Multi-colored Sea Stars on Lechuza Beach, Malibu
If it nice sometimes to take a break from the city. Take a break from the noise and the visual stimulation of billboards blocking out the sky. It is nice to take a break from feeling so small in a world that is so large and out of control. This is what I tell people I get out of tide pooling.
What is tide pooling? (Is usually their first question)
Tide pooling is when the ocean’s tides are low, so low that the water retreats from the area beaches and reveals lagoons and rocks that are covered with sea creatures. The type of sea creatures that you learned about in biology class when you were a kid. The best time to go is when the tide is negative .5 or greater which happens at least twice this weekend. Those of you who get the bonus MLK jr. on Monday the 19th off are especially lucky with a long low tide beginning around 2:30 p.m. and lasting almost an hour and a half.
Anemone in Abalone Cove tide pools. Palos Verdes Peninsula.
To the naked eye sometimes these places just look like puddles and rocks. When you are there do me a favor and take a moment. Be still. If you look into the pools of water you can see the small creatures, hermit crabs skittering about and kicking snails out of their shells, anemone undulating, sea hare slowly moving looking for snacks, and things you thought were rocks and rings of sand suddenly move.
More photos are on instagram @thisuglybeautifulcity. Everything I know about tide pooling I learned from my friend who writes Western Wilds.
Where to go: Malibu Lagoon, Abalone Cove, Point Dume, Lechuza Beach, Broad Beach, Doheny State Beach, Leo Carillo, and more.
What does it cost: Tide pooling is free, but some state parks or beaches require a parking fee that varies.
What to bring: Shoes that have traction that you do not care about getting wet and pants you can roll up or get wet.
Can I bring the kids? Yes, but note that some of the rocks are hard to maneuver. Remember though that crabs pinch, the purple spikey anemone can hurt if you grab or step on them, and sea hare squirt purple ink when they are frightened or harmed.
Click here for the tide calendar I use. There is a low tide everyday. Sometimes it is at 1:PM or it is at 4:am, use the calendar to find one that works in your schedule.
UP NEXT… A DIFFERENT TYPE OF STAR