We keep coming back

Moonstone County Park is just a speck on the map, but its beach is a monster.

The oddly named Little River (because it’s one of the biggest around here) pours into the ocean on the edge of the park, and defines one end of the beach. The other end bumps into a towering wall of rock.

But in between, there’s a very deep, flat beach of sand that is host to numerous rocks that really add character to the place.

Remember this:

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Or this:

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You know, character.

Often, we find the rocks are such perfect foils for a remarkable sky at sunset.

Ha, not the other night! It was soooo dreary, we almost didn’t get out of the car.

Heavy clouds overhead, a thick bank at the horizon, and just white light from a narrow band near the dropping sun.

But the tide was out, so there was a lot of beach to walk, and Ross & Ryan needed the exercise…

Look what developed during 30 minutes as the sun set (these are in the sequence they were shot). It sure pays to hang around….

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Ya just never know

We decided to walk a new beach the other day.

Nothing terribly dramatic…it was north from a spot where we often stop to watch the ocean, and toward a spot we visited just a week or so before.

Turned out we hadn’t missed much…nice smooth beach, not much driftwood, waves that curl nice and come in multiple sets but no high drama.

After about half a mile, we had nearly reached the point where Redwood Creek pours into the ocean and we’d have to turn around.

Decided to rest on a wee bit of dune.

Looked toward the river, and noticed a bunch of logs on the edge of a small pool. One moved…

Seals!

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A pod of about 40 seals had come in from the ocean, probably just resting from their migration trek. I slowly maneuvered to take photos.

They noticed.

I waited and they relaxed. I moved some more.

I eventually reached their limit.

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Still waving

Sometimes the rhythm of the ocean seems out to lunch!

DSC_8490Waves will come at various angles to the shoreline…and CRASH into each other before banging into the shore. Other times they just don’t seem able to crest..they just swelllllll, then kind of collapse and squish all over the shore.

There’s always the problem of water from the last wave that washed up on shore…it’s pouring back toward the ocean just as a new wave comes pounding in…and they meet with a crash!

But under the color of sunset…waves of any sort are good.

DSC_0032And they just keep on waving….

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…after wave

No two waves are alike, and they are almost totally unpredictable.

You can watch a swell coming…much larger than the others…and you wait for it to absolutely EXPLODE into the waiting rocks or onto the shore.

Dud.

Ahhhh, just wait, another is coming….

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Yeeaahh, like that!

The waves vary from beach to beach…because the ocean floor is different from one bay to the next. Some beaches produce multiple sets of breaking waves, while others produce very large single sets.

DSC_1940But the waves always keep on coming!

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Whether the tide’s coming in or going out…the waves keep on pounding. As the sun sets and activity on the beach ceases…the waves keep on pounding.

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Wave after wave

We’re in love with the ocean waves!

No matter what time of day, whatever the weather, whichever way the wind is blowing, on every beach up and down this coast…waves are always crashing on shore.

You can often hear the roar a mile back from the shore!

The ocean surface out there can be smooth and calm…but as you look closer to shore, a swell develops, it increases, it peaks and starts to stream mist from the crest, it curls, aaaaand BOOM, it crashes near shore.

And repeats every 10 seconds.

All day!

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Even the creeks that run across the beach into the ocean produce little crests when their flow increases at low tide.

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The ocean waves at high tide move tons of sand, and will often alter the course of creeks and rivers a considerable amount.

Surfers chase the waves at low tide, because the waves form farther out from shore due to the underwater forces hitting the bottom sooner because the water is more shallow.

Any increase in the wind will produce more raucous waves. We always hope that happens near sunset!

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Perhaps the ultimate observation of waves occurs after dark. I mean hours after sunset on a moonless night when it’s pitch black.

I took this last photo when it was so dark I could just barely make out the white tips of the closest waves as they swept near to the cliff I was shooting from. I couldn’t tell the size of waves, and was repeatedly surprised by ones that would shake my perch!

There was a thin fog up to my level that interfered with my seeing out over the ocean, but not so much when looking up to the stars. I think the camera caught a remarkable view….

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Thar she blows!

We heard some interesting news the other day about a city north of us a bit.

Crescent City….wonder why it has that name?

DSC_1953We showed you the sun setting just beyond the lighthouse last year. Here’s the lighthouse. Lovely shoreline…lots of interesting features.

DSC_1968Whales!

DSC_2005DSC_2006DSC_2045We talked to one guy who said he understood there was a pod of 30-40 whales that seemed to be taking a few days to pause in their bays & harbors to rest some young ones!

Took almost all our time on this occasion to look for whales….gotta come back soon to check out this rocky shoreline.

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