Mexico to Oregon Pier Swim
by, September 29th, 2008 at 01:05 PM (1847 Views)
Sunday afternoon @ 1:30 in Imperial Beach I started out on my quest to swim around all of the Piers on the California Coast. I plan on documenting my swims with a Garmin 305 Forerunner GPS, and by taking pictures of each Pier,..from the water. Savon sells a $14 waterproof camera which is easy to use as well as carry. I tuck it in the back of my speedo and have attached to it on a lanyard a small thermometer. When I`m about 50 yards or so past the end of the pier and about 100 yards parallel, I`ll snap a photo and check the water temp. After each swim, my wife Linda, who does not swim, but is my moral support and safety officer, will find a local restuarant and perhaps a winery . We will report back here with our impressions.
I don`t write very well., but hopefully this will be an opportunity for me to improve my communication skills. Bear with me.
This afternoon I`ll develop the film from yesterday`s swim and post pics shortly ( that is if I can figure out how to do so).
OK,..here we go. I live in Escondido and it took 45 minutes to drive to Imperial Beach,..and no time to find a parking place,..we parked right next to the Pier, where there is a nice park. The air temp was around 72 degrees, no clouds but a little haze in the air..we could not see the Coronado Islands which are about 10 miles off shore, but the view of San Diego to the north was impressive. There were not too many folks on the beach. It was windy, with lots of chop/whitecaps but only small waves. A few Pelicans were dive bombing into the water about 200 yards out, which means bait-fish,which can mean sharks, which makes these swims exhilorating. I started my swim from the south side of the Pier, which turned out to be a bad idea. The small waves and swells were coming directly to shore parallel with the Pier. As I got under way and established my pace ( listening to an eclectic variety of music on my Swimp3 player ),my mask fogged over ( I used a new anti-fogging paste which was not working). The water had a greenish tint, no kelp or sea weed.. I`m always fasinated by the little bubbles that trail thru the water as I stroke...I understand that there shouldn`t be many :^( Soon I could not make out the Pier and had to stop every 100 yards and wash the fog off. My sinuses cannot tolerate water so I wear a snorkeling mask which covers my nose. PLUS, I do not bi-lateral breath ( something I`m going to learn). I breath on the left side so I had no view of the Pier other than sneaking a peak now and then. I found myself being pushed away from the 1,491 foot long pier and heading south, the chop was severe at times. I drank more than my share of saltwater. Linda lost sight of me in the whitecaps despite the fact that I wear a bright orange swimcap and a long sleeved white rash guard . It took me 15 minutes to reach the end of the Pier , where I took a photo and checked the water temp.....64 degrees,. It felt good, energizing. As I rounded the Pier I took care to navigate to the north so as to not be drawn into the Pier. The fishermen stared at me like they are seeing a crazy man, some waved. When I figure out how to post the satellite view of my swim (captured by the gps I wore under my swim cap as suggested by Gary Emich. Thanks Gary! ) I`ll post it.
After 28 minutes my hand struck sand around 25 yards north of the Pier, a little too close for my comfort. The current was deceiving, the waves did not reflect what was happening with the surface layer of water...seems like the wind was pushing the upper foot of water in a southerly direction. I walked south on the beach, under the Pier to my wife and we headed back to the truck. The swim, at that moment seemed unfulfilling for some reason, I can`t figure it out. Oh well,..now I see it in a different perspective and feel like I`ve just started to lean into the harness so to speak.
We drove north and had a great lunch at the Old Town Cafe in Old Town. "Tacos a carbon" and Dos Equis beer topped off our afternoon.
Next week,...the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. If any of you are around, I`d love to have company on a swim. Just send me an e-mail.