La Jolla Cove is known as San Diego’s most desirable spot for kayaking, snorkeling and diving. The water is calm and ecologically protected, providing a safe home for colorful garibaldi, yellowtail, rays and even leopard sharks. From the moment we started planning this trip, we were are all very excited to come here. Of course, with such anticipation, it is often hard to live up to expectations. Luckily, that was not a problem here.
We started the day at what is called the children’s pool. The city built a large wall out into the surf to create a protected area for the children to play in the surf. It is a stunning area, but it is no longer accessible. Immediately after construction was completed, the seals and sea lions took it over. The area is ideal for mothers and their new born pups. Of course this was fraught with much controversy with some individuals wanting the beach for its intended use, but the sea lions did eventually win and it was quite a sight for us to see from the viewing platform.
The girls and I would have been content to stay and watch for a bit longer, but Daddy was impatient and wanted to get to the cove, so we headed out. Daddy was on a mission. not stopping to take in any of the sights. He even walked straight past shell beach without even pausing. At one point, the girls had their arms stretched out toward shell beach as they ran trying to catch up with him to let him know what he had missed, but it was no use. His legs are so long. When he is this determined, the rest of us have no hope of catching him, we just hope to be able to stay close enough behind to maintain eye contact and know which way to turn.
As soon as we descended the 48 stairs (Sam counted) to the Cove, everyone was thankful for Daddy’s persistence. There was a small cave to explore and several sea lions sunning themselves on rocks. We quickly set up camp on the beach and the older girls set off to explore. There was a baby sea lion washed up on shore and several people were crowded around dousing him in water. They feared he was dying. Just off shore, we could see the mommy circling anxiously. It was a very sad sight and distressed Kaatje a lot. She really couldn’t focus on much else and she had to fight to hold back the tears. It took all of us to convince Kaatje to accept that there was nothing we could do about this situation and move on.
Once everyone was dressed in their wetsuits, it was time to snorkel. We weren’t sure what to expect but we only needed to get a few feet off shore before there were fish and sea lions everywhere. It was quite an experience. Of course, our girls were the only ones screaming. Whenever a fish would brush up against them, they would surface choking on salt water and screaming. “It touched me…. AHHHH!!!” Oh the drama!
When the girls finished, it was mommy and daddy’s turn and then Sam and Tammy’s. We weren’t out there long with Sam and Tammy when we heard the girls screaming for us from shore. We grabbed the little girls, threw them on our backs and set off to see what the emergency was. When we surfaced out of the water, there was a massive crowd around where we were set up on the beach. With the adrenaline and panic setting in, we pushed through the crowd to see Kaatje’s smiling face and the camera. When we left, Hailey had been digging a massive hole- she filled the hole with water so that it could heat up and be her own little heated pool. Apparently, the pool had looked inviting. A baby sea lion had wandered out of the sea and crawled into the pool with Hailey. Hailey immediately jumped out beside the hole. The sea lion was friendly but as more and more people crowded around to snap a picture, he became intimidated. Eventually, it was all too much for him and he waddled back to the sea, leaving all of us with a memory we will never forget.
Shortly after that we wrapped things up and headed to Shell Beach to find some treasures before heading home.