Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sand Dollars, Stolen Shirt, and Cold Pier Swim

OK. Saturday 2:30 PM. I drive to the beach to swim. I take some photos.  I park and walk a block to the sand and leave my t shirt on the sand as I often do.  My t-shirt from the Oceanside Pier Swim.  And somebody takes it while I'm swimming.  Dammit.  I saw a bum nearby and I figure him for the culprit.  I guess he needs it more than I.

That was at the end of the swim so let's return to the beginning.  I went in and the visibility was excellent-about fifteen feet-major visibility in Oceanside.  I started to swim out and saw sand dollars on the bottom.  I can't pass up sand dollars.  So, I dive for sand dollars for 20 minutes and collect a bunch in my back pocket. Several are good ones-no cracks.  I'm getting chiily so I do the swim.  The water was choppy and I was swimming against a mild current.  On the way in after the pier I got the slows from the cold water. 
Several of the sand dollars crumbled; several got more cracks, and a few survived intact.
I jogged down the beach and there was a surf contest ongoing; the waves were lousy.  But I think surfing is analogous to fishing in that just getting out and doing it-even if conditions stink-is better than not going out.

Only when I looked for my shirt did I get ticked off. 

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Ocean Swim Oceanside Pier Friday

I wasn't intending to swim Friday after work because I was tired.  But I've heard it said that "You can sleep after you're dead" many times, and I guess that there's some truth to that notion. After work I drove to the beach to check it out and went in.  The sky was mostly sunny; the water was very clean-about ten feet visibility.  Getting in the water was clear, blue, and bubbly with the fresh white water of the waves. 
I guessed wrong on the current; I got in on the north side and swam north to south, but I should have reversed it.  The water is cold now; Fall is here.  I'll hold out in my swim trunks for now, and see how it goes.  My back was hurting all day and I wore my TENS unit at work for the pain, along with some helpful "better living through chemistry" medication-all strictly prescription & legal, of course.  The last few times that I have been in the ocean I have had the feeling that I was in a giant ice pack for cold therapy for an injury.  I think that the immersion in the cold water helps the pain. 
The water was choppy-about a solid one foot of chop-with the chop doubling off the end of the pier.
A couple of dozen surfers were getting good waves on the north side-3-4 feet waves.
I was in slow motion swimming in and my time showed it. 37 minutes 15 seconds.
The clean water and being able to see the bottom was special for this swim Friday. 

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grey Sky, Grey Water, Cold Pier Trip

It was choppy today with a strong surface water movement to the northeast.  I stopped to check the current off the end of the pier and it was negligible.  Lots of surfers on the north side for good waves.  Chiily water but a good, vigorous swim.  33 minutes and 12 seconds.  The colder the water gets, the faster I swim to try to warm up.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beautiful Swim With Dolphins Riding the Waves

Today was a great day at the beach!  The water was flat and glassy with nice waves for the surfers to ride.  Before I got in I saw some big fish jumping around about 75 yards offshore so I watched for a few minutes.  It turned out it was 2 big dolphins playing.  Then they swam in and they both rode a nice wave side by side together very close to a surfer-about 6-8 feet away from the surfer.  The surfer didn't move at all.  Then the dolphins disappeared and I watched but they didn't show again.
I went in and did my swim.  No current, visibility about 7 feet, beautiful water.  It was cold and I swam fast for me to keep the blood flowing.  My time was 33 minutes 47 seconds.  Good for me.  There were 3 guys in a small boat out there past the pier that I waved "Hi" to.  They were probably wondering what I was doing in that water in my bathing suit.  I wonder that too sometimes.  But it feels good after.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rough Water Swim Pier Tuesday - Chilly

Very few surfers in the water this afternoon.  The water was very sloppy and nothing much in the way of well-formed waves.  The chop was 1 to 2 feet swimming around the pier and interesting.  I jumped in on the north side because yesterday the current was mildly moving south.  Well, my decision was correct; the slight current was heading south.  No sooner did I jump in and take a few strokes when I swallowed a gulp of water and threw up a bit-my Suzy Q snack from earlier in the afternoon. 
The water was cold. Cold. My focus was on being cold and not inhaling/swallowing seawater during this swim.  I just wore trunks and my two swim caps.  My head was warm anyway.  That's a big deal, you know.
The smell of the bait was all over the water off the end of the pier, which always kind of grosses me out.  My swim was 35 minutes and I didn't even want to jog to my car afterward. 
I did see one man in the water with trunks doing a bit of body surfing.  He seemed very comfortable in the water. 
Overall, a good, rough, cold mile swim.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."