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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.
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.
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.