About 25 miles west of my humble camp sits tiny Moss Landing, CA, a simple village in the center of Monterey Bay's crescent-shaped dent in the central California coastline. Directly offshore is the famed Monterey submarine canyon, deeper than the Grand Canyon, but underwater. In the diagram below, the mouth of the canyon (the shallow end) points right at Moss Landing.
I like to go to Moss Landing State Beach to walk along the sand dunes and contemplate some or none of life's conundrums. Once in a while I spot a whale or two, frequently I see harbor seals and sea otters, and every time there are more pelicans, seagulls, and snowy plovers than I count. I love this place.
Yesterday, I met my walking pal Captain Chem for lunch on the harbor at a new restaurant owned by my friends Veronica and Bruce from San Juan Bautista. Called the Pacific House, it is perched just opposite the entrance into the harbor at 2420 Highway 1, with great views of the water and the dunes that form a protective jetty for sailboats and kayaks. Sea otters pretty much rule the waterway, but gulls pester them for treats when they surface with snacks on their chests. That must get to be annoying. The lunch menu is affordable and varied. I tried the catch of the day fried up as fish and chips while Mike opted for a Calimari sandwich. An overall pleasant experience and I will definitely return.
Poor ole Captain Chem is still recovering from a mishap with a step ladder and had to hustle over to his physical therapy appointment. I took a little solo stroll around the harbor to stretch my legs and get the full fresh sea air treatment. The dunes were looking good, as were the boats, the gulls, and a few shy otters.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is just south of this location, also in Moss Landing. Once or twice every year they have an open house event for the public to see what critters they are working with and to visit the submarine explorer vessels. That is one of my favorite things to do here. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would extend my education one more step to earn a doctorate in Oceanography and try to work at a place like MBARI. It completely fascinates me. Maybe in the next life!
Maybe I will bring the real Rachel Carson back with me to coach me up.
Peace, Love, and the Pacific,