Low down surfing

It seems waves push faster at low tide, and they certainly push up higher!

We spent hours on one side of Camel Rock beach…where the sand comes up so gradually that the waves break waaaaay out there and run uppppp toward shore.

On this day of a low low tide, we were walking out much farther from shore than usual.

On the other side of this beach, the surfers were going nuts…because the waves were really great.

My problem was that our view of them was blocked by Camel Rock.


I managed to catch sight of two kite surfers…and the head of one board surfer waiting to catch a wave….DSC_3132

Low down living

The real fun with a low low tide is seeing all the marine life that’s usually below water!

These creatures grab hold of the first thing they bump into.

In most cases, it’s the portion of a rock that faces the ocean, because they get ripped off the sides of the rock with every wave, and they never get to the back side!

I made up that explanation without any scientific basis beyond observation….

The water in the foreground of this picture is actually a one foot moat around this rock, created by the water’s wash over and around the rock…I’m standing on dry sand to shoot. The green anemones you see below water level could be buried by sand during the next high tide!DSC_3162

Low down splash

Waves are always great. Big waves are greater!

This sunny day with the extreme low tide produced some great waves and great splashes.

There wasn’t much wind, so not much spray blowing off the tops of the curls. I’m just fascinated with the way the ocean constantly produces waves, and those forces were pushing up vast quantities of water to smash and splash their way against anything that got in the way.DSC_2945


Low down

I used to think high tide must be the most fun…all that water piling clear in against the shore, deeper water hitting the rocks, just lots more water.

Nope, low tide is better.

Really low tide is best.

The reasons I like low tides better are that the waves generally crash bigger against rocks in the bays…because waves are generated by a traveling force pushing against the rising ocean floor as it nears land, and when the tide is out and the water level is lower, those forces hit the floor sooner and harder.

And, low tides expose more beach, so I have more room to maneuver for photos and there are even greater portions of rocks exposed that usually spend time under water (and attached sea life is available for photos).

And sometimes treasures are uncovered!

Did you know they publish a tide chart for the whole year? Along the coast, most convenience stores will have copies at the cash register for a dollar or so.

Around here, the tides vary day by day, and during each day. The two high tides will be different from each other, as will the two low tides. Tomorrow’s tides will be different than today’s.

Each month, the most extreme tides occur at the time of the full moon and the new moon. Around here, that means about a 7.5 foot high tide and a minus 1.4 foot low tide.

A couple times a year, a week will occur with even more extreme tides, where nearly a foot is added at the highest tide and the lowest tide will go a foot farther down.

We got lucky…a very, very low tide occurred during a day with lovely weather! We chose to spend several hours on what we call Camel Rock beach on Trinidad Bay.

This photo shows Ross waiting patiently for part of the time seated on a log that will be underwater at high tide. This beach is quite flat, and the wave run-up is usually 100 yards. Here, it’s probably 300 years from him.

More photos in the coming days.DSC_3061

Just one night, pt 3

Sorry for the melodrama, but I’m just fascinated at the way sunlight and clouds work so hard over the ocean to produce something grand to watch each evening!

This image was made nearly at the instant of sunset.

We really do have to run, because that wave is moving fast and it’s actually closer to us on the right….DSC_8130

Just one night, pt 2

Just 18 minutes after taking the photo posted yesterday, I clicked the shutter for this one.

The interesting light had shifted to the left, and I moved toward the surf another 75 feet.

Sunset was still almost 10 minutes away. Look out…feet gonna get wet.DSC_8118

Just one night

You’re probably sick of hearing how much I enjoy the changing scene at the seashore.

That’s okay…so long as you’re not sick of the photos….

I have three photos to run that I hope will demonstrate what I mean. They will only deal with the changing light…right near sunset.

All that ocean means there’s always clouds of one sort or another. Today, there was nearly every type of cloud, sometimes all at once!

This one was taken about a half hour before sunset on Moonstone Beach. Don’t get your feet wet….DSC_8047

Just one more

I thought I’d finish the little run of giants with this photo.

We had turned back on our walk, but I saw this scene and wanted to remember it well.

Too bad my Ross sidekick isn’t standing in it for scale.

The log that crosses the path…and has been cut in two so we can pass…is at least 7 feet in diameter!

The large mass on the right, with ferns and small bushes growing on it, is the upended root system for another redwood giant that has fallen away from us. It may be 15-20 feet tall here.

Redwoods don’t have tap roots…they have a very wide root base, that may actually be connected to other nearby redwoods.

The other trees ahead of us on the trail are much younger, not old-growth. Notice how they tend to be standing in clusters…that’s because of their root systems…and they may actually be multiple “stems” of the same tree.DSC_6766