I read this and it was valuable information but then I paused to reflect. I'm probably never going to swim in the oceans again. Those days are behind me. Back when I lived by Fletcher Cove and literally swam, surfed and lived the life aquatic in Solana Beach, this would have been good info. I had a lifeguard swim out to me once because she said I was in a rip. She was more than a little pissed off that I didn't see her waving her head off at me to clear the water. I had to point out that without glasses I don't see all that much beyond about 10 feet.
I used to swim a mile a day at lunch. Swimming holds no fears for me.... but there are sharks.