ENCINITAS — The water temperature read 60 degrees midday Wednesday when 54-year-old Blane Adessa took to the water, marking an unusual, if not impressive streak — his thousandth consecutive swim.
With a pair of swim fins and trunks Adessa strode into the ocean at Moonlight Beach, where he likes to swim because, he said, it’s a good beach and also because there are lifeguards year round.
With spring break in full swing, there were a lot more people on the beach than he’s normally used to seeing. On some days, he said, the beach is his own private Idaho.
Adessa’s consecutive streak began more than a couple of years ago, when things were changing on him. A real estate appraiser for 25 years, he began to feel the effects of the tanking economy.
When Fannie Mae started making changes to his industry he had lost almost 80 percent of his clients, he said.
And so as things were tightening up, he picked up his son on the last day of school and they decided to go to the beach.
The Cardiff residents decided that they would try and go to the beach every day.
“It ended up being the coldest summer on record,” Adessa said.
But they just kept going.
“We did it the whole summer,” he said, counted the days up for his son.
But when his son went back to school, he asked himself, “Why would I stop?” And so he kept going and kept marking off the days on the calendar.
“I got to a hundred and I said, ‘You know what, I wonder if I could go to 500.’ And even before I got to 500 I was thinking, ‘You know I’ve never done 1,000 days of anything in my life.’”
Adessa said he’s taken to most any open water to log his swims, including his pool and even some rugged places as the Salton Sea, which, he said, he’ll never do again.
He spent the last three winters in a row in Big Bear, swimming in a little strip of the north shore that doesn’t freeze over. “That water makes the ocean seem really warm when I get back,” he said.
“I don’t know if there’s anybody that hasn’t ever heard that swimming’s the best exercise, and I wasn’t really a swimmer to speak of — it’s just right there, it’s free, you don’t need to pay a gym membership,” he said. “It’s really helped me a lot.”
Adessa said he’d like to keep the streak going even after Wednesday’s milestone, adding that it’d be cool to reach a three-year streak. For him to reach that, he’d need to keep swimming until July 7 this year.
“I just keep setting goals and see where I can go with it. I feel invigorated,” he said. “Getting out of the water, I just feel like, ‘Wow, we’re so blessed living here.’”