Thursday, June 29, 2023

Thursday, July 29th, 2023

Sunlight on the Cal Poly Pier

I'm trying to have Thursday's be my long days so I did three triangles for 5,134 M this morning. The distance was OK but the 52.7° water was not my friend and there were cold spots that really got my attention.  I towed a bottle of Fluid Performance which gave me just enough more energy to even me out with the lower water temperature, so I was still out of gas at two hours. I've found that the Performance is good for hydration but it is only 100 calories a serving so it is not enough for cold water swimming. Next week I'll bring along a bottle of gels and see if I am not as spent when I get out.  A 55 or 56 degree water temperature would also help a lot.

At 7 the air temperature was 56° with a light wind and lower, more fog like clouds with some holes for the sun to peak through. The plankton level was mild. 

I'll swim two miles +/- Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11. 


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023

I was cold today. The air was 56° and the water 54°, so I should have been more comfortable than I was. I guess it was just my day to be chilled. I set out at 7 AM and picked a course that I figured would be a solid 4000M.  At 4,737M it was a bit more solid than my goal but I had a nice swim and had an opportunity to sort out what I was doing with my head that was making my shoulders ache.  
No, the thing with my head wasn't my too approximate route planning. I was lifting my head, not keeping the top of my head pointing at the horizon, which jams up my neck and makes my shoulders ache.  

There wasn't any thick plankton today and only a slight swell. The swimming was real nice. I did see a couple of groups of pelicans so the bait fish must be arriving along the Central Coast.  With some sun and warmer water it would start feeling like summer.      

As a nice bonus after I got out, Duke walked up to me as I was getting my stuff out of my car. We've spoken but I haven't seen him in some time.  He looked good and had a nice smile. His shoulder is keeping him from swimming but he is riding and is busy with work. 

I'll swim Thursday at 7.


Sunday, June 25, 2023

Sunday, June 25th, 2023

It was cloudy and coolish (56°) with a light breeze when I got to Avila but the sun came out while we were swimming and warmed things up nicely. The wind was already blowing offshore with whitecaps towards the horizon and a bumpy surface closer in. The plankton was thickish from the beach out to the end of the Avila Pier and where it thinned out to a nice clarity.          
Jamie was already swimming along the buoy line when I got in. We met up at the first buoy. I wanted to get offshore enough to be clear of the plankton so we swam the Cal Poly Pier.
The was Jamie's first time swimming along the CPP and being 'out in the ocean'. She was stoked. We came back to the end of the Avila Pier. Jamie went in and I swam to the last buoy on the east side and aback to our starting point.    

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


Saturday, June 24, 2023

Saturday, June 24th, 2023

The Same But A Bit Colder -

Jodi and I swam at 7AM this morning. The water was 54° at the end of the Poly Pier but a good degree or more colder along the buoy line. The plankton density was about the same as on Thursday with the thickest crud being close to shore in the coldest water. Out beyond the end of the Avila Pier the water didn't look too cloudy, though it was hard to tell with no sunshine. It was as flat as if had been on Thursday so the swimming was almost boring. The air temperature was in the upper 50's and the wind didn't start up until we were at the showers.  

We swam to the end of the Poly Pier and back along the same route. I had 3,585M.

Jodi and Niel at the end of the Poly Pier.

I'll swim tomorrow at 11.


Thursday, June 22, 2023

Thursday, June 22nd, 2023

Weird June, Cold Toes -

The strange weather continues. In late June of 2022 the water temperature was 59° to 60°. Today it had slid back down from a already unseasonably cold 55° - 56° to 53° - 54° with medium to semi heavy plankton, so we are having summer water quality with winter water temperatures. The good part was that between 7 and 9 the surface was like a sheet of glass, with the wind just starting to gust after I got out at just before 9. There was the standard thick overcast and an air temperature of 54°.     

Three Triangles

and Cold Toes 

Junior Guards was beginning today. There was a very large crowd ready to start the program. That looked like fun.

I am making no predictions for the conditions on Saturday and Sunday, but I'll be back Saturday morning at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Tuesday, June 20th, 2023

It was really nice in Avila Beach this morning with great swimming conditions. It is a matter of luck, the wind, the tide and what the water gods want to give you that determines if you have nice clean water or a funky red brown plankton soup.    

At 7:00 I waded into 55° to 56° water with some spots between the Avila and Poly Piers that were 54°-. The water was nice and clean all of the way. It was windy in SLO when I left for the beach but it was still calm in Avila Beach when I arrived. Out towards the Poly Pier there was a small swell from the SW so it was already blowing offshore. Between 8 and 8:30 the wind started working into Avila Beach. Tom was going to swim around 9:00 to 9:30 so check below for his report about how the conditions were for him.

I had a great swim.   

Clean water

Tom's Swim Report - 

The wind gods smiled on me… it was glassy and smooth, no wind when I got in at 9:40, and it was exactly the same when I got out around 11.  The water was pristine and clear. Beautiful swimming today.  

Monday, June 19, 2023

Monday, June 19th, 2023

Tom's Swim Report -

I got in this morning at about 940… The water was glassy and smooth.  By the time I got over to the CPP, someone had turned on the wind machine, and the chop was started… Then, as I was looping around the fourth buoy on the east side, whitecaps!  This wind is going to knock the temperature down and hopefully blow out the red tide.  It was splotchy today.  I could see a distinct line just outside the Avila Pier.   

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Sunday, June 18th, 2023

The swimming conditions were wonderful today. At 11 the air temp was 64° and heading towards the low 70's. It was clam and the water was still glassy, 58° to 59°! and clean! I don't know where the plankton went but I assume it will be back but today was pure fun. 

Tiki is back from Berkeley, no longer a freshman and had not been in the water since last fall. She was interested in doing about a mile so we got in on the west side and swam a triangle to the first buoy on the left side of the pier. 
Niel and Tiki at the end of the Avila Pier.

At that point Jamie caught up with us and Tiki went in.  We swam another triangle back to the first buoy on the right side where,

Haley caught up with us. She is from Fresno, was in Avila with her family and wanted to get in hir first ocean swim prior to doing an Alcatraz swim with her Master's group. She was happy with swimming about a mile so we would do my third triangle. Jamie wanted to do a bit more so she swam with us to the 4th buoy and returned to the pier. Haley and I completed the triangle, she had a great time and should be back in a couple of week for more. With nothing to top me up along the way I was spent ready for lunch. 

Everybody enjoyed the clean and warmer water today.

I'll be back on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 7 and next Sunday at 11.


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Saturday, June 17th, 2023

The same stuff: air 59°, water 56°, gray, no sun, no wind, glassy conditions, small surf
The different stuff: Water clarity was about like Thursday with better visibility near the beach and not good to bad visibility near the end of the Avila Pier.  Better visibility means that when I look down I can see my toes well enough to know that they are still there. Not good visibility means I can kind'a see the bottom of my pinnie.
Tom I., Niel and Jodi at the end of the Avila Pier. 

We swam three of Jodi's triangles; from the end of the pier swim to the forth buoy, along the buoy line to the first buoy and back to the end of the pier and repeat as necessary. 

I'll swim Sunday at 11.


Thursday, June 15, 2023

Thursday, June 15th, 2023

Conditions were better today compared to Tuesday, the water was a bit warmer and while still brown and funky, there were no spots where the plankton became so thick that it was like swimming in soup.
At 7 Avila was still gray and 59° with flat 56° water, small waves and no wind.  

I swam on the west side of the pier today and did the same back and forth between each swim buoy and the end of the Avila Pier that I did on the east side Tuesday. Todays swim came out 200M shorter. For some reason the distances on the west side has always seemed shorter than on the east side.  
The Army Core of Engineer's has begun the second phase of the repair work on the Port San Luis breakwater. Their big derrick is in place at the breakwater and there was a barge of new breakwater material anchored off of Avila Beach. I learned that these boulders come from a quarry on Catalina Island.

I'll swim Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11. 


Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023

 It has been a week since I was in the water and it was good to be back. At 7 AM it was very summary in Avila Beach; 59°, high clouds, no sun, no wind, no waves.  The water temp was 55.4° and the water quality is now full summer funk so there will be no clean water until next winter.  The funk varied from not too objectional to as thick as soup.
I got the kinks out by swimming between the buoys and the end of the pier.  

Photo of my toes from the surface. The visibility here was about 3 feet.

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


Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023

I had a nice swim this morning. The overcast was high and thin with some sky showing through. It was 57° and still with glassy water that developed some character as the morning progressed.  The tide was very low and a unusual amount of Avila Rock was above the water so l decided to do a lap around the rock and take a look. The water was 12.5°C/54.4°F. 

The clouds and sky looked beautiful but the lighting was so dark and flat that it was extremely difficult to pick the rock out from the background. This is the east side of Avila Rock at 7:30. There was still no 'sunrise' to illuminate the rock and it blended into the hills.  In order to navigate I had to stop swimming and really look in order to pick the rock of the background 

I'll be out of town Wednesday through Sunday so my next swim will be on the 13th. 


Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sunday, June 4th, 2023

Niel, Jamie, Victoria, two of Victoria's friends, Tom L., and John and Jonny swam around mid day today.

When I first got to the beach I saw Tom swimming towards the end of the Avila Pier. He was far enough out that he would have been aiming for the end of the Poly Pier. Saw him again when he was at the Avila Pier as he was finishing up, when Victoria and her friends, Jamie and I were just getting started.  Afterwards, around 1, I saw what looked like John and Jonny moving out through the surf and starting their swim. 

It was a great day for swimming. There was no wind, the water smooth and glassy and the water's temperature was up to 54° - 55°.  At 11 it was still grey all of the way down to the horizon but the sun did come out around noon.

Victoria and her friends swam out and back along the left buoy line. Jamie and I did three triangles for 4,500M.   

I'll be back to swim on Tuesday morning at 7. That will be it for me for a week as I'll be out of town Wednesday through Sunday.


Saturday, June 3, 2023

Saturday, June 3rd, 2023


At the end of the Cal Poly Pier
Jodi and Jim in the background and Niel

Jodi, Jim and Niel got in at 7 AM. Avila was in full June Gloom mode with dense gray cloud cover, 53°, calm, 52.7° water that felt like 51° or maybe 52°, a nice glassy surface and a small swell from the SW.  This week the water has started to become 'summery', not in temperature but the nice clean winter water is being replaced by the yellow brown summer crud of plankton which means that the bait fish will arrive soon bringing with them the seals, birds and big fish. There was a lot of kelp in the surf line. 

There were three swims today: Jim is still getting his cold water chops back so he's get out when it was his time,  Jodi wanted to do 1:15 and I was looking for 4,500M.

We swam the Poly Pier Circle counterclockwise. Jim went in when we were passing by the Avila Pier. Jodi hit 1:15 when she and I arrived back at the Avila Pier and I continued on to do a triangle to to top up my distance. My dead reckoning was off a bit since I wound up with 5,000+M.

I'll be back tomorrow at 11. I'm expecting two new swimmers.


Tom L. got in at about 10 and swam around the Avila Rock.  

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Thursday, June 1st, 2023

The Gods Must be Laughing - 

Poseidon, Neptune, maybe even Popeye, but they are having fun with us swimmers. 55° water on Tuesday and 51.7°/11°C today. Combined with the solid gray cloud cover it was chilly.

When asked about the water temperature I'm going to just say 51° and then the only surprises will be pleasant ones.  

Jim, Niel and Stephanie swam this morning at 7. We planned to do a loop out and around the Poly Pier. Stephanie needs a new wetsuit, got too cold and dropped off at the end of the Avila Pier. Jim also was cold in his borrowed wetsuit and swam in to the base of the Avila Pier from the end of the CPP. I had the warmest wetsuit by a good margin so I completed the loop and added a triangle for 4,746M. 
My Patagonia R3 is a 3.5/4.5 surf suit with kneepads and a rough outside texture to help you to stay on your board and is more bulky to than my Orca, but it is my best buddy when the water is around 50°.  Even in water in the 40's I've felt the cold but have never gotten cold. 

It will be Jim, Jodi, Tom I., and myself Saturday morning at 7.