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Cabrillo National Monument, 29 February 2008

The previous night I'd looked up the tides on my Sidekick. The website I found listed low tide at 11:42am. Our plan was to do some tide-pooling, so we drove to the Cabrillo National Monument, arriving around 10:00am. When we arrived, the ranger told us that low tide would be 11:22am. I'm not sure which was right, but that still gave us plenty of time.

We parked in the lot for the tide pools, then made the short walk down to the rocky coastline under cloudy skies. There was one family already there, starting to explore. We made our way down and started exploring. We saw a little bit of marine life, but not much. I did see a crab just as it was crawling into a crevice. It was definitely not as nice as the tide pooling on Vancouver Island. Part of it, I imagine, is a function of how low the tide is on the day you arrive. Not all tides are created equal.

Mussels at Cabrillo tide pools

Kelp edge

If you bring a pair of sandals, or don't mind going barefoot, you can walk through a narrow shallow strip of water to reach a much larger section of beach where you can do more tide pooling. We weren't prepared for that, so we had to content ourselves with our little area.

Cabrillo tide pools

Cabrillo tide pools

After an hour of exploring, we drove back up to the visitor's center. We sat on some benches overlooking the edge of the harbor as we ate our lunch. Then we browsed the book selection of the visitor's center, and slipped out behind it for some nice views. From here there's a clear view of the harbor, Coronado, and the line of ships heading into San Diego Bay. There's also a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who led the first European ships to San Diego in 1542.

View of San Diego Bay

View of downtown San Diego behind harbor entrance

Cabrillo statue

There's a short trail, the Bayside Trail, that leads down close to the water's edge. If you have the time, it's probably a very nice walk.

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