10 December 2015

Stardate 2015.942

California II

Our journey continues. After arriving in Morro Bay, we spent the morning and early afternoon playing in the shadow of Morro Rock. I'm normally landlocked, so visiting the ocean is like visiting another planet. Morro Rock proper is a 23-million-year old slowly decaying volcanic plug. The rock also is a sacred site to the indigenous Salinan and Chumash tribes.

On the water front, Morro Bay is a natural sub-bay of much larger Estero Bay. Morro Bay harbor was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Morro harbor is the only all-weather small craft commercial and recreational harbor between Santa Barbara and Monterey, California.

Wildlife is plentiful with 3 species of cormorant, 2 species of gull and Peregrine falcons on Morro Rock. The latter is protected. Hence, no climbing. Too bad, I wanted so much to hike to the top. Other local creatures include sea lions, seals and sea otters. Tide pool residents are abundant as well.

We got to see a tall ship position itself to make its way into the small harbor. I didn't realize it until after we returned home that a Tall Ship Festival had been scheduled to begin the day after our arrival on the coast, December 2nd. The festival ran through December 7th. Perhaps I should do better homework the next time we visit.

I don't know much of anything about an ocean's surf. Nonetheless the waves seemed large today. This turned out to be a correct assumption as big waves were locally forecast. This may explain an absence of surfers. Although, I thought surfers would like big waves; the larger surf being analogous to a powder day skiing. The mystery of the day I guess.

After lunch we headed north to the coastal hamlet of Cambria. The coastline is a bit more wild and wooly here. We stayed in this area until the sun had sunk beneath the horizon.

That's it for this set. There's more California coast to come. Thanks for reading.



  1. Phenomenal shots, Lizard! What a grand adventure!

    1. Indeed it was! Perhaps we should spend a week on the coast.

  2. The reason no one is surfing could be two things. It's late in the day and the onshore wind is ruining the wave shape, making them "mushy". Or, it's too big for the spot to hold waves, which means that no rides would be makeable. We call it "closed out" when the waves collapse all at once instead of tapering off on to a "shoulder". Big isn't always better. from: Old Morro Bay surfer (68+ yrs, 54 yrs in the water) Glad the ocean gave you a show to remember!

    1. Thanks for commenting. In hindsight, the waves did appear to be collapsing all at once. Thanks for giving me several things to look for. Morro Bay and the surrounding area is a nice part of the world to visit. The ocean could easily grow on me.


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