Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024

Tom's Swimming Report -

It was easy to see the weather was transitioning this morning at Avila.  The water was rocking and rolling, and the swell was picking up.  My toes tell me it was around 50, 51, but that may be low by a degree due the outside conditions.  Quite a contrast from the summertime conditions of only a few days ago! 

Thanks Tom.

Heavy rain predicted tonight so I'll run tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Tuesday, January 30th, 2024


This morning's photo: A long Poly Pier, nice clouds and a spec of a moon.

I got in a bit before 7 this morning. The wind was offshore, the surf was small, it was 42° and the water was 51°. It was flat outside the surf line except for some small wind chop.     
I did two big triangles, pushing the ends out past the location of the last buoys and squaring off the corners and turned the normal 1,600M triangles into 2,000M.  

It was really beautiful out there. I'm glad I got this swim in before the rain arrives late Wednesday.

Thursday should be washed out and probably the weekend as well. 



Sunday, January 28, 2024

Sunday, January 28th, 2024

I spoke with Tom L. before I got in and he said that it was very nice over at the Poly Pier so I swam around the reef buoy and out to and in along the Poly Pier. 

At 10:30 Avila was already summery; clear, calm and 70°+. The water was beautiful and the largest sets of waves were well spaced out. The beach was not crowded.      

The water was very clean, 53°, and more blue than the green in the photo. 

I got out at 12:15 and the beach was now crowded and felt just like a summer afternoon. My car was reading 80° when I was leaving.  

I'll swim Tuesday at 7. Thursday and the weekend are likely to be rained out.  I'll post my plans here.


Saturday, January 27, 2024

Saturday, January 27th, 2024


Tom Israel and Niel's Saturday Swim -

Tom and Niel got in at 7. It was 48° and partly sunny with Avila's sunrise offshore wind starting up. The surf was mostly 2 to 3 foot with some 5 foot sets. Outside it looked pretty smooth. The water temperature was 51°. 

We waded out, waited for out turn through the surf and had a perfect swim out, stroking over the crests of a set of 5 footers.

This was Tom's first time in the water in a month while he waited out the healing of a laceration on his leg so we started out easy and close to shore. From the end of the pier we decided to do some triangles. We were at one and a half triangles when we changed plans and swam over to the second crossbars on the Poly Pier and came back from there to the end of the Avila Pier and in to the beach from there.  Again, we lucked out an looked like we knew what we were doing because we swam directly to the beach without a pause to work the surf through a slack time in the breakers.

I'll be back tomorrow at 11, it is supposed to be 75° in Avila tomorrow, and Tuesday at 7 looks good. Swimming Thursday and next weekend will be rain dependent.

Today is my birthday but I had not planned on doing a 7,400M Birthday Swim. I've been bringing nutrition along and pushing my time in the water to see what I could do at 50°. On 1/18 I did 4155M/1:38 in 50° water. While swimming I did not get any colder that I have been but I began shivering at the showers. I was OK but I do not usually have the shakes after a swim and there certainly an additional 3,200M to be had, so my Birthday Swim swim will wait until the water is in the mid 50's.
Tom injury required that he also put off his January birthday swim so we both waiting for better conditions.   

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Thursday, January 25th, 2024


Another beautiful sunrise in Avila Beach today.  This is the view from the end of the Avila Pier looking at today's destination, Avila Rock, which is lost in the sunrise.
The glare and the big swell made the rock very hard to see but the alignment made my navigation to the rock easy..   

It was 57 °, calm and clear with small waves and 52° water, which is still cold, but warmer enough that the initial freeze passed off instead of hanging on for the whole swim. 

Out near the rock there was a big swell. It was fun getting lifted and dropped while swimming in smooth water.

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


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Wednesday, January 24th, 2024

Tom's Wednesday Swim - 

It was a bumpy, rocking and rolling swim this morning.  My toes tell me it was 50°… Even though I know your thermometer will probably read 51 tomorrow.  The water quality was clear and beautiful. 

My thermometer read 51°-52°. Swimming felt like a slightly warm 50° and colder near the shore, so Tom and I are outvoting the thermometer. 

We'll see what tomorrow brings to the game.


Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024

 Today's Swim In Pictures -

Getting in:

Afterwards at the showers:
I exaggerate a bit,

It was sunny and 49° at the beach this morning. The water looked clean so I swam but avoided going near the mouth of the creek. I measured a water temperature of 51°- 52° but it felt like 50° to me. The surf was small. Outside there was a mixed swell of different sizes and directions so there was always something coming at me and across me.    

As I was swimming in along the pier I saw someone in a wetsuit with a buoy coming in along the other side. It was Edward and we met at the showers. I do not see him often but he is out here regularly swimming by himself. 

I had a very enjoyable swim and I'm looking forward to swimming Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Sunday, January 21st, 2024

Tom's Swim -  

I had a nice swim… Stayed on the west side, though. Water was about 50 with a nice swell stirring up some pretty good sized waves. There was blue sky in spots, and the sun even popped through during my swim.  I will let you know if I mutate.  

Tom thought the water quality was OK today but he might want to rinse off well before he heads home.  


Thursday, January 18, 2024

Thursday, January 18th, 2024

 A Great Swim and I Find My Limit in 50° Water  
It was a nice morning for a swim. The air temp in Avila was 40°, it was sunny and calm with 2 foot surf and a very mixed surface on the ocean. Once I was out there there seemed to be swells from the N, SE and SW which must have something to do with the approaching storms. The combined effect was messy.  Swimming out along the Poly Pier it felt like I was working into the push, then from the end of the pier to the reef buoy I was getting pushed to the south. No matter the direction there was always water coming at me from all directions.   
I pushed my distance a bit today and found that even if I take nutrition along 90 minutes is about my limit in 50° water.  At the end of today's swim I was starting to sag and I was shivering when I was changing, so I need to wait until the water is in the mid 50's to do this years 7,400M birthday swim.

If Friday's rain is a half inch or less a 'staying away form the creek' swim is possible on Saturday.  Last week's bacteria numbers for San Luis Creek were high even though there had been no recent rain, so I'll be cautious. I've not gotten COVID and I hate to wind up with hepatitis or some infected sinuses from swimming.


Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Tuesday, January 16th, 2024

 I was disappointed this morning when my thermometer showed 50°.

I look like I'm ready to get warmed up.
During my swim I was sure I would see a 48° or 49° water temperature. For whatever reason I was colder today than on Saturday and Sunday when the water was also 50°. 
Other than the water temperature the swimming was great. It was sunny and in the mid 40's and warming up quickly. There was just a light wind, one to two foot surf and a smooth ocean with nice clean water.  

I swam with a bottle of Fluid Performance today.  If I do a 90 minute swim in 50° water without any nutrition at the end I'll be starting to feel cold and my brain will be slowing down. I was curious if having some calories during the swim would help me feel warmer. The nutrition didn't do anything about how I felt the cold but I was much more alert and not dragging when I was getting changed. 

I'm going to try this again on Thursday and see how I do.

Rain, 4 to 5 inches in some places, is predicted for Saturday and Sunday so swimming this weekend will be weather dependent. 


Monday, January 15, 2024

Monday, January 15th, 2024

Tom's Swim Report -

Beautiful morning at Avila… My toes tell me 50°, maybe 49° in the water.  Nevertheless, excellent swimming.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Sunday, January 14th, 2024


At 10:30 Avila Beach was a nice place to be. It was 55° with high thin clouds so it would switch between sun and shade. There was a light variable wind, the surface of the water was a mix of small chop and swell. The surf was 2 to 3 foot with an occasional 3+ footer. Since the offshore wind was down I had expected/hoped that the water temperature had come up a few degrees from yesterday's 50°.    
Before I got in I saw Tom L. and six women from Poly's water polo team finishing their swim. They had gone out to the Avila Rock. Tom said that it was beautiful out there and he thought the water temp was in the low 50's. 
I decided to do two big triangles. Getting in and started I thought that the water was a bit warmer than yesterday morning but the measured temp was dead on 50°, so the 'bump' was due to sunshine and an air temperature that was 20° warmer than yesterday at 7AM, and possibly some mental attitude jiu jitsu with my expectations.

I swam for an hour and a half and with the cold I was pretty done when I got out, which is what I'd expect for myself with a 50° water temperature.  With no wind and sunshine I was much more comfortable getting changed than I was yesterday and warmed up a lot faster.

Walking back from the showers I met up with Peter Kelly. I had not seen him in a while. We talked for a while and got caught up.
There is just a chance of rain Friday and Saturday so I'll be swimming Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.



Saturday, January 13, 2024

Saturday, January 13th, 2024

The swimming conditions looked great this morning so Jodi and I were looking forward to a nice swim with no drama (as in big swells).  At 7 AM the surf was 1 to 2 foot with no swell and just a wind ripple on the surface.  The air temp was 37°. It was clear with a great sunrise forming up over Pismo Beach. We decided to do a clockwise reef buoy poly pier loop. 
When our feet hit the water we found the drama that we thought would be missing today. It was COLD. I measured 50° at the end of the Avila Pier and coming in along the Poly Pier I found a temp drop. We spent a minimum of time treading water or talking. The good part was the low water temp pushed us and we swam harder than usual for the whole distance.  We were not going to get 'warm' but swimming hard did help distract me from the cold.     

Niel and Jodi at the end of the Poly Pier.

There is a glitch in my plot because under 3200 M is short for this route.  The plot has me swimming a diagonal from the Avila Pier to the reef buoy, however, I swam parallel to the beach until I was at the big rock, where I turned right 90° and swam to the reef buoy. Somehow Garmin took a break between the pier and the reef buoy but picked me up again from there.

NOAA is predicting one to two tenths of an inch of rain tonight which is not enough to raise any water quality concerns, so I'm planning on swimming tomorrow at 11.


Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Tuesday January 9TH, 2024


A lovely morning at Avila Beach. It was 35° and clear with an offshore breeze that would strengthen with the sunrise. The surf was 2 to 3 foot and the water temperature was 52°. I did a Poly Pier/Reef Buoy loop counterclockwise.   

The wind chop made the leg from the end of the Poly Pier to the reef buoy require some extra work. With an offshore wind the chop like today the chop will lessen as you get closer to shore so I had to just keep swimming and enjoy it when I could tell the chop was getting smaller and cruse it in to the finish.     

Today's swell at the Diablo Buoy was 4 to 5 feet. The swell is predicted to be back up to 9 feet on Thursday and to taper back to 4 to 5 feet by Saturday, so I'll be here at 7 on Thursday and Saturday and 11 on Sunday, with Thursday's swim a possible Olde Port Beach route. 


Sunday, January 7, 2024

Sunday, January 7th, 2023


It was 52°, clear and sunny with a strong offshore wind at Avila Beach.  

Duke rode by just as I arrives so we got to visit for a bit. Tom Lorish got out and spoke with us for a minute until the urge to get dry and warm urged him on.  Paula, Avery and Ilene were out there and and I spoke to them after they got out.  They were coming in just as the biggest set I'd seen came in.

I sat down in my chair to enjoy watching the surf before I got in, I got nice and warm and comfortable from the sun, fell asleep and had a nice nap.

I didn't sleep long. When I woke up I felt like I had accomplished my mission for the day and went home.

I'll be back Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7. The weekend looks iffy with another storm and big surf predicted. 


Saturday, January 6, 2024

Saturday, January 6th, 2024

At 7 this morning it was 90 minutes past high tide and the surf at Avila was 6 foot plus with some that looked closer to 8 foot. The air temperature was 35° and it was breezy. Jodi and I decided to swim at Olde Port Beach but when we started to head over there I found that I had locked my keys along with my phone and gear in the car. Jodi gave me a ride home to retrieve my spare and we got in the water at Olde Port at 7:50. The air temp was up to 47°! The waves were 2 to 3 foot but still packed a surprising punch. The beach was steep and the runout would try and take your feet out from under you but it was easy to get through the waves. There big walls of whitewater overtopping the breakwater at the port.    

We swam to the second crossbars on the Poly Pier, out to the end of the pier and back the way we had come. The water was always moving, pushing towards shore and lifting and dropping. The water temperature was 56° and in places there were a lot of pieces of kelp and driftwood in the water.  

Niel and Jodi at the second crossbars.
We had a very nice swim with plenty of water character to work with without being in for a full Maytaging.

Avila look pretty flat at when I was leaving at 9:40.

I'll be at Avila tomorrow at 11. It will be gray with a chance of showers. The Diablo buoy is predicted to still be at 9 to11 feet tomorrow so I may just sit out and relax. 


Thursday, January 4, 2024

Thursday, January 4th, 2024

I got in a little after 7 this morning and swam out to Avila Rock. There is a water quality warning so I avoided swimming near the creek. It was 40°. There was a nice outside swell that was making surf that was 4 foot +/-. The whitewater had thickened and had some punch to it but the surf was not thrashy. There was a steady wind and the water surface outside of the surf line was lumpy. At 56° the water temperature staying in the winter comfort zone.  
Near the rock the swell was reflecting back from the point so the water was going at least two directions at the same time.  

The swell at the Diablo Buoy will reduce from 11 feet to 6 tomorrow morning and be back to a peak of 12 foot on Sunday, and then flatten out until the next storm.

I'm planning on swimming Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11. Sunday should be a good beach day.

Santa Brings Warm Toes -

My toes have always been the last part of me to warm up after a swim, requiring a warm shower to bring them back to a comfortable condition, so Santa brought me some Xterra Lava Booties and boot warmers for Christmas. 

The socks worked fine. They are thin, maybe 1.5 mill, fit snugly and will fill with water like a wetsuit but definitly add warmth. I don't kick much and they didn't feel like I had water filled baggies tied over my feet. I put them on first and pulled my wetsuit on over them. They were nice walking over the cold concrete and sand to the water. I'll know better what they can do when the water hits 51°

Boot Warmers? - Yes, Santa had a brilliant idea.  Before heading to the water put these in the toes of my Uggs and pull on WARM shoes after swimming.  Warm toes immediately!    
Yes, I still believe in Santa.


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

 Tom's Wednesday Swim Report -

The big swell has not arrived yet… There were a few 4 foot waves rolling through periodically, though. Water felt about 55 or 56. A good Wednesday Swim. 

2:45 PM. 24th St., Beach, Cayucos. A whole different thing here than in the morning at Avila.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024

At sunrise this morning the air temperature at Avila was 39°. It was clear with a steady offshore wind which was wrinkling the surface of the water and kept me moving as I got ready to get in. The swell was 3 to 5 feet. The water temperature was 55° over near the Poly Pier but it was colder closer to Avila.  

I swam to the end of the Avila Pier, to the end of the Poly Pier, to the second crossbars, back to the end of the Avila Pier, around the reef buoy, back and in. Either the swell had gone way down or I was really lucky with my timing because I was able to swim right in without messing with the surf.
Duke left his card on my car. I do not know if he swam or did a ride by.      

It will rain tonight and on Wednesday and the swell will increase to 10 to 15 feet (at the Diablo Buoy) on Wednesday and again on Friday, so swimming on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday will be a matter of deciding if the conditions are clean enough and the surf is not too large. 


Monday, January 1, 2024

Tom's New Year's Day Swim - 

New Year's at Avila: it was sunny, warm, and the water had settled down and was glassy with clean 3-4 foot waves rolling in. I swam around a Avila rock. Beautiful day of swimming.