Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tiki Swim and Relevant Water Conditions

I've been thinking about this weekend's upcoming Tiki Swim and I swam part of the course today to offer some information for those who have not swum this piece of water.  I am not swimming Tiki; I'm not really up to it and $100 is too much for me to pay to go swimming.
Yesterday I swam from Surfrider Way north to the south rock jetty and back. This is one segment of Tiki. Today I swam from Surfrider Way north to the south rock jetty and then on to the north rock jetty.  This swim took me 1 hour and 3 minutes.  But water conditions is what I want to cover in this post for those swimming Tiki.
The current again today was running north to south. The water was mildly choppy to the south jetty.  The seaward drift was cool to experience today, because I was paying attention to it today.  What happens is a little north of the pink Roberts Cottages, the ocean takes you seaward as you swim forward. It's kinda' cool.
Now the tough part. My swim today from Surfrider Way to south jetty took 29 minutes. The leg from south jetty to north jetty (where you will turn into the harbor channel) was TOUGH. The chop in the water was about 1.5 feet continuous. The surface water continuously hit me in the face. The current was mildly moving north to south.  I did this leg in 34 minutes and my arms were tired. 
This really is a good rough water ocean swim.  The water was too warm; it was actually very warm in the area from south jetty to north jetty.  I'd guess 72 degrees--uncomfortably warm. 
The water was dirty, visibility nothing--a couple of feet.  I am a slow swimmer (5'10" & 235 pounds) and my overall time I predict would be just under the 2 hour and 20 minute cutoff time IF I did this swim.  People who do good times in this swim are darn good rough water swimmers. 

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Surfrider Way north to South Jetty & Back

So late afternoon came and I wanted to swim.  I got to thinking about the water currents for that upcoming Tiki Swim and I wanted to swim northward.  I swam out in some warm water not too far--about 100-150 yards. I stopped briefly to look for currents; it was a mild current running southward.  This remained the same throughout the swim.  So off I went north, and I do not care for the sight of those iconic pink cottages: Robert's Cottages.  Why?  Because I always seem to swim stationary in that spot and have to look at them far too long. 
When I got past the cottages, the ocean took me out another hundred yards as a surprise--gently.  I then remembered that with the varying currents in that area, I usually do end up far out without realizing it.  I swam along, today enjoying a minimally choppy ocean surface.  When I got to the first rock jetty, I was past it and far out, so I had to swim in a ways.  I was at 33 minutes.  I stopped and checked for currents--still mild and moving south. 
The water was dirty today. Visibility 3 feet and lots of silty dirt dispersed throughout.  Who knows why.  On the way back I did a lot of thinking about timing the breathing and strokes with the movements of the surface water.  It seems that it's worth holding your breath for another stroke or two until the time feels right to breathe.  So, to wrap up, I finished in 1 hour and 7 minutes and had a nice swim. 

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

Tiki Swim Oceanside, CA

I am curious to hear any feedback from 2011 participants regarding currents and tides last

You may find my related post one year ago relevant to Tiki.

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

Monday, September 24, 2012

Short Swim

This water fountain across the street from the Wyndham Hotel monstrosity has never worked as long as I know of its existence.  I wish the City maintenance people would turn on the water.  Don't tease us.

The water was warm today. has it at 67-69 degrees.  Small waves but a good number of surfers waiting for something rideable.  For swimming it was choppy and unpleasant.  I just swam out to the end of the pier and turned around and returned.  26 minutes of slowness.
I saw a fish (yay) as I was wading in; that was exciting. It was plump and about 16 inches long. Maybe a sea bass? 
Then coming in I saw a small stingray resting on the bottom.  Maybe the warm water is bringing more fish here.

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