Sunday was a fantastically swimmerly day for me. I had nowhere to be so I stayed underwater for most of it. I started off with a couple swims in Avila Beach!
I got to the beach early, as has become my custom, and figured if Sylvia and Yvonne went out for an early swim today like they have been the last couple weeks that I would tag along. There’s a big mismatch in speed between me and them, but I don’t mind slowing it down or stopping every once and a while to let everyone catch up. My internal heater is pretty good and I don’t freeze out if I stop and float for a while.
Before we got in I ran down and took the temp with my digital infrared thermometer thingie… I got 53′s and 54′s. It felt colder when we got in but that’s probably due to the wind. It was blowing pretty hard down by the water from right to left. It was building a pretty healthy chop on the right side of the pier, the left side was rolling too but not as hard.
I took my time getting in for this swim since I’d be pretty quick to catch them even if I let them get way out ahead. Once a couple waves big enough to not be avoided got me all the way wet I got to work and followed after the ladies. We stopped every once and a while to make sure everyone was still doing well and I took bonus picture breaks.
Out at the end of the pier things really opened up and the water was whipped up into a really healthy chop. Big, persistent and occasionally breaking even! Yvonne is still pretty new to ocean swimming and was wondering if this was as big a deal as she thought it was… Sylvia and I who both spend a lot of time at sea had to concede that the conditions were pretty rough today.
We all swam back down the other side of the pier in the much choppier water. It was fun to get tossed around a little bit. Once we got up to the breakers Sylvia and I looked for a wave to ride in. A big one broke right as we stopped and then…. nothing…. we had to wait a pretty long time for the next good one to roll through. Sylvia caught a wave at the beginning of the next set and then I grabbed the one after it and rode it so far in that I scraped myself up a little in the smaller rocks and coarser sand the low tide had exposed.
Back on the beach I dried off and threw on a sweater while waiting for the regular 11 o’clock swim. Niel was there along with Susan from the Valley and Ryan who we haven’t seen since Wednesday night swims stopped back in fall. We talked routes a bit and decided to do the same swim as last Wednesday of out to the tip of the pier, over to the point and back. This makes for a reasonably long swim and kept us away from the really nasty chop on the other side of the pier.
I got a little cold on the way back into the water, I probably should have never even gotten out. But once I started to swim again I was fine. The swim to the end of the pier was pretty uneventful. We were protected from most of the wind and chop by the pier. Things were rolling a little at the end of the pier when we got there but not as bad as the last time I was there. You could tell that it wouldn’t take much to put it over the edge though.
We took aim for Fossil Point and the 4 of us spread out a bit across the distance to get there. On this leg we largely had the wind to our backs and it increased over time. The chop was getting bigger again, but at least for right now it was giving us a push… I was already doing the geometry in my head and could tell the swim home would be pretty rough!
Niel swam pretty close to the point for our regrouping point. We hung out and looked around and took pictures while waiting for everyone to get there. Although the conditions weren’t ideal it was definitely aesthetically beautiful.
The final leg was pretty ridiculous. The chop was going the exact wrong direction and it was burly. Niel and I both pulled way further ahead of our other two swimmers on this leg that we had on the others. The upside to doing this all the time is it’s not as big a deal to swim through when you’re used to it. It’s still a while bunch of work, but it doesn’t stress you out. Niel and I stopped at the edge of the buoy line to let Susan and Ryan catch up and then got back to swimming as soon as they pulled even. We cruised the rest of the way to the pier and that last 100m or so started to mellow out thanks to the influence and protection of the pier.
All told I got in about 3300m in between 2 ocean swims. Pretty good start to the day if you ask me! I was pretty stoked on it. I hung out on the beach until about 1 and then had to figure out what to do with the rest of the day.
I decided that I wasn’t done swimming yet and drove to Kennedy in SLO to knock out another couple kilometers of watery goodness. Nothing major, I just wanted to keep moving. I swam about 2000m, maybe a little more… I’m bad at counting. I got a lane to myself which was good, and I got to talk with Pete K. a little bit since he was just one lane over. I usually see him on the beach not the pool so it took me a minute to realize that’s who the guy in that lane was! I finished up with some quality time in the hot tub and then returned to the normal terrestrial world for the rest of the day.
Tomorrow I should be in the ocean for some Boogie Monday action and then Tuesday I’ll be in Santa Cruz for a night swim… pretty excited about that!