Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 10:05 am | Overcast 55º


Captain’s Log: Conditions Are Just Right for a Swim in the Sea

Options abound for enjoying the water of the Santa Barbara Channel

‘Tis the season for ocean swimming.

Our water temperatures are at their highest point of the year, and we have long periods of calm water in late summer and early autumn. Local conditions are at their best for taking a swim in the sea.

Although our water temps are high for local waters, do not expect bathtub warm water like you would find in Costa Rica or parts of Mexico. Be prepared for temps in the upper 60s, which are comfortable enough for a vigorous swim. You can be plenty comfortable for a reasonable swim while wearing a bathing suit. For a longer dip, consider wearing a lightweight summer wetsuit.

Satisfy your urge to immerse yourself in the waters of the dazzling Santa Barbara Channel.

Options abound: Run down the beach and wade right in to enjoy an exhilarating feeling. Don a mast and snorkel to explore the near-shore underwater world known as the intertidal zone, where you may spot vibrantly colored and quick-moving critters you hadn’t seen before. With a spear, you might even bring home some supper. Grab a surfboard and ride a wild wave. Extremely agile folks among us enjoy skim boarding, kite surfing and sail boarding. These sports provide a truckload of fun. For another amazing adventure, take a scuba class and get into diving. Just get yourself into the water — one way or another.

For many of us, a simple swim is the best way to immerse ourselves in the healing waters of the sea. An invigorating ocean swim followed by a brief soak in the sun can cheer you right up and help keep you healthy. Take care to consider your condition and don’t overdo it.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

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