Thursday, November 30, 2023

Thursday, November 30th, 2023

I did an easy couple of triangles this morning. It was sunny with a light breeze. The air temperature at 6:45 was 49°. The water was 54° and pretty smooth. The largest waves were the occasional four footers. It looked like it had rained in Avila, the pavement and the sand was wet, but we only got a sprinkling at our house so I wasn't worried about the creek getting dirty.   
I got in on the left side, swam under the pier, did the first lap counterclockwise, then doubled back.  On the way back I got in closer to the beach because I couldn't see my reference spot on the pier because of the sun.
With no buoys I'm pushing the west leg of the triangle out further, to the bird beak like formation on the west side of the creek mouth. This is making a triangle closer to 2000 M.     

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


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tuesday, November 28th, 2023


Jim and I had a great swim today. At 7 the air temperature in Avila Beach was 34° with a light and gusty offshore wind. The water was 54°. The surf is the same, soft 3' swells with periods of 6'+ sets.  Jim swam circles around me. After we got in the only time I saw him was when he motored past me on the leg from the reef buoy to the Poly Pier and a second time between the end of the Poly Pier and the second crossbars. He was dry and waiting for me when I got out.  
The chop was bigger the further I was offshore so going to the Poly Pier the conditions became bigger and laid down from there to the Avila Pier. 
I was colder out of the water than when I was swimming. Bare feet on cold concrete was not friendly and the wind on bare we skin sure hurried me us getting dry and dressed. I'll bring some rubber sandals next time. 
I guess that it is too late to ask UnoCal to install some infrared heaters at the showers......

The prediction is for .1 to .25 inch of rain Wednesday and showers Thursday. If that is all that we get I'll swim Thursday at 7.  If it dumps I'll sit out. 
Then Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Sunday, November 26th, 2023

Today's conditions were 61° air, no wind and 53° water. The surf was a mixture of two sets, 3 to 4 foot waves for 10 to 15 minutes then 6 to 8 foot waves for 15 minutes. There had been a 6.5 foot high tide at 8:15  and the wash had come up to the base of the stairs. At 11 the surf was breaking in water that was chest deep.

I'd had enough fun in the surf earlier this week and decided to sit out.  Jim got in at 11, Paula and Avery got in about 11:05 and Tom was right after them. They found each other in the water and swam for about an hour.        

Avery and Paula

Tom getting out. 

Duke rode by and we visited for a bit. 

This coming week I'm planning on swimming Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11 unless it rains hard Wednesday night, then I'll sit out Thursday's swim.


Saturday, November 25, 2023

Saturday, November 25th, 2023

At 7 this morning the air temperature in Avila Beach was 35°, ouch! The water was 55° - 56°. It was sunny with a steady offshore breeze, no clouds and 3 foot surf with a very occasional 5 foot set. The waves had more power than recently but with good timing we got in and out without any extra fun. 
After the long swims on Tuesday and Thursday I suggested a simple 3200M loop via the Poly Pier and the reef buoy on the east side of the Avila Pier.  Yes, on Thanksgiving I did have a second piece of pie that I felt that I'd earned that morning.  

Jodi, Jim and Niel at the Poly Pier

From the shore you could see the wind chop out beyond the surf but the it didn't look large and the swimming looked like it would be easy enough. The first leg over to the Poly Pier informed us that it was very much not flat our there this morning. The one foot +/- chop was being blown offshore against a 3 foot south swell which made for messy swimming.  The good part was that the water temperature felt comfortable. Unfortunately Jodi was cold. She'd had some trouble doing up the neck of her wetsuit and had water coming in around her shoulders for the whole swim. 

Jodi and Jim riding up the swell at the end of the Poly Pier. 

The leg from the end of the Poly Pier to the reef buoy was across the chop going right and  the swell going left and seemed to take a long time. Figuring our how to correct for the combined drift was entertaining. The chop was moving me more than the swell.

I'll be back tomorrow at 11.



Friday, November 24, 2023

Friday, 24 November 23

 Tom's Mystery Swim #2

Somewhere considerably south and east of Avila Beach.

I do not know which direction we are looking but that is the Mediterranean Ocean.

Will Tom ever get reacclimated to Avila Beach waters?


Thursday, November 23, 2023

The Second Helping Swim and More

Jodi, Jim and I did a long swim this morning. We were going to do enough distance to feel good about having seconds later in the day but we wound up doing a nice training swim for Jodi who has her 5700 yard Birthday Swim on 12/20.

We played swimming ping pong between the Avila and Poly piers and clocked 5,200 yds/4,943M in two hours. 

The air temp was 46° when we got in at 7. The water was 55°. The surf was small and there was an offshore wind. The water was a good 1° colder closer to the beach.  During our swim it warmed up nicely and was t-shirt weather when we got out.

There will be photos from today's swim once I recover them from the memory card. Not a flood or a camera problem, it was fat fingers that erased the files. 
I'll swim at 7 on Saturday and at 11 on Sunday.


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023

 Tom Lorish's Tuesday Swim - 

Look where Tom is swimming! 


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Tuesday, 21 November 23

I needed a long Zen swim this morning so I planned to do about 4,000M. The swim went so well that I wandered about the ocean and wound up with 4,644M.

I got in just before 7. The air temperature was 39°. It was sunny with a gusty offshore breeze. The water's surface was choppy but it was hard to tell how bumpy it was because I was looking at it from the back. There was a small swell out of the south and the surf was wimpy.  The water temperature was 53° - 54° and colder near the shore. 
My route was, more or less, left along the buoys, out and around the reef buoy, to the end of the Poly Pier, in along the pier to the third crossbars and back the way I came. My drift correction and Zen state had me going left in both directions.   

When I was coming back from the Poly Pier I thought I saw the Harbor District's derrick on the west side of the Avila Pier. It wasn't there when I got out but the buoys on the west side were gone, so they must be pulling them out for the winter.  The ones that are on the east side will probably be gone by Thursday.

I spoke with Jim after I got out. I had gotten in just before him. We didn't see each other in the water.  There were pelicans diving on some fish to the left of and beyond the end of the Avila Pier. Jim had seen whales much further out.   

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


Sunday, November 19, 2023

 Avila couldn't have been much different today than it was yesterday. It was sunny with a gusty offshore breeze, 60° to 70°, the water was 56° and choppy from the wind. The swell was gone leaving us 3 foot waves. 
It was Niel, David, Jim and Tom Israel today. Because of Saturday's storm we decided to avoid swimming near the creek mouth and swam to Avila Rock.

Tom, Avila Rock, Jim, Fossil Point and David.
This was David's first swim out to the rock.

Niel, Tom, Avila Rock behind Tom, Jim and David

The water felt comfortable and warmer warmer than 56°. 

I'll swim Tuesday at 7AM and Thanksgiving Day at 7AM. So after you have that turkey in the oven come on down to Avila for the No Guilt Swim.  As in 'Yes, please, I'd like seconds and I do not feel a bit guilty since I swam this morning'.


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Saturday, November 18th, 2023

Storm Swimming -

At 6 AM it was not raining and there was only .1 inch in the rain gauge at my house, so I texted Jodi and Tom Israel that we would be swimming.

The air temperature was 60° and it was breezy. While we were getting our gear on it began drizzling, which turned to a light rain which kept up until we were on our way home. 

There weren't what I'd call 'waves' but there was a short period SE swell that was rolling all of the way to the beach. The swells would start standing up half way between the end of the Avila Pier and the buoy line. They got bunched up as they came closer to shore. Inside the buoys they were about 7 seconds apart and 3 to 6 feet tall but they didn't break, the tops just rolled over and they collapsed into white water. Even at 5 to 6 feet the swell/waves didn't have mush power. Getting out was a matter of just pushing through the peaks until we got to the buoy line and caught our breath.         

After getting out, the swim down the buoy line to #4 was the toughest part of this swim. (I didn't start my watch until I was swimming along the buoy line). Swimming east across the swell was harder and way messier that swimming into or across the swell.      


Jodi, Tom Israel  and Niel at the end of the Avila Pier. 
The water had warmed up to a comfortable feeling 55°. 

We swam around until we had had a good hour of abuse and came in along the pier. The swell had laid down some and getting in to the beach was just a matter of swimming in until standing up in the white water. 

I'll swim tomorrow at 11, Tuesday at 7 and Thanksgiving Day at 7 to justify those second helpings of stuffing and pie.  🍗 🍰.


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023

41° + 52° = Cold Swimming

The combination of a 41° air temperature and a 52° water temperature made this the coldest swim in recent memory.  Conditions were beautiful. It was sunny with a slight breeze. There was a swell out of the SE that didn't look to big from shore but it was enough to make each leg a different swim and over the shallows near Fossil Point it became quite rollie.  The surf was flat except for an occasional 3 footer.  

I was looking for 4000M this morning but came up a bit short. I encountered kelp near Fossil Point and turned around before I was directly off of the point.  

On my way from the end of the Avila Pier to Fossil Point I happened across Jim. He was swimming his own route and agreed with me that 1° less in water temp added to 30° less in air temperature made the water feel much colder than it had on Sunday, when the water was 53° and the air was 72°.

At Fossil Point ready to head back towards my starting point.
My numb feet were telling me that the water was definitly in the lowest of the 50's 

I'm not sure about swimming Thursday. I'll decide that morning when I know how much it has rained overnight and I'll make a guess about the water quality.

I plan on swimming Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Sunday, November 12, 2023

Sunday, November 12th, 2023


We enjoyed wonderful swimming conditions today. The air temperature was 71°, there was a light breeze and unlimited sunshine. The water was 53° with some colder spots, very clear and a beautiful blue green color.

Tom L. was out there early showing the otters how to do the backstroke. Jim stopped by and said hi as we were getting ready and went ahead and did his own swim. Duke did his out, over and back in route. Niel, Jamie, Paula and Ilene swam the east buoy line, to the end of the Avila Pier and to the end of the Poly Pier. Ilene and Paula were looking for 2000 M and came back from the end of the Poly Pier. Niel and Jamie wanted about 3600M so they went in along the Poly Pier to the second crossbars and over to the end of the Avila Pier before coming in.

There was a small to medium wind chop so the legs from the end of the buoy line to the Poly Pier got progressively rougher and pushy. Coming in along the pier was a nice break before swimming across the chop on the way back to the Avila Pier.

Afterwards it was so nice and relaxing on the beach that Jamie, Jim, Duke and Niel kept trading stories until 1:45.

I'll swim Tuesday. The predicted rain is making Thursday looks iffy.


Saturday, November 11, 2023

Saturday, November 11th, 2023

 Surf's Up -

When I got out of my car at 7 this morning there was a lot of noise coming from the beach. The surf was 5 to 6 foot, well spaced and with periods of 3'+ between the big sets. Getting out would be all about timing.

It was 41°, sunny and calm. High tide was at 8 and the waves were pushing the wash way up the beach. I could see the swell well out beyond the end of the Avila Pier. The largest waves were breaking inside of the buoy line so we could still swim along the buoys and enjoy an elevator swim.  The water temperature was 53°.

Jodi was not feeling well so it was Tom Israel and myself.  We decided to focus on getting out to the end of the Avila Pier and then figure things out from there. Getting out had its moments and was exciting at some points. We probably starting our entry one wave too late, but Tom and I got out without getting washing machined. I was towing my swim buoy and deciding to leave it deflated until I was beyond the surf was a good idea in surf this size.

From the end of the Avila Pier we went to the second crossbars on the Poly Pier, to the end of the pier, to the end of the Avila Pier, on to the last buoy on the east side and back along the buoys to the pier. Between the end of the Poly Pier and the buoy line the swell gave us a nice push. I found that I could use my buoy to ride in through the surf like I learned to do on a surf mat at Huntington Beach.

I've no photos today. When I turned on my GoPro at the end of the Poly Pier it didn't boot properly. I had a screen with tears and jitters and I could not turn it off. I left it to shut off on its own and after the swim it booted up normally so I guess it was just a softwear hick up. Before I was able to have my camera boot successfully I was glad I had reupped my GoPro membership. For $50/year the membership provides a replacement camera of the same model, no questions asked, twice a year for a $99 fee or $100 off a different model. New cameras are $250 to $450 depending on the model so it feels like a good deal.

When we were at our cars Duke stopped by on his bike so we got to talk for a bit. He is planning on getting in with me tomorrow at 11.


Thursday, November 9, 2023

Thursday, November 9th, 2023

 I'm Back - 

I'm back in the water after more than a week in Eureka where there is a lot of water but where the best pool is a 25 yd. indoor pool with narrow lanes that you need to share. I do not find it to be a relaxing experience.
After reading Tom's posts I was looking forward to this morning. At 6:30 it was 48° and clear with an offshore breeze gaining strength as the sun came up. The water was 53° and already showing some chop.  The lifeguard towers have been pulled to the back of the beach for the winter. The swim zone buoys are still in. They will be pulled out on whatever schedule the harbor guys have time.  
I decided to do something a bit different. I swam to the end of the Avila Pier, to the first crossbars on the Poly Pier, to the end of the pier and back to the end of the Avila Pier.  I do not think I have ever done this route before.  There is still some kelp near the first crossbars that I needed to dodge.  During the summer the kelp would be too thick to swim through.  

I had not planned my swim quite right. Going to the end of the Poly Pier first would have been less challenging. Going counterclockwise I had the most difficult leg at the end. It was bumpy going out along the Poly Pier with a following chop. From the end of the Poly Pier to the Avila Pier was going to be across a one foot wind chop at a 45° angle. I needed to swim and not think about what progress I was making. The chop was pushing me to the right so I needed to keep checking my navigation, but without thinking about my progress.
Welcome back to the ocean!

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


Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Wednesday, November 8th, 2023

Tom's Swim Report

I have run out of superlatives to describe these beautiful fall days. I will let the picture below be a 1000 words. The water was glassy and Calm, 53°. The swimming was excellent.  

Monday, November 6, 2023

Tuesday, November 6th, 2023

Tom's Swim Report:

I arrived at Avila at 9:15 PST.  Air temperature was 63, and there was a thick, heavy marine layer.  The water was 53 degrees, calm and glassy with about a 3 foot swell. By the time I got out, it was a different day at Avila. See the before/ after pictures below. 

Eureka has showers that are heavy at times. This morning I got my run in between the drops.
We are traveling tomorrow. I plan on swimming Thursday morning at 7.


Sunday, November 5, 2023

Saturday, November 4th, 2023

 Jodi's Saturday AM Swim Report

Hoping all is going well! Here is the info for Saturday swim. Me and Tom L, decided to do a practice daylight savings and started at 8:00, the extra hour didn't hurt😄! Bit of a chop swimming back to the Avila pier, breathing to left had to make sure I didn't get a face full of water. Water temp 55-54 guesstimate. See you next Saturday! 


Saturday, November 4, 2023

Friday, November 4th, 2023

Tom's Swim Event:

Beautiful day at Avila this morning.  Around 64° air temperature and the water was about 53.   I had a preseason Ocean Swim organized for the Cal Poly women's water Polo team. We had all 26 girls there, 19 of which swam around the CP pier.  The water was glassy and calm. Excellent swimming, and everyone had fun. 

Great job Tom. 


Friday, November 3, 2023

Friday, November 3rd, 2023

Tom's swim:
Conditions were very similar today as Wednesday… 53° water, air was up to the mid 60s, though. Gorgeous fall day, and excellent swimming.   

Niel's Run:
No rain today. I ran and walked and went a bit further than yesterday.  


Thursday, November 2, 2023

Wednesday/Thursday November 1 & 2 , 2023

Toms swim report from Wednesday morning:
51 degree air, 52 -53 degree water, calm and glassy. Beautiful fall conditions. Excellent morning Swim

Niel's Thursday morning run report:

In Eureka. 7AM. Air temp in the low 50's, Raining. I brought the right gear so it was a good run.