The Best News Swimmers Have Had in Months

If you ever think that I might withhold information for my own benefit, let this be the proof otherwise. I’m religious about swimming, making the past couple of months even harder. But now, finally, two area pools are back—with intense competition for the few available slots.

Los Baños del Mar (above), Santa Barbara’s big pool near the harbor, has reopened for lap swimming weekdays 6-9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturdays 10:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m., and Sundays, 10:30 a.m.–2:45 p.m. (Let’s hope the Masters program gets back on track soon.) You can sign up for a lane starting at 7 p.m. a week in advance, and I would suggest you be ready right at 7 p.m. There are a lot of rules, not that I’m complaining:

• Advanced lane reservation required.
• Swimmers will arrive dressed in a bathing suit and ready to swim. No deck changing allowed.
• Limited restroom facilities and sinks are available, but swimmers are encouraged to arrive without the need for those facilities. Masks must be worn while using indoor facilities.
• Swimmers will enter through the west gate entrance at the rear of the pool.
• Swimmers will be greeted by a City employee when arriving to check in.
• Swimmers will be directed to their assigned lane.
• Swimmers shall wear a mask until entering assigned lane.
• Lifeguards will sound a horn twice as five (5) minute warning before the end of each session. Lifeguards will sound one long horn to signal the end of each session.
• At the conclusion of each session, swimmers will exit the pool promptly, gather their belongings, and exit the facility via the east gate.
• Lifeguards will disinfect all high use areas and surfaces between swim times, including but not limited to restrooms, sinks, and facility fixtures.
• Swimmers must swim in the middle of the lane. No congregating in the water, on the walls or bulkheads, or on the pool deck. No spectators.
• Locker and shower access will be unavailable.
• Kickboards and pull buoys will be unavailable
• Public drinking fountains are closed.
• Poolside benches shall be removed or made unavailable.
• Items left behind will be discarded.

And the Carpinteria Community Pool (below) has reopened on weekdays: five ten swimmers at a time can use the 10-lane pool for 45-minute slots, but no one’s allowed into the showers or changing rooms. (And the other rules are similar to the ones above.) You can try signing up for a spot 24 hours in advance. Again, prepare to be quick; the slots fill up in seconds. Perhaps the YMCA outposts and Coral Casino will follow suit…. UPDATE 5/22: The Carp pool has decided to let 10 swimmers use the pool at a time.