It’s been a hot week here on the Central Coast which made Wednesday night’s swim extra nice. I got to the beach a little after 5 and I was starting to get a little sweaty by the time we made our way to the water. I felt bad for the other 3 guys in their wetsuits… up until the getting in the water part anyways. Niel measured 52 off the pier, which is “warm” for right now but as we’d find out later that number wasn’t totally consistent!
Our original plan was to swim to the Poly Pier and back since we haven’t been out there in quite a while. We got in on the west side of the pier and swam out to the buoy line. As per usual I took my sweet ass time and had a strong inclination to go back to the beach and lay down instead. I knew I’d have a good time once I finally got out there but dammit that first part is really not a good time! I set myself up in a spot where I’d get dumped on by a wave out of the next set and waited for my frosty doom to arrive. Sploosh…
I chased the guys down to the buoy, we regrouped for a moment and then made way to the end of the buoy line headlong into the setting sun. I couldn’t really see anything but you could make out the difference in the shine on a buoy as opposed to the light chop that was building and take aim for that. Along the way I adjusted the GoPro I had strapped to my wrist to see what kind of shots and angles I could get. I think some pretty cool stuff comes out of random pictures at a 2 second interval… you just have to find the 50 good ones hidden in the 900+ pictures you end up with!
Down at the creek buoy we negotiated the next leg of our journey. I wasn’t really feeling the original plan. There were some sailboats crisscrossing that path as well as a big flock of birds swirling above. I don’t mess around when it comes to big swirling masses of birds. We adjusted fire and set on a triangle swim instead.
The swim to the tip of the pier was pretty good. The movement in the water built up a little bit but wasn’t too much to handle. There was a light current too running west to east that I may have over adjusted for, I swung a little further out than I really meant to. Oh well.
We met up at the tip of the pier and reconfirmed that we were down for a triangle swim. A few strokes past the pier this deviation from our original plan was rewarded with a big drop in water temperature. At least 2-3 degrees gone just like that! It was a little startling when you first hit it. I wonder where that came from. My hypothesis is the heavy surf this spring pushed enough sand around on the ocean floor that it made a little upwelling ramp at the tip of the pier. Whhhooooo cold!
We swam out though the cold water to the point end of the buoy line. This time I think I underadjusted for the current because again I arced out too far, or at least further than I needed too. Luckily the temps normalized out there. As we regrouped at that buoy everyone took a moment to appreciate what a rad day it was to go swimming. I’m surprised we don’t get more Wednesday swimmers because there’s really nothing better to melt off a long day of work than a dip in the Pacific.
For the last bit of swimming to the buoy nearest the pier I decided I wanted to try and hang with Byron for a little bit. He’s new to the group but a very good swimmer. I took off first from the buoy and waited for him to pull past me. I shifted over and worked on my drafting a bit… sorry Byron :) I hung on for 100m enjoying some pre-sliced water but just couldn’t keep up the pace to continue my free ride. I have a lot of fitness to rebuild after my couple months worth of flu/plague… hopefully I can hold on to his pace in a month or two.
We took one last pause at the last buoy and then turned back to the beach. I wasn’t wearing my GPS but classically that route is about 1.15ish miles, and I really needed it. My last two ocean swims have been short and I gotta build my distance back out. Since I’m too broke to do too much this year other places I’m hoping to maybe put some longer local swims together. I need to at least get some 5-10+ mile swims, even if they’re loops, this year so that I’m ready next year when I can hopefully pull together an epic bad idea swim :)
I’ll be back in the ocean on Sunday swimming… I think Friday I’ll be asleep at Pirates Cove enjoying the sunshine and Saturday I’ll do some bodyboarding with my buddies in Pismo. Whoo good weather weekend!