Today was my second outing with my newfound Avila open water group. The weather was excellent and the water was around 60 degrees. We had a pretty decent turn out today with a wide range of abilities so we split into a short distance group and a longer distance group. Me and 3 other guys set out to do about 2 miles worth of swimming. We swam out to the Cal Poly Research Pier, back to the tip of the Avila Beach Pier, down to the end of the buoy line, back to the Avila Beach Pier, and then to the beach.

We weren’t the only ones in the water today. On our way to the Cal Poly Pier we had a bunch of birds fly over us and park them selves about 300m west of our route. Since we had no desire to swim through the bird’s lunch we swam back towards the buoy line. En route we had about 5 seals pop up in the kelp and look at us funny. I think they were doing a friend, foe, or food risk analysis. Once we got all the way back to the tip of the Avila Beach Pier to regroup we were alerted to the fact that a sailboat race was about to start where we were floating. From there we made our way back out to the furthest buoy to the south. The water got pretty choppy for a while there. I think it was mainly from all the sailboats cruising past us to get to the start of their race. While waiting for everyone to catch up at the buoy I had a mild heart attack when I saw a big black fin surface and glide through the water for a few meters. I was supremely relieved to see the fin resurface attached to a dolphin a couple seconds later. There were actually 2 of them cruising out there. On the one had it was really cool to see wild dolphins that close , on the other hand I really dislike seeing fins in the ocean!!!

While I was at the beach today I found out that some people are planning to come back out tomorrow. I’m very stoked to get in a second open water swim this week. I have Big Shoulders in less than a week now and I need all the practice I can get!

4 Responses to “Is That a Good Fin or a Bad Fin?”

  1. Ahelee says:

    Sounds like Lake Michigan is warming up a bit Rob!

    This late OW training is going to help you alot at Big Shoulders – good going!

  2. Rob D says:

    I found this open water group just in time! I want as much time in water as I can get before this race goes down.

    It's nice to know that the Lake is getting warmer, but it's even nicer to know that I am capable of being comfortable in some fairly cold water sans wetsuit! I heard it's around 68 today in Lake Michigan, that's borderline tropical compared to the 60 degree water I was in today.

  3. Wendy says:


    Did you see the bit about a triathlete attacked by an otter?

  4. Rob D says:

    That's the second story I've seen about an otter attack this summer… luckily they're not real common around here. I don't want to have to be afraid of otter attacks now too :)