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.


(2nd swim of 2013. 1/2 mile with Danny who is great. I’d asked last night him if he wanted to swim today at 5:30 and he didn’t know I meant PM. He actually got up and texted me at 5:15 AM. What a guy! The board said the water was 65F and it felt great – not cold at all. Huge swell. Low visibility in the water because it was overcast and gloomy.)

1st swim of the year. A sluggish half mile in 57° water that froze my face. I wore a wetsuit and swim cap. Lots of seals were out playing too, which was fun. I didn’t see any swimming beneath me though.

Shannon (who took these beautiful pictures) recommended I go yesterday to participate in a St. Patrick’s day swim. The swim turned out to be a non-event, so I just swam on my own. It was nice to be back in the water. It was especially nice to have my girls with me.

11th swim of the year. Possibly the best. As the lifeguard’s whiteboard said, the water was a “toasty” 61°. I swam it without a wetsuit, which felt awesome. The swell was massive and the tide was high (see above), so I waited for a big wave to come in and dove right into it and went.

I could see the quarter-mile buoy this time, so I counted my strokes out to it. Almost exactly 500 strokes. The half-mile buoy is still missing, so I decided to swim to the buoys that mark the border of what is called the “Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve”. First to the one west of the quarter-mile buoy, and then turning north to the next. It took just over 500 strokes to get out to the second.

The swim was gorgeous. The water was clear enough to see the ocean floor, but sandy enough to make dazzling rays of the sunlight shining through. The kelp forest was rich, but not overwhelming and annoying to swim through. There was a lot of energy in the water, so the sun flickered under the water and made the kelp look like writhing eels. There were about a million fish out.

At one point, I swam over a brown cloud of something with fish scattering away from it. I thought it might be octopus ink, but I wasn’t sure. All I know is that I freaked out and swam a bit faster. I saw an octopus squirt ink a few years ago in Hanauma Bay, but that was black. A quick search for “brown octopus ink” has me convinced that I swam over an octopus altercation. Awesome.

It felt like swimming through an aquarium.

By the time I got to the 3rd buoy, I was approaching La Jolla Canyon, so I couldn’t see the floor anymore and there were no more fish. It was lonely. I was glad to get back to swimming with the fish on the way home.

I biked over Soledad both there and back and felt as strong as ever. I also ran just over 13 1/2 miles into work on Friday. I’m still worried that I haven’t practiced any long bike rides or many transitions from biking to running, but these big workouts haven’t been wearing me out, so I’m feeling pretty good about Dec 2nd.

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