I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my back and decided to pull back from swimming for a while to give it a chance to rest and repair. I hardly swam during most of September besides doing the La Jolla Rough Water and the Naples Island Swim. I’m still not really feeling better but I couldn’t sit still any longer so I made a much overdue return to the ocean tonight. It was foggy and miserable looking outside and there’s been a string of shark sightings recently (one was real good, a shark actually eating a seal in Cayucos!) so it was only me and Niel that were keen on getting in the water. Ryan dropped in just to hang out and chat but split before the goggles came out.

Since the fog was thick and seemed to be drifting in towards shore we decided to stick with a buoy line swim. As we walked down to the water’s edge, which was waaaay out with a really low tide, we spotted two guys fishing from the beach against the pier. Sort of a dick move to fish in the swimming touristy part of the beach if you ask me, but I guess they figured no one would actually get in. Niel and I decided to get in on the other side of the pier to avoid their lines. The actual getting in process was not fun. The water temp wasn’t that bad, but with zero sunshine it felt pretty cold. I took my time and walked out pretty far. The tide was so low you would walk to within about 10m or less of the buoy line. Eventually Niel took off and after another minute of avoiding it I finally tossed myself in. I felt way better in the water then just half in… probably should have tossed myself sooner!

We stopped for a second at the first buoy, made sure everyone was doing good and then swam out to the creek buoy. The swells weren’t breaking at the buoy line but we got a lot of motion out of them. I was definitely feeling my time out of the water but I was hanging with Niel so I must not have lost too much during my break.

At the last buoy we turned around to swim back towards the pier. The initial plan was to swim under and regroup there before we did the other half of the buoy line. There was someone that looked like they might be fishing on the right side of it so we aimed left and more toward shore. Before we got to the pier we both stopped and decided against swimming under it since the swell was rocking pretty hard right there and no one wanted to meet a pier piling the hard way. We opted instead to swim around the pier. We figured that’d be fine with the fog because we’d be able to see it all the way around even if we lost sight of the beach.

The swim out was tougher than anticipated. There was a lot of push back towards shore and some texture to it. I think it may have been the tide started to come back in from an extreme low. Niel swam on the inside of me and I arced a little further out in case anyone was fishing off the side of the pier. We didn’t hit any fisherman until we got to the tip of the pier though. A lady up there fishing was totally amused by us being out there and wanted to take pictures and video of us out there. She was especially shocked I was out there wetsuitless, little did she know the water was actually warm for around here. Niel measured 61, although there were definitely much colder patches out and about as we swam down the pier.

Assuming that the beach fishermen were still at it near the base of the pier we decided to aim for the first buoy on the point side of the pier and then swim back to the beach. Sighting on that was pretty hard with the fog. We stopped part way there to take goggles off and squint into the mist to try and find it. I spotted it and locked on. Niel lost it for a bit and wandered back towards the pier but corrected when he spotted me way off on his right side. We took a second at the buoy to regroup and then swam the short distance to the sand. There were some decent waves crashing but they were awkwardly paced. I tried to catch one in but it raced right past me.

Tomorrow I should be back to the pool for the first time in a while, and hopefully back on pattern in general for my usual workout schedule. I don’t have anything big planned for me personally until like December/January, but I do have a couple more Catalina Swims to crew for that I need to be in some kind of shape for!


Pismo on Tuesday night, I went just to soak and cool off from a really hot day

3 Responses to “Back to the Ocean After My Back Induced Hiatus”

  1. Katie says:

    Glad you’re back in the water. Are you ever scared of getting lost in that fog?

  2. Rob D says:

    not really… if it’s really really foggy we’ll skip the swim, but if it’s bad but not TOO bad we’ll go out and just stay close to things we can see and each other.

  3. Brendan says:

    That back thing is bad news. I have a terrible lumbar back, with disks that have somewhat lost their spacing. I waver between thinking that the swimming is helping with the back pain or exacerbating the back issue. I generally go with the idea that exercise must be good for injuries and degeneration of the back disks. Who knows?
    We have had a major red tide problem in Oceanside for a good two weeks and it continues unabated. How’s your water color up there?