The Roving Rowes


Lighthouse Field State Beach

Santa Cruz, CA

Lighthouse Field State Beach

The city of Santa Cruz lies at the north end of Monterey Bay. A rather typical California coastal town of about 52,000, one discovers in it more of the beauty of the Pacific coast. We stopped at the Lighthouse Field State Beach for our walk.



Lighthouse (small)

Perched atop the cliffs, the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse provides a highly visible landmark. The original lighthouse was built in 1869, but after 10 years it had to be moved 300 feet back due to cliff erosion. In 1941 the Coast Guard replaced the lighthouse with an automated light on a framework tower. This lighthouse, built in 1967 as a memorial to a surfer who died near here, marks the fourth light at the point. It houses the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.

Surfer statue (small)

Near the lighthouse stands a tall statue of a surfer. Nothing nearby indicated that the statue portrayed any specific surfer so we presume it merely represents a "typical" one.

Surfer (small)

As can be imagined, surfing provides a popular pasttime in this area. We watched several surfers participating in this activity and give you glimpses at a couple of them.

Surf school (small)

School is in session -- surf school, that is. In a slightly calmer spot a couple of surfing classes were practicing what their teachers have tried to teach them. At least two surfing schools held training sessions in this location today.

Iceplant (small)

Along the top of the cliffs above the shore lives a lot of iceplant. Some of them displayed their lovely flowers. There were yellow ones and lavender ones. This photo captures some of each.

Shoreline (small)

Just below the row of iceplant and down the cliffs the Pacific Ocean breaks upon the shore. A myriad of colors in the water, sand, and rocks makes for a wonderful view.

Sea lions (small)

Just above the lighthouse, a short distance from the shore, a large rock jutted out of the water. The noise emanating from this rock indicated the presence of sea lions and sure enough, there were several enjoying a day in the bay. One stretched up to provide a great silhouette against the calm Pacific water.

Sea gull rock (small)

Not far from the sea lions another couple of rock islands provided havens for local wildlife. In this case it consisted of seagulls and pelicans (gulls to the left, bouys to the right).

Natural bridge (small)

Erosion takes its toll on the shoreline as the tides bring waves pounding upon the rocks and cliffs. In some spots, parts of the rocks are weaker than surrounding parts and get eaten away, leaving sights such as this natural bridge.

Whale weather vane (small)

Along the street a number of interesting and lovely homes have been built. One of them sported an unusual weather vane -- the traditional rooster was replaced with a whale.

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