After referring to 60 degree water as hot on Facebook it was recommended by a friend that I reevaluate my statement, but when the underlying water barely 50 degrees 60 feels pretty damn hot! I met Niel at the top of the stairs and he informed me that he measured 60 degrees at mid-pier… I was pretty skeptical… I mean the first couple days of the month the nearest buoy never cracked 50! I was expecting it to be a little warmer because it had been a really hot day, like 90 degrees hot, and the ocean temps had risen to about 54… 60 though? C’mon.
While we walked down to the water I was still doubting, but once we got a few steps deep I started to change my mind a bit. Thing was there was a lot of warm water out there! But only on the surface… what lay below was still very cold. We spent a while in the surf chatting and enjoying the reasonably temperate water before setting our actual swim in motion. The plan was to swim to the tip of the pier, out to the Point, back to the buoy line and then in… probably a mile and quarter… I’d have a more solid number most days but I forgot my GPS on the charger at home.
The swim down the pier was nice and calm and comfortable. There was a ripple on the surface but nothing meaningful or difficult to swim through. While regrouping at the end of the pier we picked out a spot on the point to shoot for and got to work. Niel stayed about a meter in front of me most of the way out there, it’s about 700m, and I learned very quickly to avoid drafting today! Although sneaking a little draft is good from a swimming perspective it was an awful idea today from a water temperature perspective. It was warm up top, but following in someone’s wake came with the added bonus of some really cold water being stirred up right in front of you. I did my best to stay to one side or the other of him, but every once and a while we crossed each others line and whoooo…. frosty! I laugh when I’m really cold, I giggled a little en route to the point :)
We spent a while out there at the point talking and looking around. I haven’t been to the point in a while. Treading water was pretty exciting… my feet were not appreciative of it. At this point the buoys were largely lost in the glare of the setting sun. I managed to spot the reef buoy which set a boundary to our left, but couldn’t really see the other two. We just decided to shoot for one of the hotels up on the hill although even that was hard to see in the glare. Ultimately I just went of of gut feeling and luckily it led me along the right line.
The swim back had a series of cold water upwellings that really caught your attention. Even Niel noticed them in his wetsuit. The only nice thing about these cold spots was that it made the warm spots feel even warmer. There were a few times where I started to think about how hot I was in the water, my internal thermostat is obviously hopelessly broken :)
Once we got back to the pier we took a good long rest with little purpose beyond extending our time in the water. Eventually we swam it in and I stopped part way in to find a wave to bodysurf… a great one showed up right on cue! I rode most of the way back to the beach and when I stood back up I heard Dani’s voice behind me yelling about Boogie Wednesday! It was so hot today she skipped her bike ride and took her board to the beach instead, I’d bodysurfed right past her!
Since she was there in the surf and it was so nice out with warm water I decided to stay in and mess around in the waves for a while. Niel decided to play along as well… it was too good of a day to turn down a little bonus time in the water. We all surfed some waves and had a ton of fun. The waves were surprisingly decent given how smooth and flat things were further out. We kept surfing until we hit a big lull between sets. From there everyone hit the beach, dried off and eventually went home.
I still need to confirm but I think I’ll be back in open water tomorrow, but it may be of the freshwater variety… we’ll see.