I had a really good ocean swim today. The weather was beautiful, the water was pretty nice, and we had a couple new swimmers come out and get wet. One of them had found out about the local open water group through the SwimAvila facebook page and got in contact with me through that, and we set up a swim online. I’m always stoked to have new people come out and swim so this was a lot of fun for me!

I got to the beach early and hung out a little observing the odd mix of people out this morning. The beach is like a dog park before 10am (no dogs are allowed after 10am) and there was some shirtless older dude doing a mix of like karate and tai chi at the water’s edge. I ran into Pete K. (who swam Catalina in the 90′s) while I was taking the water temp and we talked cold water swimming for a while.

Around 10 I saw 3 girls walking around, 2 with wetsuits, and figured they were my swimmers… luckily my assumptions were correct! I showed them over to our usual meet up spot and described the route of the day and a little bit about how we do stuff around here. Natalie and Jen joined me in the water, their friend stayed on the beach.

The plan was to just swim the triangle so they’d get the full tour and be able to see all the points and piers and buoys and stuff and get their bearings for the bay. Normally I’m the last one to get all the way wet, but since I was the one that knew where we were going it was kinda on me to get this party started. Luckily a couple of waves rolled through that were just big enough to not be avoided, they got me over the shock on the cold and set me in motion. I dove in, dolphin kicked underwater for a bit and then swam out to the buoy line. The girls followed along and when we stopped to regroup it was all smiles.

Next stop was the end of the buoy line. I pointed out where we were going and an alternative point for spotting if they lost the buoy in the glare. I swam on the inside of the buoys and they swam along the outsides in a spot where I could see them while breathing. At the end of the line Jen decided she wasn’t quite ready to swim around the pier yet and turned back towards the beach.

The swim out to the pier was great, I felt pretty smooth and the water was really still. Natalie followed right along with me and we hit the pier at about the same time. I think she’s about my speed, probably a touch faster actually, and was just avoiding passing me since I was the one who knew where he was going :) Out at the pier we hung out a little bit and I pointed out some of the routes we take sometimes… the poly pier, fossil point, and the phantom creek buoy. Since saying “aim for where the creek buoy used to be” wouldn’t be so helpful, we aimed for the new end of the buoy line and swam on down.

After a brief break at the buoy we swam back to the pier and turned in towards the beach. Natalie was super stoked on the swim so hopefully she’ll become a regular out here!

Now that I got my ocean swim in, and it did make me feel a lot better after being kinda sick all week, I have to temporarily turn my attentions to the pool. I’m leaving town way too early tomorrow morning to swim the CalTech Pentathlon. It’ll be fun, I just hate mornings… at least Mike is driving and not me, that’s a major quality of life boost right there. Anyways, if you’re out in Pasadena keep an eye out for me!

2 Responses to “Saturday Ocean Swim with New Swimmers!”

  1. brendan says:

    Rob, One of these months I want to be one of your visiting new swimmers. My daughter attends Cal Poly and I’d like to combine a visit with a swim. I need to get faster. I swam a mile or a mile and a quarter this past Saturday from Oceanside Harbor to the Oceanside Pier (around the end of the Pier and then in to the sand). I did it without my fins and webbed gloves to improve. I’m training for you, man. I’m so slow that I’ll need to wear fins up at Avila to try to keep pace with you.

  2. Rob D says:

    Whenever you’re in town let me know and we’ll figure something out! And don’t worry too much in the speed department, we do a lot of regrouping and I don’t get cold if I have to wait a little bit :)