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Posts Tagged ‘California Central Coast’

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 »

April Showers Bring May Flowers to Big Sur

Posted by Jody on May 28, 2013

Early May 2013 in Big Sur on the Northern California Coast

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Greg and I found this delightful variety of springtime blossoms along the coast just a few miles south of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. The sugar-white sand beach and turquoise blue Pacific Ocean combined to present a breathtaking backdrop for this colorful carpet of wildflowers. (CA-1/Cabrillo Hwy)

Historically, the name Big Sur was derived from that unexplored and unmapped wilderness area which lies along the coast south of Monterey. It was simply called el país grande del sur, the Big South Country. Today, Big Sur refers to that 90-mile stretch of rugged and awesomely beautiful coastline between Carmel to the north and San Simeon (Hearst Castle) to the south. Highway One winds along its length and is flanked on one side by the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains and on the other by the rocky Pacific Coast.

Source: Big Sur Guide

Big Sur maps and information: Big Sur Chamber of Commerce


Posted in Beach Flora, Northern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Santa Cruz-a-palooza (Part 3: The Wharf & Marine Sanctuary)

Posted by Jody on May 15, 2013

The Santa Cruz Wharf on California’s Central Coast  ~A quiet midweek in early May~

At 2,745 feet in length, the wooden Santa Cruz Wharf is the longest pier on the West Coast of the USA.

Greg and I had the best time exploring the Santa Cruz Wharf. We could hear the California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) barking from the beach, but we didn’t spot the first set of these noisy critters until we got to the very end of the wharf. The next morning, there were quite a few sea lions out enjoying the sunshine on the deck alongside the wharf’s waterside stairs. They were quite active and very entertaining!

About the marine sanctuary aspect of the Santa Cruz Wharf:

“The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a Federally protected marine area offshore of California’s central coast. Stretching from Marin to Cambria, the MBNMS encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 6,094 square miles of ocean. Supporting one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems, it is home to numerous mammals, seabirds, fishes, invertebrates and plants in a remarkably productive coastal environment. The MBNMS was established for the purpose of resource protection, research, education, and public use of this national treasure. The MBNMS is part of a system of 13 National Marine Sanctuaries and one marine national monument, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Source: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary


More helpful links~ The City of Santa Cruz: The Santa Cruz Wharf

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Marine Protected Areas and the California Marine Life Protection Act

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Northern California Beaches, Sea Lions and Seals | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Santa Cruz-a-palooza (Part 2: The Main Beach)

Posted by Jody on May 11, 2013

~Last week on beautiful Main Beach/Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz on California’s Central Coast~

Helpful link~ City of Santa Cruz: Main Beach and Cowell Beach


Can you believe that this week’s Travel Theme is Beaches? I just pushed the “Easy” button! 😉

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

Santa Cruz-a-palooza (Part 1: The Boardwalk)

Posted by Jody on May 9, 2013

Midweek in early May 2013 at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on California’s Central Coast

“World’s Best Seaside Amusement Park” ~ Amusement Today


Where’s your favorite Boardwalk? We’d love to know!

Helpful link~ Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park

Posted in Boardwalk, Northern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

Elephant Seals Along the Central California Coast

Posted by Jody on August 10, 2011

I have friends who will be driving along the Pacific Coast from the Los Angeles area to San Francisco over the Labor Day weekend.  I thought I might just give them a preview of the elephant seal rookeries nestled on the beaches they’ll be passing along the way.  These photos were taken late in the year from a vantage point north of Morro Bay, California.

Large, and often noisy, (especially during breeding season) the male elephant seals can grow up to 14 feet long.  The rookeries are often manned by friendly attentive docents who are there to help you understand and learn about these extraordinary marine mammals.  There are informative signs posted at the platforms and overlooks along the way also.

Elephant Seals, Central California Coast (©Jody Diehl)

The group, Friends of the Elephant Seal, has a wonderful website that is loaded with information on elephant seals, the rookeries, other marine mammals, and the non-profit organization’s mission.

Elephant Seals, Central California Coast (©Jody Diehl)

Life’s a journey!  Enjoy the ride!  -J-

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Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Pacific Coast Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Sea Lions and Seals | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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