I'll be doing a pier swim tonight about 6 PM at Surfrider Street where it meets the beach at the turnaround. Park near Pappy's Market at Surfride and Cleveland Street. There is plenty of free parking with a short walk to the sand. The current should be a bit of a rip to the north inside and a mild south current far out at the pier. The water is warm. No wet suit needed. Fins welcome. Wet suits welcome.
I'll call a couple of you guys.
E-mail me if interested.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Since I'm working on improving my ocean swimming without fins, today was the roughest water yet, I think, that I swam in without them. As always, the guessing game with the currents was one I played today. Either way that I would have swum, north-to-south or south-to-north, I think would have been the same. The chop of the water was big-2 feet-and I swam against the current as it turned out. I could see the taut fishing lines of the fishermen on the pier being pulled northward but the surface of the water and the breeze were moving southward. So, which way to choose. I went south-to-north. I was going against the chop on the way out, against the current on the portion north past the pier parallel to the beach, and half-way against the chop on the way in.
I liked the rough swimming where one has to play the chop and waves to guess the right time to breathe and the correct side to breathe on. Sometimes you pop out of the water almost like a dolphin when you catch your breathing time just as a wave pitches you upward. It's fun. I didn't swallow any sea water today, so no puking. Also good.
I approximate that the swim took me about 40-45 minutes in a lower tide. Not great but ok for me. I'm not looking to set any speed records anyway; I just like a little danger and excitement and uncertainty in my life to help me appreciate living.
The water was warm, visibility was about 8 feet, and only a handful of surfers were aattempting to find a wave with any shape at all to catch a short ride on. Often it's better to be a boogie-boarder with fins-there's always something you can catch that way. So, a good training swim and I'm thankful for the proximity of the ocean as always.
Posted by Brendan Drury at 6:20 PM
The tide was out today so the swim was a bit shorter than usual. Again warm water, silty and stirred up inside, clearing to several feet of visibility out past the breakers. I just wore swim trunks today as the chop was 1 foot or less and I decided not to worry about getting run over by a boat or jet skier. It was a good swim with an emphasis on my arm stroke technique. My pull and push of the water on the arm stroke was my focus today. I tried to concentrate on keeping my arms closer in to my body as I pulled the water toward me and then that extra push of the water backward with my hands before I raised the arms for recovery. It seemed to be a more effective arm stroke for me, and I think the speed of my swim was helped a bit. Although, I use the term "speed" very loosely. It's probably more accurate to say that my arm stroke felt more efficient.
There was a heavier police presence at the pier today but I didn't notice anything unusual. The current was neutral far out but in the surf zone there was a strong rip current moving northward.
Posted by Brendan Drury at 5:40 AM
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
4:30 PM Wednesday afternoon. I park above the pier and take my photos. It is clear that there's a north current inside but the far current past the breakers is hard to determine. I figure it will be northward as it has been for days, so I swim out and north. I try to work on my kick. I'm thinking about the 6 beat kick and trying to break the surface with my kick. It seems to help a bit-a tiny bit. Into the one-foot chop I swim, no fins again, water warm, with the chop hitting me in the face every time I breathe to the left.
It turns out that there is a mild current only far out moving north when I'm past the pier. Then, when I turn in, the chop has decided to reverse direction and it hits me in the face every time I breathe to the LEFT. It should have been hitting me in the face on the right breathing side but the ocean reversed itself mid-point during my swim. How does this happen?
On the way in I swallow a gulp of ocean water as I breathe to the left, which causes me to throw up for about a dozen strokes, then it goes away quickly. That may be my least favorite thing about swimming in rough water: swallowing it when the chop throws it in your face.
Closer in the north current gets stronger and I end up at least 150 yards north of where I turned in toward the beach. Ah, the mysteries of the sea...
Posted by Brendan Drury at 6:34 PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I took 2 pictures and "dead battery" in my camera. The sky was overcast at the pier and the water was CHOPPY! Hard to swim in. The ocean was very warm. Probably 70 degrees. It was hard getting out through the rough surf zone today but I need the practice without the fins. I did the pier in about 45 minutes, I'd approximate. It felt like I wasn't going anywhere at all in the washing machine-like water. I wore my yellow swimmers safety vest with the oral inflation tube and the CO2 cartridge inflation option. I was actually pleased out there that I had it on today.
The color of the water today and yesterday was very pretty-a neat blue after getting out a ways past the breakers-visibility about 7 feet. Lousy surf so hardly any surfers.
My training without the fins seems to be going better than I anticipated. I have kicking issues, though. I did a six-beat kick the first 2/3rds of the swim and a 4-beat kick the last third. I don't know. I get little or no propulsion from my kick, it seems. I need some input. Other than that, I got wet and tired so it was a good day.
Posted by Brendan Drury at 6:33 PM
Monday, July 11, 2011
I know the title of this post must sound silly to experienced, skilled ocean swimmers, but I am an ocean swimmer who wears fins almost all of the time on my swims. Today, it was rough-one foot chop, north current, rip current in the surf zone northward, 3 foot waves with good power surge. I got out ok-I was out of breath after getting through the surf zone, and I was pulled closer to the pier than I like-but I did fine.
I wore my yellow US Divers Swimmer Safety Vest again because I went finless. The swim heading out into the chop was a pain, getting past the end of the pier was ok (with the current), and swimming in I was pulled northward about 100 yards-not as much as yesterday. My time was better than yesterday. I tried harder. I was using a six beat kick per stroke. Any feedback on that?
Here's a few pictures.
Posted by Brendan Drury at 6:45 PM