Friday, September 23, 2011

Browner Water Today Than Yesterday For Tiki Swim

Man, the ocean is brown again.  Really brown. Visibility nothing. My eyes are stinging after swimming the pier.  Without the color issue, the water was flat and great for swimming. Mild current running south noted at my stop off the end of the pier. Probably low sixties-felt chilly the whole way. 36 minutes and 20 seconds for the trip.  I don't feel like writing because my eyes are stinging.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pier Swim Brown Water Again

No pictures, sorry. The algae water was light brown today. I thought that it would be cleaner but it's hanging on.  Chilly water. I stopped briefly about 60 yards off the end of the pier at 21 minutes. There was a mild current running south. Surprise-I saw a guy-a swimmer in a wet suit swimming around the pier. He was right next to the pier-way too close. He must have gotten in after me. I didn't see him after that. I guess he was fast and got in quickly and left. 
The water was a bit choppy out far, and swimming in was against the sideways flow of the chop. 
Not too much to say about the water/swim today.  As I was walking across the sand geting ready to enter the water, a Dad with a young boy said to me, "This is golden.  This is too good to be true.  This is great."  He and his boy had been enjoying the water.  I agreed with him, of course.  Nice to see a good Dad having fun with his boy and loving the beach.  And the water was pretty chilly too.  I guess Dad and son were tough.
My time was 38 minutes-four minutes slower than yesterday. Interesting. It was the chop. I felt good-no pains, good wind, plenty of energy left.  Maybe I will do that Tiki Swim this Sunday??

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wed Pier Swim Brown Water Dissipating

No pictures because I planned on brown water and no swimming today.  I talked to a friend at work and he went out on a sailboat out of Newport Beach this past Sunday, Sept 18th.  He told me the brown water was an algae bloom. I had thought something like that but thought that the water needed to be warmer for algae growth.
I drove by the Oceanside Harbor and there were a few dozen surfers waiting for waves-a good omen. I parked at the Pier and also a few dozen surfers waiting for sets of waves.  The water color had improved significantly. The water close in was clean blue and the water gradually got light brown as I swam out toward and past the end of the pier.  It was clear, blue, clean water for 50 yards from the sand.
I actually saw a swimming stingrau about four feet underneath me pretty close in. The stingray was small-about 8-10 inches, but the tail hiding the stinger was long-about 9 inches long.  I was surprised that the little ray had such a long tail.  Of course it didn't bother me at all but it was neat to see.
The water was chilly-I never got used to the water temp throughout the entire swim.  The water, besides the light brown color, was absolutely beautiful today. Well-formed waves, great for neophyte and novice surfers, were breaking close in, with a size of 1-3 feet.  The water was flat and calm.  Great for swimming.  I had a nice swim.  Flat water, no chop, chilly, and I hit the end of the pier at 18 minutes (about 50 yards past the end), and I hit the beach at 34 minutes-4 minutes faster than my best time!  I was quite happy with 34 minutes.  I'm thinking about that TikiSwim this Sunday but undecided now.  It's expensive.
Enough for now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brown Water Oceanside Pier Swim Sunday

Yuck! I am tired of the brown ocean. I prefer my ocean blue. The waves were non-existent to 2 feet but the ocean was a choppy mess.  The current was running south and east.  I swam out and it took me 30 minutes to get to my spot off the end of the pier a ways.  I was fighting current and chop.  Then, on the way in, I felt like I was fighting nasty chop that inhibited forward progress.  The brown water was all the way around everywhere.  Not many people in the water at all.  My time for the one mile pier trip was 50 minutes. Very slow for me.  The water is just weird and uncooperative currently.  Let's hope for a change soon.

Tiki Swim Pier to Harbor Swim Dry Run Saturday (No Pun Intended)

Today is Sunday as I write this. I had zero energy yesterday because I decided that I'd try the long 2.4 mile Tiki Swim course yesterday.  Here's my recap:
I entered the brown water at tower 3 on the south side of the pier. The waves were nothing-maybe up to 2 feet.  The ocean was sloppy and choppy all the way.  What is with this brown water?  Maybe a bloom of algae or something.  You can't see more than two feet in front of you.  I actually rested my eyes a lot with them closed on and off because I couldn't see anything anyway. 
I hit the end of the pier (about 50 yards off the end) at 23 minutes.  I stopped for a current check and there WAS a mild current moving north to south.  Unfortunately, I swam against a mild current until I reached the pink cottages.  Now, to clarify, I was in the water as far out as the end of the pier on this leg of the swim.  The chop was 1 foot this leg from the pier to the cottages.  I was feeling good up to this point. 
I know this harbor area well because I have swum all over this area many times.  The currents are different and usually rough.  The water runs south all the times that I have swum the harbor water. Yesterday the water got rough-a good two-foot chop- north of the pink cottages and the current got stronger running south.  The swim got hard and it took me a while to reach the first rock jetty.  I hit that at 1 hour and six minutes.  I have swum from rock jetty to the north rock jetty many times and yesterday was a stronger-than-usual current that I had to swim into.  Interestingly, as I swam and swam, and didn't go anywhere, I kept thinking that the organizers of this Tiki Swim must not have swum the course, because the better way would be to swim from the Harbor to the Pier!
I swam hard-the kind of swimming when you are almost punching into the waves and pulling HARD to try to move forward.  The object that the swimmer can site on is the red light at the end of the harbor rock jetty.  I would swim for a while, look to the red light, and see that I wasn't any or much closer to it.  It was really miserable.  From 1:06 at the first jetty to the second jetty at 1:50 was HARD.  I was shot, and considered floating into the beach instead of turning into the channel. 
I forgot to say that I wanted to see if I could do the swim within the 2:20 cut-off time.  Then as I entered the channel I started thinking about tides.  Would I be swimming with the tide or against it.  It turned out to be a pretty neutral tide, possibly moving into the harbor a tiny bit.  I had no energy. I was dead.  I plugged on, looking at my watch every 5 minutes, and wondered if I could make the time.  Where the heck was that boat ramp, anyway?  I know where it is, but swimming dead-tired toward it was rough.  My slow-motion final leg FINALLY ended when I FINALLY saw the boat ramp.  I didn't realize there was so much stuff in that harbor. Gas stations, boat tie-ups, RV parks with people in chairs watching you, fishermen watching you, etcetera.  The ramp is slimy with green moss and slippery.  I knelt down, caught my breath, and jogged up the ramp. Time 2 hours and ten minutes for the 2.4 mile course. Ten minutes to spare.  That current and chop from where the surfers surf at the mouth of the San Luis Rey outlet to the north rock jetty took a lot of time!
No pictures because the water looked just like the day before.  The brown water did clear up getting closer to the north rock jetty and in the channel, so that was nice.  Any swimmer comments would be appreciated.