Last night Niel and I made our first foray to the other side of the Poly Pier and to Olde Port Beach. I had a networking group meeting thing going on at Olde Port Beach and decided to make an unnecessarily dramatic entrance :) I floated the idea out to some of the other guys last week and Niel decided that he was in.
We met up over by Olde Port Beach and got ready. We planned to leave his car there and then drive my truck over to Avila. While getting ourselves put together we watched the water a bit and there was a fair amount of birds feeding a little way out of our intended path. It was enough to make me feel a little uneasy but not enough for us to pull the plug on the swim. Since we were going a good distance away from anywhere we could easily get out and we’d be on the boat-ier side of the bay we both brought bright colored rescue cans to swim with on our journey. I had my yellow one and Niel had the official Avila Dolphins red can. Because of this I also put on a rashguard to minimize chaffing from the strap.
We got in the water on the left hand side of the Avila Pier and swam down to the tip of it. The water felt great, probably low 60′s, and the current was actually pushing towards the Port which was great because it’s usually the other way around in the evening!
We took a quick stop at the tip of the pier and reaffirmed that we were aiming for the usual cross braces on the Poly Pier that we would swim to if we were doing a there and back. Only problem was it was way to sunny to see anything down there… the glare was pretty amazing. I just shot for about where I figured it would be and used a saddle in the mountains to guide me. That worked out pretty well and we hit the pier within about 10m of our goal without being able to see it for the most part.
Up until this point neither of us had ever been to the other side of the pier. It’s been a weird unofficial border to our local open water adventuring. I was excited to go under the pier though to check that out. It’s really long and all metal. Very different from your typical wooden pier. And aesthetically it was just really interesting. We didn’t really swim under so much as allow ourselves to drift under in the current while looking around and shooting a few pictures.
Once on the other side we evaluated the bird situation and the route we wanted to take. The idea was to angle towards the beach and then swim parallel up it to where my group was having its bonfire. I stopped a couple times to get back in line with Niel so that we didn’t separate too much out there in this unexplored territory. Even in our line we had some birds diving here and there. I had a pelican take flight like 2m from my head which was pretty exciting! I started spotting seals too… they were following us to see what we were up to.
The glare was still really bad and I had a hard time seeing where we were. I figured it out when the swells started to really lift me up, and then shortly thereafter I stuck my hand right down into the sand. We swam a little too far into the shallows and had to move it over a bit to keep going. We swam another 50-75m until we hit the edge of a group of pelicans just floating around and then turned in towards the beach. A couple of my friends were there cameras in hand to greet us.
The swim added up to 2000m flat and was a pretty interesting route. Not sure I’d want to do it too often with the boats and birds (and mystery warm spot in line with a pipe on the beach, ewww), but I’m glad we went and checked it out. Plus doing a point to point swim is always interesting and fun. Niel and I walked back to his car and changed. Up there we met a guy who had been watching us swim and is a photographer/ad type of guy from New York looking at moving to the area. I let him know there was actually a creative and marketing networking group meeting down on the beach if he wanted to go meet some people and as a board member I anointed him an official member :) With a new member recruited I guess we can call the swim a recruiting success, haha! Afterwards Niel drove me back to Avila to get my truck and then I took myself back to Olde Port Beach for the rest of my beach party/meeting. A good time all the way around :) I might have to do this again next year!