Kelp Graveyard in La Jolla
I'll admit, my swimming isn't what it used to be. I've resorted to using fins, and next thing you know I'll be using a snorkel. I blame swimming with a camera, but that's a whole other topic.
On this adventure we navigate through the shallows of the La Jolla Sea Caves, mostly around Arch Cave. What is unique about this swim is this is the hottest (not warmest, but hottest) water I've swam in. 79 degrees is very significant for an ocean temperature. Last year's high was around 68...and I thought that was amazing at the time.
And while it is fantastic for us swimmers who don't like the constrictions of wetsuits, it is bad news for kelp, who thrive at up to 72 degrees. This means animals that feed off of kelp will run out of a food source. And those animals are the food source for other bigger fish and bigger predators such as sea lions, sharks, and dolphins...those animals that people love and identify with.
With this swim you can see the kelp has detached itself from the sea floor and is floating ominously near the entrance of the sea caves. They look recently detached because they are still maintaining their color, but if this keeps up the kelp forests will be nothing but floating island graveyards.