Anna and I have had a late start to our summer snorkeling, but are trying to make up for that now. Part of the reason for the late start was that last year was depressing. The red tide made for horrible conditions. This year the water temp has been at or below 70F, bit of a change from where it was earlier in the summer, but the water has also been fairly clear (10-30 foot plus at times). La Jolla Shores has been especially clear with a lot of rays, but we haven’t seen any sharks yet. I’ve heard they are there though, in the usual spot (off the Marine Room), we’ve just been unlucky I guess. We will be trying to see some this afternoon.
La Jolla Cove and the Caves have been full of garibaldi, kelp bass, and the little sardine looking guys. The garibaldi seem to be hovering around the rocks, chasing off other fish – probably protecting the juveniles. I managed to spot some of the less common life, stuff like eels and kelp fish, but they require a lot of time on the bottom to pinpoint. This seems to be the year of the lobster, I don’t remember ever seeing so many of them in the rocks. They are literally fighting for rock spots with each other. It is a great time to snorkel, just watch out for the tourist kayakers, they are like snorkel hunters.
Update: Anna and I snorkeled from 4 to 5 PM on the south end of La Jolla shores. The surf was rough, but the water was still up to 15′ visibility in certain areas. We finally got a good glimpse of the sharks. There were quite a few leopards sharks in the shallows, but they also seemed to be spread out at all depths. I saw one small blue shark (maybe soupfin), and a whole lot of smoothhound sharks, and guitarfish near the south edge of the swim zone buoys. The leopards seem to be pretty skittish, but I was able to get pretty close to the smaller smoothhounds. There were also a lot of schools of fish – zebra stripes, opal eye, etc. Get snorkeling!