Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sat Feb 5 Oceanside Pier Swim

Late afternoon about 4:30 PM I got in on the south side of the pier and swam around and got out on the north side. The day and water were quite exquisite-really beautiful. Almost no swimmers in the water-as the temp is 57, but maybe a dozen surfers surfing the well-shaped small waves (about 2 feet).
The water outside was glassy with no current except out at the end of the pier. I was starting to go around the pier and kept noticing that I was staying in the same place. I threw in a couple of hundred stronger, faster strokes and got around the pier and headed back in. It took me longer to get in than head out, or so it seemed. Sadly, it is on gorgeous swim days like this when I am faced with the reality that I am just not a very good swimmer. When I don't wear fins, as today, I just don't seem to be able to propel my fat body forward quickly. I had my webbed gloves and wet suit on today. One of these days I'll do a swim without the gloves and without the fins and see how I fare.
But, at 53, with a surgically fused cervical spine, I'll keep plugging along. The last two days were actually pain free for me. So that's a big plus. No pictures today. Forgot the camera.

Feb 4 Camp Pendleton Beach

After work, Mr. G and I went in for a relaxing wet-down at the 21 Area Beach. We just practiced the sidestroke a bit and chatted about the difference between the conventional sidestroke and the combat sidestroke used by military combat swimmers: the latter involving dipping the head underwater and looking forward as one's arms are moving in opposite directions--the lower arm is reaching forward and the upper arm is pushing water toward the feet. Just a slight difference between the two strokes.
There was a small area with 4 foot waves breaking but the shape was not very surfable-only one surfer in the water. Temp was 57 degrees and we didn't stay in very long.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Offshore Breeze Feb 10 O'Side Pier

Hey there was another ocean swimmer in the water just south of the pier today. You can barely make him out in my bottom, right picture. Maybe I should have introduced myself but he didn't look like he would make it too far. I went in with wetsuit, webbed gloves, and fins. The water was chilly and the chop was about two feet high out far. I swam around the pier against the chop, from south to north. I was slowing down the last quarter of the swim from the cold, I think. An invigorating swim after work.

Wed Feb 9, O'Side Harbor to Pier Swim

So I decided not to wear fins today as the water was smooth out there and there appeared to be no currents. The surf was small. I started at the right side of the rock jetty in the pictures about 100 yards and swam south (or left). I was wearing my webbed gloves for security and concentrating on a proper arm pull. I felt comfortable, albeit slow, but I made it to the pier and could easily have kept going.
I jogged back up the beach to where I began at the O'Side Harbor. A really nice day and I feel like I made some substantial improvement.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday, Feb 8th Oceanside Pier

I drove to the Oceanside Harbor first but there was not a soul in the water. The beach was nasty, thoroughly without shape, just rough chop.

I drove over to the south side parking lot for the Oceanside Pier, which I never do, and parked there. There was one intrepid surfer in the water trying to catch any kind of crummy, shapeless wave to get his fix. I decided to swim around the pier the opposite way from my usual north to south because the mild current, waves, and chop were moving southward. I wanted a more difficult swim against the wind and choppy water with my fins and webbed gloves.

I felt good in the water, strong heading out. Once I rounded the pier, it was easier to swim toward the sand with the wave action helping me in. A nice, thirty-minute, vigorous swim. I took some pictures before and after. Oh, and I found a nice sand dollar in the water as I exited! It was in great shape, unbroken. While not as large in diameter as the one I lost yesterday, it helped.

Monday, Feb 7th, Oceanside Pier

First I drove to the Oceanside Harbor to swim but it was packed with surfers. I drove to the pier area and got in there. The water was 57 but felt chillier. I felt cold the entire swim, which is unusual. I wasn't trying to put much effort into the overall swim; I was concentrating on my arm entry, catching the water, and pulling, pushing, and recovering.
I swam around the pier and it was very smooth out there. The waves were small inside but a good shape for surfers-probably 2-3 feet mostly.
One interesting thing did happen on this outing. The tide was low and I found a large sand dollar in about two feet of water that was in perfect, intact condition. Since I couldn't take it on my swim with me, I left it near a pile of kelp up the beach. When I finished and returned to get it, it was gone. Doggonit! I think I know who got it. There was an elderly lady with a bucket picking up shells near me. I bet she eyeballed me when I went into the water and then went back out and dropped something back up on the sand. Oh boy. It was a nice one too. Watch your shells out there folks.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday, Feb 6, 2011

I'm just waking up at 10 AM over and I am sore. My low back is sore from leaning over my longboard scraping off the wax. Lesson learned: next time get a couple of wood rests and lay the board higher up on the work benches-or whatever the heck they are called. Oh, I know, saw horses they used to call them. So next time buy two saw horses to lean the board on when I clean it. Isn't life interesting?
I'll hit the beach later this afternoon.
I got in the water in the afternoon for a swim with fins around the pier. Pretty uneventful swim. Afterward, I jogged back up to my car. Then I got the idea to go back in the water without the fins and wet suit to see how I would fare. Well, there IS a big difference with wet suit and without the suit. I swam through the sets of smallish waves (2-3 feet) and tried to swim north parallel to the beach. I swam for about ten minutes and started to feel it so I stopped. I was farther south than where I started. The current was pulling south and without fins I was not going anywhere, except in reverse. Getting out I was a little dizzy and was falling down in the waves-probably a bit too cold. Once again, I need to learn more about currents, tides, etc.

Saturday, February 5th

I woke up and decided that I would break out my old longboard and clean it up to use it on base at that Del Mar Jetty break. My surfing ability is lousy; I can stand up in about a two-foot wave on the longboard, but it gives me a big thrill. My board is 9 feet, 2 inch, I think. I got out my wife's hair dryer and a new paint stirrer. I layed the board on the grass in the backyard and heated the layers of old, nasty, dirty wax and then easily scraped it off with the wooden paint stirrer.
I didn't go surf today; instead I went to the Oceanside Pier and swam around that. The tide was very low so the swim wasn't that far. The water was cold. I had purchased an extra swim cap and I wore two swim caps today. It was a great idea. I was warmer and my ears were covered much better, which, as an ocean swimmer knows, is important.
I swam the crawl, even though my neck was hurting, because it just makes me feel good!
I've been trying to improve my arm stroke-the reach, catch, pull, and recover-when I crawl out there. I try to keep my elbows at a ninety-degree angle when I arm-pull. Now that has caused my right shoulder ball-and-socket joint to give me problems. Maybe I just need to arm stroke like I used to-that was painless.
Oceanside Pier was beautiful. The water out there was flat and great for swimming. I jogged back to my car and my butt was kicked jogging through some fifty yards or so of soft sand at the end. That soft sand is a killer-that's why a trainee runs all over the soft sand up and down the beach at the Navy's Special Warfare Training Center. Heck, they even have a bulldozer that piles up the soft sand so the trainees can run up and down the mounds. Now, that's a leg and lung killer.

Friday, Feb 4th Camp Pendleton

Today after work, we went to the same spot on base. I wanted to touch the bottom as we went out to get used to the feeling as we went out from the beach to the deeper water. I was much more relaxed doing it this way and could report at intervals: about 10 feet deep, about 15 feet deep, about 20 feet deep, maybe twenty-five feet deep, and that's about as far as I tried for the day.
We swam out straight from the beach on our backs with fins because of my neck. The water was smoother than yesterday. Then we kicked across south to the rock jetty, the Del Mar Jetty, or DMJ as surfers call it. I realized that, while not a great surfing break by far, the DMJ is a great surf spot for beginners. There's nobody there, or only a few surfers there, so one can line up for the real waves to learn to surf without the stress of the lineup with the experienced surfers.
I decided that I would try to surf it soon. The wave is a left, and it was 2-4 feet, I'd say.

Thursday, Feb 3th, 2011 On-Base Camp Pendleton

We went to 21 Area, the Del Mar Beach Area, on Camp Pendleton, to get our chill on after work. The water was cold-maybe 57 or so. I didn't check, but it felt chilly. The water was rather choppy with some powerful, surgy waves. My neck has been hurting so the plan was to kick on our backs out a few hundred yards and come back in. No neck pain that way for me. I tried to reach the bottom while we were out there but I couldn't make it. I wear the Churchill Slasher fins and still couldn't reach the bottom. I gues that it was maybe thirty feet or so and I haven't tried that in years.
We could see the Navy LCAC boat about a mile or so north leaving the beach and heading out. That's the boat with the jet engines on it that make it float on the surface of the water. That LCAC can MOVE!
Hardly anybody on the beach. Very nice.