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Archive for the ‘Surfing Beach’ Category

The Royalty of San Diego’s South Bay: Imperial Beach

Posted by Jody on February 19, 2014

Imperial Beach, California – Heading for the pier.

When I think of Imperial Beach, California, I think of everything surfing: from genuine Southern California surfers riding the waves to the community’s public art, the outdoor “Surfboard Museum” and even the surfboard shaped bus stop benches!  This town always brings to mind classic Beach Boys surfin’ tunes.

Imperial Beach, California

Imperial Beach has so much more to offer than surfing, though.  Here you’ll find 3 ½ miles of clean, white, sandy beach stretching southward to the US-Mexico border. With splendid views of San Diego and Coronado to the north, somehow Imperial Beach never seems crowded. It’s less than 13 miles from Downtown San Diego, so Greg and I are always happy to either make the drive or hop on the bus and head on down to this lovely stretch of beach. If we had to choose, we’d likely tell you that this is our favorite strand of San Diego’s “South Bay.”

According to the their official website, the City of Imperial Beach is “the most southwesterly city in the continental United States.  Flanked by the Pacific Ocean and South San Diego Bay, our town is nestled between miles of uncrowded beaches, big surf and unparalleled open space and wetlands teeming with wildlife. Because this town is one of the last untouched beach towns in Southern California, we are known as Classic Southern California®.”

Imperial Beach, California

Beachcombing is lots of fun here. We always find something interesting on the sands of Imperial Beach.  Once Greg and I came home with a lovely collection of multicolored Donax clam shells, very typical of Southern California beaches. The last time we visited, we found large, heavy clam shells, sand dollars and California mussels.

From what I have been able to search out, these sturdy clams are Common Washington Clams (Saxidomus nuttalli), also known as Butter Clams. Our largest Washington Clam find on Imperial Beach measures 4 ¾” wide,  but we have found these particular seashells up to 5 ¼” wide on other South Bay beaches. Their range is from Humbolt Bay, California to northern Baja California.

Imperial Beach Treasures (California)

This area is well-known for year round coastal birdwatching (a printable map of birdwatching areas is available online).  For the botanist,  there is an interesting variety of coastal vegetation, too. Of course, swimming and sunbathing are also very popular pastimes!  With all that Imperial Beach has to offer, I’d say it’s “One Shell of a Find!”

“Spirit of Imperial Beach” by James A. Wasil, 2008

If you’d like to learn about the interesting history of surfing at Imperial Beach and the big wave break “Tijuana Sloughs” that made this area famous in the surfing world, you’ll want to check out “Riders of The Tijuana Sloughs,” at LegendarySurfers.com.

Bus Stop Bench in Imperial Beach, California

Surfin’ USA

If everybody had an ocean
Across the U. S. A.
Then everybody’d be surfin’
Like Californi-a
You’d see ‘em wearing their baggies
Huarachi sandals too
A bushy bushy blonde hairdo
Surfin’ U. S. A.

~Brian Wilson/Chuck Berry

We’d love to hear about your favorite Southern California beach!

~~~

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Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Seashells, Southern California Beaches, Surfing Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Oahu’s Famous Banzai Pipeline

Posted by Jody on August 27, 2013

The most famous, and arguably the most dangerous, surf site in all of Hawaii is the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu.  The world-renowned Banzai Pipeline is just west of ‘Ehukai Beach Park in Pupukea.  We never did happen upon any sign announcing the Banzai Pipeline or ‘Ehukai Beach Park (the public access point to the celebrated surf site).  What we did come across were lots of cars parked along the road and packed into the parking lot of what seemed to be an unsigned beach, across from Sunset Beach Elementary School, off of Kamehameha Highway, on the North Shore of Oahu.  That’s exactly where our friendly lunchtime server at Hale’iwa Eats Thai told us we would find what the locals call “Pipeline Beach”.  As confusing as all that sounds…  the  celebrated Banzai Pipeline with its epic waves is an absolute must-see if you are on Oahu!

'Ehukai Beach Park, aka: Pipeline Beach with Banzai Pipeline to the left

‘Ehukai Beach Park, aka: Pipeline Beach with Banzai Pipeline to the left

You probably won’t want to head out into the water in the winter unless you are an expert surfer.  That’s the time of the Banzai Pipeline’s most towering wave heights (up to 20+ feet). Swimming is hazardous in the fall and winter months, so feel free to scope out the perfect place to spread out your beach towel, settle in, and enjoy the thrilling spectacle that is the Banzai Pipeline.

The spring and summer boast a wider, gentler sand beach at ‘Ehukai Beach Park, and then the crystal blue water is often just right for swimming.

Any time of year is perfect for beachcombing on the sandy shore of “Pipeline Beach”. You may find a few treasured shells and beach glass, but the real beach treasure here is snail opercula.  An operculum (meaning “little lid”) is the structure that serves as a little trap door, closing off the opening of a snail’s shell. These little mineralized pieces are similar to smoothly polished small buttons. Like mini, ivory-colored worry stones!

~In the Hawaiian language, “puka” means hole, opening, or door. I’m guessing that a case can be made that there are a few “puka” shells in the mix, too!

Opercula found on Pipeline Beach

Opercula found on Pipeline Beach

If you are staying on Waikiki Beach you can easily hop on The Bus and enjoy the ride to the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore. It’s certainly not quicker than renting a car, but it’s way cheaper and a great way to see the beautiful Island of Oahu while you sit back, relax, and let someone else do the driving.

See you at the Banzai Pipeline! Aloha!

~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Seashells, Surfing Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Santa Cruz-a-palooza (Part 4: The Surfers)

Posted by Jody on June 3, 2013

Surf’s Up!  ~Early May in Santa Cruz on California’s Central Coast~

On our last day in Santa Cruz, Greg and I were thrilled to catch the surfers off of Cowell Beach. The water near the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum was teeming with wet-suited folks just waiting for the perfect wave. As we stood at the railing happily watching the action, I noticed more surfers quickly running toward the picturesque cliffs to enter the water. Not knowing if this was their usual routine, I wondered whether this was an especially good morning for surfing in Santa Cruz. You can see in the photo collage that we caught sight of one of the younger surfers jumping into the ocean from the unstable cliff edge. Most of the surfers just scrambled down the precarious bluff to the water’s edge to (safely?) enter the surf.

Wouldn’t the Beach Boys be proud?  ♬Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world!♫

Surfing history in Santa Cruz, California:

“History records that surfboard riding first began in the Hawaiian Islands hundreds of years ago. It took until the late 1800’s and early 1900’s before it was introduced to the U.S. Mainland, mostly along the southern coast of California. Surfing became known in the Santa Cruz area when a few young men from the beaches of southern California migrated to the San Francisco Bay Area to seek jobs or to attend college. They already knew how to surf and brought their boards with them. Soon they discovered the beaches of Monterey Bay and the outstanding surf breaking across the outer reefs and sandbars at Cowell’s Beach.”

Source: Hal Goody, History of the Santa Cruz Surfing Club,  Santa Cruz Public Libraries

Additional links:

Surfing Santa Cruz

Riders of the Sea Spray

Santa Cruz Surfing Museum

Friction in Santa Cruz waters: Paddle boarders, surfers battle

~~~

Posted in Monday Miscellaneous, Northern California Beaches, Surfing Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Seas the Day!

Posted by Jody on March 15, 2013

Seas the Day!

Seas the Day!

Go for it now.  The future is promised to no one. 

~Wayne Dyer

~~~~~~

Posted in Northern California Beaches, Surfing Beach | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Top 5 Beaches in the Eastern Cape (South Africa)

Posted by Jody on October 2, 2012

Today’s Featured Writer is Roseanna McBain

Surfer at Sunrise (ReeSaunders/Flickr)

Top 5 Beaches in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

The long, lush coastline of the Eastern Cape has plenty of wild floras around, opportunity for bird watching, wonderful cuisine, and more than a few activities to keep you occupied when you’re not working on your tan.

Jeffrey’s Bay – it would be remiss not to place this surfing nirvana first on the list. The Billabong Pro Surfing competition is held here annually, and almost year-round you can expect to find surfing gurus dotted about the water. The long stretch of pristine beach means families and couples gather here often during the warmer months. Make sure you book accommodation in this area well ahead of your arrival, as the majority of Jeffrey’s Bay accommodations are booked several months in advance.

A sunrise at J-Bay (Photo: ReeSaunders/Flickr)

Eastern Beach – situated in central East London, this beach is opposite Marina Glen and the main attraction here is the large collection of black rocks which make for some stunning photographs –if you have children they’ll have an absolute blast scrambling over these boulders! There are several changing rooms, restaurants and takeaway options, so if you don’t feel like packing a picnic make sure to stop off at one of the popular places along the way. A word of warning: don’t visit this beach over the New Year period, especially on New Year’s Day, as it’s one of the most popular local spots
around and can become tightly packed.

Relaxing in Style (Photo: FlickreviewR/Wikimedia Commons)

Coffee Bay – this stunning area has a very unique rock formation dubbed “Hole in the Wall” – it is attached to a cliff which juts into the sea. The Xhosa call it “iziKhaleni” – meaning place of thunder– as the water rushing through the hole can be heard from quite far away. A romantic Xhosa myth about how the hole was formed goes as follows: There was once a fair maiden who visited this shoreline, and a sea man saw her and fell in love. He begged her father to let her come away with him, but the father refused. The merman enlisted the help of a giant fish, who battered down a portion of the cliff (the hole) through which the sea man and his friends swept through and took the fair maiden away. The warm waters, soft sand, and picturesque scenery make this a must-see destination.

Humewood – this was the first blue flag beach in South Africa, and it is still very popular with locals and tourists alike. There is plenty of shade for when the sun becomes a bit too warm. There is a very family friendly vibe here, due in part to the beach being adjacent to Happy Valley, which offers some fun children’s entertainment. There are lifeguards on duty for six months of the year (November to April), and there are great opportunities for water sports, including fishing, snorkeling, surfing, swimming, and water skiing.

The lovely beach stretch of Port St. Johns (Photo: garethphoto/Flickr)

Port St Johns, Wild Coast – referred to locally as the Jewel of the Wild Coast, Port St. Johns beach seems to have it all: soft sand, warm waters, and long sun-drenched days. Take your camera with and get a picture of Thesiger and Sullivan, the twin mountains on either side of the river mouth leading to the ocean. A laid back community inhabits the town, and backpackers are frequent visitors to this area.

Author Bio: Roseanna McBain works for the Eastern Cape accommodation and booking website, TravelGround. She enjoys exploring the world around her, finding new eclectic shops, watching science fiction series, and herbal teas.

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Africa, Surfing Beach, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

Posted by Jody on September 23, 2012

“Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. 
Because solitude is an achievement.” 
~Alice Koller, Author

Solitary Surfer

~~~~

This surfer, alone in his thoughts, was photographed at Imperial Beach on San Diego’s South Bay.

Imperial Beach is one of our favorite strands. With the surfer theme evident throughout the community, it’s always easy to catch the laid-back surfing spirit, if not a wave! For its litter-free beach, great beachcombing, Southern California surfing vibe, and wonderful community pier, Greg and I each give Imperial Beach “two thumbs up!”

Related post: The Royalty of San Diego’s South Bay: Imperial Beach, California

Posted in Surfing Beach, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Two Chi-Town Gals on Daytona Beach, Florida

Posted by Jody on September 17, 2012

Today’s Featured Writers are Mary Hilgart and Linda Kolman

Daytona Beach Shores, Florida (Photo by Mary Hilgart)

I had a wonderful opportunity last week when an old friend of mine asked me to join her in Daytona Beach.  We stayed in a condo in Daytona Beach Shores, which is very residential.  There are many high-rise rentals and a few hotels.  This area is a bit south of the touristy area of Daytona Beach proper.

Photo by Mary Hilgart

From one side we could see the Atlantic Ocean, and the other side was the Halifax River.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse (Photo by Mary Hilgart)

A short distance to the south is Lighthouse Point Park and Recreation Area.  There is a nice lighthouse that you can tour for $5 per person.

Photo by Mary Hilgart

There is also a turtle refuge nearby and a jetty on the beach which attracts many surfers just waiting for the right wave.

Photo by Mary Hilgart

Oh, looks like they found one!

Crabby Joe’s Deck & Grill on the Sunglow Pier in Daytona Beach Shores (Photo by Mary Hilgart)

Another popular attraction to this area is Crabby Joe’s Deck & Grill.  This is a very large pier that stretches over the ocean.  On the opposite side of this structure is a bar, restaurant, and a gift shop.

North Turn (Photo by Linda Kolman)

There are many places to eat along the shore or on the river.  North Turn had a great outdoor deck with a beautiful view.  We got caught in a little rain, but there is also a large covered open air space that is just as nice.

Photo by Mary Hilgart

The thing that makes Daytona Beach different from any other is that you are allowed to drive your car on the beach!

This area is a very beautiful and peaceful one.  The sand on this beach is fine and packs easily, without too many shells.  So, it makes it easy to walk, run, or even ride a bike!

Photo by Mary Hilgart

The best thing of all is that you can catch the most beautiful sunrises on the beach.  I’m sure the birds agree, as they have all come out to be spectators!

Childhood friends: Authors Mary and Linda (& Jody)

St. William School, Class of 1972

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Featured Guest Writer, Lighthouses, Monday Miscellaneous, Surfing Beach | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

A Dozen Places to Surf in Lima, Peru

Posted by alainaflute on August 7, 2012

Lima is the capitol city of Peru. Located on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Lima is a popular beach destination for visitors and locals alike. An exciting surprise is that surfing is great year-round in Lima! With a variety beaches and waves that appeal to beginning and advanced surfers, everyone can hit the surf and soak up the beautiful sea breezes. With so many beaches to choose from, it may be a challenge to know where to begin. Thanks to Peru’s official tourism website, we’re only a few clicks away from learning about the fabulous surfing beaches of Lima.

La Costa Verde, Lima, Peru (Jorge Mori/Wikimedia Commons)

Costa Verde – is described as a “Lima beach circuit visited by swimmers and surfers.” These rocky beaches are perhaps less popular with bathers on the whole than the sandier beaches in the south of Lima, but the Miraflores District is a popular tourist destination known for its shopping, dining, and the like.

A beachy locale for the experienced surfer, La Herradura is famous for its massive, 13 ft waves. Located in the district of Chorrillos,  the waves come from a “strong, large left hand point break in three sections. El Point, La Segunda, and La Tercera.”

Map of Lima highlighting the Punta Hermosa district in southern Lima. (AgainErick/Wikimedia Commons)

Punta Hermosa is a district best known for its beaches. These sandy beaches are poplar with both swimmers and surfers. These are the ones the tourism site recommends:

Señoritas – Great for beginning and advanced surfers, the “strong, long left hand reef break” offers tubes and wave heights up to 10 feet.

Caballeros –  Also enjoys a “well formed right hand reef break with tube sections and heights up to 3 meters (10 feet).” Beginning and advanced surfers will have a great time.

Pico Alto - Best reserved for advanced surfers, waves reach great heights (26-32ft) at this fabulous surfing destination.

Other great Punta Hermosa beaches are Playa Norte, El Paso, La Isla, and Kontiki.

Punta Rocas – In the Punta Negra District, this is the location of an international surfing championship. This beach sports a “long, big, and strong left hand and right hand reef break with tube section and heights up to 4 or 5 meters (13 – 16 feet).” Don’t be turned off to the competition quality of these waves – they’re great for beginning and advanced surfers.

Peñascal – Located in the San Bartola District, this beach is a hit with advanced surfers. Waves between 6.5 and 13 feet high break over a rocky bottom.

Cerro Azul – If the strong ocean currents take you to the Province of Cañete, hopefully you’ll wash up at this beach resort. According to the tourism website, the waves are described as, “Left hand wave with tube section. Breaks in front of the beach resort. Also, right hand waves that break on the other side of the pier (fast, strong, and with tube).” Hopefully, if you surf, you have a better idea of what this means than I do.

So, even though Hawaii is best associated with the birth of modern surfing, it isn’t the only place to catch a wave. With a surf season that lasts the whole year long, your next vacation destination might just be Lima, Peru!

Posted in Beaches of South America, Surfing Beach, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Signs that make you go “Yikes!”

Posted by Jody on June 25, 2012

If you’ve been to Oahu some time after 1990, you probably have this shot in your vacation collection! This photo has probably been taken a million times by tourists over the years. I, of course, am no exception. In fact, I take a few shots of this very image every time I’m on Waikiki Beach!

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, Waikiki Beach

Born and raised in Waikiki, Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was an Olympic champion swimmer, master surfer and expert outrigger canoe paddler. Known as the Father of Modern Surfing, a bronze statue of Duke welcomes locals and tourists to Waikiki Beach with open arms.

If you can’t make it to the beach, you can still see what’s happening around this statue! The City of Honolulu has a 24/7 webcam so you can check up on the conditions and live vicariously though the happy beach-goers. If you are on the beach already, smile, wave (maybe do a little dance), and show your friends how you are living it up in Hawaii. People from around the world can watch you, with musical accompaniment, near the Duke Kahanamoku statue and on the sands of Waikiki. This would be a very bad place to lose your suit to the surf!

Now, take another look at the picture above, right beside Duke’s left knee. Do you see it? There is a beach warning sign that really surprised me because there were so many people playing in the ocean on this day.

Yikes!

Even though there were plenty of swimmers and surfers nearby, it certainly was enough to keep me out of the water. That’s OK, though. It was the absolute perfect day for beachcombing. It always is!

Go ahead and take a look. Sit back, relax, and start the week off on the soft, warm sands of Waikiki Beach.

Aloha!

Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Monday Miscellaneous, Surfing Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Quintana Beach County Park on the Texas Gulf Coast – So Many Reasons to Visit

Posted by Jody on June 5, 2012

Quintana Beach County Park:

Our family gives this 51 acre beach and park complex a definite “two thumbs up!”

“Natural” Quintana Beach County Park

Quintana Beach County Park is located on the upper Texas Gulf Coast on the tiny man-made island of  Quintana, the “Gateway to the Gulf.” We think it offers one of the nicest beach experiences on the Texas coast. Here you’ll find a “natural” beach that is maintained by the tides and weather.  Expect to see seaweed and driftwood strewn across the sandy beach. This simply means that Brazoria County leaves it to Mother Nature to care for her Gulf Coast shoreline. You won’t find the county regularly raking or “cleaning” the sand, and this just makes beachcombing that much more interesting.

There are so many reasons to visit Quintana Beach County Park! Here are just a few:

Sea Bean Collection from Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

1) While beachcombing on the 1/2+ mile of sands within the county park’s boundaries, we found a wonderful assortment of seabeans (also known as drift seeds), driftwood and delicate angel wings.

The Quintana jetty, locally known as the west jetty,  is the eastern border of the county park. It offers plenty of fun on its own!

2) The fine folks at the county park told us that the jetty measures about 1/2 mile long.  It’s a lovely walk. While strolling along the Quintana jetty, you can try to find the shape of the Lone Star State embedded in the concrete. I think it was our 5 year old grandson who spotted it first!

The Lone Star State

3) One of my favorite activities at the beach park was just sitting on the rocks of the jetty, watching the tugs go out and the ships come in through the Freeport Ship Channel.

Watching the Banana Boat

4) Our family doesn’t fish, but it was easy to see that surf fishing, pier fishing, kayak fishing, and fishing from the extra long jetty are all the rage at Quintana Beach County Park.

View from the Quintana Jetty

5) Birding, too. Most notably, we watched pelicans in flight and the regal great blue heron.

6) Swimming – NOT from the jetty! (of course), although there are no lifeguards at the beach.

7 & 8) Surfing and kayaking are very popular sports here.

Kayaks on the Gulf of Mexico

9) Clean, well maintained camp sites and rental cabins are available just off the beach. Special event pavilions can be reserved for day use, too.

10) There are lots of amenities and a few historic sites just beyond the dunes. Be sure to use the dune preserving crossovers! Nice washrooms and showers are available, along with picnic tables and vending machines.

Dune Crossover

Pick a reason, any reason, to visit Quintana Beach County Park and your family will have a great day at the beach, too!

~~~

 

Posted in Beach Birding, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Surfing Beach, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

 
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