11th swim of the year. Possibly the best. As the lifeguard’s whiteboard said, the water was a “toasty” 61°. I swam it without a wetsuit, which felt awesome. The swell was massive and the tide was high (see above), so I waited for a big wave to come in and dove right into it and went.
I could see the quarter-mile buoy this time, so I counted my strokes out to it. Almost exactly 500 strokes. The half-mile buoy is still missing, so I decided to swim to the buoys that mark the border of what is called the “Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve”. First to the one west of the quarter-mile buoy, and then turning north to the next. It took just over 500 strokes to get out to the second.
The swim was gorgeous. The water was clear enough to see the ocean floor, but sandy enough to make dazzling rays of the sunlight shining through. The kelp forest was rich, but not overwhelming and annoying to swim through. There was a lot of energy in the water, so the sun flickered under the water and made the kelp look like writhing eels. There were about a million fish out.
At one point, I swam over a brown cloud of something with fish scattering away from it. I thought it might be octopus ink, but I wasn’t sure. All I know is that I freaked out and swam a bit faster. I saw an octopus squirt ink a few years ago in Hanauma Bay, but that was black. A quick search for “brown octopus ink” has me convinced that I swam over an octopus altercation. Awesome.
It felt like swimming through an aquarium.
By the time I got to the 3rd buoy, I was approaching La Jolla Canyon, so I couldn’t see the floor anymore and there were no more fish. It was lonely. I was glad to get back to swimming with the fish on the way home.
I biked over Soledad both there and back and felt as strong as ever. I also ran just over 13 1/2 miles into work on Friday. I’m still worried that I haven’t practiced any long bike rides or many transitions from biking to running, but these big workouts haven’t been wearing me out, so I’m feeling pretty good about Dec 2nd.