Dorian Hargrove 8:30 p.m., Dec. 12
“…I salute the air, the ocean and the land, Every day, at Sundown…” –Whitman
On Friday, dozens of swimmers and triathletes descended on La Jolla Cove to salute the ocean. The conditions were favorable with the swell having diminished from earlier in the week.
The temperature of the water is hovering in the high 60’s and it promises to be an excellent summer season of swimming.
These Friday swims are open to anyone. It would appear that the minimum distance to swim is a quarter mile out and back to make a total of half a mile. The Friday swim remains popular until sometime in October when the water temperature becomes challenging.
The level of swimmer was diverse. There was a group of first timers that went out together with a guide. There were a few hardcore swimmers who went sans tri-suit but most were covered head to toe in neoprene.
Around 5:00 pm, swimmers in significant numbers began arriving. Groups of amphibians continued to ferry out into the cove until just after 6:00 pm.
There is no doubt that this is ocean swimming. At one point, a huge sea lion meandered across the swimming lane. Its big head popped up every so often to check out what was going on. One swimmer almost paddled into the beast but pulled up short. Even from a distance, the body language of the swimmer was obvious--"is that a sha...oh it's only a sea lion".
The grass at Scripps Park was covered with gear as participants utilized the facilities to change into dry clothes.
This is an ideal opportunity for anyone who has been thinking about starting an ocean-swimming habit.