Monday, June 22, 2009

grunion greeting, 2009 #8

Seaside Beach
new moon (10:20-12:20), clear skies

The past 2 nights' late schedules have finally caught up with me. I'm still a little loopy as I edit this posting. We did not spot a single grunion at either Seaside or Del Monte beaches.

We reluctantly signed up online for Seaside Beach since a group was already scheduled to monitor our fave Del Monte Beach. Granted, we feel a bit of claim over Del Monte since we've been there every night plus since the monitoring project started in Monterey this year; but we also feel a responsibility to try to cover the beaches requested in the project.

The warning signs should have, um, well... warned us! Seaside Beach was hella scary!!!

The nondescript tan-black pic with spots above was a wave that ambushed us 20 yards from the wave break! The very steep berm reminded me too much of how the waves break at Mission Beach where several people have died in recent years. I love nature n' all, but it was too dangerous to be out looking for little grunion amongst humongous waves crashing all around us in the dark!

Here are the details:

10:05-10:25 north side of BW hotel. Per Charlie's lead, we headed out before the high tide. There was a massive hump of sand where if waves reached that point they went 30 yards over the downside. We spotted a dead sea lion with its head bitten clean off. I didn't take a pic of the grossness.

Took shelter at BW hotel. Mighty fine hotel and much nicer than it looks from the freeway. Since we live here we don't stay in local hotels, but people always seem to ask me for recommendations.

10:30-11:05 from BW hotel balcony, we observed south and north sides of beach. The south side above was slightly calmer than the north side. Nothing to note save for some wrack and a 3-4 ft. dead silvery fish being tossed around in the waves. Am guessing it was a dead tuna. We found it hard to believe grunion would be spawning in such harsh waters, so we left.

11:15-11:50 not wanting to miss out, we arrived at Del Monte Beach near the volleyball courts. The water was very calm compared to Seaside. We walked to the cement structure and back towards the pier. Met up with Diane and her group, exchanged a few words, looked around, and walked back to the car. NOTHING. One point to note, by an hour after high tide, the water level was still past any previous high tides we've witnessed before (i.e. 6th and 7th parking meters from the bathrooms). The last picture above shows the water level came all the way up level with the bathrooms.

Phooey! I wanted to see a W-3!

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