I swam two days in a row. I don’t know if I ever did that when I lived here. Today was prettier than yesterday, more sun and more fishies in the water. It’s nice to know the cove will probably always be there for me when I can visit.

In San Diego for business, so got up super early for a swim. Got in at about 6:30am. Swam half a mile in flat, very mild water. Supergloom in the sky and in the sea. Got to stop at Bird Rock Roasters on the way back to the hotel. Still my happy place.

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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.

I spent the afternoon working and reading at La Jolla Cove – mostly in this little green thing above Boomer Beach.


a green wood office
there were rainbows in the spray
of the breaks below

7th swim of the year. Half mile. Solo. Warm water – so nice there was no shock at all getting in. Huge swell and a high tide, so waves were crashing all the way up to the wall at the back of the beach. No visibility because the waves were churning up the sand. I wanted to swim a mile, but my left wrist is mysteriously injured. It’s like a “lucky fin.” I didn’t want to make it worse, so I turned in at the quarter-mile buoy. Rode the Vespa there and back. A beautiful first day of fall.

6th swim of the year happened on August 23rd. It was a rare Friday morning session with Andy Donohue who was in town for Sam Hodgson’s wedding. It was a gorgeous morning and Andy and I were more interested in talking than swimming, so we dog paddled the whole way back from the buoy. Then we split a Chemex for two at Bird Rock Roasters. It was a great morning.

5th swim of the year. 1/2 mile, solo. Small swell, very clear, but cloudy skies again so there wasn’t much to see underwater. The water was nice, just like last week.

Tons of people out. I think a lot of them were training for the gatorman.

I rode my bike over Soledad on the way over and along the foothills on the way back. Stopped to get a bahn mi and pick up some tomatoes at the La Jolla Farmers’ Market. Posting this from Bird Rock Roasters. I hope I can do a whole morning like this with C someday.

4th swim of the year. 1/2 mile, solo. Totally flat, very clear, but cloudy so visibility wasn’t the best. Lots of garibaldi and other fishies swimming with me. Seals too. The water was nice, just a bit cool.

I rode my bike over Soledad on the way over and along the coast on the way back. I’m totally beat now.

I had hoped to stop at Bird Rock Roasters on the way home, but I forgot my wallet. Devastating.

3rd swim of the year. 1/2 mile, solo. Water felt nice, a little cool but not cold at all. Low visibility, but clouded dark aquamarine depths are pretty. Flat with a few sets of waves rolling through. Low tide, so I had to swim over seaweed at first. Lots of people in the water.

Shannon and C came too and played on the beach while I swam. It was a great morning.

I'm Jed Sundwall. This is my blog, which you can follow on Tumblr or via RSS. You can talk to me on Twitter.