Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Summer Day

The boys, one of their friends and I went to the beach last Saturday. Woody had gotten a skim board for his birthday
that he wanted to try out, so we packed the cooler, boards, wetsuits and towels in the car and headed over for the day. The weather was perfect which was a little surprising because the beach we go to is a little south of Santa Cruz and is always, 90% of the time, foggy and 10-20 degrees cooler than Santa Cruz and a whopping 30-40 degrees cooler than San Jose. The trade-off is that is less crowded and the water is cleaner and no sea-weed.

The last time we came here we weren't so lucky with the weather. That day the fog refused to burn off and we spent most of the time bundled together sitting on our blanket wrapped in towels to keep warm. It was very cool, however, because that day there were dolphins swimming close to shore. Right in the waves, actually, where we would have been...had it not been to cold. I saw one at first, but didn't see it again for a long time and convinced myself it was a bird or something else. But after a while we saw another, then two or three at a time. They must have found a motherload of anchovies that they were generously sharing with some birds who were diving nearby for their afternoon meal. At one point I counted eight dolphins swimming by!

We didn't see the dolphins on this day, but we did have a visit from a seal that came and beached itself about 30 yards from where we were sitting. I thought I saw it stick its head up in the water when we first got there but didn't see it again until it just rolled itself up to the sand.

A rush of people went over to check it out. No one knew what to do. We weren't sure if it was sick, dying or just came to sun itself. I think it was sick because he was lethargic, his eyes were bloodshot and his fins had a grayish color that didn't match the rest of his body. After a half-hour,or so, a lifeguard rolled up in his lifeguard jeep to keep an eye on him. Every once and a while he would move his head or flippers which was a relief because I was hoping he hadn't come there to die.

He stayed on the sand for nearly two hours (can you see him in this photo?). Then? He got himself up and went back in the water! We were all in the water when he did. I looked over to see if he was still there and if the lifeguard and called anyone else to come help him...but he was gone and the lifeguard was getting ready to drive off! One of the boys said he saw the seal in the water on the other side of us, which meant he swam right by us! Around 4:00 the fog started to roll in and the temperature cooled quite considerably. By 5:00 we were ready to head home... where it was still in the nineties until well into the evening.


Jennifer said...

How incredibly cool!

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Great pics! What fun!

Bonnie B said...

You always have the best pictures.
You are braver than I am, I would have been scared to death with him out in the ocean, but then I have a fear of going under and permanently visiting with the fish.

Bonnie B said...

I came across a dying sea lion once-- it was so sad.
Sorry I'm disjointed today so you get this in pieces.

Nicole said...

It sounds like a nice day. I'm glad the story had a happy ending!

Wendy said...

I tried skim boarding at Tahoe a few weeks ago. Let's just say I won't be getting rich off of sponsors anytime soon.

kim said...

Ooohh those are nice pictures and I love that beach!! It looks fantastic and un-crowded... I dont suppose you would share the name of it and directions for a fellow Northern Californian would you?