So it finally happened… I managed to break my waterproof camera after what was probably literally 100+ miles tucked into my speedo in the ocean along with numerous trips to the pool. The good news is I got my money’s worth out of it and I get to buy a new camera! The bad news is I leave for Chicago in less than 24 hours and my prospects of replacing it in time are poor. I managed to find one I liked at Best Buy but they didn’t actually have one to sell which was a little not so convenient. The other local chain type stores sell them online but not in person which is lame, so who knows how this problem will get solved… I’ll figure something out. In the meantime I couldn’t do a post without pictures right? So instead you get the MS Paint Illustrated version of today’s Ocean swim :)

Anyways, so there I was right….

Avila was super fogged in tonight and only 3 of us made the trek out. The left hand side of the pier was as good as non-existent. There was however a break in the fog on the right hand side of the pier so we planned a course out on just that side. We would swim to the buoy line and follow it to the end, then swim to the Poly Pier, cut back to the Avila Pier and then swim down the side of it back to the beach. It’s probably about a mile or so.

if you can't tell.... that's fog, water, and sand

Niel Measured the water temp at 58… my body disagreed strongly with this measurement! I think it was just the fog but it felt really cold today. It took me a lot longer than usual to warm up and get comfortable without any solar assistance. The further out we swam towards the Poly Pier the colder it got too… that part wasn’t in my imagination, the other guys were feeling cold spots through their wetsuits. The actual ocean conditions were really calm and I didn’t see a single seal today. Since it was pretty cold feeling there wasn’t too much chit chatting at our regrouping points. The only real conversation was where to go once we hit the midway point. How we finished the swim was going to be dependent on the thickness of the fog.

Me, Ryan and Niel negotiating the second half of the swim

On our way to the tip of the Avila Pier our path was crossed by a bunch of outrigger canoes! Luckily they were paying attention and saw us out there in the fog! There’s a local group that practices in Avila and apparently tonight was a big night out for them since they were like 6 or 7 boats deep. We chatted a bit with one of the boats while they were lining up for something and we were getting ready to swim down the pier to the beach. The gist of it was they couldn’t believe we were in the water today, and we were just happy they didn’t run us over. Soon after we were off and running for dry land.

On the way down to the beach the fog started breaking up and the sun was breaking though… figures. By the time we were all standing on the beach it had turned totally gorgeous with Avila Beach full of sunshine while the fog of the marine layer lay just far enough off the coast.

naturally the sun came out right at the end of our swim!

Tomorrow I’m probably going to get in one more pool workout and then I’m hopping a plane after work to fly to Chicago for Big Shoulders. I’m stoked to be off to a far away swim… it was nice to have some time at home in California but I’m ready to get back out in the world for a while.

8 Responses to “An Illustrated Swim in the Fog”

  1. Dang, I really like your pics. That’s cool! Good luck finding a WP Cam. I don’t use mine nearly enough as you do. Nice job sticking with the swims even though you’re getting sub 60 temps. That’s pretty dang cold.

    Have a good time in Chicago.

  2. Joanne says:

    Love your art work Rob! Do you wear a wet suit on your work-out swims? Have a good time in the windy city and get in some good BBQ!

  3. Rob D says:

    Thanks guys! I’m sitting in the airport right now waiting to leave for Chicago, I’m pretty stoked to go!

    As far as wetsuits go I try to not wear them if I can. I don’t think I’ve worn one on a training swim since like April.

  4. Lynn K says:

    Very cool Rob! I did a swim in the fog with Jim Fitpatrick and Christopher Robers out at Strands once where we got so far out (NOTHING BUT GRAY), we had to stop to listen to which direction the crash of the waves was coming from to determine how to get back to shore. It was super eerie but cool!

  5. Rob D says:

    That would freak me out to be in the ocean and not able to see anything! We’ve had some really foggy days but you can always see something to navigate off of. If it were that thick I think my group would just pass on getting in.

  6. ManuelRdgz says:

    Ha ha ha ha this is awesome! I am almost in tears here laughing. Now this is what I call dedication. I am loving the MS Paint Blog. I have to share this one on facebook!

  7. Rob D says:

    Thanks Manuel! Based on the response I’ve been getting out of this post I may have to draw out more of my swims in MS Paint :)

  8. [...] I’ve brought back the MS Paint re-interpretation of the day’s event feature that I ran back in September. I think I’m getting better at it… hopefully I don’t have to get too good at it! [...]