Every time I come to Orange County I try to figure out a way to come swim with my friend Lynn and the people she swims with out in Laguna Beach… and almost every time I just can’t quite get there to make it happen. Well this weekend I specifically added a day to my trip to make sure I’d be around for a swim. I figure I have hotel reward points to burn, might as well right :)
I got to the beach pretty early and wandered around a little bit soaking in the sights. I ran into a guy that had also swam the Around the Rock Alcatraz swim back in June and we talked for a little while and went to grab some coffee before making the plunge into the ocean. The group that amassed was pretty good sized. Most of them were getting in one last swim before they embarked on 2 Catalina Channel Relays. I need to find my way onto one of those things one of these days… hmmm…
Anyways once we got down to the water we were greeted by some frosty water. I would guess it was 58 at best which is just fine for me in Avila Beach, but a little surprising for an Orange County beach 4 hours south of where I work out! The surf was pretty healthy as we got in and I took a little bit of a beating… I’m not used to waves that big. It was good practice for my swim in October though. It has lots of ins and outs in areas that have pretty decent surf.
This group pretty much just gets down to business once they’re in the water and since I was a little slow getting in the main pack of the group was already pretty decently ahead of me. They were aiming for a buoy way down by Main Beach which someone told me is about .8 miles away. I worked on catching up to the group and then worked my way up into the middle of it.
The swim out was really pretty, all kinds of hills and nice houses. There was plenty of motion in the water but it was no where near as rough as my last swim here back in February where me and Lynn were getting tossed all over the place by 4-5 foot swells. I didn’t see any marine life while I was out there but there was a lot of plant life… well and a maxi pad… never seen that just floating in the ocean… ewww… but the water was fairly clear so you could see like 10 feet worth of kelp below you when you swam over it.
At the turn around point I hung out for a while and took pictures and stuff. Most everyone kept going because it was too cold for them to just hang out. When Lynn and one other guy got there we determined we were the last of the swimmers doing the full distance and we made our way back to the Oak Street Beach. Since I didn’t really know where I was going I kept right on the side of Lynn. I like swimming with her, I feel very safe next to her. She’s very in tune with this stretch of ocean (on top of being an awesome channel crossing open water swimmer).
On the way in I started hearing talking over a PA system but I had no idea what it was from. Turned out a surf contest sprung up on the beach we launched from… surprise!
I’m really stoked I managed to get in with these guys today. Hopefully I can come back soon (like next week!). Later today I’m off to watch Pan Pacs in Irvine…