avila but the sun was visible through the fog so if I kept it on my right shoulder I'd find either the beach or the Avila Pier.  The visibility opened up when I was closer to shore and I was able to swim directly to the west end of the buoy line and back to the pier.

I had brought some energy gels along today to see if they would help offset the 47° water we had been having. I didn't think it would work during the swim but possible leave me feeling better after the swim. I was surprised that the gels seemed to be helping but when I read the 49° water temp I knew that I had been feeling a 2° bump up in the water temperature. 

Tom had water polo commitments this morning but will be at the beach tomorrow. 

I'll swim at 11 tomorrow.


Thursday, April 6, 2023

Thursday, April 6th, 2023

Today weas a repeat of Tuesday. At 7:16 when I got in it was sunny and calm with thin high clouds, 43°, nothing surf and a bit of a bump on the water. I expected the water temperature to be the same, but it might have been a half degree colder. I measured 8°C/46.4°F but there were colder spots. 
47° is just cold. I get over the initial shock on my bare skin but I never get to a point where I'm no longer aware of how cold the water is. I feel the cold through my wetsuit which doesn't happen above 50°. It is strange but I'm looking forward to swimming in 50°/51° water.
today's double triangle was one of my reacquaintance swims of the routes that must be navigated by guesswork when the swim zone buoys have been taken out for the winter.  It depends on my mood which I prefer. 

Tom's Thursday swim report: The conditions were almost identical to Tuesday. 56° air temperature when I arrived at 9:30, and the water was 46°.  Coldwater swimming at its finest. 

I'll be back Saturday morning at 7 and Sunday at 11. I'm going to try bringing along some gels for during the swim on Saturday to see if some extra calories help with the cold. My expectation is that it will not make any difference during the swim but may improve my state immediately afterward.