floating at the top of a wave about to break!

For lunch today I met Niel down at Avila Beach for a swim. When I drove up to the beach I could see and hear big waves pounding the beach, woah! Some of them were breaking just under the top of the pier and spraying up the sides, totally nuts for this beach! Based on the size of the waves I almost think I should have brought my duck feet and skunked the swim in favor of some body surfing! The weather was mainly sunny with a weird roaming fog bank floating about, and Niel measured the water at  about 55.


After getting ourselves put together to swim we walked down to the water with a plan basically consisting of “I’ll meet you on the other side of those waves.” To be fair, getting out took some doing. The sets were pretty long with big waves close together. Niel said he almost bailed out after having about 3 waves in a row stuff his progress. We met up out at the buoy line as planned, both huffing and puffing a little bit from the effort required to get there, and devised a plan. We decided on the big triangle (down the buoy line, over the top of the pier and around the other side of the buoy line) to avoid swimming under the pier. Some major swells were rolling through that pretty much guaranteed an unpleasant meeting with a piling if we would have gone for it.

our roaming fog bank on the move again

The swim down the south side of the buoy line was tough! The wind was blowing back at the pier and the water had a lot of movement in it. Some pretty major swells were in motion and there was a fair amount of chop to work through. We regrouped at the last buoy and you could see these monster rollers coming our way, lifting us up like 6 feet, and then going on their merry way towards the beach.

watching the waves break on shore while regrouping

Our next target was the end of the pier which had randomly become hidden in fog. It was sunny and clear pretty much everywhere else though… odd. Since we’ve done this leg about a million times at this point not being able to see the pier wasn’t much of a deterrent. We swam on out to the top of the pier and by the time we got there the fog was gone and instead was obscuring our view of the creek buoy which was our next stop!

at the pier staring down into the fog looking for our next stop

Again, this was a part of the bay we both know really well so we aimed for about where we thought it was and used some of the other buoys in the middle that the boats use for parking as reference.

halfway to the creek buoy

Niel and I at the Creek Buoy looking towards our next stop at the pier

By the time we hit our target buoy the fog had yet again moved on. At this point it was en route to the Port and from there points unknown. Our last leg towards the pier was all smiles and sunshine. We stopped just short of the last buoy in an effort to not get too close to the pier for our swim back in through what was still pretty big surf. Niel swam in ahead of me and I took my time getting in to take a few pictures and see if I could catch a piece of one of these waves. That wasn’t to be however, without fins I just couldn’t get a hold of these big guys.

Niel with some sea birds cruising by in the background

Actually getting out of the water wasn’t so easy. The tide was in a good ways and the water was deeper than usual with a really uneven bottom. If you actually managed to put a foot down there was a bit of an undertow going back out to sea… not helpful. You had to do a little bit of an awkward swim/hop thing through the shallower water until you could break free onto the actual beach.

Post swim I rinsed off real quick and deck changed then ran back to work! But while I was in the office I decided to double up today and swim some more at the pool in the evening.

50m all to myself

I hit the pool at Kennedy in SLO around 7:30 to find it set up for SCM, a little unexpected but whatever. I started my warm up and my buddy James hopped in next to me, also unexpected but welcome… we haven’t swam together in a pretty long time! He hung with me through my SCM warm up and we caught up on life in general during the kick set. After that he had to help move the bulkhead back to LCM so the pool was essentially out of commission for about 15 minutes. I retired to the hot tub and talked with another swimmer who I hadn’t met in person yet but I have a lot of mutual friends with while the pool was in the midst of it’s long course metamorphosis.

Short Course Meters Warm Up
200 swim
200 kick
200 IM

5 x 100 kick @ :10 rest

15 minute hot tub break

Long Course Meters Main Set
100 swim/100 kick
200 swim/100 kick
300 swim/100 kick
400 swim/100 kick
500 swim/100 kick

100 easy

3200 meters total

Once we were back to 50m everyone on the deck and in the hot tub split leaving me with a full 50m pool all to myself! Excellent! It didn’t last the whole rest of the workout, but I probably got in 1500m before anyone else hopped in. I knocked out my main set and a short cool down and then split town. I figure 3200m on top of my rough water mile from lunch add up to a pretty decent day in the water!

I’m thinking I’ll be back in the pool in SLO tomorrow night as well and then I’m planning on hitting up an SUP Demo Day with Central Coast Stand Up Paddling in Morro Bay. If you’re in the neighborhood and want to check out some SUP’s this looks like a pretty rad excursion!

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