Towards the end of my work day I ran outside to my truck to grab something and noticed it was windy… really windy… hmm… I started to translate that into water conditions in my head. I was thinking currents and white caps would be awaiting me at the beach. The drive out to Avila seemed to confirm that. I could see plenty of white caps breaking from the freeway. Once I got off the 101 and got closer and closer to the beach I slipped into Avila’s meteorological twilight zone. It was fantastic at the beach! A little bit of a breeze but not gusty, sunny, and the water was about as still and glassy as I’ve seen it in quite a while. Regardless of what the rest of the Central Coast is doing you can almost always count on Avila Beach to opt out and put on its own program :)
I met Niel on the beach and Ryan joined us shortly thereafter. After a little oceanic indecisiveness we decided to swim the classic triangle. Nothing fancy, just a nice swim on a nice evening.
Getting in was a little unpleasant. Niel measured about 55 but it felt pretty rough at the start. It wore off once I swam a couple hundred meters, but that first part never gets any easier! When the waves got up to an, um, reproductive level… I asked the question I always seem to ask about that time “why is it I think this is fun to do without a wetsuit again?” And yet I do it all the time, haha… oh boy… luckily I always seem to find the answer by the time I get back to the beach.
We swam straight out until we were inline with the buoy line. We took a brief pause to make sure everyone was still on board and then swam out to the end of the point side of the buoy line. We took a longer break down there to soak in just how nice the conditions were. The water was gorgeous and the visibility was pretty impressive. I could see the whole breakwater from the buoy, normally I can’t see it at all behind the swells and chop.
From there we cruised to the tip of the pier, paused, explained where the phantom creek buoy was to Ryan, and then got back under way. I took it kind of easy today. I’m going to hit it pretty hard aquatically tomorrow so I figured I could hold back a little today and just focus on what I’m doing. I’ve been crossing over a little bit on my left side and really need to get that under control.
We finished by swimming back down the phantom buoy line and under the pier. I really wanted to stop inside the pier to take pictures of all the starfish that were exposed at the moment. Big red, orange and purple ones were all just about the water line and were super cool to look at on our way through. I know that sharper pointier pier based life forms lie just below the surface though and didn’t want to risk a swell tossing me into a piling and cutting me all up while trying to be photographical.
I wrapped up my evening with some dinner at the Avila Grocery with Niel and when I left at 8 it was still pretty light outside. Maybe we need to do some longer swims after work :)
Tomorrow I have two swims planned! One in the pool and one in the lake… we’re trying to get the lake swim a little more populated, we’ll see if we’re victorious on that one this week or not. If you’re local and you want to do a lake swim Thursday evening let me know! I’ll give you the details.