Saturday, August 27, 2011

Flat, Calm Water at Oceanside Pier Friday Evening Shark Sighting

Small waves Friday-one to three feet-not powerful.  Warm water-about 67.  Lousy visibility. No chop!  That's so nice when the water is flat-makes you feel like you know how to swim and you're actually moving forward.  I went north to south and there was no current-maybe a slight north to south movement out past the pier-like yesterday.
No boats or speeding jet skiers to fret about.  I was having a peaceful, solo swim and when I turned to start in past the pier I saw two young guys swimming around the pier in the opposite direction.  I was out past them and hollered to one guy who was obviously comfortable in the water.  His buddy behind him was beating the water to death and making slow progress.
The lead guy appeared to be side-stroking and watching his buddy intently, who was freestyling behind him.  They were too close to the pier pilings.  My take on it was that the lead guy was helping his buddy do the swim with support and the comfort that one feels when being with a swim buddy.  The other swimmer didn't even see me, even when the lead guy and I both said "Hi" back and forth. 
My swim in was nice.  I take a very wide path around the pier to stay away from the pier itself and surfers near it. 
There was one interesting aspect to Friday's swim, though.  On Thursday there was a great white shark sighting south of us at Mission Beach.  That thought, of course, flittered in and out of my consciousness off and on throughout the swim; but the pure, relaxing comfort of the water helped to brush the concern away.  Even so, it was good to have the swim completed uneventfully.  A really nice swim!  34 minutes.  I hooked myself up to my TENS unit afterward and blasted the neck pain for hours.  It's worth it though!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beach Quieting Down with Summer Coming to an End. TENS Unit Daily Now

I swam north to south this evening.  There was a mild current flowing southward at the end of the pier so I chose the correct direction. Slightly choppy water, poor visibility, small waves, water temp about 67 degrees.  My time was 37 minutes-no fins.  The Labor Day Swim is not far away now.  I feel well prepared.
My neck has taken a beating and I am wearing my TENS unit each day for pain relief.  I really should not be swimming this much because it exacerbates my neck and back pain, but it helps in other respects.  The TENS unit, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator, runs a low electrical charge through sticky pads that are applied to painful body areas.  Mine are on my neck muscles now.  I highly recommend TENS units if you have pain issues.
Parking is ample now close to the water as the summer nears its end.  I like the coming of colder water and fewer persons at the beach.  We'll see how long I can hold out with trunks and no wet suit.  That's a mind game with me.  I got some pictures today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two Swimmers in the Ocean at the Oceanside Pier

As I was swimming in on the south side of the pier, I was told that another swimmer was heading out on the south side and we passed each other.  I didn't notice him.  I like to swim farther south of the surfers.  Yesterday I hit a strong current head-on and I did not want a repeat today.  I checked in with the lifeguard and he recommended swimming from north to south, which I did.  He was correct.
The water conditions were drastically better than yesterday-flat water without chop, comfortable temperature, decent visibility, and small waves.
I felt good and did the swim in 33 minutes but it would have been a bit longer but a fishing boat was blocking me at the end of the pier.  The boat was big-probably 60 feet-and a harbor patrol/police boat was trying to get him to move farther out as I was rounding the pier.  I don't know what was up with the boat driver.
As I swam up onto the sand I was surprised to see my daughter and wife there with a sign that said "Happy Birthday Dad" and carrying those inflatable balloons.  It was a sweet surprise.  Can't believe I hit 54 years old.  Weird.

Rough Water Swim Oceanside Pier-Strong Current Tuesday

Well I forgot my camera but the appearance of the beach was the same as yesterday.  I swam out and the water had a good choppiness to it-one to two feet.  It was another slugfest with the water.  It's interesting when you lift your arm up and reach forward and the wave covers up your arm as you start your forward reach.  That was happening repeatedly yesterday.  When I got out to the end of the pier distance from the beach, and I was angling from about 150 yards south of the pier aiming for the end of the pier, I was at the same spot as I started out from the sand.  I was going against the current out there and it was pretty strong.  The current was running from north to south. 
I swam for about fifteen minutes to try to approach the end of the pier and it finally sunk in that I was not going anywhere.  I was thinking about turning around and heading in but kept going...and going.
Bit by bit I got a little closer to the pier and it was a good workout.  Even after I got around the end of the pier it was difficult swimming in.  Just a rough water swim all around on Tuesday.  Until you are in it you just cannot appreciate the power of the water.  Thankfully the surf zone was pretty calm and I didn't have to fight the surf.  Overall, it was a good training swim but I wish that I had gone the other direction (north to south). 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rough OceanTraining Swim for Oceanside Labor Day Pier Swim

Wow.  I had myself a rough swim this afternoon.  I checked in with the nice lifeguard before starting my pier swim.  The water was warm and sloppy.  The chop was a good two feet all the way, and very washing-machine like.  It was more of a fight with the ocean rather than a swim-but exciting all the way.  43 minutes to do the swim.  Now that's what I call a rough water swim.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pulled Over by the Oceanside Harbor Police Boat on my Oceanside Pier Swim

Lots of interesting occurrences on my pier swim today.  I went too early-at 2 PM.  So, there were too many people at the beach with lots of activity-fast cars, people getting cited for alcoholic beverages in their coolers on the sand, and a homeless looking lady who told me twice "to smile" as I walked by her.  First I walked down to the beach and took my photos and then returned to my car.  I then walked back to the beach to swim.
The water looked choppy, and it was.  I swam north to south to check it out and I was swimming into the chop, which slowed me down.  There is a lot of glare on the water from the sun so sometimes a swimmer is not visible, especially in the chop.
OK.  Here it is:  I got pulled over by a guy in the Harbor Police boat out near the pier.  He gave me a friendly safety briefing and advised that I check in with the lifeguard station before I swim.  He said the lifeguard could radio a head's up to boaters in the area to keep an eye out for me.  (And today I even was wearing a yellow swim cap.)
The water was 68 and the visibility I think was the best that I recall-a good fifteen feet.  The waves were small-no good for surfers at all.  My swim was nice and my Timex watch said 43 minutes.  But we have to subtract my police issue time and also before I hit the sand on the way in I saw a bunch of sand dollars on the sandy, clean bottom.  I had to hang out and dive down a few times to collect some to bring home.  It was a swim rather different from my typical boring swims and I was annoyed first, but it all was for the best.