I knew I was in for a good time tonight when I could hear the wind blowing outside during the afternoon from inside my windowless office, and the ocean lived up to the hype. When I got to Avila Niel and John were there waiting for me along with a wind whipped sea that was a total textural mess. The guys were in sweatshirts and jackets, I was in shorts and a t-shirt… my internal thermostat has issues apparently :) It was good to see John out since he hasn’t been in town to swim with us for a pretty long time.
Down on the beach we all got ready to swim. I got ready too fast and paid for it by getting plenty of cold wind blown across my bare skin, whooo. Niel said that the water temp was down around 52, and the wind and water were moving so hard he could fell the pier shaking underneath his feet. Right before we set off some dude starting talking to us from the sidewalk over the railing. He was talking about sharks and cold water and all kinds of stuff like that. Doesn’t he know you don’t mention the “S” word right before people are going to get into the ocean? Total party foul.
In terms of route we decided to swim “uphill” into the chop towards the phantom creek buoy then swim to the top of the pier and back in. Getting in was pretty exciting… the mix of wind and cold water were pretty potent. A lot of very small but powerful words came out of my mouth as I worked on getting acclimated. I kept wading further and further out but really didn’t want to take the total plunge. To punish me the offshore winds were pelting me with the frosty water off the tops of tiny waves crashing behind me… not fair.
Eventually John and Niel got to swimming and once they’d taken a few strokes I took chase. I wasn’t going to leave them hanging in this stuff. We all met up at the 1 and only buoy on the port side of the pier and very quickly set a course for a buoy that doesn’t exist. Niel took the lead and I hung back a bit to keep an eye on John. He was doing just fine, but it was a really brutal day to swim even if you’re a regular. The peaks of the chop were really close together and it was hard to find good spots to breathe in all that mess. I got a few small drinks on the way.
Once we decided that we were at where a buoy might be we stopped, made sure everybody still wanted to swim to the top of the pier and then got to it. This leg was sort of parallel to the chop blowing in. The chop was growing into legit waves and you really had to pay attention when breathing to make sure that one wasn’t about to land on your face. At the tip of the pier we took our longest break and got tossed all over the place. It was a really weird feeling. The waves were coming from an awkward direction and there was at least a foot worth of chop everywhere you turned your head.
We finished by swimming straight down the pier. The water was still rough out here, but the pier took some of the edge off. Our swim came out to a little less than 1500m and we spent maybe 30 minutes in the water between swimming and stopping. I think everyone passed on going to the showers and instead got into dry clothes asap to escape the bite of the wind. All in all a pretty awesomely difficult ocean swim tonight… I don’t need that everyday, but an occasional swim like that is a good character builder.
In other news… I was accidentally winning Go the Distance for a day or two this week… I kind clicked the wrong button on Sunday and ended up with a 1460 mile ocean swim as opposed to a 1460 meter swim. Heh, whoops… sorry about that everybody who takes GTD way more seriously than me. As much as I’d like to think I could do 60 miles per hour in water for 24 hours, I probably can’t although it’d be pretty sweet to knock out 100m every 3-4 seconds.
we wrap up every swim with a water ski stunt and dolphin show, but you knew that right?