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Tag: ocean

Kayaking La Jolla Sea Caves

Kayaing La Jolla

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Shortly after booking our recent California Coastal Cruise, Celebrity changed the itinerary and added a port stop in San Diego. We thought about doing the San Diego Zoo or Balboa Park, but our love of paddlesports won out and we decided to book a sea cave kayaking tour in La Jolla.

When our ship docked in San Diego, we caught a Lyft to La Jolla to meet our tour and walk to the beach. Now, we have kayaked in the ocean before (as recently as December in Puerto Rico), but nothing prepared us for kayaking in La Jolla. The description of the tour says “You will get wet” so we were anticipating the typical level of wetness that we get kayaking. We got in the kayak and the tour guide helped us launch through the surf where the person in the front (me) got hit with a full-body wave. I was dripping wet.

La Jolla Sea Caves

Once we were out in the ocean it was like any other kayaking trip. We got up close to the rocks but were unable to go into the caves because the tide was low and the waves were big. Our guide said that we could go into the caves but we wouldn’t be able to get back out, so you will have to settle for the picture of the caves in shadow (above). Since we couldn’t go into the caves, we paddled a little farther and got to see the sea lions sunbathing on the rocks (top).

Heading back to shore was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Our guide referred to it as “kayak surfing”. Essentially, you have to paddle hard, straight through the waves, until you hit the sand. If you turn your kayak the waves will flip you. Our guide told us 80% of people flip. I think our guide had kayaks going a little too close together because I think we would have made it if it wasn’t for the person who went before us. He capsized and was moving slowly and our boat was heading right for him so we had to veer out of the way and we capsized too. Chris says we need to go back to La Jolla and try it again because he thinks we would have made it otherwise.

Other people on our tour were wearing wetsuits. After the tour, I wished we had rented wetsuits (remember, I didn’t know we were going to fall into the ocean on this tour). It took a long time to warm up after that and we just went back to the ship to change into dry clothes and warm up. If we had prepared better we may have explored more of La Jolla or San Diego before heading in for the day.

Kayakers in La Jolla

We were in San Diego on the day San Diego State was playing in the Elite Eight for the first time in program history and the vibe in town was electric. Our Lyft driver was listening to the game and whooping with excitement. There were people watching the game outside in La Jolla and cheering. It was a really cool moment to get to experience.

If you will be in the area and you want to kayak La Jolla and try your hand at Kayak Surfing, I recommend Hike Bike Kayak Adventures on Viator. Their prices are very reasonable and the tour was great. Just be prepared to get VERY wet and if it’s chilly, rent a wetsuit!

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip, check out the Cruising the Pacific Coast Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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Acadia National Park: Park Loop Road

Thunder Hole at Acadia National Park

After we left Salem, we headed North to Maine. Upon first entering the state, I fell in love. There is something breathtaking and different about Coastal Maine. It looks like a mountain range, but smells like the beach. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. We arrived at Acadia and set up camp at Seawall Campground, which is located on the “quiet side” of the island. I didn’t really understand why they call it that until the next day.

Our first full day at Acadia was dedicated to driving the Park Loop Road. The Park Loop Road is the 27 mile road John D. Rockefeller Jr. built around Mount Desert Island so visitors can explore the park by automobile (instead of driving cars on the miles of the park’s carriage roads). We began our tour at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center. While at the visitor center, we picked up an audio tour of the park look road to listen to on our drive. I really enjoyed it because we learned some history of the park as well as some information about natural side of Acadia. Also at the visitor center, we got our first taste of Acadia’s summer crowds. Holy Cow. Before this trip, I read Moon’s Acadia National Park Travel Guide and it mentioned that July and August are the busiest times to visit Acadia. I went into it picturing the Sleeping Bear Dunes on Labor Day but it was more like Disney World around Christmas. Parking lots were packed. As you can see in the Thunder Hole picture above, people were just everywhere. Truly, trying to get a clear picture was like trying to get a picture of Cinderella’s Castle without the people in it. It just wasn’t going to happen. Between the crowds and the heat, I really struggled with photographic inspiration in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

Schooner Head Overlook at Acadia National Park

The Moon book really pushed for visitors to use the free Island Explorer Buses (sponsored by L.L. Bean). They reduce emissions and help with the crowded parking lots. We decided for our first day in the park we would drive the Park Loop Road to give us the flexibility to stop and see anything we wanted to see. One of our first stops was the Schooner Head Overlook (left). Compared to the rest of the park and other sections of the Park Loop road, this was a very quiet spot. We only saw a few people on the trail, one of which was setting up an easel to paint. This would be a great place to watch a beautiful Acadia sunrise and to catch the first rays of sun in the United States.

Of course, we had to stop at Thunder Hole (above). It was very cool to hear the waves thundering into the natural rock inlet. It really does sound like thunder. We wanted to stop at Sand Beach and see the only sandy beach in the park, but we couldn’t find a parking spot, so we kept driving. If you are looking to visit Sand Beach, I highly recommend taking the Island Explorer because we visited around 9 the next morning and the parking lot was already full.

Crowds aside, I do recommend driving the Park Loop Road at least once because the Island Explorer bus doesn’t stop at every place you may want to see. In particular, the bus does not go to the top of Cadillac Mountain, so if you want to see the highest peak on the east coast (and if you’re in Acadia, you should) you can only get there by car or by climbing it. Personally, I don’t hike something if I can drive it and I definitely don’t hike up the side of a mountain, so we drove and that is the topic for next week! Be sure to come back to hear all about it!

If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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B&B Trip Report: Recap

Pea Island

Four months and fifteen posts later, I have reached the end of my Beaches and Battlefields Trip Report. I have covered six states, four battlefields, two English colonies, six campgrounds, and four barrier islands. It was definitely a busy trip, but it was a great one. I learned some life lessons on this trip too. Like, tent camping on the beach is like sleeping in a tiny greenhouse. I think I will save my beach front camping for cooler times of the year from now on.  Since this trip, we have taken a few short weekend trips around Michigan and I am excited to share those photos with you in the coming weeks. I hope you have enjoyed this trip report and you will continue to check back for my mini “Mitten Trip” reports.

Thanks for stopping by! To revisit the posts from the trip, check out the B&B Trip Report Archives. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Lighthouse Views

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