Went out to Avila after work today and we had a really good swim. 9 of us showed up and the bulk of us did probably like 1 1/4 miles in some pretty choppy water. Niel measured 60 degrees today off the pier but I don’t know about that. I went out in just a rash guard and jammers and it felt much more like mid 50′s. Maybe he found a warm spot to soak his thermometer.
On the way in I hung back for a bit to let my body acclimate and then I took my time chasing down the rest of the pack. Niel was keeping it short today because he’s nursing a shoulder injury so I was psuedo-in charge of the group and so I set the route. We swam down to the left end of the buoy line then made our way up to the top of the pier. From there it was straight down the pier to the right side of the buoy line, a loop around that end of it and back to shore.
The first leg of the swim was pretty mellow but you could feel that the ocean was just starting to get worked up. The leg out towards the end of the pier was just wavy/choppy enough to be exciting. It felt like the wake coming off of a boat breaking all around you, except it never stopped. We regrouped at the end of the pier and as I was watching the last guy come straggling in I saw a really big dolphin break the surface maybe 300m away from where I was treading water. As much as I don’t like seeing sea life in the ocean while I’m in the ocean, a dolphin is always a good sign.
Once we were all assembled I sent the rest of the group on down the pier and brought up the rear. On my way out I got caught up in a fishing line! I didn’t see it until I was up in it. Luckily I didn’t meet the hook at all. I was really nervous that I was going to get snagged by something else after that. We have people fishing all the time but I’ve never run into line that far off the end of the pier before. After making sure I was hook-free I started to swim down to the buoy line but saw one of the guys making a line towards the wrong buoy. I chased him down and redirected him to where the rest of us were off to.
Our last part of the swim was just down the right side of the buoy line and back. The chop had really picked up at this point and the swim was kind of hard but fun. Through the whole thing I hung towards the back of the group and waited at all the regroup points for our slower swimmers to catch up. I didn’t want to misplace anyone in the ocean, especially on a day like today when it wasn’t particularly flat.
Once we were all together at the buoy closest to the pier I finally had my chance to open it up a little bit and go fast since it would be pretty hard for someone to get lost in a straight shot down the pier. We all started together and I put my head down and let my kick go. I felt good in the water and I pulled away pretty steadily from the others. After probably 200m I started to get into where the waves were breaking and managed to catch one! I body surfed it the rest of the way into the beach. I tried to go back out and grab another one but it was a short lived set and there wasn’t anything good left to ride.
After our swim I wanted to hang out at the beach, but I had to hurry up and hop in the truck so I could catch a conference call. The next 3 hours of my night were spent on the phone and I’m still salty and sandy! A nice hot desalinating shower is next on my agenda! Tomorrow I should be in the pool in Santa Maria, and I might even try to sneak in a short trip to Pismo just to keep up this cold water thing.