In August of 2015 I headed into the water at Mission Beach for a swim. As I swam out, the waves looked good and a big set was rolling in. I noticed five or six other swimmers outside. I always make sure someone is out farther than me. A big wave approached, but I knew I couldn't catch it, so I dove under. As I surfaced, I realized the other swimmers had caught the wave and that I was the only one left outside.
I was startled to see a big black fin. I couldn't see its body because of the white water and the surge. It was moving slowly away from me in a northerly direction, towards La Jolla. I watched it for about 30 seconds as it continued north.
I caught the next wave in and went immediately to the lifeguard to report what I had just seen. That guard checked with the lifeguard in the tower, but he couldn't see anything and told me it was probably a dolphin. I told the lifeguard that I knew the difference between a dolphin and a shark, what I saw was not a dolphin. Their fins roll and bob up and down. This fin was in a straight line heading north.
The next day there was an article in the Union-Tribune about three hammerhead sharks bumping into some kayakers off the cove in La Jolla. They were able to get away unharmed.
The day after, there was a follow-up article in the paper on the three hammerheads. One of them had been tagged with a monitor which reports its location every three days. This big fellow had just made a 400-mile trip into Baja and back. They said he probably passed Mission Beach between August 24 and 26. I was body surfing on August 25.