Last week I talked about the safety and how-to of tidepooling, and as promised, this week I’m going to talk about my favorite spots around Humboldt County! If you didn’t read last week’s newsletter, I highly recommend beginning there so you’re up to date on what this all means and how to do it in the safest way possible because the ocean can be very dangerous if you are not careful.
Tide pooling takes some planning! First and foremost you want to make sure that you go out at low tide, and that low tide is sufficient. You can find this information on sites such as “tides4fishing” or just by a quick google search. The best low tides are ones that are negative, meaning the water has receded far enough that it is past the standard 0 tide line. For example, on June 7th there will be a low tide of -1.9 at 7:38am!! You’ll be able to see so many creatures that are normally submerged!!!
Luckily the best tide pooling spots (in my opinion) are in Trinidad. Baker Beach, Old Home Beach, and the harbor are some of my favorite spots there, and you can stop by the Seascape Cafe for some amaaaaaaazing pancakes afterwards. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous and ready for a half day trip, Palmer’s Point at Patrick’s Point State Park is rich with biodiversity. For a full day excursion, Devil’s Gate near Petrolia has really beautiful tidepools. This is just a little north of the Lost Coast and the land is breathtaking. The drive is intense, so make sure you have a car that can handle rough roads and some Dramamine if you are prone to car sickness. There’s also no cell service or stores anywhere close, so make sure you tell people where you’re going and when to expect to be back, go with a full tank of gas, and bring extra food, water, and layers.
If you flip over rocks to look at some cool creatures, make sure to flip them back to the way you found them. This way you don’t leave vulnerable species face up in the sun or more visible to predators. If you choose to pick something up, be gentle and once you’re done, put it back where you found it. Pro tip! Take a break from looking down and check out the rocks partially submerged farther out in the ocean. There’s usually harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) hauled out enjoying the sun! They’re pretty shy, so when you spot them make sure to talk softly and excitedly to your buddies!
That is all I have about tidepooling. Have fun and be safe, I’ll probably see some of you out there!