Just me and Ryan at the beach today, and we had another cold one out at Avila after work. Niel was off at a meeting so we didn’t have a reading from the pier, but the nearest buoy was at 49 degrees! Whoo! At best the water was probably 51 in the warm spots.
When we met up on the beach it sounded like Ryan was down for a shorter mellow swim, and that’s all I needed today as well. We watched the water for a little while to see what was going on out there. It was pretty flat but there was a very obvious current running right to left angling towards the beach. Beyond that there were a lot of pelicans about and some were acting a little weird and just standing in the middle of the beach without purpose. Hopefully they’re happy and healthy because that’s not a behavior I see in them too often.
We decided to get in on the right side of the pier, swim down to the phantom creek buoy and then to the top of the pier. Depending on how we were feeling we’d either swim it in or pick a new point to float off too.
Getting in was exciting. Cold with some decent waves rolling through. When we were about waist deep Ryan looked at me with my lack of wetsuit and said ”I don’t know how you do it.” I replied, ”I don’t know why I do it” and then laughed like a crazy person because when I’m cold I laugh it out until I forget I’m supposed to be cold… I’m just trying to hang onto that giddy euphoria that comes with hypothermia without graduating to any of the other less fun stages of the condition :)
Once a decision maker rolled through and got me all the way wet we finally took off for the first buoy. We took a real short pause, confirmed what we were aiming for since there was no actual buoy where we were going, and then got back to swimming. I was a little uncomfortable at first but leveled out on our way there. I fell into a good rhythm and just tried to stretch it out.
Since I was out front I got to pick where the phantom buoy was. Once it looked like we were about even with the creek and the bridge I stopped and collected up Ryan. We floated there for a minute looking at the Hawaiian outriggers that were about the launch, and I saw a seal sneak past us as well. He made a little “ppsssst” and then dived right away again.
We swam to the top of the pier from here and on this leg you could feel the current a lot more. I had to swim at an odd angle to make sure I went where I meant to be going. I pulled up at the nearest corner of the pier instead of swimming to the other corner or somewhere in the middle because there were people fishing directly in the spots where we’d normal stop. Since they were right there and the current would be pushing their lines out towards where we’d be swimming we decided to swim back down the same side of the pier we came in on since no one was fishing there.
The leg back in was the roughest we had. The chop wasn’t big or anything, but the angle of attack made it a little more difficult than it should have been. We stopped for a second at the buoy line to make sure everyone was still there and then swam the rest of the way to the beach with a break to try and bodysurf some waves. I got one decent ride out of the deal. Ryan got washing machined on attempt number one but rode the next almost all the way back to the beach.
All told we spent about 25 minutes in the water and swam about 1200m. Not huge, but it’s good to just keep swimming a little bit while my body gets over the abuses of a 10 mile swim :)