Oh how I missed waterproof cameras! So my Pentax went off to warrantyland a pretty long time ago and is yet to return… not cool. In the meantime I broke down and decided to purchase yet another waterproof camera (I think this is number 5), but this time I went the super cheap route. I got a bare bones camera from photojojo.com for $35 plus tax and shipping. So far it works but it’s not a great camera, definitely got what I paid for. The photos are disposable or cell phone camera quality and when wet but above water you get some pretty crazy shots from the water beading on the “lens.” Mix these crazy pics with some Instagram magic on my iPhone and you end up with some pretty interesting stuff! Anyways… this is a swim blog right? Maybe we should talk about that :p

This afternoon I went to a new pool in Santa Maria that my friends have been using as a PNAC refugee camp. A veritable child free oasis of crystal clear water and no crowds on the east edge of town. The pool is pretty nice. They kinda skip putting lane lines in it and there’s no backstroke flags, but there was hardly anyone there and did I mention no kids? Ahhhh lap swimmer heaven.

Finding Pioneer High School wasn’t so hard but it took some doing for me to find the actual pool. I wandered the campus for about 10 minutes before I figured it out. I saw Duke on deck and there was only one other guy there. We got suited up and started on a short taper workout since he’s doing a tri in town this weekend.

Part way through Chad joined us and a little while later Kelly showed up too. We didn’t really get much done in the yardage department, but it felt good to swim a bit and see my pool friends that I haven’t seen so often the last month or so.

My original Thursday night plan involved a little kayaking at Avila Beach, but a FedEx delivery changed all that! My new bodyboard showed up and I totally had to go get it wet and check it out! I ordered a Empire Botha PE Contour board earlier this week with all the bells and whistles on it… I figured it was time to upgrade to a real board and see how that goes.

My test drive almost didn’t happen though. Around 4 my work computer basically exploded. I smelled burning plastic and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. While searching for the source a big crack and a pop came from my computer and my monitors went black… oh crap… I ended up staying an hour late while our support guy came out to see what happened and fix it. Luckily it was just a blown out power supply and he replaced it and got me all put back together and functional… phew! Now I really needed some beach time!

I ran over to Dani’s place to pick her up and I did some surgery on my board in her driveway to install a leash in it. I also duct taped my right foot since I keep putting holes in it. I guess some people do that to protect from additional rubbing so I figured why not? From there we went to Avila to see if we could find something surfable. It was pretty flat but there was an occasional wave of a moderate size to mess with, but nothing too exciting.

The real interesting thing going on was the mass of animals feeding around the pier again. I was a little uneasy about getting in, but there were so many dolphins in the mix that I decided to let it ride. They were all over the place. Most of the people on the beach that saw the dorsal fins flash above the surface were convinced they were seeing sharks. Hmmm… maybe that’s where all our “shark” sightings are coming from? There was another sighting this morning, this time of a little 6 footer. As a follow up the local news followed up with the source of yesterday’s false shark attack story… their response is available over here

After trying to surf a bit the bait ball action moved a little too close for comfort and a big gang of seals came out of nowhere and started swarming the ball. At this point I was pretty much done. No need to push it. I’ll be back at the beach on Friday afternoon for a swim lesson and I’ll probably just stay there for Farmer’s Market and some bonus time in the water :)

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