My 10th, and probably last, birthday in San Diego. I swam the cove on 7 or 8 of my birthdays here. This one was probably the 2nd most beautiful. The most beautiful will always be the 1st, when the few people I could rally from grad school and I swam in the dark on a balmy night in balmy water with a red tide (and I was in my birthday suit). That night, the water glowed faintly as I pulled through it and I couldn’t tell what I was seeing. Could it be starlight in the air bubbles? That was the night I learned about bioluminescence and it changed me.
But today. The water was balmy again. The warm side of 67°. There was a lot of energy in the water, big swells and plenty of chop. But the water was clear! Plenty of things to look at down there, fishies and beautiful grasses. There were a lot of people in the water.
I swam well despite not having swum in far too long. Danny and his friend Keon came. We swam out to the 1/4 mile buoy and hung out for a bit, dipping in for little dives in the clear water. We’d go down about 10 feet, but it never got cold below.
I swam back hard. I was in love with my cove, and with the afternoon, and with the sky and the clouds above. The sun flared into my eyes and mercury clouds trailed my fingertips as I reached into the dark aquamarine. I’d turn to breathe and see Danny’s arm reaching out, silhouetted over the ridge of the swell. It felt like such a gift to be there. One last birthday swim in La Jolla Cove. I’ll have to find a new place to swim in Seattle.
It’s been a good 10 years.