San Diego Shark Sightings

San Diego Shark Sightings Featured Image

Seeing how I have been homebound during this unprecedented worldwide quarantine (I am sure you can relate), I had the time to do a bit of shark research. I have always wondered how often sharks are seen off the coast of San Diego. Through the years, I have heard rumors, but seeing that I had a bunch of time on my hands, I set out to find all that I could about San Diego shark sightings and encounters that happen off the coastline.

Sharks have always fascinated me ever since I was a little girl. In fact, my very first scientific report was on the hammerhead shark in fourth grade.

hammerhead shark san diego shark sightings

There is something so powerful and alluring about sharks that tug deep at your primal soul. The coldness of the eyes and the methodic tail movements that propel them through the water always captures my attention and imagination every time. I mean, just the fact that sharks have been around for over 400 million years, blows me away!

But, I digress.

My mind was running wild while reading over all of the fascinating shark encounter reports. It was a welcome reprieve to get away from all of the chaos that is happening in the world right now.

So, I thought, why not document the various shark sightings/ encounters for San Diego County, beach by beach?  It would make for a great addition to my website, as well as for my curiosity.  

Sad News From Santa Cruz, California

While I was writing this article, something truly tragic happened off the coast of Northern California at 1:30  pm on May 11.

On the northern end of Monterey Bay, Ben Kelly,  26-years-old, was attacked and killed by a shark while surfing. The tragedy took place 100 yards  (91 meters) from shore off Sand Dollar Beach at Manresa State Beach, Santa Cruz.

Kelly was surfing with a friend, who stated that they were able to swim back to shore, but they could not stop the bleeding.

It was also noted that this area is notorious for juvenile great white shark sightings and is referred to as “Shark Park.”

But a juvenile did not attack Ben, as experts reported the shark to have been larger than 10 feet.

What Type of Sharks Are Found off the Coast of San Diego County?

Surfing Terramar San Diego Shark Sightings
Terramar Beach

Before I get into all of the critical shark sighting data that I have uncovered, I thought I would first off make a list of possible sharks that are seen in and around San Diego waters.

To go one step further, I have separated them into two groups, Coastal, and Pelagic.  Down below are the definitions given to simplify the difference between the two.

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Are Any San Diego Beaches Open Yet? (Updated May 2)

san diego beaches open featured image

Every morning that I have been waking up this past month, I have to keep reminding myself that this is not a dream, almost the entire World is on lockdown. The first question that comes to mind every day is- are any San Diego beaches open yet?

North Crystal pier surfers san diego beaches open
Pacific Beach

It has been a surreal experience, and I am quite confident that all of you reading this, concur. I am not going to lie. The inhibition of travel to the coast hit me the hardest, and I even work in the restaurant business.

I lost my job temporarily (we hope) on March 15. Also, losing my job didn’t hit me as hard as not being able to go to the beach, or in other words, being told to stay in my home with restricted travel limits. Every day, I would scour the internet to find any positive moves to correct this disastrous decision to cut off the coast to the population. You can read up-to-date information here, which includes linked sources.

Well, enough of my rantings. Are any of the San Diego beaches open yet? Let’s take a look at what I have found.

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Grunion Run 2020 Schedule

It has taken me a bit of time to tell you that Southern California’s infamous fish, the grunion’s mating season is upon us! Why? Well, seeing that all the San Diego County beaches are closed, as all citizens a barred from experiencing the coastline, I hesitated. Even the Dept of Fish and Wildlife took the chart off of its site so as not to encourage people from coming to the beach and witness this phenomenon. Down below, I present to you the San Diego grunion run schedule for May- September, with the anticipation that the beaches will be open on May 1st (fingers crossed).

First, I will give you a little background information on why this is such a spectacular event, followed by my recommendation on the best beaches in San Diego would be ideal for witnessing the grunion mating dance.

What is a Grunion Run, and Why is it a Big Deal?

Single Grunion spawning beach sand
Wikimedia Commons

The grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) is a type of smelt which is small, silvery, and is about the size of a sardine. These fish are only found off the coast of Southern California, from San Luis Obispo down to Northern Baja California.

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Live Streaming Beach Cams

live streaming beach cams featured image

In this time of unprecedented beach restrictions across the globe, I thought it would be the right time to do a little more research concerning being able to experience the beach while we all “shelter-in-place.” How do you ask? Well, I am sure that the above title gives it away. Down below, I have found some of the best live streaming beaches cams out there.

So why did I choose these particular beaches? No apparent reason. I would be happy looking at a small wave pool at this point. But, no, really, I chose these particular beaches because of the aesthetics and how they made me feel. A few of these webcams have ad’s, but you only have to wait 15 seconds until it is refreshed again.

I hope that you enjoy them all, just as much as I do. On a side note, I have also included a few other beaches from all around the world. Which one will you find the most exciting? Have a look!

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All San Diego City Beaches Are Closed

San Diego Beaches closed featured image

I can not believe that I am writing these words, but all San Diego city beaches are closed to the public as a precaution to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Can you believe what you are reading? I keep thinking that I am going to wake up and this is all a bad dream.

Here is a timeline of events that have been occurring in San Diego County, starting on March 15 to “flatten-the curve,” to discourage large gatherings and to maintain social distancing.

San Diego Beach Closures –Timeline of Events

beach closure timeline california san diego

  • Sunday, March 15- all restaurants and bars are to be closed until April 28.
  • Tuesday, March 17- the State of California closes all state campgrounds and beach parking lots, but beaches, trails, and non-campground areas are still open.
  • Thursday, March 19- Governor Gavin Newsom declares a ‘shelter-in-place’ order for the entire state of California.
  • Friday, March 20- the cities of San Diego, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar close all parks, beach parking lots, and boat launch ramps. Cabrillo National Monument was closed but stated that it would open back up on April 10. All outdoor areas and trails are still open. (Update- Everything closed until further notice.)
  • Monday, March 23- due to lack of social distancing and gathering of large groups at several beaches in San Diego on the previous weekend, the mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer calls for the closing of all San Diego City-owned lakes, beaches, boardwalks, parks, and trails. The cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar, follow San Diego and do the same.
  • Tuesday, March 24, the Port of San Diego officially closes all parks, trails, parking lots, and boat launch ramps of San Diego Bay. Imperial Beach officially closes all if its beaches.

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The Megamouth Shark- A New Species

Megachasma pelagios featured image

I thought I would post something different today! While cleaning up the other day, I found a few of my college reports and had a fabulous time reminiscing the good old days when I all I would think about day in and day out was Marine Biology. I remember distinctly writing this paper, as well as visiting the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to photograph the Catalina megamouth shark specimen.

To make things a bit easier to read, I have broken up the body of my report to make it flow better. If anyone is familiar with Scientific Papers, they can be a bit chunky, so I hope this helps.

When I was composing this report, there had only been four megamouth sharks seen ever. Over the past 30 years, 58 more can be added to that list. So please remember while you are reading this, that scientifically this paper doesn’t hold much credence due to its age.

But,  most of the information is still very relevant, especially the morphology. Have fun and make sure to check out the end, as I will be listing all megamouth sharks that have been observed so far.

Introduction- Megachasma pelagios,  Family Megachasmidae

megamouth shark hawaiian specimen
Figure 1- Hawaiian specimen caught off of Oahu, Nov. 15, 1976

A rare and startling discovery took place on November 15, 1976, off Oahu, Hawaii. A U.S. Navy research vessel had its anchor down at about 165 m depth and had a strange 4.5 m adult male shark attached to it.

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Walking Around Guajome Lake and Regional Park

Guajome Regional Park featured image water birds cattails

In mid- January, I took my daughters and Mother-in-Law to experience Guajome Lake and Regional Park in Oceanside for a couple of hours. You see, we are always passing by the front entrance whenever we take Highway 76 to the coast.

I have always been intrigued by what Guajome Lake looked like, so today was the day to find out!

Map


A Bit of Guajome Regional Park History

Guajome regional park grassy picnic area

First off, here are a few statistics regarding Guajome Regional Park. The park spans over 394 acres and is 8 miles inland from the coast.

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San Diego Beach Buzz- March Events 2020

San Diego Beach Buzz March Events

Welcome back! Lord have mercy this year has been shooting by! Are you planning on visiting San Diego in March? Here is a bunch of things happening in this beautiful city. Take a look and figure out which events interest you! Down below, I have compiled for you a bunch of different things that you can do while on the coast of San Diego. Most events are free to the public. So let’s take a look at San Diego Events for March 2020

The Carlsbad Flower Fields Open in March!

Carlsbad Flower Fields San Diego March Events
Photo Credit- Kellinahandbasket @ Flickr

Starting March 1, the Carlsbad Flower Fields is open to the public for only six to eight weeks!

Now is the time to visit this 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers.

“Today, the fields are a direct result of over 85 years of floral cultivation that began when Luther Gage, an early settler, and grower, settled in the area in the early 1920s.

Mr. Gage introduced Ranunculus seeds and began growing them in his fields next to Frank Frazee’s small vegetable farm in South Oceanside. This started a business called “Luther Gage Giant Tecolote Ranunculus bulbs.” The name “Tecolote” came from the owls that nested on his property.”
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Desperately Seeking Torrey Pine Trees

west facing torrey pine 2019 torrey pine trees

I would have a bit of fun with this post today. You see, with all the exploring that I have been doing in San Diego County, I have been noticing the elusive Torrey pine trees while on my adventures.

What has me so intrigued is the fact that the Torrey pine tree is endangered and is the rarest pine tree in North America. The Torrey pine tree only grows naturally on a tiny strip of land on the bluffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (TPSNR). Because of this, I keep noticing them wherever I go around San Diego County!

I have tried to find any information on who planted all of these trees, but regardless I was ecstatic every time I saw a Torrey pine tree. So I did a little research and let me tell you, it was not easy.  There is plenty of necessary information, but other than that, not so much.

Torrey Pine Tree Information

torrey pine tree scientific information

First and foremost, the Torrey pine tree only grows naturally in two places Del Mar and Santa Rosa Island, off the coast of Santa Barbara, which is 175 miles away.

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San Diego Beach Buzz- February Events 2020

San Diego Beach Buzz February featured image

Welcome back! Can you believe how fast the month of January has gone by? Wow! Down below are some fabulous events that are happening on the coast of San Diego in February. Now, I am sure most in the country can not even imagine that here in February, the average high temperature in San Diego is 65 F (18 C). Pretty nice, yes? While most of the country is dealing with snow,  here in San Diego we are wondering if we need sunscreen. Let’s now take a look at what is happening this month, shall we?

San Diego February Marathons

February San Diego Marathons february events

There seems to be a wide variety of San Diego marathons to choose from in February! I was pleasantly surprised at the variety that is offered.

11th Annual Warrior Spirit 5k Run/Walk Family Festival

warrior run carlsbad marathon

Website

Time: Registration-8:30 am and Opening Ceremonies-9:15 am

Sponsored by the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, on Saturday, the 1st starting over at Poinsettia Park in Carlsbad, join others to race to support those with life-threatening childhood diseases and their families.

“Funds raised from the event will go toward MTF’s Families Team Pages where their bills will be paid from. MTF’s Programs; Medical & Home Assistance, Healing & Rehabilitation, and Wheelchair Conversion Vans Programs.”

There will be live music, food and health vendors, Kids Fun Zone Area, mini-therapy ponies, a dance contest, and even a costume contest. Registration is $45. Click on the above link for more information.

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King Tide at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

My husband and I had tickets for the ‘King’ of all concerts- Tool at  Viejas Arena SDSU  on Sunday, Jan 12. It was a Christmas present from my sister-in-law (thank you, Tess!), so we decided to make a day out of it. My husband even made the situation sweeter by getting a hotel room. I usually work on the weekends, so you can probably imagine how excited I was to take a day off! So, my main objective was to make this one of the best days ever in San Diego  ( my best days are always at the beach!). I knew that the King Tide was due in for that weekend, so I thought what better place to check out the tide pools than over at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park-Garbage Beach.

What is a King Tide?

point loma tide chart jan 11 to 13 King Tide
Point Loma Tide Chart

After a full and new moon, a spring tide occurs, due to the gravitational pull,  of the moon and sun. The result produces a very high tide and, in turn, a very low tide. So, in essence, a Spring Tide is when there is the most significant distance between the high tide and the low tide. The best time to go to the tide pools during extremely low tide is during winter because, In the summer months, all the shallow tides only happen at night.

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2019 Year In Review Photo Gallery

2019 Year in Review Large featured image

Anytime I am on the coast, I am happy! How about you? Down below are a few of my San Diego beach highlights. Will you join me as I go over my 2019 year in review? I sure had fun remembering all of the great places I visited, and as always, I have plenty of photos to share!

I have written about many of these beaches previously, so click on any link for additional information.

Ready? Let’s Go!


January San Diego Beach Adventures in 2019

observation deck Buena Vista Lagoon 2019 Year in Review

 Buena Vista Lagoon-Buccaneer Beach-Oceanside Harbor

My oldest daughter Maya and I went to investigate the western section of Buena Vista Lagoon in Oceanside on the 15th of January. It was a gloomy day, but any day on the coast is a good day in my book!

First, we were able to take a quick walk around the nature trail.

We also popped into the nature center to look around for a bit.  Later, we crossed the street to see the section of the lagoon behind the Saint Malo Beach community that I have never seen before.

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San Diego Beach Buzz- January 2020

la jolla strand 2019 San Diego Beach

Can you believe that 2020 is almost here? Me neither! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to go to the beach more. How about you? At San Diego Beach Secrets, our primary goal is to be as informative regarding anything and everything there is to do and see on the coast of San Diego.

So here, I present to you our very first newsletter- the San Diego Beach Buzz!

Down below are a few examples of things to do on the coast of San Diego County for January.

Important Information Concerning the Ocean Waters in January

To start, I must get this pertinent information out of the way. It is not advisable to enter any of the beaches off the coast of San Diego County in January, especially after heavy rains.

border field state beach Tijuana culverts storm
Tijuana River Valley culverts found right on the US/ Mexico border

All beaches south of Coronado are closed due to sewage contamination from Mexico, while all San Diego County beaches are also closed due to dangerous urban runoff after recent rainfall.

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence here in San Diego during the winter months. There are usually signs posted, warning of high bacteria levels, but I highly recommend not entering the water at all, especially near river mouths (lagoon inlets)

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San Diego Summer Fun- 2019

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Panoramic

For as long as I can remember, summer has always been my favorite season! It could be that my Birthday is on July 1st, but to be honest, I think it is more than that. You see, my favorite place on this Earth is the beach. So can you think of a better time to visit the beach but in summer? Me neither! Join my daughters and me and see where we explored during our San Diego Summer of 2019!

The Best  Summer Possible!

Heermans gulls encinitas moonlight beach
Heerman’s gulls on Moonlight Beach

This San Diego Summer I wanted to make it super special because it was the last summer with my girls before they are both off to college.

My eldest daughter has been in college for two years already and came home for the summer, but my youngest was just about to start. I have been a stay at home Mom for over twenty years, so the thought of not have any children home puts the panic of God into me.

However, I was not going to let my anxiety of missing my kids get in the way of us having the best San Diego summer possible.

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