Since Friday night my swim at Laguna Beach has been in jeopardy… rain, runoff, and waves were all a concern. The weather was ugly all the way down on Friday night, but it was just cloudy this morning in Irvine. Me and my friend Robin decided to just go to Laguna Beach for lunch and see what happens. Once we got there we were greeted by an unreasonably pretty day. We ate lunch at a place that overlooked the ocean and soaked in the lay of the land… or well, ocean. Even though it was sunny and clear without much wind, the the ocean was looking pretty rough. We were sitting way up on a cliff looking at the water wondering “how big is that chop out there?” Well I found out eventually! I don’t know if there was a small craft advisory, but a fair sized gentleman advisory may have been in order :)
the view from lunch, we saw a solo swimmer out there!
We met my friend Lynn (Catalina Channel swimmer and all around cool lady) at the beach at the end of Oak Street. I got suited up and we made our way down to the water. It was cold at first, but I acclimated really fast. I’d have to say it was somewhere between 60-62 which is tropical compared to the temps up by my house! We had to swim through some pretty substantial waves and dodge some surfers on the way out. As it turns out the waves didn’t really ever stop… the chop in the water was really strong. In the course of one stroke you could be lifted like 4 feet by the water. It was super fun, but a little spooky for a guy not used to it! I’m just glad I was out there with Lynn since she’s put in tons of time in this stretch of ocean.
We swam out to one set of rocks to the south and then turned westward and made way towards another set. From there we cut diagonally through the human washing machine that was the ocean. Lynn stopped intermittently to dive down to the bottom to go check stuff out. It was kind of funny, I was basically navigating off of her by keeping her on my right and every once and while she’d just disappear! Or I would see her fins straight up in the air as she’d dive to investigate something exciting on the bottom. As much as I was curious as to what was down there, diving wasn’t on my agenda in an unfamiliar area… it just kind of unnerving to me to do that in the open ocean.
On the way in we made a command decision to aim for a different section of beach since our launching point was really popular with surfers today. It would suck to have a fun, safe swim just to get hit by a surfboard on the way in.
I’m so happy I managed to sneak in a swim with Lynn while I was in town. I haven’t been in the ocean in quite a while (since early January I think), and I really needed it! I’m still super stoked on my swim and it was really good from an experience perspective. I’ve never been in water that rough. If I had to guess I’d say we swam like 1 1/4 miles tops… we were out for like 40 some odd minutes. Now I’m just chilling out and watching the Olympics while getting ready for my meet tomorrow in Fullerton!
the view from the top of the stairs at Oak Street in Laguna
Scoping out the course
Lynn takes off into the ocean!
getting in... this is the cold part
swimming away from the surfers
leaving Laguna, that's my photographer for the day, Robin