Thursday, May 30, 2024

Thursday, May 30th, 2024

 Frosty Yo-Yo -

I did a yo-yo route this morning and it was cold. I swam out to the end of the Avila Pier, swam to and back from each of the buoys on the east side and came back in along the pier. 
The water at the end of the Avila Pier was 51° but along the buoy line it felt like, and measured, 49°.  
The water is still nice and clear, the surf small with some rolling swells out there. There was no wind.

A swim report from Tom Lorish who is competing in a seniors water polo tournament in Spain.

🥶.  A cloud cover just rolled in, a pleasant breeze, a nice humidity, about 75 degrees.  Water is clear and beautiful.  Water polo tournament starts Friday late afternoon.  

I'll be traveling (just in California) and will not swim again until next Thursday, 6/6. 


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Tuesday, May 28th, 2024


Another swim. Another selfie.

The numbers: 53° air, 51° water, almost nothing for surf, no swell, flat water, gray skies with a couple of little blue holes.   

I was colder this morning that I should have been at these temperatures. No idea. Maybe I need more fat in my diet, like Trader Joe's chocolate ice cream......
I did take along a bottle of Fluid Endurance with a Gu pack dissolved in it and I definitly felt stronger later in today swim. I'll try it again on Thursday and see if it still works.


Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sunday, May 26th, 2024


We swam in sunshine today. It was 70° and the breeze was picking up with whitecaps forming towards the horizon The water temperature was extremely variable from a comfy 54° to suddenly chilling 51°. 
Tom Israel, Niel and Stephanie swam a triangle. Tom and Stephanie wet in and I did a second one.
The water was amazingly clear today.  I could see fine detail on the bottom at 6' and see the bottoms of the Avila Pier pilings in the sand.

I'll swim Tuesday and Thursday and be out of town the following Sat., Sun., and Tue.

It was full holiday madness at Avila. In a first for me I had a guy offer me $40 for my parking space.  What a jerk. 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Saturday, May 25th, 2024

A Martini Before Breakfast

Sometimes the swim choses the route. This morning Tom, Jodi, Paula, Ileane and Niel set out to swim to the Avila Rock and back. It was low tide so the rock was easy to see and navigate to. To the rock and back is about 3,000M and everyone was looking for about 4,000M so we would do an additional loop along the buoys to finish up. 
The water was very flat and glassy. It was cold, in the low 50's, getting started but out towards the rock it warmed up several degrees to comfortable.  When we grouped up at the rock we decided to swim directly to the end of the Poly Pier and to do a Martini Swim. The route is shaped like a martini glass which is where the name came from.  At 1,500M the swim from the Rock to the end of the Poly Pier is one of the longest legs in the Avila Swimming Playbook and with this morning's smooth conditions it was a great opportunity to swim this route.   
Paula, Niel, Tom, Ileane and Jodi at the Avila Rock.

A friend of Tom got this nice drone shot of us at the Avila Rock.

The water was colder west of the Avila Pier, back to the low 50's. It had been sunny but the sun was gone behind the clouds making it feel more chilling and maybe the water was just colder.  

This was a great swim. I had been thinking about doing a Martini Swim for some time, waiting for the conditions to become more favorable, so this morning was a nice surprise from the swim gods and my swimming buddies.

Seven people have done the Three Martini Swim, which is out along the Avila Pier, around the Martini glass three times and back in along the Avila Pier for a bit more than 10K. 

I'll swim tomorrow at 11. Paula, Ileane and Jodi will swim tomorrow morning at 7. I'll swim at 11.



Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thursday, May 23rd, 2023

There was much grayness at Avila beach this morning with low solid clouds and a light mist. The air was 54° and the water was up to 52°. The surf was small and the water clean. It was calm in Avila but there already was a SE chop on the water out towards the end of the Poly Pier.   
Jim joined me today. We swam over to the second crossbars on the Poly Pier. From there Jim swam to the end of the Avila Pier and in. I went out to the end of the Poly Pier, over to and around the reef buoy, back along the buoy line to the Avila Pier and finished with an out and back around the Avila Pier.  

Between the end of the Poly Pier and the reef buoy the chop was pushing on my right shoulder but the size of the chop was just right to twist me to the right. I must have made eight course corrections to the left.   
A 360° of the chop at the end of the Poly Pier.

Today's 52° was noticeably more comfortable that Tuesday's 50°.

Tom Lorish is traveling to Spain with his seniors water polo team for a tournament which he will follow by finding some great spots to swim.  Their WP team was 3rd last year and has high hopes that they will place better this year. 

I'll swim Saturday at 7 with Jodi, Tom Israel and whoever else shows up and on Sunday at 11. It would be nice to be able to sit out in the sun on Sunday.


Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

The water gods enjoy having some fun at a swimmers expense. I put myself out there in Sunday's blog by posting the 55° water temp and announcing the arrival of the comfortable swimming season.
As I was wading in this morning I thought I heard some laughter, but maybe it was my toes yelling 'this isn't warm!'  The water was 50° this morning, which is amazing. I do not know how such a huge mass of water can drop 5 degrees in two days. 
A strong offshore wind can produce a big temperature drop in the water temperature but we have not had that kind of wind.
Tom's toes tell him what the water temperature is. I get a good idea by how long it takes me to get to the point when the cold is no longer dominating my mind. Today it took until I had turned past the reef buoy and was heading towards the end of the Avila Pier which equates to the bottom 50's for me. 

The upside was that I was feeling cold when I was getting ready to leave the house so I went ahead and put on my booties.  

The water was clean and flat and the surf small. 

I stopped at the first buoy before heading in, checked my thermometer and confirmed my 50° estimate.  If it is cold like today I prefer to not really know what the water temperature is until the end of the swim, so I can play some mind games; is it really this cold or is it just me today?  The first half of the swim my thoughts kept coming back to the water temperature and I kept thinking that staying in for 90 minutes would be tough, but during the second half the water temp stopped dominating my thoughts, I felt more comfortable, thought that I found some warmer spots and was cold but OK when I got out.      

I'll have no preconceptions about the water conditions on Thursday and Saturday.


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sunday, May 19th, 2024

The water temperature at Avila was 55° today. 

The comfortable swimming season has arrived. (Now that I've posted that, watch the temp plumet back to 50°). 10 days ago the water was 49° and I was beginning to wonder if or when summer conditions would arrive. I was in the water for 1:40 and was comfortable when I got out. 
As for the rest, we have June gloom in May.  An air temperature of 59° at 10:30 and a thick deck of clouds with no sun. It was 70° at 1:30 and a strong breeze out of the west had put a chop on the water. The water is very clean with great visibility. The surf was up a bit with the largest waves about 4'+ but still soft. I spoke briefly with Tom Lorish after he got out. He had a nice swim and did not see any Moon Jellies over at the Poly Pier. 

Stephanie and I at the end of the Avila Pier. 

Stephanie did one triangle, I did two triangles and a lap around the Avila Pier.

At 55° I'll be comfortable in the water for 2 to 3 hours so I will start pushing my distance into the 4K range to see if I can get in shape for this year's 7,400M birthday swim.

The weather looks stable so I plan on swimming Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 and next Sunday at 11.


Saturday, May 18, 2024

Saturday, May 18tht, 2024

Paula, Niel, Tom Israel and Jodi got in at about 7.  It was gray, calm and 57°. The the surf was small and the water looked very clear. 

Jodi, Tom and Paula with some life guards in the background. 

The water was 54° and the swimming conditions were really nice. We swam left down the buoy line to the 4th buoy, to the end of the Poly Pier, in along the west side of the pier to the second crossbars and to the end of the Avila Pier. Paula and Jodi went in from there while Tom and Niel swam east, around the reef buoy and back along the buoy line for 3,988 M.

Tom and I are planning on swimming tomorrow at 11. 



Friday, May 17th, 2024

Tom's Swim Report -

It was a drizzly wet day at Avila when I arrived at 9:30. The air temperature was 57 and the marine layer was thick.  The water felt about 50° on the east side, and warmed up nicely to about 51, 52 on the west side.  The drizzle had stopped by the time I got out, and there were a few small spots of blue sky showing on the horizon. The picture is post Swim. 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Thursday, May 16th, 2024


Avila was 54° and all gray clouds with no sun, fog or wind. It was spitting a bit. The water was clean and flat and the waves were small. The water was a nice surprise at 52°. 

There were Moon Jelly's over by the Poly Pier.  I tried to get some pictures but was not successful. They are almost colorless . These were about the size of a dissert plate and felt very soft when I'd hit one with my hand.

The extra two degrees compared to Tuesday were enough for me to do some extra distance.

I'll swim with Jodi, Tom and anyone else who shows up on Saturday at 7, then Sunday at 11.


Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

I took a swim around the neighborhood this morning. It is two miles and doesn't involve doubling back along the route. The was no fog or overcast but nice blue skies with puffy white clouds. It was calm and the water was glassy. At 6:50 the air was 53° and the water 50°. Fifty degrees is beginning to feel pretty familiar. Looking back through my notes I have not recorded a water temperature above 52° since a 56° on 1/6.   

I had a really nice relaxing swim. The water from San Luis Creek warmed things up nicely near that end of the beach but I swam back into the chill near the Avila Pier.   

Afterwards Rob Dumouchel and I had breakfast at the Custom House. He has been in town for a few weeks and will travel back to Homer, Alaska next week. He is not doing any open water swimming there. The current water temp in Homer is 42.6° and they have 24' tides, which is not very swimmer friendly.

I'll be back for more on Thursday at 7



Monday, May 13, 2024

Monday, May 13th, 2024

 Tom's Swim Report - 
Well, it was very similar to Sunday this morning at Avila. Heavy marine layer, air temperature about 57 and the water clarity was amazing with a temperature of around 51. There is a slight bump, and the swimming was excellent. It's amazing with these low tides. How much of White rock and Avila rock you can see. 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Sunday, May 12th, 2024


Tom Israel and I swam to the Avila Rock today. It looked like the water was pretty mellow out there but we had to give up that idea before we were past the end of the Avila Pier. The wind was changing from mile to strong and gusty and the water was getting choppy. We had a good swim out there and back, swallowing some water along the way.  The wind was out of the SW so we had a push over the right shoulder on the way out and slaps in the face on the way back.  It was over cast and felt cooler than 55° on the beach.  As the wind picked up it made a hole in the clouds around Avila so it was sunny when we got out. 
Tom tried to get in without his goggles and did manage to leave my camera and thermometer in my bag so I do not have any photos or a 'real' water temperature for today. I spoke briefly with Tom Lorish. He had swum out to and around the Poly Pier, had a great time and his toes thought the water was 50°.
On our swim Tom Israel and I agreed that the water was in the low 50's, not 54°, probably not 53°, but definitly more comfortable than 50°.

It is supposed to be nice this coming week with fog or low clouds in the mornings and sunny afternoons, so I'm planning on swimming Tue., Thurs., and Sat. at 7AM and Sunday at 11.


Saturday, May 11, 2024

Saturday, May 11th, 2024

Except for the gray overcast and the 50° water Pri, Jodi and Niel enjoyed ideal swimming conditions this morning.  The low clouds stayed up high enough to not become fog, there was no wind, the water was glassy and flat and had cleaned up with no indication of plankton or a funny taste.  The surf was 2 foot with some occasional 3+ footers.  

The tide was very low so I felt like we almost walked out to the first buoy. We swam to the 4th buoy, to the end of the Avila Pier, over to the second crossbars on the Poly Pier and back to the first buoy on the west side. That was about 2,000M and the longest ocean swim Pri had done. She went in to get warmed up while Jodi and I swam the 1,000M to the end of the Poly Pier, came back to the end of the Avila Pier and came in for 4,145M in 1:43, which was a long swim in at today's water temperature.    
Pri, Jodi and Niel at the second crossbars on the Poly Pier.

 I'll swim tomorrow.  Tom Lorish will swim early and Tom Israel will join me at 11.


Friday, May 10, 2024

Friday, May 10th, 20242

 Tom's Swim Report -

Interesting day at Avila this morning. The first picture is when I was getting in… The second picture is when I was leaving.  About 10 minutes into my swim the fog rolled in and it was a different day.  There was a decent chop on the water and my toes Tell me it was 50°. Based on the scientific water taste test, the water quality was pretty much back to normal. It was a good morning Swim. 

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Thursday, May 9th, 2024

Today's water report: Smooth swimming with a swell to ride over, no visual of plankton but there was still an unpleasant taste to the water. The wind was getting gusty.  Tom' toes reported 50° water yesterday, this morning I measured 49° with some colder spots near the piers. Close to shore the waves were 2 to 3+ foot and weak.   
I was on a swimming mission this morning and did the distance with no stops until I was back at my starting point at the first buoy. 

The Other View from Tuesday's Photo
Booties, Buoy and the Avila Pier

There were beautiful rills in the sand this morning. 

Rills are created when water that is beneath the 
sand comes to the surface and flows down the sand

I'll swim Saturday at 7 with Jodi and Tom I. and Sunday at 11 with whoever else shows up.


Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024

It Is Spring and the Water Is Cold -

This morning a steady and strong offshore breeze had chopped up the water and pushed its temperature down to 47°F.  I did two triangles which gave me a chance to work the chop in many different directions so I had a good swim, but 47° is just cold. By mid June the water should be 55° but at this point neither Tom Lorish or I can remember what 55° water feels like.  
The good part about spring is that is was about 60° and sunny when I got out. The sun felt warm on my skin and the concrete at the showers felt fine on bare feet which makes getting changed much less of a crazy dance to get into your warm stuff.
The water around the Avila Pier is still full of plankton and it has a unpleasant metallic taste.   

Avila Beach With Booties and Buoy

Dare I say it? In my experience the water at Avila has never been colder than 47°, so this is the coldest the water will be until the temperature turns and move into summer conditions.

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


Monday, May 6, 2024

Monday, May 6th, 2024

Tom's Monday Morning Swim Report - 

Beautiful day at Avila: the air was warmer than Sunday, but the water temperature dropped off again.  my toes tell me 48°. And the water still had that weird funk.  Fortunately, it clears up outside the buoy line.  We'll see what the rest of the week brings. 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Sunday, May 5th, 2024


It is surprising and mysterious how much more comfortable the water will fee if there is a warm(er) air temperature and strong sunshine. The water was 50° today and at 12 O'clock in sunny and 75° conditions it felt much more comfortable than yesterday's 49° at a completely gray 7AM.

Yesterday Jodi, Tom and I thought the water had a bit of the look of red tide to it but the lack of sunlight made it hard to tell.  There was no question today. Tom Lorish mentioned the poor water quality to me when we spoke and I found the water to be 'snowy' until I was half of my way to the Poly Pier.  Google tells me that spring plankton blooms are not unusual but I expect them after the water has warmed up to the mid 50's.

The lifeguards were training on the east side of the pier so I got in on the opposite side. The offshore breeze made the swim in along the Poly Pier the toughest leg of today's swim.  Approaching the end of the Avila Pier I found myself with a lot of birds for company. I took a good look and there was a bait ball feeding frenzy forming up east of the end of the Avila Pier so I turned left and let the birds have their lunch without me. 

Rick and Rhonda pulled up next to me as I was getting out of my car so we got to catch up on what's been happing since before COVID and Rob Dumouchel walked up to me on the beach! He is taking a break from Homer Alaska for several weeks and was awed by the fleecy clouds and sunshine.  I'll try and see him a few times before he returns to Alaska.

The weather looks good so I'm expecting to swim at 7 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and at 11 next Sunday.



Saturday, May 4, 2024

Saturday, May 4th, 2024

 It May All Be Relative - 
That strip of sunlight on the hills behind Port San Luis 
was all of the sun we saw this morning. 

Jodi and Tom at the 4th buoy on the west side of the Avila Pier

Our route was a bit of a wander but we got in 1:13 of nice swimming.    

The relative part is: Is the water actually 'warmer' when it is unusually cold but not as cold as it was two days before?  
It was weird swimming in 49° water, a low water temperature that Avila Beach does see in a typical year, and thinking that it felt 'warmer' than Thursday's 47°. 

Jodi, Tom and Niel started their Saturday morning under low clouds with a flat, windless and glassy ocean, one to two foot surf and a bit of a swell. There were some spots that looked like there was a light plankton bloom but in the flat light it was hard to tell and I don't recall seeing a plankton bloom when the water was this cold.

The buoy at the reef on the east side has been replaced so we swam by it on our way out and when coming back in. 

The cold water had its effect. When we got out Jodi was talking about her Jones for SLO Donut Co. cream puffs and Tom about his desire for a lemon filled donut. Somebodies needed a post swim carb infusion stat!        

We are supposed to get a small amount of rain tonight but it may not be enough to keep me away from the beach, which is predicted to be sunny, 62° and windy tomorrow.


Friday, May 3, 2024

Friday, May 3rd, 2024

Tom's Swim Report - 

Super Foggy, cold, water, and good swimming!  The weather pendulum has swung again. From Sunny and clear to socked in fog.  The water was at least 2° under 50.  Nevertheless, it was a good morning of swimming.


Awesome Tom!
Very cold water and no sun while swimming or afterwards makes for a memorable swim.


Thursday, May 2, 2024

Thursday, May 2nd, 2024

Mind Games

The air and water temperatures were 47° this morning. I didn't know what the water temperature was until the end of my swim so I spent my swim working around how I was feeling vs. thinking. I also had a large ship that seemed to want to get in to the area between the Avila and Poly Piers with me so I had them to keep track of. 
I did the reverse of Tuesday's course. Getting in and swimming down the buoy line I was thinking that the water temp was 49°, the same as Tuesday. I started feeling the cold in my arms and feet earlier than I had on Tuesday but I wrote that off to having had just an artichoke and some rice last night, which probably didn't give me enough fat to keep warm this at this temperature. The boat kept moving around, edging into where I was.  At one point it was inside of me and over near the Poly Pier, then gone, then back. Having something else to focus on was good but the boat was annoying. 
I didn't check my thermometer until I was back at the #1 buoy. I had had to check it twice to be sure that I was seeing 8.5°C.  I'm glad that I did not know the number before I got in which let me maintain some deniability.  

We'll see what it is like Saturday morning at 7 and Sunday at 11.
Maybe the water temperature will be up to a sub-tropical 50°.........😉