I had never been to Abalone Cove, or to any tide pools, and I was very excited.
The view alone is breathtaking.
Getting to the tide pools involves a short hike through the chaparral...
|Yes, that's my fingernail in the shot, and no, I didn't crop it out because it would mean cropping out the whole left side of the picture.|
surfforecast.com), and it is recommended that you explore the tide pools up to one hour before low tide and up to one hour after. We spent two hours exploring the pools, and the time flew.
Ideally, we would have been wearing aqua socks.
|Can you find three anemones in this picture?|
|Isn't that crab's coloring beautiful?|
|Extreme close up of a sea slug|
|Blue green sea anemone|
|One of our little friends petting a sea slug. (We have a 2 finger rule for petting sea creatures.)|
|We caught (and released) a sea slug and a hermit crab.|
|Releasing our sea slug|
|The star of the tide pools was a sea lion. See him posing for pictures over there?|
|A close up|
|Watching the sea lion sun himself|
|We had so much fun. I can't wait to go back.|
We did see a sea star. At first, we mistook it for an octopus because its arms were so long. I was unable to get a picture of it. I was shocked at how fast it swam.
- DO take the rocky beach path to and from the parking lot if you're with preschoolers. DON'T try (like we did) to find a short cut back to the lot; we added a good forty minutes on to our hike to our cars, and some of it was a little treacherous.
- DO pack a towel and a (complete) change of clothes for your preschooler.
- DO go potty at the parking lot restroom.
- DO pack an after-exploration snack and bottle of water for the hike back.
- Do NOT attempt this if you've got a pre-walker or a toddler. Your child needs to be a very good walker, good at balancing, and good at following directions.
- DO have a one to one parent-child ratio.