Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024


I had a great swim this morning. The air temp was a nice 51° but it was really cold getting in. I measured the water temp as 49° at the end of the Poly Pier. Getting started and heading west along the buoy line I was not sure that I would wind up swimming the entire route that I had planned.  I got evened out enough with the water temperature and my stroke was feeling strong so when I had looped around to the end of the Avila Pier I decided to stick with my original goal of 3,700M. I turned left, made a second touch at the second crossbars on the Poly Pier, came back along my route out and finished.

The water had been calm and flat from the start but on the leg to the end of the Avila Pier an offshore breeze came up and put some decent chop on the water for me to push into. Once I turned at the end of the Avila Pier the chop started to lay down as I got closer to the beach. The last leg along the buoy line was almost flat. 

I was into swimming this morning and didn't stop to take yet another selfie. 

The wind will last until Thursday night and there is a chance of showers Saturday/Sunday so the water may warm up a bit. 
I'll swim Thursday morning at 7.


Sunday, April 28, 2024

Sunday, April 28th, 2024

Sunday Swimming at Avila Beach -

It was very summery at Avila Beach today. It was 70° at 10:30 and 87° at 1:30. It was clear with a light breeze that picked up as the day went on. The surf was 2 foot, the water temp was 51°, and the water was very clear.  

Before anyone else showed up I saw and spoke with Tom Lorish. He'd been out by the Poly Pier. We talked about how the water is colder near the end of a pier and why this might be.
At 11 Pete, Pri, David, Niel and Stephanie Popp got in. I have not seen Stephanie in about a year. She has a new daughter and is ready to get back into the ocean.  

                                                Pete, Pri, Stephanie and David

Niel and Pete, Stephanie, Pri and David in the background, at the 4th buoy on the left side of the pier.

The group swam a half a triangle. At the end of the Avila Pier Pete, Pri and Stephanie went in along the pier while David and Niel completed two triangles.   

This coming week I will swim Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Saturday, April 27, 2024

Saturday, April 27th, 2024

So Beautiful, So Cold -

Pri, Jodi, Tom and Niel swam this morning at 7. Avila Beach was beautiful; just a few people there, sunny, a light wind, 44°, minimal surf and very clear, glassy water.   
Niel, Tom, Jodi and Pri at the end of the Avila Pier 

As we waded in the water felt bottom of the temp range cold. It still felt just as cold at the first buoy and did not feel any more comfortable at the 4th buoy. For me this means it is probably below 50°. I checked my thermometer and had 9.5°C/49°F. Nobody was sure how long they would stay in. 
Pri went in form the end of the Avila Pier. Jodi, Niel and Tom continued on to the Poly Pier, decided to swim to the end of the pier which meant that we would have to swim back. 

At the end of the Poly Pier it was very beautiful and blue. 

I'll bring all of my neoprene and swim tomorrow at 11.


Thursday, April 25, 2024

Thursday, April 25th, 2024


Jim and Niel had beautiful, smooth and flat conditions this morning. There was no wind or swell. The water and air temperature was 53° with thick cloud cover.  I saw a brief peak of sunshine in the second half of my swim.      

At the end of the first triangle Jim's shoulder said that it was time for him to get out so he went in.  I doubled back along our route for two triangles. 

I'll be back at 7 on Saturday and 11 on Sunday. The cloud cover should be gone then so we'll have some sunshine.


Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

I had a nice swim this morning. I'm not sure why I look grumpy in the photo. I got in a bit early. It was very gray and 55° with no sign of the sun peaking through. There was a light breeze and a small chop from the SE. The surf was 2 to 3 foot and the water was 52°.  
The swimming conditions were nice. The small chop put just enough character on the water to make each leg a bit different. 

I pushed the ends of the triangles out past the last buoys on both ends to get some extra distance.  I had a seal check me out on my first pass through the kelp bed where the reef buoy used to be but it wasn't curious enough to follow me.

I'll be back Thursday and Saturday at 7.


Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sunday, April 21st, 2012


Pri and Niel swam at 11. This was Pri's first swim out to the end of the Avila Pier!

It was clear, sunny and 70° when I arrived at Avila at 10:30. By 1 PM it would be 90° with a light offshore wind. I needed some shade so I left a bit after 1. At that time the beach was packed and there were long lines of cars looking for parking. 
The water was beautiful and 54°. 
Tom Lorish and 4 women from the CP water polo team swam out to the Avila Rock.

It is going to turn cloudy and cooler this week but I expect to still swim at 7 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and at 11 on next Sunday.


Saturday, April 20, 2024

Saturday, April 20th, 2024

Avila was gray and windless this morning, so no sun but glassy water. We had 53° air and 52° water. The surf was flatter than on Thursday but there were big sneaky waves that would break out past the surfline.  One almost caught me. 

I had trouble with my models today -

Finally, Jodi, Tom and Niel at the end of the Poly Pier.

I'll swim tomorrow at 11. 


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thursday, April 18th, 2024


The conditions this morning were 55° with low clouds, a light breeze, smooth 52° water and  the largest waves were 4+ feet. 
The larger waves required waiting in the suds for the end of the large sets to swim out. No duck diving was necessary if you got the timing right. 
There is still a deep trench in the bottom at the shore that parallels the beach so when you walk in to about knee deep one more step has you in up to your chin. You can climb up the ocean site in another couple of steps to waist deep water and continue on out. It isn't that easy coming in. The beach side of the hole is almost vertical and soft so there is no footing to allow you to climb out. I waited for a wave to float me up until I could crawl over the lip, onto the beach and then stand up. Not elegant but kind'a fun.        

The water felt colder to me than my reading, colder than Tuesday, so I was guessing the water was closer to 50°.
The low clouds were thick enough to not show any sun to navigate by so on my way from the end of the Poly Pier to the 4th buoy on the east side I kept drifting right (I'm stronger on that side).  This was a good opportunity to see if I could feel my way to getting my pull and finish more equalized but I wasn't into it.    

I am planning to swim Saturday morning at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tuesday, April 16th, 2024


I had beautiful swimming conditions this morning. Except for some mucky water near the creek mouth the water was clean, flat and 51°, the air temperature was 52° and it was sunny and calm. The surf was 2 to 3 foot.
I'm still finding fist sized globs of tar on the beach.     :-(

Swimming from the Poly Pier to the Avila Pier I did encounter some muddy water near the creek mouth so I changed course and swam parallel to the beach. I left the muddy water behind and came under the Avila Pier further offshore than usual.

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


Monday, April 15, 2024

Monday April 15th, 2024

 From Tom Lorish - 

Well, the water seems to have warmed up to about 53° while I was gone over the weekend.  Nice conditions this morning. Swam around the rock.  🪨

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Saturday, April 13th, 2024

 Vertical Swimming - 

Jodi, Tom and Niel did  a swim in storm conditions this morning. The air temperature was 52°. It was very windy with light rain. The water temperature was up to 53° to 54°. The surf wasn't large but the SW wind from the storm had pushed up a highly variable, large and confused swell that made today a very physical swim. The swells were close together so getting in sync with the water required me to do short and frequent breathing. We all swallowed a lot of water.   
The beach was covered with Velella velellas or By The Wind Sailors, palm sized colonies of small animals that number in the billions and are pushed by the wind. The steady onshore winds from this storm has driven large numbers onto the Central Coast beaches. They are a beautiful blue color but it is sad to see so many dying on the beach. 

I've also been seeing baseball sized globs of tar on the beach this week. I don't see nearly as much of this as was common before the big cleanup in the late 90's. Jodi stepped in some today. Baby Oil and a strong paper towel is the best way to remove the tar.  

Swimming parallel to the beach and parallel to the swell was the most difficult, across or into the swell was easier.  We did 2362 M in an hour which tells you that the conditions were swimmable but couldn't make good progress. 

Tom and Jodi.

Experience what it was like out there today:  

I'll swim tomorrow at 11 if we do not get enough rain to dirty up the water. 


Friday, April 12, 2024

Friday April 12th, 2024

Tom Lorish's Swim Report - 

Silly me…   I thought the rain and cold were done for the year. On Wednesday at 9:30 when I swam it was 73 ° and Clear blue skies at Avila… When I got in at 9:30 today, it was 54° With a drizzly rain. The water was about 51° and choppy. The good news is, the cold showers felt warm! 

Tom Israel's Swim Report -  
I jumped in today for a little swim. It was pretty rough out there.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Thursday, April 11th, 2024

 Avila was fogged in this morning. I could not see the buoys from the shore, so I swam both buoy lines whit a lap around the pier. The sun was starting to come and go when I was getting out. The tide was very low making it seem like I would be able to walk out to the buoy. 
The air temperature was 48°, the water was very flat with one to two plus surf and 52°. Out along the pier the water was colder, probably 50° or 51°.     
I could keep a reasonably straight course by judging my direction by the lights along front street. 
A bit of a Arthur C. Clarke moment with the #1 buoy 

It is hard to believe right now but we are predicted to get showers Friday night and .5 to 1 inch or rain and thunderstorms on Saturday. If the rain holds off the Saturday group will slip in a swim at 7AM.
Sunday could be washed out. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024

I did a couple of triangles this morning. At 6:50 AM the weather at Avila was clear, 42°, the sun was up and the offshore breeze was gusty. The surf was flat and the water was glassy and 48° to 49°.

Yes, I am wearing booties at these temperatures so that my feet don't get so cold that I can't feel them or the cold water anymore and I can pretty much stand up and walk without embarrassment when I get out of the water, so wearing booties is not as entertaining for the people walking their dogs but better for me.

I'll swim Thursday at 6:15 to 7. There is a change in the weather coming Friday night but I hope the predicted showers don't keep me out of the water.


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Sunday, April 7th, 2024


The weather today at Avila was lovely and it was not crowded. At 10:30 it was sunny, 62° and breezy with nice cotton ball clouds. It was still flat offshore so this looked like a good day to swim to the Avila Rock. 
I spoke to Tom Lorish before I got in. He had swum over to the Poly Pier.
It is amazing what some sunshine, an additional 30° in air temperature and a positive attitude can make. Yesterday the water was 49°, today it  was 50 - 51°. At 7AM yesterday Jodi and I expected to be cold. Today I was expecting to have a much warmer swim and did.         

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


Saturday, April 6, 2024

Saturday, April 6th, 2024


Two Popsicles - 

Niel and Jodi got in at 7AM. In Avila Beach it was clear with an offshore breeze and 35°. The water was 49° and felt every bit of that. The surf was 2 to 3 foot. The was a medium wind chop on the water. It was going to be a cold swim.
We swam a route that Jodi suggested; left along the buoys to the last one, out past the kelp where the reef buoy used to be and over to the end of the Poly Pier. Then we doubled back along our route for a couple of miles in 1:20 (that's total time in the water).

The water was nice and clean. The offshore wind made the swim back a bit more work than the way out and it was sunny at the showers, which is a big bonus after a cold swim.

I'll be back tomorrow at 11.


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Thursday, April 4th, 2024


Jim and I got in a bit before 7 and both did short swims. Jim's shoulder is bothering him and I  was cold this morning. The water was 50°, about what it has been for the last 10 days, but I was feeling it more than usual. I think it was a mental thing more than physical. The swimming conditions were great, the water was flat and glassy, there was no wind and the water was clean. 
There was a big surprise getting in. I got one step into knee dee water and the next one had me in up to my chest, cutting the easing into the water down to one step. That hole was still there when I got out for a wave to push me into.   

I'd like to swim Saturday and Sunday but I'll see what we get for rain before deciding. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

 Tom's Swim Report -

Oh, Niel! The water was 50°, maybe even 49.  Of course, it may have felt colder because of the heavy marine layer.  The water was calm beautiful and glassy.  Excellent swimming conditions. 

Thanks Tom. I think that it may be spring conditions for a while.


Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

 Spring Conditions - 

Jim and I got in at 7. Jim swam on Saturday and Sunday and said that he enjoyed beautiful conditions with water about 53° - 54°.  My toes told me it was definitly not 54° this morning. The 47° air temp and slight offshore breeze had the water at 50° except over along the Poly Pier where it was about 1° colder. 
We got going and enjoyed the great swimming conditions while waiting to acclimate to the water temperature.  It took most of the buoy line for me to get evened out with the water temperature. Today's route was the west buoy line, second crossbars, the end of the Avila Pier, the end of the Poly Pier, back to the second crossbars and back to and along the buoys.  I don't think that I've done this exact route before. It turned out to be 3,742M which was plenty .

There is a 'chance of showers' Thursday night and Friday, so Thursday morning looks good and probably Saturday as well.

Update, Living with a GoPro10 -

I'm very happy with my GoPro10 and the support that the company has provided. The initial purchase came with a year of their membership program which I have continued for $50/year . Being in the water 4 times a week the programs once a year, no questions asked replacement of the camera seemed like a good investment. I've not needed that level of support but I've twice had small exterior parts replaced when years of salt water exposure took their toll.
Taking the photos for the blog used up 6+ water proof cameras before I tried a GoPro and their camera has outlasted anything else I've had. Recently I've started having trouble with water droplets hanging onto the lens protector and causing blobs in the photos. Today's photo is an example. This is a new issue. For years whatever GoPro coated the lens protector with would leave the glass clear. I have been unable to find anything that will stop water drops from clinging to the glass. I contacted GoPro this morning and I'll have a new lens protector in a few days.


Monday, April 1, 2024

Monday, April 1st, 2024

 Tom Bags Another One - 
Another amazing spring swim at Avila this morning.  Swam around the rock again. Met up with a bunch of otters in the kelp beds nearby and had a seal escort me back to the beach. Great start to the week. 

Hummm, nothing about the seal surfing in with Tom and giving him a magic shell and three wishes.

Tom's missed a holiday opportunity there.