Friday, June 21, 2024

Friday, June 21st, 2024

Tom's Friday Morning Swim Report -  

Well, the gods must be laughing at Niel's dare...  Poseidon, Neptune, and the rest of them are having a good laugh because the water was under 50° - at least that's what it felt like to me.  There was a cold breeze blowing in from the southwest that created a chop and it felt like a current going that same direction. The leg from the rock Buoy to the Cal poly pier was work out! 

Well, I should remember; 'Be careful what you wish for'

Saturday morning will be an experience!


Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thursday, June 20th, 2024

Avila, 6:50 AM, cloudy but clearing, calm, 56°, a flat, glassy ocean with one foot waves and 51° water. Better than the pool swimming conditions except for the water temperature that is 30° colder. 

I'm not too proud to bootie. It may be June but 51° still feels quite cold. 

 If the water gods are reading this I'm Triple Double Dog Daring 
you to give us 49° water on the 4th of July. 

Its either that or quit fooling around and let us get on with summer.  
I swam Tuesday's route in the other direction. The booties helped. Today was 100M and two minutes shorter than Tuesday, so that is pretty close for that distance.

I expect to swim with Jodi, Tom Israel and Paula Saturday morning at 7.  


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

Tom's Swim Report -

Cool air, cool water. It was 57° air temperature when I arrived at Avila at 915 AM. There was a thick marine layer and a slight breeze. The water temperature was 52°. By the time I got out at 1030 the marine layer had burned off and the air temperature was up to 59°.  The Avila pier construction had the pile driver going this morning, and as I was swimming out the sound of the pile driver from under the water was so loud that I could actually feel it.  Can't imagine the sea life is too thrilled about that. Once I got to the end of the pier I could no longer feel it.  To get away from the noise I went west over to the CP pier.  Nice morning of swimming. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

After swimming in lovely 58° water on Sunday I was disappointed to read Tom's estimate from Monday of 55°, but I told myself that 55° was so much better then that bottom 50's that we have experienced in the past months.  When I started swimming I thought I heard ocean gods laughing and I was thinking: 'Oh my goodness, the water is quite cold today, well below 55° and my face is in shock'.  (This comment was edited for general publication).    
The water was 52° with colder areas near the Poly Pier.  I do not recall experiencing this large of a drop in the water temperature over two days.

I'd planed today's route earlier and decided to see if I would last the distance at today's temperature. The route is a yo-yo between the end of the Avila Pier and four points along the Poly Pier. I swam to the end of the Avila Pier, to the second crossbars on the Poly Pier, to the third crossbars, back to the end of the Avila Pier, to the mooring thingy that is 125M from the end of the Poly Pier, to the end of the pier, back to the end of the Avila Pier and in.      
Conditions were exceptionally nice today. The air temperature was 49°, there was 1 to 2 foot surf, no wind, a slight swell, and a glassy, very clean and cold ocean.
Greetings from the end of the Poly Pier.

I'll swim Thursday and Saturday at 7.


Monday, June 17, 2024

Monday, June 17th, 2024

 Tom's Monday Morning Swim Report - 

Gorgeous day at Avila this morning.  The air temperature was 64 when I arrived at 9 am. Swimming was beautiful. Water clarity excellent. My toes tell me the temperature was 55. 

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sunday, June 16th, 2024

Warm -

It was suddenly full summer at Avila Beach today. Yesterday at 7AM the water temperature was 52°, today at 11 it was 58° and still very clear. 
Paula and Ilene swam early and did 5K. They are training for a 10K swim in Fort Collins in September. Next in was Tom Lorish. He was very happy with the conditions and his swim.
He said that it was smooth our there but by the time I was heading towards the Poly Pier it had gotten bumpy.  There was a lot of kelp and ell grass in the water. It was very pesky. I was hitting something every 10 strokes.   
I swam around the reef buoy, to the Poly Pier and in along the pier to the third crossbars and doubled back. Jodi had suggested this route yesterday. We did Yo-yo's instead so I poached her route today. Swimming in to the second crossbars would be about 4,600M and going all of the way to the rocks at the base of the makes a 5K loop.

It was beautiful out here today.

The Avila Pier, way off there above my toes.

I plan to swim Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7 and next Sunday at 11.


Saturday, June 15, 2024

Saturday, June 15th, 2024

 A Different Triangle Route - 

Today's route was decreasing triangles. We swam from the first buoy to the 4th, to the end of the pier and back to the 1st buoy, then to the third for a smaller triangle, the second and finally from the first buoy out to the end of the pier and back.  I do not think I have done this route before. It is curious how the various routes between the buoys and the end of the pier are all about 3,200M.  

At 7AM it was sunny, calm and 49° in Avila Beach, which was a surprise because it was 69° in San Luis Obispo when I left for the beach. The surf was small but there was a short period swell from the SW. The swell had a period that was almost the same and my stroke so we were getting a small lift and drop with each stroke.  The water gods were entertained by our reaction to water that was back to 52+° but the sun felt really nice.  

I'll swim tomorrow at 11.


Friday, June 14, 2024

Friday, June 14th, 2024

Tom's Friday Swim Report -  

Beautiful day at Avila this morning. Blue skies, air temperature 59° when I arrived at 9 AM. The water continues to be amazingly clear and beautiful. My toes tell me the water was 54° with a slight breeze bump.  Excellent swimming. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Thursday, June 13th, 2024

 55° Clean, Flat and Glassy Water -
This is more like it.  It was still grey at Avila but it was still and the air temp was 58°. The water was just like what Tom reported from yesterday, except the beached boat near tower 2 was gone.  There was not much time needed to get used to the water today.      

No booties required at today's water temperature. 

Even out at the third crossbars on the Poly Pier I had an observer critique my stroke.
This great blue heron let out a loud squawk and flew off as I swam by.

I'll be back on Saturday at 7 to swim with Jodi and Paula and with whoever else shows up at 11 on Sunday. 


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

Tom's Swim Report for Wednesday

I am back. And my shipment of warm water from Spain must've arrived because the temperature felt about 55 to me.  it was glassy calm, and the water clarity was pristine. A thick marine layer, but it still felt very comfortable.  Beautiful day of swimming.  From the 'what the hell is that doing there' category: in the picture you'll see a boat beached on the west side… None of the guards were quite sure what the story was.  Perhaps a higher tide will take it back to where it came from.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024


I had a 10 o'clock meeting so I arrived early and did a simple 2,900M.  The conditions were a 61° air temp, gray skies, a light breeze, 2 to 3 foot surf, and water that felt more like 52° than the 53+° that I measured.

There is work being done on the pier to replace some pilings and the water near the work tastes like creosote.  It is not pleasant.  It is an old familiar smell from beaches and piers long past and I assumed that it was not used in California anymore.

Purchase Report - A Second Order of Dolphins Swim Caps from Swim Outlet -

Swim Outlet Teams Not Recommended

Three years ago the Swim Outlet Teams Division produced my first order of Avila Dolphins swim caps. They used my artwork to produce a proof I approved and they did a great job printing the caps.
The proof.

A cap from the first order. They were an exact match. 

Recently I had a second batch run from the same proof and I was not pleased with the results.
The artwork is 30% larger, the linework is broader, there is less detail and the color of the beach is different.   
I spoke with Tomas, who worked with me on this order. His response was that the printer would not redo the order, but he would see if they would give me a discount on a future order. I have not heard back from him. 
Maybe I'm being too picky, but they nailed it with the first order and that was what I was expecting the second time. 
Putting it on their printer is bad. I won't be going to Swim Outlet Teams for any future orders. 

I will be swimming at Avila on Thursday and Saturday at 7 and Sunday at 11. 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

I had a nice Sunday swim today. It was 61° and mostly cloudy at 10:30 but the sun came out while I was swimming. The water was 53° There was a light wind and the water was lumpy but not choppy. The waves were small but the bigger sneaker waves were still part of the mix. When I got out the surf was up to a consistant 3 to 4 foot.  
Fore something a little different I did the buoy line yo-yo on the west side.

Afterwards it was really nice and mellow on the beach, 
warm but not hot, just enough breeze and not too crowded.  
It's not too easy to see in the photo but a large dredge with two tugs is moored over near the port. My sources tell me that it is here to do some work at Diablo Canyon.

My schedule next week will ne the usual Tue., Thurs., and Sat., at 7 and Sunday at 11.


Saturday, June 8, 2024

Saturday, June 8th, 2024


Tom, Paula, Jodi and Niel swam a couple of simple triangles this morning. 
The overcast was thick and looked like it might last all day. It was 56° and calm. The surf was smallish except for an occasional 3 to 4 footer. The water was 52°. It has lost its clarity and is looking like the cloudy crud we have in summer. 
The water temperature last June was in the mid 50's, but that year we hadn't had water temperatures between 48° and 52° from January to June.  A few weeks ago the water felt like it was finally warming up to summer temps, but the temp has slid back down.       

I'll swim tomorrow at 11.


Thursday, June 6, 2024

Thursday, June 6th, 2024

I'm back from traveling and worked this morning to get out the kinks from driving 2,100 miles.  It took until I got to the end of the Poly Pier before I felt my self loosen up and straighten out.

The water was 52° close to shore but much warmer further out, probably 54°, with a well defined transition between the two.  The water is loosing its clarity and starting to look more like it does in the summer.  

The swimming was a little bumpy but nice. 

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


Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024

 First Place in 50+

At a recent water polo tournament in Spain Tom Lorish's team won the 50+ division.🏊🎉

That is Tom kneeling holding the banner. 
He is now on a swimming tour of Spain. 

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