#317: Snorkel in La Jolla Cove


LOCATION: La Jolla, California

This post is part of my San Diego/San Francisco trip series.

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La Jolla Cove is a beach in La Jolla, San Diego. It is pretty small for the area, but is known as the “jewel” of San   Diego due to its rich marine refuge. I attempted to snorkel here before in 2007, but an earthquake ruined the access road and I couldn’t go. I was excited about snorkeling the gorgeous reef and among the well known leopard sharks of the area.

Sand castle like house on La Jolla beach

Sand castle like house on La Jolla beach

Troy and I arrived and rented snorkel gear at a local shop. A wetsuit was needed since the water was about 65 degrees. We suited up and walked along the beach to find the best entry location. As the sand ended, we were welcomed by a big wall and just water. The water was shallow enough that we could walk along and find the best launch spot. Along the way, we found a small cave that we could leave our sandals and gear up in. It was definitely a pretty spot to be. However, while pretty, the spot was also super rocky and waves crashed hard.snorkellajolla7 Snorkeling here would be a challenge, but we decided to go for it. After putting on our fins, we tried to walk out but kept getting rocks stuck in the fit feet which caused us to stop, take them off and try to repeat again all while getting knocked over by heavy crashing waves. Finally after several attempts to get our fins rock free, we gave up and decided to snorkel from the beach access instead.

While walking along the water back to the beach, I noticed that the water was shimmering as if there were gold flecks in the sand. It was beautiful to see.

gold flecks in the sand

gold flecks in the sand

gold flecks in the sand

gold flecks in the sand

Later I found out it was just a mixture of minerals that made the water shimmer, but I’m going to stick to my story that I was swimming in a sea of gold! Shhh.snorkellajolla5

Once we got back to the beach, we tried to launch again, but still the waves were crashing down pretty hard. While trying to get past some of the waves, my mask and snorkel were knocked off my face and swept away by the water; a rookie mistake made by a seasoned scuba diver!!! We tried looking for them, but with how fast the water was crashing in and out and the heavy current, they were long gone. I was going to have to replace them, which I’m sure the price would most definitely be marked up!

As we did the walk of shame back up the beach, we were able to see some of the marine life La Jolla is so well known for; Leopard Sharks!

Leopard Shark

Leopard Shark

These are harmless bottom feeder looking fish and they were small and hard to find, but they would swim up to our feet and then away. Once we spotted one, we spotted several! While looking for the sharks, I accidentally stepped on a sting ray’s face and his wing flapped under my foot till I screamed and jumped away. I hate walking where I can’t see for this very reason! UGH!!

Finally we made it back to the shop so I could claim my losses. Fortunately for me, the shop was full of people and I was able to put my fins back without them noticing or even asking about the mask. Bad I know, but I refuse to pay $100 for a $20 snorkel set.

Correction. 1,518 and counting

Correction. 1,518 and counting

As we left, I noticed a photo on the wall. “Goggles missing. 1,517 and counting….”

La Jolla snorkeling should be better suited for a tour group rather than on your own. Some day I’ll try again, but until then. 1,518 goggles missing and counting.

*Thank you Troy for accompanying me on this adventure.

WOULD I DO IT AGAIN? If I do decide to do this again, it will be with a tour group. NOT on my own.

HOW TO DO THIS: Rental gear in the town of La Jolla was $20. Lots of local shops to choose from. I suggest looking into a snorkel tour of the cove.


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