It’s been pretty obnoxiously beautiful here this weekend so I lived it up as much as I could today so all my snowbound friends could live vicariously through me :) I started my day off with a trip to the beach…
I hit Avila around 10 which is an hour early for swimming, but I wanted to take a little while just to hang out in the sunshine. It’s good I showed up early because Avila was the place to be today! Parking was already hard to come by. Eventually I was joined by 4 other swimmers and we all enjoyed the heat on the beach while we contemplated what the water would be holding for us. Everyone anticipated the worst in the temperature department… 52 seemed pretty possible… amazingly Niel came up with 55 degrees on his thermometer, sweet!
At 11 we marched into the ocean and all proceeded to disagree with his thermometer! It was warmer than last weekend, but not 55… I’d give it 54 in the warm spots at best, probably 53 everywhere else. There wasn’t much time for acclimating today because the surf was pretty respectable. Big clean waves were breaking right on top of us and we got a little bit of the washing machine action on the way out. I had my GPS on under my cap so I was very careful diving under waves and kept a hand on my head just in case, I didn’t want to lose my fun new (expensive) gadget to the sea!
We swam out to the buoy line, stopped to make sure everyone made it out of the surf and then swam for the end of the pier. I haven’t been swimming as much as I’d like to recently, but this felt pretty good despite missing a big pile of pool workouts. I swam just behind Niel and I had Lynne just off to the side of me. We cruised out to the tip of the pier and then hung out to wait for the others.
While waiting at the tip of the pier we also drifted… a lot… the wind was blowing offshore and pushing us out to sea slowly but surely. You can see it in my GPS map of the swim if you look at the line you can see where we switch from swimming to floating.
Once we had all 5 of us we renegotiated the swim. Originally there was some talk of swimming to the Poly Pier and then back to the buoy line, but instead we aimed for the creek buoy which was getting progressively further away!
Niel, Lynne and myself broke off into our own group again with Kim and Sylvia swimming together behind us. I got into a really good rhythm and felt very glide-y out there. We were swimming right into the wind driven current but cutting right though it, it felt good.
Once we hit the creek buoy we started to scan the water for our other swimmers. It was hard to find them with the glare of the sun and the big swells rolling in. There were some pretty formidable rollers out there today, you had to wait to be up on top of one to really see anything. Slowly we picked out one swimmer aimed right for us, but then there was another way out making a line more towards the pier. We figured one of the ladies got off course and Niel swam down the rogue swimmer… turns out it was Pete! He was late and had chased us down from the other side of the pier but guessed wrong on where we were going. It was funny, normally you worry about losing track of a swimmer, instead we gained an extra one!
Once we had all 6 instead of 5 of us gathered at the buoy we decided to swim back to the pier and then swim it in. We didn’t want to swim under it because there was too much movement in the water, plus I really had no desire to get tossed bare chested into a pier piling covered in muscles and barnacles!
On the way in I kept on the lookout for a decent wave to ride in. Since I didn’t have fins on it needed to be just right. I let 2 slip by that I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch and then a 3rd came and I could tell it was a winner at a distance. I waited for it and could feel myself start to get pulled back into it… good… but I was starting to worry that I was too high up on it. The fun part about bodysurfing though is at a certain point it doesn’t matter what you think, the ocean has already picked you up and you just have to roll with it. I was pitched forward a little but got a healthy ride out of it… I skipped across the whitewater as opposed to face first underneath it in the sand so I’ll call that one a win :)
After my swim I hung out for a little bit soaking in the sun but then it was off to Morro Bay to get in some Stand Up Paddleboard action! I met my friend Dani up there and we hit up my buddies over at Central Coast Standup to get some boards. Matt set us up with some gear and we headed down to same beach I went to for the demo day in December to get ready. The wind was blowing into the bay but the tide was due to be pushing out of the bay so the plan was to paddle with the wind in and with the tide out. Since the last time Dani and I paddled together it ended in small craft advisories and free boat rides we listened very carefully to Matt’s plan for us. We were out for a nice fun leisurely paddle, not a full on oceanic disaster adventure today :)
It was beautiful out in Morro Bay today, tons of sunshine and cool stuff to look at. We hung to the inside edge of the bay making faces at tourists above in the shops and restaurants. It was funny, we were little aquatic celebrities today :) People were pointing and waving and smiling at us trying to figure out what we were doing. Totally amusing for us, but a lot of pressure not to fall over! Haha
After about a half an hour we turned it around and started to paddle for the beach we launched from. Right away you could feel the return leg was going to be a little harder but nothing crazy. We were paddling into the wind and in theory the water below us was supposed to be moving with us but I never felt it. Maybe we were a little early for the low tide… I’m not sure. On the way back we saw a few other SUPers which was cool. We also saw a huge ass sea lion with the biggest deepest bark I’ve heard before! He was a beast!
As we rounded the last set of piers on the way into the beach I picked out a spot to glide in and step off in. I’d landed a bunch of different boards here before so I was feeling pretty confident that I could do this in a pretty suave manner. Turns out, not quite… whoops. I totally ate it. I saw what looked like a foot of water that once I stepped into it turned into about 4… at least there were about 8 people on the beach to see it. A little embarrassing but funny.
All told a pretty awesome day… the sun’s been down for 3 hours and I can still feel it on my skin. I feel good and my personal solar powered battery feels recharged. If my days could go like this everyday I wouldn’t complain!