Saturday, August 6, 2011

Camp Pendleton Triathlon

Check this link about a race today on Camp Pendleton:

Damn-Great Water Friday-Oceanside Pier Swim Training

Just look at this beautiful, crisp water in the few good shots that I captured above.  The ones with the sweet, sky-blue water with the series of well-formed, bigger waves-then the rough, white surge into the high tide.  I saw an inside current where the swimmers fought to keep their positions while the surge pulled them northward.  But I certainly underestimated it.  I wanted a no-fin training swim in big water and I got it.  The surprise was that I was pulled close to the pier a good hundred yards before I broke free of the surf zone. 
I swam my butt off to get through the breakers, and then...freedom.  The freedom of the blue ocean without the aggravation of the choppiness.  Just a smooth water with an up-and-down swell to the water as the pre-wave water formed the early stages of the breakers.
I continued to swim hard and I had good air in me.  Then, on the way in, the incoming, building swell carried my swimming body toward the sand.  The times when I rode upon the waves heading in with the un-asked for assistance of the sea was exhilarating. 
I scrambled through the breakers quickly without getting mauled and was carried up on the sand.  Neat.
What a cool swim.  I need to work on getting farther under the breakers on the way out to make quicker progress through the surf zone.  The problem is-air.  My lungs don't want to partner with me to help me stay under long enough to advance.  Under one wave-then, a quick grasp of air for the lungs and down under the next wave before it breaks on my head. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday Oceanside Pier Swim-Good Training

I swam the pier after work again and it felt good on my arms.  No Timex watch but I think I'm about 35 minutes for the swim without fins.  The chop was about one foot, temp about 62, visibility nothing, and waves about 2-3 feet.  No currents out there.  No surprises. 

Just a good training swim with the ocean past the breakers all to myself as I like it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chilly Pier Swim

Today's swim was much like the last two days.  The chop was less and the surfers had some smallish two-foot waves with decent shape.  A kayaker was lingering around me I was told out past the end of the pier.  I had caught sight of something nearby and stopped briefly to see the kayaker, but after I was on the beach a couple of young girls told me that the kayaker was shadowing me for a bit-maybe to make sure I was ok.  I found another sand dollar as I came in today-this one was cracked in at the top a bit but a girl on the beach was looking for shells and she asked me what I found.  So, I gave her the sand dollar and she was happy.  We need more sand dollars and we'll have a happier world.  I didn't bring the camera today because I was not planning to swim today after work.  I changed my mind but no pictures, unfortunately.

I saw this report from Pismo Beach that seemed newsworthy for local ocean swimmers:

Tuesday Pier Swim

No pictures today but conditions were the same as yesterday.  No currents to deal with and little chop.  I found a perfect sand dollar as I was almost in but gave it to a young girl who was crying because she had just stumbled into the cold water.  It seemed to help her and the parents were appreciative. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday Pier Swim

It was low, low tide Monday about 5 PM when I swam.  I went south to north without fins; it took me about 40-45 minutes.  The water was COLD for a change.  You never know what it's going to be like out there.  I caught a few glimpses of a few small dolphins before I went in again.  Water temp was listed as 63 but I say it was colder than that.  It was "face hurt" cold, and I never got used to it during the entire swim.  I think it was about 58 degrees.  One weird thing about the water temperature was that far out there were multiple spots of warm water in between the cold spots.  Visibility was nothing, the chop was minimal, and waves were average at about 3 feet.  Oh, that old house picture is the "Top Gun" house from that movie that has fallen into disrepair. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dolphins and Cold Water at Oceanside Pier. Also Connor Stotts Beach Rescue Link

Well, no pictures today.  The water was much calmer than yesterday but the warm water of recent days went somewhere else today. has the temp as 63-65 but at 6 or 7 PM it was colder than that.  I'd guess 59 degrees.  When your face hurts when you get in the water, for me that's 60 or below.  Before I got in I caught sight of about 4 dolphins swimming on the north side of the pier.  I got in there and was hoping that they might stick around near me but I didn't see any signs of the dolphins while I was in the water.  I just swam around the pier with fins and gloves, and the swim was nice but chilly.  It was a nice swim otherwise.

I heard about this rescue of some kids from the rip at the same beach. Guess I just missed it.

Beach Rescue Oceanside CA

Double Oceanside Pier Swim Saturday

About 5:30 PM Saturday I parked a few blocks from the beach, near Pappy's, and walked the Pier area to check out the direction of the water currents and take my pictures.  There was a big crowd at the Pier, more than usual because the city had rented out the Amphitheater to a religious revival organization.
The wind was blowing south, the inside rip currents were running north, and the outside movement of the water surface was moving southeast.  I checked my other indicators:  I watch the people in the water to see which way they are facing to hold their positions;  I study the surfers to see what direction their surfboards are facing, how they are paddling to hold their positions, and which way are the waves breaking;  I look at the lines of the fishermen on the pier to see where the water is pulling their lines. 
I watch any sailboats to observe the motion of their sails;  I look at jet skiers going back and forth to check for outside currents as the jet skies hit the waves. 
Saturday I decided that the outside water had reversed its current from the previous several days and was moving south.  I decided to swim south, and entered the water just north of Surfrider Way.  The chop was small-one foot or less; the surf zone was rough; and there was a 2-3 foot gradual swell of the water out past the breakers.  Water temp was 67-a bit cooler than yesterday-it felt good.  Because of the overall appearance of the water, I wore fins and webbed gloves for safety.  The swim around the pier was fine, and I had some extra energy at the end so I decided to reverse and do a round-trip swim.  Also I didn't look forward to getting out amidst the crowd of evangelists pressuring beachgoers.
Swimming out was neat.  The tide was moving in and I confronted a growing swell.  It was fun to try to time my stroke to hit the wave at the height of the swells and jump out of the water a bit to catch a big breath.  Reaching out for the arm stroke was like punching a hole into the oncoming waves-fun.  I smell the oily, greasy bait smell on the water as I swim closer to the end of the pier.  My field of vision is a dull, gray blur with no visibilty at all.  I feel like I am totally alone, stroking and kicking hard, seeing nothing, but happy in my cocoon of ocean.  My peripheral vision catches glimpses of a blue, cloudy sky and I use the slowly setting sun as my direction finder to keep on course.
As I swam past the end of the pier the second time, there was a bit of a southerly current that I swam into-but nothing strong.  I got tired the last one-fourth of the swim and was pretty much beat when I exited the water.  I am writing this Sunday morning and I paid for the long swim with lots of neck pain last night that kept me awake a long time.  As you readers know, my cervical spine is fused at C5, C6, and C7, so my neck doesn't rotate and turn very well.  But, in the end, it is a pain worth earning, as the swim was a fortifying experience for me.