Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

At 7AM Avila Beach had the full June Gloom conditions; 58°, very gray, still, and a glassy ocean with 54.5° water. That is back up to a 'normal' winter temperature so there my be summer temperatures to come. On 5/31/22 the water was 56° and by mid June it was 59° - 60°. After water temps between 46° and 50° in February, March & April the mid 50's is most welcome.  

Stephanie wasn't here today but Jim dropped in. He has swum with us before when he lived in the Bay Area and now lives on the Central Coast. He swims bareback and had not been in the water since September. He has a borrowed wetsuit for today and began getting his water temperature tolerance recalibrated. He expects to dump the wetsuit once he gets comfortable in the water.

We did triangles. One for Jim and three for me.  The water is starting to get cloudy, a sure sign of summer. I swam through a blob of red tide off of the end of the Avila Pier. Soon we should have the baitfish and the birds back, the visibility in the water will be down to a few feet, crowds of sand apes will return and it will be Summer.

Stephanie and I will swim Thursday morning at 7. Jodi, Tom I. and I will swim Saturday at 7AM.


Tom Els, Tuesday swim report: beautiful day at Avila when I arrived at 9:30. High overcast with some blue showing. The water was calm, flat and glassy. My toes told me it was 53, 54. Excellent day of swimming and all around at Avila, and not just because there were less tourists. 

Monday, May 29, 2023

Monday, May 29th, 2023

Tom L's Monday morning, swim report: On the final day of the three day weekend,  it was still crowded enough that I could not get a front row parking spot when I arrived at 9:15, hence, the no ocean view photo. It was cloudy with scattered blue spots in the sky. Air temperature was 62°.  Being the tourist curmudgeon that I am, it is times like this morning and Saturday that I miss the emptiness that came with the Covid shut down.  As I was getting in, I saw sushi seal just past the break searching for breakfast… The water was 52° with a wind chop and bump to it. Swimming was nice, though, and tourists free!  

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sunday, May 28th, 2023


Jamie, Todd and Niel

Jamie, Niel and Todd swam today (Todd, I may have your name wrong. Email me). There was thick overcast, a light wind, 58° air and 52.5° water. The surf was 1 - 2 foot. The ocean was flat when we got in but the wind picked up and things were got choppy during the second half. 

We swam two triangles, clockwise then counter clockwise. 

I'll be back Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7.


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Saturday, May 27th, 2023

Everybody Went Long Today - 

Jodi and Tom I. swam for about 90 minutes and did 4,000M. I swam for two hours and covered 5,251M. I wanted to go longer today and Jodi and Tom decided to join me. This was the longest and furthest swim any of us had done in some time, especially Jodi who seems to be almost fully recovered from her shoulder surgery.  The swimming conditions were ideal if you were OK with 52° water. It was calm and still but gray. The water was flat and glassy with an occasional set of swells that would make 2' - 3' breakers. 
We swam out, around the left buoys, to the end of CPP and in to the base of the pier at the shore. There were waves breaking against the rocks at the base of the pier so getting in close enough for a touch would of risked getting bounced off of the rocks so we stopped a bit short.
At the second crossbars on the way back out along the CPP Tom and Jodi pealed off towards the end of the Avila Pier while I continued to doubled back along our outbound route.      

Jodi, Tom I. and Niel at the second crossbars on the Cal Poly Pier.

I saw Tom I. and Jodi after I got out and we were all really happy with the start we had made on this weekend.  As I was leaving I saw and spoke with Tom Lorish as he was heading for the water. 

I'll do a shorter swim tomorrow at 11. 


Tom L's Saturday Morning Swim report: gray, calm, 52° water temperature. Good swimming. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Friday, May 26th, 2023


Tom L's Friday morning swim report: the gray days of May continue at Avila.  It was 60° when I arrived at 9:45.  The marine layer was thick, but would be burning off by the time I finished my swim.  The water was smooth, flat and glassy with temperatures ranging from 52-54.  Aquatic microclimates.  Good swimming.  

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thursday, May 25th, 2023


The swimming conditions were beautiful this morning. It was clear and sunny at Avila Beach at 7 AM. The air temp was 56° and would be about 65° by 9. The surf was one to two foot, there was a slight swell the water was glassy and the water temperature was down to 52°. The water temperature has been falling for a week so I'm hoping that it bottoms out soon. I'd switched back to my winter wetsuit for today and was glad of it.  As we were wading in Stephanie and I looked at each other and said "hey, the water is cold".

Stephanie and Niel got in at 7. We swam the buoy line, the end of the Avila Pier, the end of the CPP and to the second crossbars. From there Stephanie completed the circle to where we had gotten in for 3,200M. I doubled back along our route for 4,500M. It was very relaxing in the water this morning. 

Jodi, Tom I. and I will swim Saturday morning at 7.


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

 At seven o'clock Avila was grey and calm with perfect swimming conditions. The air temp was 54°, the water was 54.5°, the surf was 2 to 3 foot and there was a slight swell and puss out of the SE. The water is still very clear. There were plenty of Velella on the beach near the high tide line but I did not see any in the water.
With the high clouds I don't have the sun to navigate by but if there is no fog and a small swell I can keep my bearing by watching an object on the horizon. This morning I could see the light flash of the sand slide at the end of the beach near Guadalupe. As long as I it was in the same spot every time I breathed on the right I was still lined up with the end of the Avila Pier.       

I'm feeling the need for more distance so I did 4000M today.  

Looking back toward the Avila Pier.


Tom's Tuesday morning swim report: I don't think I have anything new to say that Niel hasn't said in his report above ⬆️. Overcast and gray, smooth water, excellent swimming. End of report.   

Monday, May 22, 2023

Monday, May 22nd, 2023


Tom L's Monday morning swim report: arrived at 9:30. Air temperature it was 56°. The marine layer, and calm, glassy water. The water temperature was 55 on the east side, and 56 on the west side. The Villella jellyfish regatta has sailed on to points beyond. Beautiful morning swim.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Sunday, May 21st, 2023

Niel and David swam at 11 o'clock. Avila Beach couldn't make up its mind between gray overcast and sunshine.  It was 61° with a light to medium gusty wind. The ocean looked pretty flat but turned out to be changeable. The water temperature was 13°C/55.4°F, down a bit from yesterday but nobody who remembers the 48° water just a month ago is complaining. 

We swam left to the end of the buoy line, to the end of the Avila Pier, to the end of the Cal Poly Pier, and back the way we had come. The wind picked up not long after we got in, the sun came out and the water got choppy.  We worked out way uphill to the CPP and surfed the chop back. 
There are still a lot of the Blue Velella wind sailors.

I'll swim at 7 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. 


Saturday, May 20, 2023

Saturday, May 20th, 2023

 Niel, Tom Israel and Jodi had a great swim today. At 7AM it was overcast and spitting in true pre June-Gloom style but with no fog. I could see the breakwater at the port, which is about 2 miles away. The air temp was 54° and the water was 56.3°, bumpy from a SE chop and still very clean.  We decided to do a counter clockwise Poly Pier and Reef Buoy loop. Jodi would drop off at the end of the Avila pier if her shoulder was suggesting it but she hung in for the full 3200 M. She has 4 more appointments with her PT and then she is good to go.    

Tom, Jodi and Niel at the end of the CPP. 

This is the time of the year when the 'wind sailors' or Vallela, show up. They have been washing up on the beach the last week and were plentiful in the water today.  They are relatives of Portuguese Man-of- War. They have a flat blue body that is about he size of a silver dollar with a sail on top to move them along. They have short stinging tentacles for capturing plankton but the siting is too weak to bother us. In another month or so we may see dinner plate size sea jellies with white and purple domes.

With the water so clean and up to 'normal' wintertime temperatures today's swimming was more fun than it has been since December. I decided to pull the beard of the swim gods, ditch my 3.5/4.5 wintertime wetsuit, and wear my Orca wetsuit, daring the gods to make the water bounce back down to 51°.  They were kind and I was very comfortable today. 

Tom L's Saturday swim report: I got to Avila at 945.  The hoards of people were here and were continuing to arrive despite the thick overcast and 57° temperature.  The water was calm and glassy when I got in, but would get bumpy as a breeze picked up during my swim. Niel had already told me the water temperature was 57° before I got in...  I would've called it 55, or 56. I guess that is the cloud cover bringing my toe-mometer down.  In the wildlife category, there was a heavy presence of little jellyfish. For some reason, the name blue bottle comes to mind, but I may be mixing them up with some jellies I have seen in Australia. The ones today do not sting. They are nature's sailors.  They have a blue ringed base, with a clear sail to travels the ocean.  There were hundreds of them in today's regatta. The other wildlife was not indigenous to the ocean – it was a Homosapien on a paddleboard doing yoga.  It was an excellent day of swimming, and I am glad to be getting out of here, because humans are overrunning the place!  

It sounds like summer is going to be a challenge for Tom L. 
Tom, there are no crowds at 7. You can join us anytime. 

I'll swim tomorrow at 11. 


Friday, May 19, 2023

Friday, May 19th, 2023


Tom's Friday morning swim report: I arrived at Avila at 915 and was greeted with a low, marine layer or high fog... regardless of what it was called, it was thick and solid, and would not be burning off anytime soon.  There was a slight breeze out of the south that created a chop on the water. The water temperature was 54+, which allowed me to enjoy a longer swim. A nice way to ease into the weekend.   

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Stephanie and Niel got in at about 7 and took a tour of the Cal Poly Pier. It was overcast and gray with limited visibility, no wind and a chance that the fog would close in. The air temp was 53° and the water was 56°. It looks like we are back to 'normal' winter water temperatures, which feels like summer after our polar water temperatures. The water was glassy.       

There was a nice swell and some good sized waves but the largest breakers were will spaced out, making our entry and exit un dramatic.  That is Stephanie and Niel getting out. 

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


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

I got in at 7 and swam around Avila Rock. Stephanie arrived later and swam the buoy line. The air temp was 53° and it was totally gray. There was a solid deck of clouds but visibility was more than 2 miles. The water was 52.7°F, there was no wind and the water was glassy with a big swell underneath. There were occasional 4 foot breakers.  The clouds began breaking and the sun was coming out as I was finishing up.      

The tide was high and the largest swells would break over the rock. 

Today was a very beautiful and restful swim.   

Stephanie and I plan on swimming Thursday morning at 7. 


Tom snuck into the water this morning when I wasn't expecting for him.

Tom's Tuesday swim report: another June gloom day in May at Avila. It was about 57° when I arrived at 930, and the marine layer was thick. The swell had picked up from yesterday with solid 4-5 foot set waves. My toes put the water temperature at 53. With the warmer water, I was able to stay in for a longer swim, which included getting a nice push from the swell As I was swimming from the end of the CPP to the second crossbeam.  Back on Friday. 

Monday, May 15, 2023

Monday, May 15th, 2023

Tom's Monday morning swim report: there was a thick marine layer at Avila when I arrived at 920. Air temperature was 57°.  There was a 3 to 4 foot swell coming through and a slight bump on the water.   Apparently, I missed the tropical warm water yesterday, because it was back to 52°.   We've had a couple of these four degree water temperature swings this year, so it's not totally unusual. It was a good morning swim.   

Stephanie and I will swim tomorrow at 7.


Sunday, May 14, 2023

Sunday, May 14th, 2023

 Amazingly Warm and Bumpy Water -

When I dove through a wave while getting in my world became WARM.  The water was unexpectedly comfortable, a word I have not used to describe the ocean at Avila since September. I later measured a water temperature of 13.5°C/56.3°F, three degrees C warmer than yesterday morning. I don't know how this happened but this was going to be a more relaxing swim.
It was just me today.
The air temp was 58° at 11 o'clock. There were high clouds with a bit of sun but no indication that it would clear. There was a steady breeze out of the W/SW and a chop on the water.
I swam down the buoy line to the left, out around the buoy at the reef, to the end of the Cal Poly Pier and doubled back along my route out. This route is about 2 miles.  
My Garmin seems to have passed out 3/4 of the way to the CPP and sort of recovered when I arrived back at the reef buoy, logging one point before quitting.  It is interesting that the clock keeps running even if the GPS has lost its sync and is no longer tracking. The swim out to the CPP was a slog into the chop and current but I've been in bigger conditions and the watch didn't loose its sync.  

At the end of the CPP about to collect my payback for the swim out 
and scream downhill all of the way to the reef buoy.
I wish my watch hadn't messed up. The return was much easier and 
quicker and I would have liked to have known how much faster my return trip was.

No report from Tom today. I texted him about the water temperature after I got out. Maybe he didn't want to overcook his toes and rick loosing their calibration.......   

Stephanie and I will swim Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7. 



Saturday, May 13, 2023

Saturday, May 13th, 2023

Jodi and I got in at about 7AM. Both the air and the water were about 51° to 52°. There was a low ceiling of clouds but still reasonable visibility.  Figuring that the clouds could drop down and become fog we decided to stick close and back and forth to the four buoys on the east side. We swam out to the end of the Avila Pier and did the lap to the 4th buoy first. Jodi called it good after completing the laps to buoy numbers 4, 3, and 2, swam in to umber 1 and came in. That was a post shoulder surgery personal best for her for time and distance. I swam out to the end of the pier and came back in for a bit more distance. 
The conditions began as glassy but got bumpy with some swells about half way through which made me wonder if the wind was already picking up offshore.     

Jodi and Niel at the end of the Avila Pier

Tom Saturday morning swim report: fog, fog, fog. It was fully socked in this morning when I arrived at 930. The air temperature was 58°. When I got down to the water I saw that it was calm and mostly glassy… My toe-mometer  told me the water temperature was 51°. Niel's thermometer told him it was 52°. I think Niel's thermometer is not calibrated. Niel says I must be smoking crack. I tell him, no, it's too early for that. I need to go grocery shopping later.  In fact, there were probably spots of 51 and spots of 52.  It was a good day of swimming. 

I'll swim tomorrow morning at 11.


Friday, May 12, 2023

Friday, May 11th, 2023


Tom's Friday swim report: foggy bottom and 51°. It was an interesting morning when I got to Avila at 920.  Sort of foggy and sort of clear. It was 58° air temperature and the water was smooth and calm.  The water temperature was 51° with a few spots a little colder. Excellent swimming.   

Niel, Jodi and Tom Israel will swim Saturday at 7 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Thursday, May 11th, 2023

Stephanie and I got in at 7:10 and swam two miles in 1:09.  The air and water temps were 49° and 51°. It was sunny and calm with just a slight ripple on very clean water.   

At the end of the Cal Poly Pier.

Jodi and I will swim at 7 on Saturday and Pat, David and I will swim at 11 on Sunday.


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

I got in at 7:05. I was not feeling very enthusiastic and even though the water was 52.5°F it felt colder to me than it had on Sunday. The air temp was 49° with thin high clouds and unlimited visibility. There was no wind and the water was glassy and offering wonderful swimming conditions.  

Something easy fit my mood so it would be two triangles again. Being off was more than just a mood. There was something wrong with my stroke that was making my lower back ache. It took 2000M for me to relearn how to rotate properly and then my back felt great, my mood improved and it felt good to push to the end.  
Thank you Water Gods.

At the 4th buoy on the left side. It doesn't get any more glassy than this.

Stephanie and I will swim at 7 on Thursday.


Tom's Tuesday morning swim report: super low tide when I arrived at 9:30 this morning. Even lower tide than yesterday. The air temperature was 59 and there was a thin cloud cover with spots of blue showing through. There was a slight breeze creating a bump on the water. The water temperature was  52.      I had a nice swim this morning. Back on Friday.  

Monday, May 8, 2023

Monday, May 8th. 2023

Tom's Monday morning swim report: if you look closely at the picture above 👆, you might notice the significant low tide and think to yourself, it almost looks like you could walk out to the buoy. Of course, that would be an exaggeration...  but not that much of an exaggeration.  It was low tide. And if you look really closely at the picture, you might notice Avila Rock out there and how much longer it extends to the south than you might expect.  All that is to say, it was low tide, the swell from last week has fizzled just about down to nothing, and the water was smooth and calm with a slight breeze, creating a small bump. The air temperature was 58 when I arrived at 9:30, and the water temperature was 52. Excellent morning swim.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Sunday, May 7th, 2023

Warm(er) Water, Tough Conditions and Old Friends

In most places the ocean was 11.5°C/52.7°F today. The water was very clear so the swimming was wonderful. There was a strong wind out of the west that pushed up a difficult chop after we got in making swimming a matter of commitment and persistence.
David and I got in at 11. The air temp was about 70° and sunny making it a beautiful day at the beach.    

We swam out to the end of the pier and did one clockwise and on counterclockwise triangle from there. The ocean had looked pretty smooth when we got in but quickly started to get lumpy. When we began the second triangle there was a one foot plus chop and a current out of the west that made things pretty physical.  Swimming the east to west length of the buoy line into the chop and current was a piece of work. We both felt officially used up coming in to the beach. 

David and Niel at the end of the Avila Pier

John and Jonny!
As I was coming in I almost ran into Dolphins John and Jonny at the buoy line.
They usually swim at 4 but were early today so they could do a puppet show at Jonny's son's birthday party later this afternoon.  I haven't seen them since before the pandemic. 

and, you'll notice that Jonny is going bareback. A year ago he quit wearing a wetsuit and that includes all through last winter with the water in the high 40's.

I'm not even a little bit tempted. 

I'll swim Tuesday and Thursday at 7.


Saturday, May 6, 2023

Saturday, May 6th , 2023

Tom Israel, Jodi and Niel swam at 7AM. It was sunny and a cool 43° with a light wind. The water temp was 50° +/- depending on where we were. Jodi shoulder is recovering nicely and she is adding distance to her swims every Saturday. Today she did a full triangle. Tom and I swam with her to the last swim zone buoy on the left where she headed to the end of the Avila Pier for the first half of her triangle and Tom and I swam to the end of the Cal Poly Pier and directly back to the beach at the base of the Avila Pier. Both of those legs are about 1000M so a lot of thinking went on before and after our brief stop at the end of the CPP.      

Tom and Niel

Jodi, Tom and Niel

I'll swim at 11 on Sunday. 


Tom (Lorish's) Saturday morning swim report: another blue sky day at Avila this morning. It was 58° when I arrived at 9:45. The water looked calm and glassy with a slight bump on it. The water temperature was about 51, 52° this morning. There was a slight breeze when I started swimming, which picked up throughout the swim. In the category of something you don't see every day, as I was getting in, there was a seal swimming along just outside the break… Then it went underwater for a moment, and when it came back up, it had a big fish flopping around in his mouth. It went under again, and when it came up the next time, the fish was in its flippers, and the seal was enjoying a sushi breakfast. Nature's window.