Today I joined seven other La Jolla Cove Swim Club members for an amazing Sunday morning swim at the Cove. The Cove is located close to the Ellen Browning Scripps Park near the village of La Jolla about 15 miles north of San Diego. The sun was out and there were no clouds in the sky. Martha had sent out a group email invitation to swimmers, to meet at 8am near the lifeguard station. We then gathered for a group photo near the lifeguard station.
Since I was the newbie, I introduced myself to the members of the group. I recognized one swimmer, Sergio, who invited the group a month prior, to join him on his birthday for a swim at the Cove. I enjoy that swim and meeting him again.
In my opinion today was the best day of the year for doing anything outdoors. In particular, La Jolla Cove was beautiful – a jewel. In fact, that is what La Jolla means in Spanish. The Jewel. And today it was shining like a diamond for anyone to behold.
Taking it all in. From where I stood, looking down at the small sandy beach, I could see children with their parents wading in the water. Some taking photographs of the family with the seals frolicking in the water nearby. The birds still nestled on the cliff nearby. The water glistened in the morning sunlight as the waves gently lapped up on the beach, adding a calming sound to the tranquil scene.
I knew it was going to be a good day when I bumped into my dermatologist Dr. Erik Gilbertson who had just finished his swim. What an unexpected pleasure. His friend took the photo of us.
The swimmers in the group chatted about the weather and water temperature as we descended the stairs to the beach. Two of us just had our goggles, caps and swimsuits on, while the others where wearing wetsuits.
As my feet touch the water, I knew it was going to be a fun swim. After swimming all winter without a wetsuit, my body had become tolerant of cold water. Today was the first day this year that the water was in the mid 60’s, making the water feel cool and comfortable in the warm sun.
Quarter Mile Buoy
From the beach, we swam out to the quarter mile buoy. With so much marine and aviary life in such close proximity to the Cove, the water and air was naturally pungent and smelly.
After the first 100 or so yards, the water cleared so that the kelp below the surface of the water and bright orange garabaldi fish came into view. It is quite a sight.
Before swimming on, we gathered near the quarter mile marker, where Bob took selfies of the group in the water.
La Jolla Shores Lifeguard Tower
We all agreed to swim to the Lifeguard tower at La Jolla Shores Beach about a mile away.
The calm glassy conditions, with no wind, made swimming very enjoyable. Occasionally, I would swim through some loose sea grass or kelp floating on the surface.
Since this was my first time swimming to the Shores from the Cove, my navigation was off a little, and I found myself about 200 yards away from the group at La Jolla Shores beach.
The Marine Room
We soon regrouped and Martha suggested we swim to the Marine Room. The Marine Room is a restaurant located right on the beach and with big picture windows for diners to enjoy the breathtaking views.
Swimming parallel to the shore, we soon arrived in waist deep water near the Marine Room.
The next words I heard was – let’s go to the Caves. I followed the group of swimmers about half a mile to a series of caves that had been eroded by the surf. It was spontaneous and fun.
I would often see kayakers paddle in and out of the caves from the railings above the caves. But now, I was swimming through the grotto of caves. The gentle surge of the water made navigating the caves easy. But I could imagine the caves would be treacherous in less that ideal conditions.
The Point and Return to the Cove
After taking photos and selfies at the caves, we were off to The Point, just south of the Cove. Martha told me that the rocky outcropping could be dangerous for swimmers and others during high surf days. She noted that on days with clear water and high visibility, a swim around the Point can be magical.
Then we swam back to the beach to conclude our approx 2.25 miles adventure. After showering, a few of us decided to meet for coffee at a local breakfast restaurant. Below from left to right – Kat, Martha and Bob.
As I looked back at the beautiful scene, I had this feeling of gratitude. I was grateful for the experience and sharing it with others. Thanks to Martha for introducing me to the wonders of the La Jolla Cove swim and to Bob for allowing me to use some of his photos.