It just seems appropriate that my 1000th post would encompass a perfect day of Open Water action. I got to hang out at the beach with my friends, nap a little, swim a little, take a bunch of pictures, and even watch a few dolphins patrol the water after our swim. Not too shabby :)

I was a little concerned with today’s swim prospects due to the small amounts of rain that fell over the weekend… I wasn’t sure if it was enough to be a problem or not. The good news was that the weather at the beach this morning was outstanding! Warm and reasonably still on the sand but there was a wind building up over the water. I walked down to the end of the pier to check things out. The swell was up and we had way more people out trying to surf and bodyboard than you’d usually see in Avila Beach. I didn’t really see any kind of dirty disturbance in the water, it wasn’t brown or mucky looking… not that that means anything… but I convinced myself it would be good enough. I went back to the beach and set all my stuff up and laid out for a bit and snoozed a little. Eventually Niel, Sylvia, Ed, and Duke came out but only Duke, Ed, and myself ended up swimming.

I don’t know what time we finally got in the water but I think it was late. I don’t wear a watch but Ed asked a few times if we were going to get in which leads me to believe Duke and I were running way late and were blissfully unaware of such problems :) Just to make myself later I ran to the truck real quick to grab a Frankenfish part that I had forgotten and then ran back down and got my rig set up. I was worried about the swell busting Frankenfish in half. The big sets were really big today. I know that last week I said what I ran into in Monterey was the roughest water I would take it out in, well maybe today’s conditions are the worst I’ll take Frankenfish out in… I waded out and kept him on top of my head through the surf that I was taller then but eventually I had to do some duck diving, luckily that worked and we came out unscathed!

The plan for today’s swim was to do half a triangle on the Fossil Point side to stay away from the creek which might be depositing some less than healthy water into the ocean. We swam out to the buoy line with Ed out front and Duke and I in the rear. He hung with me that first 100m to make sure me and all my accoutrements were successfully making our way through the water. At the buoy we stopped real briefly and then swam for the end of the buoy line. Before getting in we had considered swimming all the way to the point but the surf was firing down there and it didn’t seem like a good idea.

The swim out was pretty choppy and the direction we were turning next probably wasn’t going to get any better. We swam face first into the swell and chop on our way to the pier. Normally not a big deal but when towing a weighted and finned board it gets a little more challenging! We let Ed get a bit of a head start for the pier and then Duke and I took off. He swung a little wide to the left, I kept pretty straight and Ed swam a little too far inside. When we got close to the pier I made sure he could see me and pointed him out past the tip to where Duke was.

There were some thoughts of possibly doubling up on the route, but once we took a quick break we decided we’d just be swimming it in today. We went via the first buoy in order to avoid the fishermen on the pier and the surfers in the water. On this leg the water was pushing from behind us and in turn pushing Frankenfish way up in my business. I hit it with my feet quite a bit and even tagged the fins a few times. It didn’t impede my progress but it was a little irritating.

At the buoy line we regrouped and then swam for the beach. With the surf pumping I had to be really cognizant of the potential doom that awaited me if I ended up on the wrong side of a wave without Frankenfish under control. Duke was watching out too… possibly in more of a Nascar fan type of way though, waiting for an accident, haha :) Once I hit the outer edge of the breakers I pulled the board around front and used it as a kick board. I waited out a few big waves and then hustled in during a smaller set. Made it out unscathed, hooray :)

It wasn’t a super long swim but it felt good and I had fun. I stayed on the beach chatting with Niel for another hour before finally going home. From what I understand the weather is supposed to turn this week so it looks like I’ll be getting more pool time for a while… good thing I decided to chance it today!

Avila Swim Feb 12th 2012 from Rob Dumouchel on Vimeo.

5 Responses to “For Rob Aquatics’ 1000th Post… a Choppy and Bouncy Sunday Swim!”

  1. Niel says:

    Rob – The new camera is really cool. The video is fun. I think you could name it Big Gray. What yo need instead of the kick board is a tiny surfboard. Maybe a local shaper would whip one up for you in exchange for some ink.

  2. Rob D says:

    Thanks Niel! I was kind of thinking about finding a shaper that could make me a custom shape and glass in some camera mounts in various positions, could be interesting

  3. Saad says:

    This is truly awesome Rob! I would love to see a full footage of an OW race, might be boring for some :). How long does it take to drain the GoPro battery?

  4. Rob D says:

    I think I’d have to make my GoPro platform a little softer to avoid hurting someone with it in a race setting, but some races like the Chesapeake Bay swim would be super cool filmed in such a fashion! I’m yet to wear out a GoPro battery. The battery lasts longer than my current SD card… I’d guess you can get at least a couple hours of video or even longer if you’re running pictures.

  5. IronMike says:

    I can’t believe you still get to swim in the ocean.