Spring is a funny thing. The beaches heat up, the weather gets more beautiful than usual, and… the ocean temperatures bottom out… surprise! By the time I left the beach around 12:30 I couldn’t stand barefoot on the sand because it was so hot, but the water was probably 52 in the warm spots and we found plenty of much colder water as we toured the space between the piers.

I got to the beach around 9:30 and spent some time just messing around in the surf with my boogie board. There wasn’t much going on in the wave department so I’ll chalk this one up to cold water tolerance training. How much low 50′s water can you handle while just floating around waiting for something to happen? The nearest buoy was at 50 even and it was probably 52ish down by the beach.¬†On the way into the water I watched a dude in head to toe neoprene struggling to figure out how surfboards work. In talking to him a little bit late I found out that he was from Arizona hence all the rubber. He was giving it a pretty good go, but I think someone set him up for failure… the board looked more like it was borrowed than rented and it was maybe 6 feet long, not so good for learning on. Watching it fly out from under him a few times I decided to move further down the beach so as to not have an unpleasant run in with the pointy part of his board.

I caught a few waves but mainly just hung out watching other people also not catch much. Eventually I decided to bring it back and sit out in the sun for a while before it was time to swim. Sylvia joined me soon after and after a little while Duke came out too. Duke and I decided to swim out to the Poly Pier and Sylvia said she was just going to do her own thing.

Getting back in the water after roasting on the beach a while sort of sucked. The change in temperature from one to the other was pretty dramatic! We hung out about chest deep for a while so that everybody could get acclimated and then Duke and I set out for the end of the pier. Since it was just the two of us we skipped the buoy line stop and swam straight to the tip. On the way down I paced along with a family walking the length of the pier. Somehow we were all going the same speed so I made sure to keep level with them the whole way down.

From here our target was the Middle of the Poly Pier, it’s a nice long stretch where you can really fall into a rhythm and just swim for a while. We always aim for a certain cross brace in the pier, but today our aim was a little off. I think a mix of a fairly strong offshore breeze and the outgoing tide turned into a current that kept pushing us off course. Once we got to the pier we had to turn and swim about 15m parallel to it to get to our intended stopping point. I think we were both pretty comfortable at this point and we hung out for a minute talking, negotiating the next leg of the swim and taking in the view. While all this was going on a big “psssht!” came from what seemed like right behind me… scared the crap out of me! It was just one of our local pinneped friends who always hang out around there, but he really caught me off guard today. Another one popped up in front of us and we decided it was time to get a move on.

We were swimming into the current on this leg which is ok, but the really challenging part was the wild changes in temperature… all of which seemed to be in a downward direction! About half way to the Avila pier we hit a patch that was insanely cold… like a 4 degree drop out of nowhere. Duke called it 48 degrees and I don’t think I would argue with him!

We finished up by swimming under the pier and then back in to where we started. The water was back to normal on the other side of the pier… it’s weird how that works some times.

Post swim we hung out on the beach for a while. I stayed until the sun got to be too much for me… it was hot in Avila today! I wrapped up my day with a trip to Pismo for dinner and to see the sun come down. It was a beautiful weekend here on the Central Coast, hopefully we’re done with the rainy season and this weather holds for a while!

2 Responses to “Burning Hot Sand and Heart Stoppingly Cold Water”

  1. Gords says:

    Having a seal pop out of the water next to me would probably give me a heart attack. Are they mostly curious, or any of them aggressive? I love your art. How long does it take you to put one together? Very entertaining.

  2. Rob D says:

    they’re kind of like big curious dogs… they get close enough to get a good look at us but not like reach out and touch somebody close… I’ve heard about people getting bit by sea lions around San Francisco but I’ve never heard of anything like that happening around here.

    The MS Paint drawing generally take me just a few minutes, maybe 10 tops… on days where I step it up and go photoshop style I can lose a whole hour pretty easily without noticing.