This was round 2 for Thursday afternoon ocean swims at Avila. It looks like Thursday is going to be the day of choice assuming we can keep this momentum up. Since my girlfriend doesn’t go to work until 2 she decided that she wanted to go to the beach too and picked me up at my office. The weather on the drive up was looking pretty gross from the freeway, but as we wound down towards Avila the fog was breaking up and there were pockets of sunshine all over. Right on time!
There was all of about zero other people on the beach this afternoon, we had the whole thing to ourselves. Can’t complain about that. We met Niel in the regular spot, and while I got changed into my suit and Niel got into his wetsuit we debated the route a little bit. We decided that we’d start with half the big triangle and then decided how far we want to go once we hit the top of the pier. The water was pretty cold, 55ish, but flat.
The walk into the water was pretty brutal. I was having one of those days where I’m slow to process the cold. Eventually Niel took off for the buoy line while I waited for a wave to force me into getting all the way wet. My wave never came so I just had to toss myself headlong into the water and start swimming. We met even with the buoys and decided to turn left first and then arc up to the top of the pier. Although the water was fairly calm looking on top I think there was just a little bit of current running. I felt myself getting pushed just a little bit off the line I was trying to take. After a brief pause at the last buoy we put our heads back down and swam to the end of the pier.
By now the sky was opening up nicely. The sun was shining on us and the visibility was improving quite a bit. At this point our choices were finish the whole triangle or swim straight back in. I decided I wanted to do the whole thing and Niel was into that idea as well so that’s what we went with. On the swim down to the creek buoy there were a few patches where the water moved in a really weird way that kind of freaked me out. I had a wave push just my feet sideways like 2 or 3 times. It didn’t match anything else going on in the water and felt like the wake of something fast swimming too close to me. I looked back over my shoulder a few times while breathing to see if anything was back there but I never saw anything. This is probably at least half imagined, but I may have swam a little faster all of a sudden just in case!
At the creek buoy we paused for a moment and noticed something white floating straight in towards the beach maybe 30m away. Niel wanted to go check it out so we swam it down. Turns out it was a motor oil bottle… boo for garbage in the ocean… we were too far from shore to get it back in and it was too big to jam in a suit or something so Niel chucked it towards the surf line in hopes that it would get tossed on the beach and someone could pick it up and throw it away from there. Instead of swimming back up to the buoy line we just went parallel to it from where we were. We were in a spot where the swells were noticeably rising but still too far out to be breaking. It was kind of fun to swim the rise and fall of the inbound swells like that.
As we neared the pier we started veering towards the beach. Once we were in shallower water I put a foot down and looked for a decent wave to ride in. I missed one but was presented with a much better wave just a moment later. I rode the whitewater down towards the beach and finished my ride in about a foot of water. At this point I pretty much had to shower off real quick, get back into real clothes and drive back to the office. I really like this midday ocean swimming. I can squeeze in a reasonable swim, eat a quick lunch not at my desk like I have to with my pool swims, and get back to work on time. Hopefully a few other swimmers get hip to this whole lunchtime thing so there’s always someone on the beach to swim with if you want to go.