Thundering Waves

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Thundering Waves

After our disastrous 4 hour drive down to La Jolla two weeks ago we did a little google maps research and discovered that Sundays seemed much better than Saturdays. Everyone is traveling to the beach on Saturday, but Sunday appears reserved for locals.

So we set out on Sunday, this time half an hour earlier, and headed south. Fifteen minutes down the highway the Miata tire pressure light came on. We pulled off and visited the nearest gas station. The air machine was “out of order.” We drove down the street. “Pay $1 to cashier for air.” It was at this point that we realized two things: 1) the tires were definetely not flat and 2) the old air gauge that I’d given Sam long ago was broken, as was the gauge on the gas station air pump.

So we did what Sam wanted to do when the indicator light first sounded: go to the nearest Costco. This was available via a short detour down the 605 freeway, but once we were there there was no wait for the machine and we discovered that all the tires were overinflated already. Perhaps that’s why the sensor went off, although I’m not sure why it wouldn’t have gone off weeks ago. Either way, we were back on the road.

The rest of the drive went smoothly and we still made it there in an hour less time than two weeks ago even with the 45+ minute diversion of tire pressure. We ended up parking, and much closer than last time, around noon.

However, there were dark clouds on the horizon, and the sun had barely peeked from behind the clouds since Oceanside.

There was still a healthy amount of people on the beach, predominantly folks who obviously didn’t live nearby. The hotel-managed beachfronts were nearly devoid of humans altogether. The area in front of the marine room, however, was packed with wetsuits and snorkels of all ages.

Despite the abundant cloud cover the colder waters kept everything under the waves clear in the park area. I swam south, perhaps more than ever before, in search of sharks among the long seagrass. I found none. In fact, I found very little worth mentioning at all except for a brightly colored sheepshead fish and a large thornback ray who wasn’t perturbed by my entering of his personal space in the slightest.


I eventually swiveled and headed closer to shore and northward. As usual, after chanting my mantra “there’s nothing out here!” they all appeared at once. The sharks had massed by the marine room, nearly directly in front of the crashing sea wall. The shallowest and most dangerous part of the beach where the waves crash out as well as in because of the concrete sea wall not allowing them to lap on the shore.


But this was where the sharks were, obviously using something other than sight to navigate around because the throw distance of a photon in the crashing and bashing and sandy maelstrom felt barely longer than the tip of my nose. But, perhaps I could capture some “moody” photographs. Until I realized every ten year old and their mother was competing with me, not to take pictures but to shout at the top of their lungs and kick their feet as hard as possible. All things sharks don’t take kindly too and vacate upon perception of.

The lack of sunshine meant that shivers weren’t just limited to sharks and eventually I had to bow out.

Around 4pm, as we were packing up, the lifeguards forced everyone out of the water due to lightning. Apparently it had rained while I was in the water and the booms I’d heard weren’t just the waves crashing over my head.

Of course, as soon as we were in the car and driving away from the beach the clouds parted and the sun shone down on La Jolla Shores again.

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