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Posts Tagged ‘Cabrillo National Monument’

A Friendly Reminder

Posted by Jody on March 14, 2014

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”

~ John Howard Payne

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge topic is “Inside.”

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Related Link: Hermit Crab: A Different Kind of Beachcomber

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Posted in Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Posted by Jody on April 5, 2013

Color ~ The Old Point Loma Lighthouse Lens

Color ~ The Old Point Loma Lighthouse Lens

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse – Illuminating the Past

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to San Diego Bay for 36 years. At dusk on November 15, 1855, the light keeper climbed the winding stairs and lit the light for the first time. What seemed to be a good location 422 feet above sea level, however, had a serious flaw. Fog and low clouds often obscured the light. On March 23, 1891, the light was extinguished and the keeper moved to a new lighthouse location closer to the water at the tip of the Point.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Today, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse still stands watch over San Diego, sentinel to a vanished past. The National Park Service has refurbished the interior to its historic 1880s appearance – a reminder of a bygone era. Ranger-led talks, displays, and brochures are available to explain the lighthouse’s interesting past.

Source: National Park Service

About the light: The original Old Point Loma lighthouse lens was hand crafted by Frenchman Henry-Lepaute. His beautiful master work was constructed with polished brass and several hundred hand-ground crystal prisms. Classified as a 3rd Order Fresnel lens, and weighing in at 1985 pounds, the light measures 5’2″ in height. When in operation, the beacon could be seen from more than 20 miles out to sea.

The beautifully maintained Old Point Loma Lighthouse is still quite a lovely sight to see!

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Related link: A Visit to the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Posted in Lighthouses | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Weekend’s Rock!

Posted by Jody on February 9, 2013

~Home Sweet Home~

Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Take a closer look! You’ll find that this beautiful Southern California tide pool environment is home to numerous species of marine life. Sea anemones, gooseneck barnacles, California mussles, and black tegulas (among many others) all live here in the rocky intertidal zone of Cabrillo National Monument.

Black Tegulas (Tegula funebralis)

~A Rocky Bungalow~
Black Tegulas (Tegula funebralis)

Black Tegulas (Tegula funebralis) are extremely common finds along the Pacific coast of the United States.  Also known as Black Turbans, they live along the shoreline and rocks of the upper and middle intertidal zones from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the central Baja California peninsula. These little beauties are often found packed tightly into neat and tidy clusters on rocky surfaces and in crevices.

Would you  like to know more about tidepooling in Southern California?  Here are a few helpful links:

Tide Pool Etiquette 101

A Visit to the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Picture Perfect La Jolla Cove and Beach, Southern California

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

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Posted in Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools, Weekend's Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Pacific Gray Whales: 4 Helpful Whale Spotting Tips

Posted by Jody on December 13, 2011

It’s time to dust off those binoculars! Tis the season for whale watching in sunny Southern California. Each year, Pacific Gray Whales can be spotted off the coast of Southern California from December through March.  According to the National Park Service: “Each winter, the Pacific Gray Whales pass by the western overlooks of Cabrillo National Monument.  After spending the summer feeding in the food-rich waters of the Arctic, the Grays swim south along the coast to the bays of Baja California, where they mate and nurse their young. Along the way, they pass Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument, where you can witness the annual winter journey.”

Cabrillo National Monument (©Jody Diehl)

Cabrillo National Monument lies west of the city of San Diego, on the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula. The park is hosting Whale Watch Weekend on January 7 & 8, 2012. This family friendly event celebrates the diverse marine life of San Diego and features both whale watching and tide pooling.

If you cannot attend the whale watching weekend, no worries, find a  high coastal vantage point and scan the Pacific Ocean about 3/4 mile from the shoreline to the horizon. Just follow these suggestions for what to look for when watching for the Pacific Gray Whales!  These whale spotting tips come from the Cabrillo National Monument website:

1) The Blow or Spout – When warm, moist air exhaled from the whales’ lungs meets the cool air at the ocean surface, it creates the bushy column we call a blow, or spout. A gray whale’s blow is up to 15 feet high, and each blow is visible for about five seconds.  Anticipate that the whale will dive for three to six minutes, then surface for three to five blows in row, 30 to 50 seconds apart, before diving deep for three to six minutes again.

2) The Flukes (Tail) – Before making a long, deep dive, a gray whale often displays its 12-foot wide fan-shaped flukes, or tail. The weight of the tail above the whale’s body helps the whale to dive deep.  The flukes have no bones and connect to the body and tail muscles by banks of tendons.  The gray whale normally swims about five miles per hour, about the speed of a child on a bicycle.

3) The Knuckled Back and Footprint – If the lighting is right, and if the whale is close enough, it is possible to see the back of a gray whale during and after the blow.  It is shiny and black or gray, with a knuckled ridge along the spine. After the whale submerges you may note an elongated, smooth oval of calm water, known as a footprint, where the whale has been.

4) Breach and Splash – Gray whales occasionally hurl themselves out of the water and plunge back in with a tremendous splash.  This is called breaching.  Scientists do not know why gray whales do this, but it is very exciting sight to see.  Sometimes other whales in the area will copy this behavior, so keep your eyes open.

Gray Whale (PD-Scan, Author: Charles Melville Scammon/Wikimedia Commons)

Once You Have Spotted a Whale…Remember that they are migrating south, which is to your left as you look west out over the ocean from Cabrillo National Monument.  Once you have spotted a whale, you can expect that it will surface again to the south.  After watching an individual gray whale for a while, you will be able to anticipate its unique rhythm of breaths and dives, and where it will surface next.

Whale watching may take some time and patience, but once you’ve spotted these majestic creatures of the sea you’ll have a whale of a tale to tell!  It really is an exciting experience.  Good luck!

P.S. Please come on back and tell us about your Pacific Gray Whale sightings!

Posted in Southern California Beaches, Tallies & Tips, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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