Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Take Me to the Tidepools: San Pedro, On the Rocks...

So, ever since I was little I've been fascinated by the ocean. I've never liked going more than about ankle-deep in. I was always too terrified of jellyfish, then rockfish, then lionfish, and after that, just about anything that could kill you or put you in tremendous pain. I never really feared sharks. I guess I figured that I would see them coming, or that they weren't so common on the Atlantic (yes, I did think stonefish and lionfish were, but I was also about eight).

The summers of my childhood were spent on early morning beach walks, trying to find shells, pebbles, and tide pools before everyone was out for the day. We never found much, except for horseshoe-crabs and chewed-up conch shells, but it was the experience that mattered. Later on, it was the once-yearly expedition to Calvert County, Maryland to trek through the muddy, wild forest to the beach to hunt for fossilized shark teeth. It was a real expedition, where I packed tissues and my space maker pencil box for samples, along with a magnifying glass and book about sea life. We got some pretty cool fossils on those trips. It was at this age that becoming a marine biologist seemed most appealing. I was fascinated by the Baltimore Aquarium and longed to swim with the dolphins or at the very least swim with the gigantic manta rays they had in their central tank. I hated the kids who would tap the glass. I remember being transfixed.

To this day, I still love aquariums (Chattanooga in 2007 was a highlight) and the sea side. I am personally making it my goal this year to spend more time there once I get back to Scotland (stormy beaches are lovely too). But, I digress.
This weekend I spent Sunday in San Pedro with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. We had a great time exploring the amazing tide pools. It's not for the faint of heart, in fact, no matter how sturdy your shoes are it's slippery (and sharp!) going. Still the crabs, sea stars, anemones, and urchins were spectacular. My photos really don't do the place justice.

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