I think I managed to construct the best Friday afternoon ever today! I had a client schedule a swim late in the afternoon and I had to split the office around 2:30 to get out there. This was my second swim with Jen and she was coming off a good short race over the weekend. Today was about pushing our oceanic boundaries a bit on our way to getting her ready for a 2.4 miler.
She met me down on the beach and we got ready to go swim. The lifeguards in Avila recognize me and what I’m up to at a distance and one cut us off right before we hit the water. He wanted to know our route and make sure we knew about all the recent shark sightings before we got in. Always what you want to hear right before you get in, but high five to him for doing his job proactively. I let him know where we were going and that if things started to look dicey in the sea creature department we’d bring it back early.
Our route was a half triangle. We stopped at each turn to regroup and talk through the next leg. Jen is coming along really nicely and swimming really well. After we hit the tip of the pier the plan was to swim back to the first buoy where we started and then swim back to shore. Part way there I noticed something shiny in front of me. At first I though it was a paddle boarder or something then I looked harder… WHOOOOAH! I stopped Jen and lined up right in front of us were 4 big ass sea lions shoulder to shoulder with their heads up. We all stared at each other for what seemed like a minute waiting for someone to make a move. It was a little awkward to have a right of way problem with like 5,000 pounds of collective marine mammal. Ultimately our pinneped friends decided to just go under us which is always a spooky feeling since you can’t see them in Avila due to the murky water. After we collected ourselves a bit from such an odd run in we got back to business and probably swam a little faster than the pace we had been holding previous :p
Once we hit the buoy it was just a short swim back to shore through some smallish waves and some kids on boogie boards. About 1300m swam, a 400m increase from last week!
Once Jen was off and on her way I transitioned to phase two of my Friday afternoon… surfing! I had my new bodyboard down on the beach ready to go. I taped up my one chewed up foot, grabbed my fins, and walked down to the water. I looked for some semi open space where I could ride without hitting any kids or tourists. There were big lulls between sets, but there were good waves when they’d show up. Upside was that I could listen to live music drift down from town while waiting. I got in some decent rides and I am really starting to get a feel for the new board. It’s a lot slicker than the old one but a little shorter and not quite as buoyant.
Once I decided it was time to get out I surfed a wave all the way to the beach and then walked back up the beach to my stuff (there was a strong current pushing down towards the point and I had drifted a bit). On the way there an older couple complimented me on my surfing… yay old people think I rip! :p haha
Next order of business was food! Farmer’s Market was underway and I knew what I wanted. I got some indian food and a tri tip sandwich… yum. I ate back down on the beach in my chair and watched the waves a bit. The swells were picking up and I decided to go in for round two. Grabbed all my stuff and marched back out there. The current had died down and the waves were cleaner. I got in 4 or 5 really good rides and then went looking for my camera to snap a few in water pics… my pocket was inside out… uh oh. Apparently the ocean mugged me. At least it took a shitty camera and not one of my expensive ones. That’s a new record for me though… 2 day waterproof camera… damn. Just to add insult to injury, while walking out of the surf before taking my fins off I tripped and totally ate it. Haha. I landed on my side and this old Korean lady was looking right at me. I laughed, gave a victorious fist pump to let her know she could laugh too and then I worked on getting my fins off since I was on the ground now anyways. I guess the camera and the fall balance out my good day karma a bit :)
I’ll be back out in the ocean tomorrow for a 10:30am swim with one of our regular visitors from the Valley, and again for the usual Sunday swim. Bring on the weekend, I’m ready!