Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tide Pools

The last time we drove out to Point Loma the tides were too high for us to be able to wander around their famous tide pools.     It sounded like something we'd really enjoy doing so we made plans to return when the tides were more favorable.

Monday turned out to be the perfect day.   After we dropped the Jeep off for a factory recall we picked up lunch at our favorite Ocean Beach sandwich shop (Hungry Lu's) and headed toward Point Loma for a pre-tide pool picnic.

We were a little too early for the optimal "tide window" so we detoured onto Shelter Island to eat our lunch by the water.

We parked in Shelter Island Shoreline Park, near the fishing pier.  We saw the San Diego skyline from a different perspective, it was just as beautiful.       The linear park has a number of interesting sculptures lining its waterfront walkway.  

The bay was busy with military and private ships and boats.   Helicopter's buzzed like mosquitoes overhead.    In between bites,  Dave had binoculars attached to his face.

USS Spruance

After lunch we continued our drive to Point Loma.   Lisa had suggested another tide pool spot so we checked it out first, but the steep stairs down to the beach turned me away.     We figured we could always come back to it if our original destination was too crowded.

view from the top of Hill Street in Point Loma

We were lucky in picking the right time of day and the day of the week to visit the tide pools because there weren't many "others" there.

the tide was still going out, perfect!

We scrambled down layers of rock to the exposed, rocky floor of the beach.
A volunteer there gave us some suggestions about what to look for and the best direction to walk.   He also said that we probably wouldn't see sea stars in any of the pools because a sea star wasting disease plague has decimated their population from the coastal northwest all the way down to Mexico.   We were disappointed and saddened by the news.

We climbed and squatted and jumped and slid and flopped (only me....) and poked for almost a mile along the rocky exposed beach.   We didn't see a single sea star, but we had a jolly time anyway.    Lots to see.    A small octopus watched us from under a large rock, coming out when we'd turn to go, sliding  under when we looked back.   He just wouldn't pose for a picture.


We spent so much of our time looking under rocks and into small pools that we almost missed an interesting area in the cliffs behind us.     Dave called me to come see the crabs hiding between the layers of wet rock.

Some were teeny tiny, some were much bigger and more bold.   They'd scurry to the front of their ledge to look me in the eye but raced back deep when I'd point the camera at them.

It was such a beautiful, warm day.   We spent a wonderful few hours walking on such a different kind of beach.    I guess any day on any beach is a perfect day for us.


  1. So glad you did get to the tidal pools:) It is great fun to see what lurks in each little area. We didn't see any starfish either because of the disease. I'm sorry to hear they haven't made a comeback:( What a wonderful place for lunch with a view:) Love the sculpture of the fisherman! We'll have to check this area out.

  2. Sad to hear about the starfish...

  3. Another perfect shot of the skyline - so pretty!! The tide pools are such a unique little world. Love the textures and the funny crabs. Can't decide if the one above Dave on the rock is a root ball or a brain :-)))))

  4. Ahhh, steep stairs too! I didn't consider they might seem like a cliff!

    It's so nice to experience a low tide without mobs of people! Weekends can be crazy at the Point. 20 years ago sea stars and sea slugs and cucumbers were common at the tide pools. BUT, an octopus! That's the holy grail of tidepooling in my opinion!!!!!

  5. What a beautiful day! I am so saddened by the starfish. I am like you any day at the beach is a great day! Tide pools are just so much fun the explore. Thanks for sharing all the pictures Sue. Still continues to be a go from here on the Jan 1. Joe is undergoing his second MOHs surgery this week as I sit here in the waiting room. Stitches should come out around the 29th. My heart fills with joy as I read all your posts!

  6. I love tidal pools. When we were in Oregon, we spent hours looking at them.
    Beautiful view from Hill Street.
    Enjoy those blue skies and warm temps. It is -10 with the wind chill factor here in Canton, Ohio...brrrrr.