Tide Pooling

Pt Loma 34Pt Loma  060Tide pooling is an activity that we enjoyed last year in California as well as Oregon. So when we found out the tide was to be a negative tide (very low) in the next few days, we decided to try to visit the tide pools of Point Loma at Cabrillo National Monument.

This was timely, as we were planning on spending the day with our friends LuAnn and Terry. We met for lunch at Blue Water Seafood Market and Grill, a wonderful little place with some of the best fish tacos we’ve had here in San Diego (which is saying a lot).Pt Loma 2

Pt Loma 13Then off we went to the tidal pools. We walked out to the south side of the pools to get away from the crowds and to look for a sea hare that we heard was down there. One of the volunteers was perched out on the far south border of the area that’s open to the public, and told us that the sea hare had gone behind a rock.Pt Loma 28

Pt Loma 5Pt Loma 1As we continued our exploration, we noticed that there were no sea stars.  Last year we saw a lot of sea stars with some sort of wasting syndrome, and were warned not to touch them, as no one knew exactly what was wrong with them.  This year we heard that the sea star population from Alaska to Baja was decimated by this disease. Researchers are continuing work to understand the sea star wasting syndrome.

But we heard there were still some brittle stars around, apparently a few species of sea stars have survived the disease thus far. But many of the most common sea stars were the most affected.  I miss those beautiful sea stars. Pt Loma 16Pt Loma 26Pt Loma 7

Pt Loma 29As we continued our hunt we discovered lots of hermit crabs, and lots of kelp and other seaweed (one day I will learn to identify the different types).

We also saw mussels, welks, barnacles, and lots of sea anemones.

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Shore birds, including egrets, were wandering about on the rocks – many were fishing.

All of this framed by beautiful cliffs.   An incredible view all around.Pt Loma 35

Pt Loma 30As we headed back and climbed out of the tidal pool area, we heard a group saying they had spotted octopus and some other interesting sea life – making me realize that sometimes it’s better to remain with the crowds!Pt Loma 32Pt Loma 31

After leaving the monument, we continued to Island Girl for dinner.   A wonderful day with friends!

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Wavy Turban Snail

Pt Loma 38That day we learned that the following day the tide was to be a negative tide again and decided to return to the tidal pools.  So we talked our friends Doug and Trish into going with us.

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones to think of tide pooling as there was a line at the parking lot.   Pt Loma 47Pt Loma 25

Pt Loma 37Then as I tried to walk down on the north side, I saw a sign to keep out, the area was closed to the public because there was what looked to be a stranded sea lion on the rocks.Pt Loma 53

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So we headed back to the south side of the tidal pools to explore some more.  But we just missed the low tide, the tide was now coming back in.  Pt Loma 18Pt Loma 54

Pt Loma 50Pt Loma 23We still spotted many the same types of  sea life as the day before: welks, lots of sea anemones, hermit crabs, and kelp as well as lots of wavy turban snails.  And Hector also spotted a chiton.

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Snowy egrets and whimbrels wandered around nearby.Pt Loma 48Pt Loma 49Pt Loma 46Pt Loma 55

Pt Loma 51We had a lot of fun exploring with Doug and Trish, who were tide pooling for the first time.  And we got to enjoy the beautiful views of the shoreline and cliffs once again.

As we drove home there was a beautiful purple and red sunset. No photos, that sunset will just have to remain in our memory.

Note:  We are behind on the blog by a few weeks (again!) and hope to catch up in the next week.

~ Brenda




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15 thoughts on “Tide Pooling

  1. What a beautiful couple of days at the tide pools! Lovely! So glad little Angel is recovering. What a trooper!

  2. Just spending a day by the water is always good. Little pooling only adds to the experience. You guys are really loving SoCal???

    • Yes, this rocky beach is beautiful with cliffs going down to the water. We do love Southern California!

  3. How nice to spend the day with Terry and LuAnn:) Aren’t they wonderful people!

    The photos of the tide pooling are beautiful. The colors are so bright. It is too bad that there weren’t any sea stars. We didn’t see any either. Love sun halo!

    • Yes, they are! I really missed the sea stars. We generally saw more sea life in the tide pools in Oregon, hoping we see those in the fall this year.

  4. You captured some wonderful photos Hector. Where was I during all of this? Oh yeah, I had a dead camera battery. I would have been really disappointed had I missed out on an opportunity to catch a shot of an octopus. Thanks so much for the great day. Dinner was fabulous! Hector is quite the chef! What a lucky gal you are Brenda! 🙂 So glad that your beautiful little Angel is once again home, where she belongs. Hope to see you again before you leave the SD area. 🙂

    • He did! Bummer about your battery. Can you believe we missed the octopus both days! We had a great time with you. Hector is a great chef, I’m definitely thankful for that.

  5. Brenda,
    What a terrific post! Really brings me into the picture of the experience of the moment. As close to being with you guys as it can can get. Speaking of pictures… Hector, Dude, candy for the eyes! Literally, stopped to absorb them for some time. What a great team you guys make. Your tag “Hector, Brenda and Angel on a journey of discovery” speaks volumes…

    Miss you, love you…

  6. Tide pooling is one of my favorite things to do, especially during a minus tide. Your photos are wonderful! We were very happy to learn from marine biologists in Santa Cruz that the sea stars are beginning to make a comeback from the virus that has decimated the population. It’s fun to see you guys with LuAnn and Terry. 🙂

    • We love tide pooling, and really enjoyed it in Oregon. Oh, I hadn’t seen/heard anything about the comeback. Yay! I love sea stars! LuAnn and Terry are very special people, we love spending time with them.

  7. 20+ years ago we used to see lots of sealife in those tide pools, it is a shame what is happening in those waters overtime. I think the colder waters of the OR coast support more marine life. Another place to try tidepooling is at the end of Sunset Cliffs Blvd. More parking is available than at Cabrillo because you can park in the neighborhood. Just take the stairs down to the beach and explore away!

    • Wow, we only started tide pooling recently and have nothing to compare to. But in our experience the Oregon pools have more marine life so I agree with you. There is an issue here with water that is too warm close to the shore, it’s affected sea lions. I hope we can go to Sunset Cliffs to check those tide pools out.

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