Thursday, November 3, 2011

No Fear Today

This afternoon at lunch I was able to drive down to the beach on base and it was unbelievably gorgeous out there.  The sky was blue;  air temp comfortable with a light breeze.  There were several surfers but the 2-4 foot waves were mostly closing out. 
By the time I got off work and went to swim, the sky was cloudy and the sea was rough-totally changed in a few hours.  The water wasn't as cold as yesterday, but the ocean was a washing machine chop of 1-2 feet.  Waves were ugly-two to three feet-but some surfers were still getting short rides.  Some high school surf team was practicing.  I guessed correctly on the current and swam south to north.  Just under 32 minutes to get around.  Surprisingly, as I was getting in, I saw two swimmers finishing an ocean swim.  They were smiling and happy-probably that adrenaline rush after a hard, rough swim.  Very rare to see another swimmer.
The good thing that the fear was gone.  Back to normal.  On a different note, here is a link to a whale sighting several hours drive north of us.

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

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Swimming With Sharks or Were They Dolphins...?

North County Times Possible Shark Sighting

North County Times Shark or not

Today at work I had the honor of meeting a retired Admiral who had a long career in Navy Special Warfare beginning in WWII.  I knew that he was one of the earliest UDT members (Underwater Demolition Teams).  As we chatted, I told him that I was embarrassed to say that I had 'rung the bell' thirty-something years ago at Navy Seal training.  He smiled and asked what class number I was in, and I told him class 99.  He smiled more and held up 2 fingers for class #2.  Wow.  This gentleman, Dick Lyon, is about mid eighties and looks like he could still swim the pier.  He told me that he started with Navy Special Warfare in the earliest such group called the 'Scouts & Raiders.'  Over time it evolved into another outfit with the word 'underwater' in it.  (I'll have to look it up; I didn't catch the name).  Anyway, this became the UDT-Underwater Demolition Teams-and I believe that he was in their 2nd class.  Later the outfit evolved into the SEALs also.
So, why am I mentioning this?  Because--I am a wimp-and have been afraid to do my pier swim for the last 2 days because of a shark sighting 2 days ago not too far away from Oceanside.  You can see the links above.
I didn't bring my bathing suit to work today because I still had the fear, and didn't plan to swim today.  Well, after meeting this special fellow-also the former Mayor of Oceanside-I got home and decided that I had to get over the shark fear and go swim the pier.  And so I did.  And, because I am writing this, I had no shark problems.
The Oceanside Pier beach was incredibly gorgeous tonight.  I got there shortly before sunset, took several quick pictures, and jumped in fast to get my swim in.  The water was glassy and flat-great for swimming.  The surf was also small to medium size but great shape.  The setting sun, the surfers sitting on their boards waiting for waves, and the dolphins lazing around just past the surfers-all so beautiful.  My crummy photos don't do it justice.  Regarding the dolphins-I must have swum in close to them but didn't notice anything.  After I got out of the water I watched the water and the dolphins at first didn't look like dolphins.  They didn't have that arcing shape and were flat on the surface longer than typical.  Also, their dorsal fins didn't have the backward curving that is typical.  I really had to give them a good look.  So, they were dolphins-but I can see how someone might mistake them for a shark. 
This shark seen in Encinitas sounds like it was a great white, though.  So, thanks to the former WWII UDT/SEAL to making me feel inferior and wimpy and motivating me to get my scared butt into the water tonight.  I had a great swim-fast for me at 28 1/2 minutes (I cut the pier closer than usual), I got my chill on in the freezing water-about 59 degrees because it made my forehead hurt and I froze my body.  I  swam hard the whole way because of the shark thing in the back of my mind-not too bad but definitely present.  It should be better after tonight-getting over that temporary shark concern since Monday.  I guess it's like falling off a horse-get back on soon.  Glad I did it.

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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Pier Swim Late Afternoon Oceanside CA

I got a late-afternoon impulse to hit the beach and swim around the pier.  There was an average number of beachgoers today and not as many surfers as you'd expect.  Beautiful, smallish waves for riding.  Cold water. About 59.  Took me 33 minutes to get around the pier.  The water was glassy and great for swimming. 

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