Thursday, May 22, 2003

No photos, just memories. The boys and I have been learning about marine life, including whales and the intertidal zone. It follows that we would make a field trip to the ocean, so we packed our water shoes and a picnic lunch, and made our way to the beach in time for a decent low tide. The marine layer, May Grey, actually makes for a comfortable climate while tide pooling, wave hopping and picnic-ing.

We made our way over algae covered rocks to discover hermit crabs and "big yellow and orange pincher crabs," and sea anenome, little fish, limpets, mussels, and pools with swirling sea plants. As Max's confidence grew he expressed his enthusiasm for stepping from rock to rock, and for each new discovery.

We ate our lunch, and watched the swimmers and scuba divers enter the chilly water. Kayakers paddled past the Cove and as the sky cleared we could make out the pier in the distance. Max was the first volunteer to be buried in sand; he was up to his shoulders and then we each took turns being buried, which is fun.

At one point the four of us were simultaneously buried in sand, when a sea lion hopped up on to one of the rocks. He attracted a lot of attention from visitors with cameras. He barked at them as they approached for close up pictures. While the sea lion and the tourists were negotiating their terms, a pod of dolphins was swimming south. They slipped in and out of the water, gliding past us like mystical beasts.

Alex and William want to return in warmer weather; we want to snorkel and swim along the cliffs. In the meantime there are a few creatures we found whose names we do not know; we'll look those up, and read more about dolphins and anenome, and sea lions. And we will keep working on our swimming skills in our own pool of water.

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