Where to begin?! Well, snorkeling/ kayaking was sort of a bust this time! We were so very excited to get to go kayaking; but, especially the snorkeling! I mean, we were going to be at one of the most awesome places to snorkel, the famous La Jolla caves! We found an awesome Groupon with Everyday California that included snorkeling, kayaking, and all the equipment that you need for your adventure. (As a note for those wondering, it was $35 a person, normally $79; so, that was a total of $140 for our family of four instead of $316.) Their website says, “To fully interact with all the amazing sea life in the Ecological Reserve, our kayak and snorkel tour is the only way to go. This tour is one of our favorites, so expect a senior guide to give you an unforgettable experience swimming with the leopard sharks, sea lions, bat rays, shovel nose guitar fish and sometimes dolphins and sea turtles.” From the start, even on the phone, all of staff were very professional and personable.
When we woke up the morning to leave early to get there, we realized that the weather wasn’t going to be the best. However, we couldn’t cancel because you can only cancel days in advance (I can’t recall if it was 24 or 48 hours). We thought, “Oh well, we’ll make the best of it!” So, we headed out really early since we had to be there by 8:30 am and it was going to take an hour and a half – – without traffic! We left an extra hour early (As that seems to be how much time you need extra here in CA). When we arrived, all of the personnel were just as friendly and cheerful as they were on the phone. When we checked in, we found out NOT all of the equipment was provided with the Groupon. It included all of the equipment except the wet suit (which is very needed in the Pacific, especially on a cold, gloomy day). We found out that it cost $7 for the top and $10 for the bottom. Of course, we had to get them; so, that was another $68. Our total had now come up to $208 for our family of four. We didn’t like having that surprise expense; but, we figured that’s okay, we’ll have an awesome once in a lifetime adventure! So, after we paid for our wet suits, they took us through a routine of what to get, in what order to get everyone ready as fast as possible to have as much time as possible on the water. Soon, we had all our gear and were all outside waiting for our instructional safety briefing! After that, we walked a few blocks to the beach. It was nice to see that they had a basic kayaking class once we got there because we had kayaked before; but, it had been a long time and our kids had never kayaked. They explained the simple idea that if you paddle on the left than you’ll head to the right, and vice versa. As long as you paddle on both sides, you will head forward! Great little class for beginners or a great refresher. They explained which direction we needed to head in order to get to the caves and we were off!
The kayaking portion of the tour was all that it should have been and more! It was a bit windy and the water was a bit rough (there were even a few kayak tip overs); so, let me tell you, it reminded me of my days in the military! Two words… Muscle Failure! We had a great time though, just reminded me how much more we still need to get in shape! Once we got out there, the two guides that were kayaking along with us, got out of the boat and started diving looking for sea life as we all got in the water and started looking around too! Unfortunately, they only found 2-3 different types of fish. They kept looking and worked really hard trying to find us something to look at. As they realized that there wasn’t much of anything to see, they went about explaining the significance of that caves and how they came to be. We learned that robbers used the caves to hide their stash and they were successful for quite sometime. After that, the guides continued to look for sea life, to no avail.
Very disappointing. One of the things I was really looking forward to was the Leopard Sharks! I know there are a lot of other sea life that we could have possibly seen and I looked forward to seeing them too; but, the Leopard Sharks were what I was probably the most nervous and excited to see. One of the reasons why is because we visited an aquarium here in CA and they were popping their heads up from the water to get attention from us there! I was a bit nervous and scared (hey they’re sharks after all); but, also excited (they are sharks but wanted human interaction and attention at the aquarium)!!! Don’t get me wrong, I know Everyday California can’t control the weather and the guides were awesome and really tried to do everything they could to make it fun (not to mention, they looked hard for sea life); but, it was a bit of a let down none-the-less. With all the over-the-top reviews, it would have been nice if Everyday California offered us to come back another day for free, or even at a discounted rate. I think everyone would have been happy with a minimal discount! Who knows, since I’m sure they love the good reviews, maybe Everyday California will allow us the opportunity to try this again at a discount! I would love to be able to say wonderful things about this tour!
Overall, we walked away wanting to do more snorkeling and kayaking! We would love to pick up all the gear so that we can explore on our own where ever we may be at the time. So, maybe the day wasn’t such a bust after all! We still had a great time and gained a few new hobbies! Hope you enjoy the video below!