I completed my first Sprint Tri last year near Palm Springs and loved it. There is a Triathlon this year closer to my home (South Bay, West of Los Angeles) and I'd really like to give it another go! In my first Tri, I swam in a man made lake with still (very cold.... BRR) water. I'd really like to give this Tri in my area a go but I'm very fearful of learning to swim in the ocean. I'm excited about it but I'm wondering: 1) When is a good time of day to go out and train in the ocean? 2) I have a Tri suit already... What else do I need besides my goggles? 3) Is there anyone, trainer maybe, that might be able to help me my first couple times in the ocean? 4) Is it safe to go swim alone? 5) This swim is a bit longer than the last one... 1/2 mile ocean swim. Any tips?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!