Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday Adventure: Wild Seals

So my friends have all been telling me about the wild starfish. I grew up on the East Coast, in Connecticut. Our idea of "ocean" is something like Long Island Sound.  It's really rocky.  On a really, really windy day, the waves might get really exciting- maybe six inches high, if you're lucky.  You can walk about a mile out to 'sea' and still be waist-deep in bathwater warm water.

Then I moved to the West Coast.  The waves here are HUGE- they look like they are about as big as I am tall!- and you have to be really careful.  Even the most careful people are surprised by sneaker waves- huge swathes of water that just come out of nowhere.  I have really learned to respect the Ocean here.

The continental shelf is actually pretty short, so at the right times of year you can watch for whales from the shore!

I was naturally intrigued by the idea of seeing starfish in their natural habitat.  A friend of mine who is a scientist-type told me about "negative tides", which in my parlance means "the days when the tide is really, really low".  So we found a day of negative tides and decided to go for some starfish hunting!

We succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.  I'd never seen tide pools before, and certainly never like this.  They were like aquariums on the beach.  We found hundreds of starfish, crabs (both live and not alive), mussels bigger than my hand (made me hungry!), sea anemones, neat creatures that I couldn't identify but that reacted to our touch, and WILD SEALS!

Despite my best efforts, I got well sun-burned (drat!) in a streak over my left shoulder.  I guess there is just not enough spray sport sunscreen in the universe.  At least, the waxy stuff I use on my face prevented a big burn there, too.

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