My passion for photography drives my desire to travel, enjoy new experiences and capture those moments. I had been to San Diego once before but did not get a chance to look around that time. My main motivation for this trip was that I had heard that just near San Diego in La Jolla there are seals and sea lions in the wild. I was not disappointed.
The day started early for Trish and I with a wild uber ride to Union Station LA to catch the Amtrak Surfliner to Old Town San Diego. This train ride takes around 2.5 hours and follows the West Coast with fantastic views of beautiful beaches for most of the journey.
When arrived in Old Town San Diego we found a bus to take us to La Jolla. La Jolla is a beautiful little town and I would love to come back and spend a night there and photogrph the sunset over La Jolla Cove.
The sea lions were what we came to see and they did not disappoint. At first we found just a couple on their own on some rocks that were separated from the beach by the tide. I am sure they were there because they were keeping clear of all the tourists.
I am regularly amazed by the inane things people think and then say out loud. After being so happy to see the two sea lions only 100 metres away I was standing back up the top looking out over the beautiful bay when a guy asked me if there were any seals. I pointed to the right where they were and he said “oh I wanted them to be right there,” pointing down to the sand below us. Seriously, firstly right there under us was sand not rocks and secondly its not the zoo, it’s the wild.
We explored a litrtle further and found a cave that the ocean was washing through into a little rock pool. It was hard to get the exposure right with the bright sunlight contrasting with the darkness of the cave. There are two photos below that I had a play in Lightroom with to try and balance the exposures.
La Jolla Cove is gorgeous and Trish just had to get that money shot. She and her phone almost took a swim.
After the cave we walked a little further around the cove towards where a large group of tourists were standing. We then discovered why, there were loads of sea lions sunbaking on the rocks. The smell was incredible and not in a good way. It was such a privilege to experience seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural environment. However, I was saddened by how many people were totally ignoring the signs warning you not to go near the sea lions and the disrespect they were showing these creatures. One of the adult sea lions was getting quite distressed because people were getting very close to the babies to get a picture with their phone. In the video below am zoomed in on my Nikon. Unfortunately the quality is not the best as I had not used my camera for video previously. You can see in the video how close people are standing to the sea lions. There were at least 50 people standing on the rocks who are out of the frame. I only caught the first couple on my camera as I was actually filming the sea lion getting out of the water.
How do I know they were sea lions and not seals? Well it was when the adult sea lion started barking at the tourists that I was sure, plus if you look closely at my photos you can see ears. There may have been some seals in there as well. I am certainly no expert as I only learnt the difference from the sign at the top of the rocks. Right near the sign that says not to approach the sea lions.
In this video below you can see an iphone in the hand of a guy out of the frame who was way too close to some baby sea lions who had moved on to some rocks further away probably to try and escape from the tourists.
After La Jolla Cove and the sea lions we jumped in an uber, as we didn’t have time to wait for the next bus, and headed back to Old Town San Diego for a late lunch. Luckily we had planned on Mexican for lunch because that was all there was to choose from. It was amazing as was the margarita.
We only had a short amount of time time for a bit of shopping before walking back through Old Town to the station to catch the train back to LA. The train ride back was both relaxing and scenic. I wintessed the most beautiful sunset of the whole trip through the dirty train windows (and so no photos). The sky was clear and the sun appeared to be just slowly swollowed up as it sank into the sea. As someone who lives on the East Coast of a country it is amazing to me every time I see the sun set over the ocean. I must return to photograph the sunset over La Jolla Cove or one of the gorgeous beaches we past by on our train journey in the future.