Last year was a rough one for snorkeling in Southern California. Due to El Niño, the water was warmer but much harsher. As we have for a few years, we journeyed to La Jolla to snorkel. Waves were high at the cove, but too high and rough at the Shores to see anything at all.
We worried that this year would be the same as the warm waters continued. In July we drove down to Shaw’s Cove to discover the highest waves we’d seen there and perhaps anywhere in southern California. Nobody even dipped a toe in the water that day.
We planned a trip to La Jolla with our friends for the next-to-last weekend in August, fingers crossed the conditions would be better.
When we arrived on Saturday afternoon at the Cove the water was okay, large waves coming every five minutes or so – but bearable. The water was colder than expected, and overcast skies reduced visibility under the water to almost nothing. Still, sea lion sightings were plentiful in and out of the water. Sam didn’t go in the water, so there were no gopro videos that day.
Leaving the beach we (or I should say Sam) discovered Bobboi Natural Gelato, a place we’ll likely include in all our future trips to the Cove. While walking the streets and licking gelato cones we resolved to come earlier the next day to the Cove and hope for better weather and calmer water. We’d forego Shores this year assuming the waves knocked up too much kelp and seaweed to see anything (like last year).
On Sunday we got better weather, with full sunshine most of the day, but worse waves. However, for those that made it into the water (Sam and I) the sea lion sightings were abundant and this time they were often joined by a very curious (and cute) harbor seal that liked to sniff the bare feet of (sometimes completely oblivious) swimmers.
The video below is edited down from the 3+ hours of footage from the gopro, which we just left on when we entered the water.
We packed up early as Sam had a 6am pilates lesson to teach on Monday and headed to Bobboi’s again. We stopped for dinner at the Anaheim Packing District, quickly becoming a regular stop for us after another pair of snorkelers clued us into it earlier this year after that ill-fated trip to Shaw’s Cove.