Monthly Archives: February 2022

High Surf Advisory at Torrey Pines, California

Big ocean swell moves ashore at Torrey Pines

I grew up just miles from the beaches on Long Island–I frequently would bike to the beach and swim in the ocean, and I got my PADI scuba certification in my teens in the murky waters of Long Island Sound. But until this past week, I had not swam in the ocean in over 20 years. I was excited to get back to the surf, so excited that I blew a couple grand on an underwater surf housing (Aquatech) for my camera.

It was good to be back! I miss the grand feel of the sea, and the chorus of waves that is constantly changing on the beach. I spent three mornings at Torrey Pines, first scouting out various locations, including the famous Black’s Beach, where I took this photo at sunset. I was surprised to find flowers blooming in January!

Sunset from the glider park above Black’s

I probably should have picked calmer conditions, but my hubris drove me to target a week of heavy surf, somne of the roughest conditions this winter. Waves just offshore were 10+ feet, but I wisely avoided the biggest waves and stuck with 4-5 foot shore breakers. Still, instead of Clark Little-like shots of perfect waves, I mostly got tossed around like a rag doll and drank lots of seawater as I captured various shots of bubbles and foam!

The state reserve from the shore breaking waves.

Still I came away with some interesting shots like this over-under shot just after sunrise. It was hihgly addictive and I will certainly be back–I learned a lot in three mornings jumping into the ocean!

Waves breaking at sunrise from Torrey Pines.

There is something profoundly beautiful and calming about the ocean–especially at sunrise and sunset. It’s a special place to be.

Sunrise from Torrey Pines.
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