sure it's cold but it's really the best place in town to spend lunch!

I got in one last swim in Avila before my 10k Pier to Pier on Saturday and the ocean threw all kinds of excitement at us! When we got there it was a little breezy with not much motion in the water. Real small waves rolling in and not much texture on the water. It seemed like we were in for a really mellow swim.

nice and flat... for right now...

While we were walking in the water getting acclimated and ready to swim the swells started to get a little bigger…. hmmm… interesting. Niel got out first and I followed a little behind him. It was 54 today and the breeze really cut right through you. I was on fire at the buoy line and apparently I had turned a pretty awesome shade of pink, fun! By the time we got a ways past the end of the left side of the buoy line I was ok, but that first leg… whew!

getting in... that odd lump in my cap is my Garmin Forerunner 310xt on it's maiden oceanic voyage

We stopped to regroup midway between the end of the buoy line and the point. Originally we were going to aim for the Point but we ended up changing course. We could feel the incoming swells growing beneath us and some odd things were afoot. The reef buoy which is set out even further than the rest of the buoys had a wave starting to break there! I’ve never seen that. I guess a mix of the tide being waaaay out and big swells moving it made it possible. I was pretty ok with not going any further in that direction… we made moves for the pier instead.

negotiating the next stop on our route while a wave breaks on the reef buoy!

As we turned to swim for the top of the pier the wind really started to ratchet up. The chop picked up real fast and you could see the water moving quickly in the opposite direction of where we wanted to go. I figured that this was the best workout I could have gotten for an open ocean adventure. The chop was big enough that it made it challenging to get a breath at times without swallowing a little water and it made sighting a little harder too.

At the top of the pier we hung in the water for a while. A lot of today was just about being cold for me. I need to spend about 3 hours submerged on Saturday in what I’m guessing will be 53-55 degree waters and my cold water tolerance really needs to be “on” to handle it appropriately. While we were floating out there we decided to double back on our route. It was something different that we don’t usually do.

a curious seal out on patrol

I thought the swells and chop would push us a bit but we weren’t quite going at the right angle. If things are still moving this way on Saturday I think it will be beneficial though, the route to Pismo was more in line with the wind today. Once we had made it all the way back to where we started along the middle of the pier we spent a few more minutes just floating. While we were there I saw a seal head pop up about 10m away which was a big relief for me. I was convinced I saw something big swim under me out by the last buoy and just thought the cold was making me see things… apparently it really happened, phew!

post swim stats

On today’s swim I brought my new Garmin Forerunner 310xt to track the swim. I used some velcro straps to hold it to my goggle straps and then put my cap over the top to hold it all together. The timing isn’t really right on because it includes splashing around in the breakers while I got acclimated, but the map looks to be pretty accurate. It measured it out at 1.09 miles which sounds right on to me.

I may get in one more ocean swim tomorrow we’ll see… but in other big news… my buddy Chris from is going to be in the support boat!

We’re going to try and do some livestreaming from the ocean, not sure if it’ll be possible based on the signal he can get from out there but he’s going to give it a shot. It will be highly experimental but I figure the worst case scenario is that we should have some awesome footage of the swim down the Central Coast! Either way it’s a win!

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