Wednesday, July 8, 2009

grunion greeting, 2009 #11

grunion greeting
full moon cycle (11:25pm -12:55am), partially cloudy skies

Night #2 of the July full moon cycle and we didn't see any grunion. We initially said we might not do the last-minute request by Dr. Martin to also watch Thursday night, particularly if we didn't see any grunion the first 2 nights... but I caved in and confirmed we'd do it out of a desire to report a W-3, especially considering the reports of seeing a big run on the full moon of July 2007. I think I'm starting to get obsessive about grunion. My guess is that we're the only grunion greeters in our area who have been out every single night of the study - it's giving us a project to entertain ourselves this summer and something to complain about when we're tired. Hahaha. While we've been rewarded by seeing some grunion, we still have yet to witness a major run. Phooey!

We arrived at Del Monte Beach at 11:10pm. There were 10 people already on the beach with their pants pulled up and looking for grunion with flashlights in the water. They said they arrived at 10:45pm and immediately spotted 6 grunion and a couple more afterwards. Their dog was tied up and was howling to join the fun. This group left around 11:45pm which thankfully left us to watch the waves by ourselves (see first pic above) . If there's not going to be any grunion, I do appreciate the soothing, meditative sounds of the waves. There was also a squid boat that anchored not too far from the end of the commercial wharf.

The flock of gulls was there again (see second pic). They appeared to be waiting for something. Please note, we haven't seen gulls on the beach at all this entire season except for yesterday's greeting night.

One lady from the group of 10 said she had been present the night before during the second hour. She seems like an enthusiastic grunion watcher and I wondered why she wasn't involved in the research project. Unfortunately, I was too sleepy to think quickly enough to give her the grunion volunteer info - I'm thinking I need to be grunion greeter recruiter, b/c my hubby and I can't continue this late-night program forever. A friend of hers told her he saw a bunch of grunion on Carmel Beach the previous night (July 7), but she wasn't sure if he was pulling her leg or not. She planned on heading to Carmel on Thursday night.

Our friendly Monterey City guy also stopped by to open up the bathrooms for us. He claimed he saw a ton of grunion the previous night (July 7) at 4:30am and that the gulls were going crazy. We figured that would be about at low tide, which didn't make much sense to us. This is the same fellow who claimed his third cousin sold a Spanish gold coin found on the beach for $36K. I don't know whether to believe him or not.

The high tide seemed particularly low again. Occasionally, some waves made it up to the 5th parking meter, but for the most part they hovered around the 7-9th meters. We left at 12:45 very disappointed.