Monday, September 27, 2010

Point Dume (Dume Cove) Tide Pools - September 2010

I wanted to get to the tide pools as much as possible while the low tides on the weekend lasted so me, K and J headed out to Point Dume State Beach - Dume Cove - to check out the tide pools. The tide was at 0.58 and would get to the lowest point 45 minutes or so before sunset. Here's where we were:


View Larger Map

Check out the brochure HERE.

Since I recently became a member of the California State Parks Foundation and got some free day parking passes I hoped to be able to use one here, but according to the Point Dume website (and the woman at the kiosk when we got there), this is one of the only state areas where you cannot use the pass. Still, parking was only $10 and it was abundant and close to the trailhead.

Once we parked we started up the trail and walked/hiked up over the bluff to the eastern side of the point where there are metal steps down to the tide pools.



You can see from the above map that there is also parking off Cliffside Drive, but I'm glad we parked where we did because it gave us a chance to walk around the point which really had beautiful chapparal and views of Catalina Island. We also saw some sea lions (and possibly seals) down on the rocks at the end of the point.

Review of the tide pools: There weren't many of the things I would normally expect in the rockier tide pools like ochre sea stars, urchins and limpets. We didn't see any urchins at all, 3 sea stars total and none of the limpets and chiton that I saw down at Rancho Palos Verdes. That might be because many of the rocks were loose and it's hard for these types of creatures to get hold. However, there were some areas that were more stable and still, nothing. No sea hares either.

What we DID see were a ton of hermit crabs in a variety of snail shells but most notably purple olive snail shells like this one

purple olive snail
(Olivella biplicata)

Also, there was a huge patch of mussels (some of them very large)

California mussel
(Mytilus californianus)

HUGE!

and some nice black-bellied plovers, gulls and crows or ravens.

black-bellied plovers
(Pluvialis squatarola)

Also, this completely intact (but dead) kelp crab

northern kelp crab
(Pugettia producta)

Here are some more photos we took while exploring the pools:







Photo by KD

Once the sun started to set we headed back to Westward Beach to sit and watch the show while pelicans and gulls dove straight down into the water to catch fish. They dive so quickly that it's great to watch but hard to capture with a camera. Here's what I got.




All in all, a great day out on the California coast. In a few weeks we're hoping to head down to Dana Point/Doheny State Beach area with some friends of a friend who will be visiting from Minnesota.


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