I’m really stoked on how many new people we’ve had popping in and out with us recently over in Avila. They’re hearing about us via word of mouth or finding the SwimAvila.com site I set up a while back and making their way into the ocean with us. Kids from the Central Coast Tri Club are starting to come pretty regularly too. We had upwards of 8 swimmers today. I can’t wait to see what kind of numbers we have floating around as we get deeper into summer! I think what makes this such a good group to swim with is we have such a wide range of speeds and experience out there. Some swimmers were out for their first ocean swim, and one of us is up 60+ years of swimming this beach!

Since we had about 3 totally new ocean swimmers we started with just the south end of the buoy line. I hung towards the back to keep an eye on everyone to make sure everyone was doing ok. After a while Duke took over for me so I could swim a little faster for a while. We regrouped at the far end of the buoy line and everyone seemed pretty happy, a little cold, but happy. And speaking of cold… I wussed out and put on a wetsuit, shhh don’t tell anybody. There was no sunshine and I felt it was the better choice.

Once we got back to the pier 2 of our swimmers turned back towards the beach and the rest of us swam under the pier towards the north end of the buoy line. Duke and I pulled out ahead of the group and I tried to just hold pace with him. I’ve got nationals this week and didn’t want to over do it too much. He was holding a good pace that wasn’t too fast. At the end of the buoy line he decided that he wanted to swim up and over the pier and then back to the beach. Everyone else was on board with that idea so we took off for the end of the pier.

I opened it up a little bit on this leg of the swim. I decided I wanted to go fast for a minute even though my need to taper says I shouldn’t. I settled into a good rhythm and made my way out to the pier. The water had been largely smooth and glassy, but it did start rolling a little bit as we got further out. I think there was a touch of current too because I was drifting away from the pier a bit as I swam out. I pulled out pretty far ahead of the group and once I got to the end of the pier I just floated around taking some pictures and enjoying the view. The best way to soak in the coast is really from inside the ocean!

While we were out there by the pier we saw what was the first seal I’ve seen in months. He was just out there cruising a bit beyond the pier. I wonder if he’s a seal scout looking for fish or something. Apparently the seafood buffet hasn’t been in the general Avila area for a while, but we’re due for the bait fish to come back in the near future.

Our finish was a straight shot to the beach and I cruised it in. I felt like I was drifting sideways again, but I had a big piece of beach to aim for so I wasn’t particularly concerned about it. I just kept my head down and picked it up occasionally just to make sure I hadn’t made a left turn down the coast or something ridiculous like that.

On the beach we had a little crowd that had been watching us and had all kinds of questions about how far we swam and how cold it was and stuff like that. It’s always kind of funny when people are all super impressed with it, it’s always sort of like “you guys saw that?” to me :) The other exciting thing that happened on the beach is Niel said that if I wanted to do a Pismo to Avila Pier to Pier swim him and Chris would be down to paddle for me. I’m pretty stoked on that idea, I’m just drawn to the concept of that swim and I won’t be able to get it out of my head until I just do it! I sent him a list of my open weekends this summer (it’s an impressively short list) and hopefully we’ll be able to find a weekend that works for both of us in there!

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