My buddy Dave VM is getting ready for a big swim from Anacapa next weekend and is getting in some bonus ocean time in preparation. Myself and 2 other guys swam with him tonight out at Avila; it was a beautiful swim. The water warmed up a few degrees from Wednesday night’s swim to around 58ish and we had calm seas. I’ve never swam in the ocean with Dave’s friends, but when I didn’t see any neoprene on either of them I decided they were ok by me :)
Our plan was relatively simple, make a straight shot for the rock and come back. This group functioned a little differently from my usual Avila swims in that there was no stopping to regroup. Once we hit the water we just charged straight out until we hit that rock (which is probably about 3/4 of a mile from the beach). I was a little bit slower than the other guys, but I was always within 5-10 meters and used them for sighting since I couldn’t see all the way out to the rock.
On the way there we passed through plenty of kelp which I’m not really a big fan of. I’ve been most of the way out to the rock, but never all the way to it because it’s totally surrounded by the stuff. Today we got all the way there. I had to crawl of the top of it in spots where it was so thick I wouldn’t necessarily call it swimming. I think the key to dealing with kelp is to not stop and not freak out when you get tangled up. It floats so the worst case scenario you get stuck but you’re floating, worse things could happen. As we got closer to the rock it got a little ripe because of all the bird poo on it, but as we got deeper into that kelp the little patches of clear water inside it were almost like calm little lakes. We hung out by the rock for a while and one of the guys mounted it!
After our humanly dominance was asserted upon a barren little rock in the middle of the ocean we turned around to swim home. We all took different routes out of the kelp and then kind of reconverged on the outside. The line we took on the way back in was a little better then the way to the rock. We bypassed buoy number 4 on the south end of the buoy line. It’s surrounded by all kinds of kelp and on the way out we swam right through that stuff… I was plenty relived to get to skip it going home! Once we got to the main section of the buoy line we paused for a minute to make sure we had everyone before swimming the rest of the way in. Me and Dave hung out in the water for a bit soaking it all in for a few minutes before making the way back to the beach. You’d be hard pressed to find a better day for a little excursion like this! Off to our left about 25m were the heads of 2 seals who were apparently doing the same thing, I guess even the natives were pretty impressed with today.
Tomorrow I’m making my way up to Santa Cruz for the Roughwater swim. This is year number 2 for me doing that race and I’m excited to go back. The day after I’m doing the 2 mile Cruz Cruise which will be a first.