Just because the calendar says January doesn't mean beaches become desolate tracks of sand.
Particularly in Laguna.
The 58-degree ocean didn't deter swimmers, kayakers, paddle boarders or scuba divers from visiting last weekend and earlier this week — a balmy period with plenty of sunshine.
Laguna Beach lifeguards operate year-round, and although the staffing isn't up to summertime numbers, marine safety personnel still keep a close watch on the intricate, craggy 5 1/2-mile coastline. It's tough terrain to guard, one that boasts little coves and rock outcroppings surrounded by steep cliffs dotted with oceanfront homes and throngs of visitors.
Being a lifeguard is all about perception. One has to be a staunch observer who notices the tiniest of details that laymen may overlook.
"Our job is to be super-observant," said Marine Safety Lt. Kai Bond, who became a Laguna guard in 1995.
On a recent weekday,
Bond headed north from Main Beach to Crescent Bay and Shaw's Cove beaches, both popular dive destinations.