Sunday, December 31, 2023

Sunday, December 31st. 2023

For the last swim of the year Avila was 53°, gray and wintery, with no wind and better swimming conditions than we'd had the past few days. The surf was smaller at 3 to 6 foot with much less energy and decent space between the bigger sets. The beach was loaded with storm debris including a wooden stairstep and related framing at our spot that may have been part of something along the creek. The water was a pleasant 57°. The lack of wind could explain the water temp coming back up, but I'll take 57° over 52° no matter what the reason. . 

Tom was getting out when I was getting ready. He had swum most of the way to the Avila Rock and back.
Paula stopped by to check out the conditions. She will swim tomorrow when the surf should be pretty flat. 

The surf was close to the maximum of my comfort zone but the water was warm and the waves were not too physical so I waded out and spent about 10 minutes trying to push through the break. I got pushed back a couple of times but eventually saw my opening and swam out. 

Tom and I both stayed on the east side of the pier hoping for cleaner water. I swam out to the end of the pier and did two triangles around the reef buoy staying well out past the break. The major swell was from the S/SW but there was a second swell from ESE. When I came back in along the pier I swam away from the pier into the ESE swell to avoid being carried too close to the pier once I was in the surf.   

Things look good for 7AM on Tuesday but the swell is predicted to be 12' on Thursday and 14' late Sunday so I'll check the videos or just drive down to the beach and see what the water is like and swim if it looks good for me. 


Saturday, December 30, 2023

Saturday December 30th, 2023

 Big Surf + Dirty Water Repeat - 

Jodi and I were at Avila at 7 watching waves kiss the bottom of the Avila Pier. That is too big for either of us so we went and had a look at the conditions at Olde Port Beach.
The surf was 2 to 3 foot so getting in and out would have been easy but the water was a medium brown from runoff from the two canyons across the road and did not look inviting so we visited and headed home.

The swell should be down tomorrow so swimming away from the creek on Sunday is a maybe. The wave prediction for the Diablo Canyon buoy is for 12 foot on Wednesday and 16 foot on Sunday, so we are in full winter conditions mode and will be getting in when it is safe and clean.


This wave height chart and a lot more ocean information is on At the bottom of a location's page, below all of the images, there is a link to Tides where wave and tide information is available.    

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Thursday, December 28th, 2023

Big Surf + Dirty Water = No Swimming

At 7 this morning the surf was big and the County had posted a health warning for both Avila and Olde Port Beaches so I sat out.

I'll try again Saturday morning and Sunday at 11.


Monday, December 25, 2023

Monday, December 25th, 2023

Tom's Christmas Day Swim -

Christmas swim at Avila🎄- gorgeous day. Big high tide was pushing the water almost up to the stairs.  There was a nice swell that had the set waves touching the top of the pier. The water was 55 again and wild. Fun swimming.  

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Sunday, December 24th, 2023

This morning  I swam at Lover's Point in Pacific Grove with Chris Villanueva and the Kelp Krawlers. A group of about a dozen got in at 11:30 and swam an out and back route that was parallel to the beach for about a mile. The air temperature was 60 degrees and the water was 58 degrees. There was only a very light wind.
The water here is very different from what we have at Avila Beach. It is more like the open ocean in good and not so good ways. Even near the beach the water is very clean and a beautiful dark blue. The beach faces north and is unprotected from the swell and wind. Today the swell was 6 foot plus but it breaks off of the point that is north of the beach. The beach where you get in is steep and faces east so today there was just a swell with no break. You take three steps and have to start swimming. It was quite choppy out there but not like we have at Avila.  More like swimming is a storm. I had a great time.

I think that the chop made a mess of the plot. Because of the rough conditions  

The beach at Lover's Point

The group getting ready. Mostly wetsuits but some barebacks.  

At the turnaround looking back towards Lover's Point. 

Today was the time to get in. Tomorrow's swell is predicted to be 10 to 14 foot and Tuesday  16 to 20! I will come and see what that looks like.

If the rain holds off I'll swim Thursday at 7.


Tom's Christmas Eve Swim -

Xmas eve at Avila: gorgeous day today. And the water has warmed up… About 54–55. Beautiful swimming conditions.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Monday, December 18th, 2023

Tom's Swim Report -  

Stormy Monday! The air temperature was 60°, and the water temperature was about 90!  Oh, wait, that was my water bottle water after the swim. The ocean water was about 52–53.  Pretty big waves that were stacked on top of each other. It was a fun day to swim.   

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Sunday, December 17th, 2023

 Avila Beach was pretty empty today but Paula was there to join me for a swim with winter conditions. It was comfortable at Avila, the air temp was about 70°, there was no wind and scattered high clouds. The water temperature was up to 52°. The swell and surf was increasing prior to the storm that was dur to arrive tonight. The waves were 4 to 5 feet and crowding in on each other. They were not very strong yet so getting out just required timing, some jumping over most of the waves and swimming under the biggest ones.       
Paula and I wanted to do a relaxing and not too strenuous swim so we went over to the Poly Pier and back.  With the extra time getting out and back we spent an hour in the water. The water did feel warmer than yesterday. 
We saw Tom Lorish. He was out after his swim and didn't stop to talk. He was on a mission to meet up with his bottle of hot water. 
Duke did a ride by. 

I'll be getting chased by the weather this week. We may get enough rain by Tuesday to cause me to sit out the bugs from the first flush, and the rain on Wednesday may close out Thursday's swim as well.  Friday thorough Wednesday Kris and I will be in Pacific Grove. I'm going to see if I can hook up with the Kelp Krawlers while we are there for some ocean time around Lover's Point.



Saturday, December 16, 2023

Saturday, December 16th, 2023

Jodi's Birthday Swim - 

Jodi wanted to do a 5600 yard swim for her 56th birthday. The swim was planned for her birthday on the 20th but it the coming rain will probably make swimming at Avila on that day unadvisable so Jodi decided to just add the extra distance to our usual Saturday morning 2 miler.  On Thanksgiving we'd done a route that was just short of the required distance so she decided to start by going out and in along the Avila Pier and to then pick up the route from the buoy line.         
We wound up covering 5,637 M / 6,165 yards in 2:18, so Jodi has some distance banked against next year's swim.  
At 7 AM Avila was beautiful and cold at 35° with the morning's offshore wind picking up. The water was 51° and became choppy.  While swimming out along the Avila Pier we stopped to watch what we thought was a rocket launch leaving a contrail above the sunrise. It turned out to be a plane but was still a great way to start our swim.   
Niel, Jodi and Tom

We stopped at the Poly Pier for cinnamon buns and expresso.  

Actually, Jodi has a Rice Krispie treat and Tom a Gu. In the foreground is the bottle of Fluid Performance that I towed.

There were brownies for Jodi's birthday. Yes, I had a problem with my numbers and did candles for 5,700 instead of 5,600.  After more than 2 hours in 51° water a brownie was completely guilt free.

The rain is supposed to start after 4 tomorrow so I'll swim at 11. Swimming next week is iffy. 

If I have this right Tom is going to be 62 on January 12th (?) and is thinking he should do a birthday swim. It would not add much distance to today's swim. We'll see how what kind of rain we have in January. 

6,200M with Tom would leave me in good shape for 7,400M on January 27th for my birthday.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Friday, December 15th , 2023

Tom's Friday Swim report - 

Big high tide. Water was clear, beautiful and chilly 🥶. 51-52 my toes are telling me.  Here's looking out to Avila rock. Can't see it, of course, because of the big high tide.

Thanks Tom


Thursday, December 14, 2023

Thursday, December 14th, 2023


Cold - 

At 6:45 the air temperature in Avila Beach was 38°. It was a clear, beautiful morning.  There was a steady offshore breeze that was making sure that I felt the temperature as I was getting ready to get in. The surf was 2 foot. When I was wading in the water felt colder than it has been. Later I measured a water temp of 51°, which was good because my hands and feet had felt cold for the entire swim and I would have been disappointed if the water was warmer than the bottom 50's.
At the start the wind had already pushed up a nice chop that had my body twisting around and slapping my head. It got stronger while I was out there.  I had a nice swim.          

I'll swim Saturday morning at 7 and Sunday at 11, unless enough rain occurs to chase me out. 


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Tuesday, December 12th, 2023

I'm looking to get my distance up by going long(er) than usual one a week.  I got in this morning at 6:45 and did 4,600M.  It was 45° but did not feel that cold. The water was 53° and did feel that cold. The water was nice and flat at the start but a chop and swell from the SW rose with the sun and the last part of the leg to the Poly Pier was getting noticeably bumpy.  Shimming in to the shore was fine but there was a constant push against me on the way out that got bigger as I got further offshore. Swimming across the swell back to the Avila Pier was easier and the swell became smaller as I approached the pier.   

There was one 3 to 4 foot wave every few minutes, otherwise the surf was 2 foot. I didn't take a nap out there but I spent a long time in the water for as far as I swam. 
I towed a 24 oz. bottle of Fluid Endurance behind me to provide some calories to keep my energy topped up.

When I got out Duke's car was parked on Front Street. I didn't see him out in the water but he was there when I came back from the showers. It was nice to catch up with him and we may see each other on Sunday. 
I'll be back Thursday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.  Next week I'll do a long swim with Jodi on Wednesday and then be out of town until 12/28.


Sunday, December 10, 2023

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Today was a beautiful Sunday at Avila Beach. It was sunny with high thin clouds, 60°, the surf was almost no surf or wind, 53° water and great swimming conditions.
Pete, Priyanka and Niel swam at 10 o'clock. I had a Christmas party later in the day and needed to be home from the beach earlier than usual.
We saw Tom L. getting in before us. Seeing us swimming 10 had him wondering if he had missed a time change or something.  

This is Pri's second swim at Avila, She is a good swimmer but needs to figure out this ocean thing works.  We swam over to the second crossbars on the Poly Pier. Pete and Pri swam to the end of the Avila Pier and I swam to the end of the Poly Pier. I do not know what else Pri and Pete did. I swam to the reef buoy and back to the Avila Pier.    

Pri, Niel and Pete at the Poly Pier

This coming week I'll be swimming Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Saturday, December 9, 2023

Saturday, December 9th, 2023

Tom Israel and I got in at 7 AM. It was sunny and 48° with a strong offshore wind. The surf was 3 to 4 foot.  We both wanted to go a bit shorter than usual because of holiday stuff later in the day, so one and a half triangles sounded about right.    
When we were wading in Tom Lorish's comment from his swim yesterday that his toes told him the water was colder came to mind because my toes were telling me that the water temperature was not 55°. I measured 52° - 53° and my feet agreed.  After we got out Tom said that he felt cold, but the constant wind as we changed wasn't helping our comfort level.  

It seemed like we needed to push against the chop on every leg with the last leg into the chop coming in along the pier being the roughest but shortest stretch.

The water was nice and clean and even tasted good.

Holiday stuff continues so Tom and I will swim an hour earlier than usual at 10 AM tomorrow.


Friday, December 8, 2023

Friday, December 8th, 2023

 Tom's Friday Morning Swim Report -

And just like that, the swell is gone… Chilly  😱 artic breeze though. The water felt like 53 to me... But that could have been the Artic wind. 

Thanks Tom..


Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thursday, December 7th, 2023

 Swim Report from Olde Port Beach

Sunrise from Olde Port Beach 

If Avila is too dirty, too big or I just want a different experience Olde Port Beach is the best option. It is a mile to the west of Avila Beach. It is more sheltered from most of the winter surf and there is no creek there so the water can be cleaner. Yesterday the surf in Avila was bigger than it was on Tuesday so I decided ahead of time that today would be a good day to revisit this beach. I'd driven by Avila and the surf was peaking at 6+ foot with 3 footers in between. With good timing it would have been easy enough to get out and back in, but I was curious about OPB. The waves there were 2 to 3+ foot and pretty soft. Getting in was a walk in with a few wave hops.      

The swimming conditions were very nice. The air temp was 50°, the water 55° with a flat surface. There was no swell outside of the surf line but there was a surge or current running towards the shore that made swimming our along the CP Pier noticeably more difficult than it was swimming in.  There are 4 swim zone buoys at this beach. They are left in all year. The line is about 300M long. I got in at the middle, swam to the west end and back along the line and to the first crossbars on the Poly Pier, out to the end of the CPP and back the way I had come.     

While swimming parallel to the beach on the way back I had a small seal follow me and bump my feet a few times. If I turned around I just see a splash and the seal would eventually pop up about 20 feet away. Seals are curious and playful but can become dangerous if they decide that you have some food that they could take or if it is a male during breeding season and he wants you our of his territory. This one seemed to be just curious but I did not like him (or anyone) touching my feet. The seal dropped off once if found that I was too boring.     

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


Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Wednesday, December 5th, 2023

Tom's Swim Report:

Some wild surf at Avila today! Big thick powerful bone crushers rolling in!  It was pushing hard from west to east and the set waves were almost touching the top of the pier. I stayed clear of the pier. I was getting moved ten feet in a blink. The waves are pounding over the top of the break wall by whaler's rock.   

Thank Tom. It is bigger today than when Kat and I were out there yesterday. We also had that strong current along the shore yesterday.


Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

Avila served up a lovely morning for Kat's first swim at Avila Beach.  Kat is a member of the Dolphin Club in San Francisco and found us through other members who have swum with us. She is in town for a few days for work and wanted to get in the water. At 7 o'clock it was clear and calm, 47° with 56° water and sets of 6 foot waves.      
Kat and I got out without too much trouble. She really liked the swimming. The big swells reminded her of when the wake of a container ship rolls into the Aquatic Park. We needed to cut our swim short so she could be at work at 8:30.     

Kat and Niel

Getting back in was more difficult than getting out had been.

I'll swim on Thursday at 7. I'll be at Olde Port Beach if the swell is still as large as today. 


Sunday, December 3, 2023

Sunday, December 3rd, 2023

Today's stats: 62°, 55° water, an gusty offshore breeze that was coming and going, 2 to 3 foot surf and water that was flat to choppy. It was warm on the beach except when the thin high clouds hid the sun.  
I tried to catch something unusual in this photo but the camera didn't capture the color well. Taken at 10:30, in the center of the photo are the hills and tall sand dunes that are west of Guadalupe. The clouds behind the dunes were bright pink, as if the sun was rising behind them, but the sun was almost at its zenith and way to the right. It is a mystery.        

Tom Lorish after his swim, before we got in. 

On the beach today were Duke, Niel, Tom Israel, Tom Lorish, David, Pete and Bianca. 
Duke would do his short swim. This was Bianca's first ocean swim so she and Pete would get in and swim as long as the fun lasted. David, Tom I. and I would swim down the beach to the point and back to the creek mouth by some route before returning to the Avila Pier. David left us at the creek mouth and swam out and around the end of the Avila Pier before coming in.     

This coming week I'll swim Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 AM and next Sunday at 11.


Saturday, December 2, 2023

Saturday, December 2nd, 2023

Avila Beach at 7 AM
There were no clouds, it was calm, the air temp was 45°and the water was 55° and glassy.

Jodi, Niel and Tom Israel got in a bit after 7.
Nobody was decisive enough to suggest a route so we swam out to the end of the Avila Pier and waited for inspiration.  
Jodi suggested that we swim east, parallel to the beach, until we were off of Fossil Point, to then swim to the end of the Poly Pier, back to the end of the Avila Pier and in.   
Jodi, Tom and Niel off of Fossil Point. From here to the end of the Poly Pier would be a nice 1,600M stretch.

The leg to the end of the Poly Pier was fun. An offshore wind came up and gave us a nice push. We paid for it on the way back to the Avila Pier because in that direction the chop was a head slapper.

I do not know that anyone has done this route before. The plot looks like a broken martini glass swim. A true Martini Swim is from the end of the Avila Pier, to the Avila Rock (see the plot), to the end of the Poly Pier and back to the the end of the Avila Pier. With the out and in along the Avila Pier a one martini is 2.4 miles and three martinis make a 10K swim. 
Our broken martini glass was the same distance as a single Martini Swim at 3,878M.

I'll swim tomorrow at 11.


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.