December 22, 2018

High Tide at Sunrise

After having attended a "High Tide Dinner" at The Marine Room in La Jolla, California...

circa 1950 (Photo: The Marine Room)

...I knew there was only one thing left to do.

I had to go back and watch the tide come in during daylight.

Fortunately, The Marine Room also offers a "Hide Tide Breakfast"...

...and one happened to be scheduled the weekend before Christmas, with waves predicted at 7 feet around 8 a.m.

I made a reservation for both Saturday and Sunday morning in case a conflict came up or one morning looked like it was going to be much better than the other.

These "High Tide" meals always fill up. You can take your chances without a reservation, but you likely won't get a window (a.k.a. front row) seat.

I nabbed my "table for one" for 7 a.m.—which meant I'd have to leave home at 5 a.m. if I wasn't going to spend the night before—and this early bird got the worm.

I almost felt the spray from the surf.

I was no longer a first-timer, yet still captivated by the waves (though they were really no different than the ones I'd seen just three months ago, only now better illuminated).

But there was another benefit to settling in for breakfast in front of the picture windows: the wildlife.

Not only did I see seagulls and pelicans flying by, but I also witnessed a sea lion surfing on by (either twice, or two different lions) and I'm pretty sure I spotted a dolphin breaching next to a couple human swimmers.

That is, when the waves weren't completely obscuring the view.

One of the real attractions to attending the High Tide Breakfasts or Dinners is the reaction of the other diners. It feels like you're watching fireworks together. You get the "oohs" and "ahhhs" and "whoas" and the wagers, like, "This one looks like it's gonna be a good one..."

We tried to snap a photo of the sea lion before he dove underwater, but he was too quick for our cameras.

"Oh well," a woman at the neighboring table said, "He's not trained."

She paused, and then added, "Neither are the waves."

The Marine Room service staff report that sometimes the waves get so high, they bang against the skylights above. And sometimes, they boom so loudly that they're sure they're going to break through again, as they did in the 1980s.

Contrary to the original prediction, maybe tomorrow morning's high tide will be even bigger and better. Maybe it'll be the infamous king tide that comes in.

If so, I'll have to miss out. I had to choose between the two days. I couldn't go to both.

And regardless, I walked away at 9 a.m. this morning, having had an incredibly special experience.

Related Post:
A Table With A View

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