John & Anne Wiley

2015/07/31

Colors & Caves

Some people get tired of rock forms, sea caves, and colorful heather. Not me, as you can see. 🙂

5089 Color Cove

5089 Color Cove

The sea caves and basking pinnipeds stretch along this rugged coast for miles, so maybe the fact it was all placidly passing off our wing made every little cove and cave new and fascinating. Or the fact much of it’s all but invisible from the top, and easy to miss on a casual stroll if you can even get access to that dirt road along the edge.

5086 Easily Missed

5086 Easily Missed

This vantage point also provides the grand scope of sea sculptures like this sprawling shape.

5078 Sprawling Shapes

5078 Sprawling Shapes

There’s a contrast between hard and soft all along this shore, with caves and arches giving way to sandy beaches like this.

5075 Hard & Soft

5075 Hard & Soft

The splash in caves demonstrates how these cliffs have been carved for millennia, by fleeting water meeting living stone.

5065 Time Portal

5065 Time Portal

Each of my zoom closeups on caves and features in this next panorama sings in an eternal harmony that invites the soul to a slow dance of delight.

5057 Surf Song

5057 Surf Song

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2015/07/30

Complex Coast

The coastline from Natural Bridges to the West (North) is a complex mixture of sea caves and carved cliff faces. You can start to see this terrain at Terrace Point where the Seymour Marine Discovery Center offers a small scale tour of sea life and this rock monolith on the beach at Younger Lagoon.

5160 Younger Beach Rock

5160 Younger Beach Rock

As the name Natural Bridges implies you’ll also find some rock arches like this beauty.

5151 Natural Bridge

5151 Natural Bridge

It’s a bucolic setting with farms and ranches along the coast and up into the hills, with a foot trail meandering along the cliffs.

5148 Quiet Sea Scene

5148 Quiet Sea Scene

Of course the rocks tell tales of ferocious storms carving these rocks for eons making for sea caves like this.

5143 Sea Cave

5143 Sea Cave

Or this one, that seems to be a long tunnel completely through to the other side.

5139 Rock Tunnel?

5139 Rock Tunnel?

There are several lonely monoliths like this too, some quite large with interesting shapes.

5132 Rock Standoff

5132 Rock Standoff

In places the natural sandstone seeps nourish moss and lichen, adding color accents.

5113 Color & Texture

5113 Color & Texture

This rock tower on a wide flat pad reminds me of a duck’s foot, though it probably has a more interesting name known to locals.

5106 Duck Foot Rock

5106 Duck Foot Rock

Sea caves of all shapes and sizes abound, and in places like this the cliffs are closer to the water and interspersed with beaches.

5096 Sea Caves

5096 Sea Caves

In case you’re wondering, yes that’s a gathering a pinnipeds on the beach at the left. Here’s a closer look so you can decide whether they’re seals, sea lions, or elephant seals.

5095 Seal Beach

5095 Seal Beach

Rounding a point popular with surfers you can’t see in this pic, here’s a last look until the next post.

5093 Pounded Point

5093 Pounded Point

2015/07/29

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz high school kids used to neck on the beach to the right of the San Lorenzo River, sheltered from the Boardwalk crowds by the rock jutting out.

5197 San Lorenzo River

5197 San Lorenzo River

A few other kids would walk out on the rock promontory just to watch the necking. Most though were far too busy enjoying the Boardwalk attractions and courting their own dates.

5187 Santa Cruz Boardwalk

5187 Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Since the last time we were there years ago, there’s a new section at the end next to the river with water attractions like the Logger’s Revenge flume ride.

5185 Logger's Revenge

5185 Logger’s Revenge

The ever-changing Santa Cruz Wharf has many restaurants and some other attractions.

5180 Santa Cruz Wharf

5180 Santa Cruz Wharf

From shore to mountains, Santa Cruz is an iconic California seaside tourist town that goes far beyond that definition to nearly defy description.

5182 Santa Cruz

5182 Santa Cruz

Point Santa Cruz is another popular spot, with the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum now occupying the beautiful old lighthouse. Surfers risk the rocks for a good ride, while swimmers and divers mingle with everyone else out on the rocky point.

5178 Point Santa Cruz

5178 Point Santa Cruz

If this town had an airport, we’d sure be visiting far more often. The drive from San Jose is a strong deterrent, but we might fly into nearby Watsonville and try to rent a car some day.

2015/07/28

Pajaro to Capitola

We attended a sweet simple family wedding on the beach at Pajaro Dunes some years ago, so we always enjoy seeing it when we fly that section of coast.

5289 Pajaro Dunes Homes

5289 Pajaro Dunes Homes

Even looking at this pic evokes dream memories mingling surf sounds with deep sleep in one of these rental cottages. Up the beach a ways, swimmers were completely unaware of the dark shape of a tight school of fish huddling against the hungry gulls.

5239 School Gulls

5239 School Gulls

Manresa State Beach seems to demonstrate a problem with so many of us loving these beaches, combined with current agricultural methods.

5231 Manresa Algae Bloom

5231 Manresa Algae Bloom

Those dark shapes that look similar to an oil spill are probably algae blooms triggered by high nutrient levels in the warm water. At Seacliff in Aptos is the “cement boat”  that we found so intriguing as kids, unaware of its story way back to WWI.

5226 S.S. Palo Alto

5226 S.S. Palo Alto

Capitola has built up its little waterfront into quite a tourist attraction, making us want to visit again and see the changes at what claims to be the oldest beach resort on the West Coast.

5218 Capitola

5218 Capitola

2015/07/27

Marina to Moss

The little town of Marina on the coast just North of Monterey is home to a quiet little airport we’ve visited a few times. On the outskirts is a Cement plant with this enigmatic rusty old dredge that seems to be maintaining a small beach side pond.

5325 Marina Pond

5325 Marina Pond

The colors of Salinas River not far beyond delight the soul with impressions of silence augmented by bird song and surf.

5323 Salinas River

5323 Salinas River

Here and there we saw individuals and groups horseback along the beach, and this woman alone trying to coax her reluctant ride to feel the foam.

5322 Timid Horse

5322 Timid Horse

There was another white horse on the balcony of the old antique shop across from the Post Office on the edge of Moss Landing, but it doesn’t move.

5307 Fiberglass Horse

5307 Fiberglass Horse

I’d never seen this next view of the iconic little town until a couple of years ago. Yet it somehow evokes memories of my youth exploring this town with dates, or glimpsing the power plant smokestacks from Hwy.1 or the more distant 101 freeway. So much has changed, yet so little.

5303 Moss Landing

5303 Moss Landing

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