I hit the beach early Wednesday morning to run a swim lesson and was greeted by an old friend… June Gloom. Summer time on the coast involves a lot of foggy overcastedness this time of year, I guess I’ll take it as long as it’s not raining! Besides being overly gray, everything else was looking good. The water was really glassy but there were some bigger waves rolling through do to a pretty decent south swell. Although conditions past the breakers were flat, there was a sneaky current running at an angle across the beach. I measured 52 degrees with my digital thermometer, and my human thermometer would tend to agree with that assessment.
Since I was there early I walked the beach a little and saw some cool stuff. On the other side of the pier there were what I think were actual vultures eating something on the sand. They were pretty big, with black feathers and ugly featherless red heads. I kept my distance. My other ornithological discovery was what I’m told is a Great Blue Heron, or Garza Morena in spanish according to my friend Juliet on Facebook. You learn something everyday here folks :p The tide was out so I went and poked around the pier pilings a little bit too to see the anemones and anything else that might be temporarily above water.
Right around 9 I met Kurtis up on the sidewalk and we caught up a little bit from our last swim on the way down to the beach. I told him what I had in mind for today’s swim and we worked on getting in the water. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to hop around and acclimate since the waves were definitely of a healthy size. We swam out to the buoys on the left hand side of the pier and used them as our lap pool for the day. The focus was on taking what we learned last time around and applying it for longer stretches of swimming. He’s great to work with and coming along really well. Next week we go around the pier!
After floating around in 52 degree water for an hour it was time to get back to work. Spending the rest of the day in the office was made much easier by having the knowledge that I’d get to go back to the ocean after work :) By 5:30 I was back on the sand for our regular Wednesday night swim. By this time all the gloominess had burnt off and things had gotten a lot windier. There were a bunch of kites up in the air taking advantage of that… including one shaped like a shark! Ahhh air shark!
It was Niel, Ryan and I swimming last night and Niel set the course. The plan was to swim down the pier, hang a right and swim headfirst into the chop for a while then ride it back home. Getting in for the second time in one day took some doing for me. My body was on overheat mode most of the afternoon and the reapplication of cold water was a bit of a shock! After plenty of cursing, clapping, nervous laughing and jumping around I dove through a wave…. yeeaaarrrrggggh! I acclimated really quickly after that, but the first submersion… yikes!
We cruised down the pier and I saw a family watching our movements intently. I guess bipedal marine mammals are kinda interesting when there’s nothing else out on the water :) At the tip of the pier we regrouped and I saw a couple camera flashes and one of the kids asked us some questions. We negotiated the second leg of the swim and decided to aim for the creek. The water was so rough on this side of the pier that swimming to the Cal Poly Pier seemed to be a pretty bad idea.
This leg of the swim was in the exact wrong direction for the chop. It was a burly stretch of swimming. As we neared the phantom buoy line we also had to keep an eye out for canoes. They did a good job of going around Ryan and I, but I guess one of them got a little too close for comfort to Niel who was out front leading our little pod of swimmers.
We wrapped up the swim with a shot back down the phantom buoy line and under the pier. Swimming under the pier felt a little dicey with a strong swell and wind chop/current in full effect but we all made it through just fine and swam it back in to the breakers. I waited around for a wave to bodysurf in… and waited… and waited… and finally pay dirt! I got a good one and squeezed a really good ride out of it!
Tonight I’m off to the lake with some friends that want to kayak in my kayak together. There is a small price to pay for this however… I get to swim :) I don’t know where we’re going to go in the water, but it’ll be nice to get one last swim in before I split for SLC super early on Friday morning!