Today was another hot one on the Central Coast so I was definitely looking forward to my ocean swim. I needed to cool off, and my upper arms are still kinda sore so some cold water on my muscles sounded like a fantastic idea. When I got to the beach it was just me, Niel and Ryan. Niel measured the water around 60 degrees and there was some motion out there in the ocean but nothing too crazy.
We decided to do the same route as last week… end of the right side of the buoy line to the top of the pier and then back the same way we came. I was ok with this because I didn’t really need or want a long swim. I’m still kind of in recovery mode. I need to keep moving, the momentum I have is good, but I don’t need to be a hero right now. My pace was mellow and steady… and well a little slow.
We started our swim on the left hand side of the pier and then swam under it once we were in line with the buoys. This turned out to be a little more death defying than usual. There was a pretty healthy swell moving through the water tonight and one caught us on the way through. Me and my non-neoprene covered torso narrowly avoided grinding against a piling, it took some evasive maneuvers on my part to make that happen! I don’t even want to know what it would do to me if I scraped bare skin against one of those things…
Once we had everyone gathered back up we shot down the buoy line and then angled up towards the top of the pier. Near the top we hit a major cold patch. It felt like the water dropped a full 4 or 5 degrees… not cool! Luckily the sun was out today which helps make the cold seem a little less cold.
After chilling out for a couple minutes we swam it back to the buoy down by the creek. This time we were moving largely in the same direction as the swell. Every so often while swimming you’d get pushed a little forward and a little to the side. The water conditions were interesting in that there was a fair amount of motion but it wasn’t all choppy so it was pretty easy to deal with.
We finished our swim by swimming back under the pier before turning in. This time I was much more careful and tried to time my crossing a little better. It was still a little dicey but I made it out unscathed. Later I found out Niel smacked his hand on the way through but didn’t do too much damage. On the way in I took advantage of the swells coming through and I caught a good one and body surfed it part of the way in.
Back on the beach we hit the outdoor showers and some little tourist kid that didn’t speak English boosted my towel. It took some doing to get her and her mom to understand that the towel with the USA Swim Foundation logo on it was not theirs. The kid was looking at me like a crazy person while I was point at her telling her “the towel… it’s mine… that thing right there… mine… me… give it.” I guess I would have the same reaction if some big dude with a bald head, tattoos and an adventure beard were pointing at me and speaking a language I didn’t understand. Eventually mom figured it out and reunited me with my towel. She was a little embarrassed and tried to apologize in english… that didn’t go so hot but I appreciated the attempt. The part I didn’t appreciate was having a wet towel to dry off with after a mile of floating around in the ocean, that kind of sucked. Oh well.
I meant to try my new fins out tonight but I decided against it mainly because I didn’t want to have a seal silhouette while the sun was on the way down. Maybe I’m being overly cautious, but it just seemed like a poor idea. I’ll break them in tomorrow in the pool and then find some time later this week or weekend to get them in salt water and see how they do there.