Wednesday night swims are back and so am I! I was extremely apprehensive about swimming tonight which was made up of a mix of my general health, the rain we got last night, and my questionable fitness from a lot of downtime. Once I dove through my first wave and let the cold salt water sink in I felt right and like my old self again. Ahhh.
I hit the beach a little after 5 and met Niel who was fresh back from taking the temperature from the pier. He pulled 54 which is the warmest we’ve seen since November! Great news! Until we swam out to the end of the pier, that number would have been a little smaller if we had something to measure it with. I’m guessing 52? After we chatted on the sidewalk for a while John came to join us and the three of us made up this year’s inaugural Wednesday night swim of 2012. While the guys were still getting into their wetsuits I went down to the water to start my slow process of getting in the water. I was about waist deep by the time they got there. The same time they showed up a big set of waves did too. We were pretty stuck for a while as they crashed out in front of us. John pushed a little further ahead than Niel and I and ended up having to do a lot of serious duck diving. When things mellowed out for a moment Niel and I took off. Although nothing else broke in front of us we scaled some pretty big swells most of the way down the pier.
We took a quick pause mid pier to make sure everyone was still on board and then we swam down to the tip of the pier. It took a little bit for me to find my rhythm again after being out of the ocean so long. Swell, chop, etc are all dear friends of mine but I didn’t quite have my bearings that first 500m. Once we lost a couple degrees of water temp I think my body clicked back into open water mode and figured things out. We took another pause at the tip of the pier to decide where to go next (the point side buoy) and we took off in that direction. I swam a lot stronger on this leg and started having a lot of fun. It felt extremely good to be back doing what I love to do.
On the way to the buoy we had to mainly navigate off of the cliffs since the swells were too big to actually see the buoy. You’d catch a glimmer of it occasionally but for the most part it was in hiding. We all took slightly different lines. Niel arced out to my right, John took and inside line and I cruised through the middle. I got there just a couple seconds ahead of the guys and while waiting noticed we had a pretty decent current running towards the point. I probably drifted 3-4m in very short time before I started stroking back towards the buoy. Looking in towards the beach it looked like there was a rip current straight in front of us that was dispersing maybe 6-7m away so maybe that where some of that movement was coming from.
From the end of the buoy line we set our sights on the other end of it. We had a lot of swell moving across us and John and I were tossed into each other a few times. At the last buoy we made the turn towards the beach but were very careful about our approach of the beach. It was the kind of day where it’s much harder to get out than in and the waves were breaking in a way that bodysurfing just wasn’t going to end well. We swam half way in and waited for a lull. John pulled ahead after a little bit while Niel and I hung back waiting for something although I don’t think we were sure what it was we were waiting for. Well…. sure enough right as I was about to just swim the rest of the way in a monster started building on the horizon… shit… no time to swim away from it. Niel and I sprinted AWAY from the beach to avoid being caught inside. I sneaked through the face of the wave just before it broke, phew! No time to rest though because one more was en route. A few more frenzied strokes and through the face of another wave. All smiles from me. John was too far in and got to practice his duck diving a little more. Once those big waves finished raining down we had our lull and Niel and I swam real quick for the beach.
All told we swam maybe a mile tops, but the distance wasn’t really the issue I just needed to swim and this was perfect! Cold water, texture, swells, surf, and a couple buddies… exactly what I needed to get back in the game. I can’t wait for our next swim. We’re hoping it’s Sunday but the weather might foul it up, we’ll see how it goes.