Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Beach Walk

 Waxing Crescent Moon

A rare overnight rainfall Monday night gave way to a cool, crisp, sunny Tuesday morning in Moss Landing, CA, which is, as the crow flies, or as Hondo scoots, the closest beach to my camp. I met Captain Chem for a post-birthday breakfast and beach walk. Captain Chem, ever the alert and literate blog reader, almost immediately asked me how old I was. To which I replied:

"I am in my 71st year, thank you very much."

The grin on his face revealed his sly attempt to catch me in a septuagenerian error, but I was onto him. I am finished with being 70 period.

The Moss Landing Cafe was first choice for vittles, but they are closed on Tuesdays, so we took a chance on the satellite-eatery, over-the-bridge version of Phil's Fish Market. It's kind of rudimentary, but it will do in a hungry pinch and the people there are super-nice. It has both indoor and outdoor seating. 

Parked in front of of the market/eatery/convenience store was a funky cruiser bicycle which, as I later discovered, belongs to a local character known as Pirate Don. Sadly, Pirate Don was nowhere to be found on Tuesday, but if you see him, tell him I like his ride. Except for the saddle. I do not think that saddle would be comfortable.

The greatest things (aside from the Pacifc Ocean and the sand dunes) about Moss Landing State Beach are twofold: 1) you can walk for a long way between the jetty and the Pajaro River and back and 2) it is rarely crowded during the week in the waning days of autumn. 

The scenery and relative isolation are conducive to purposeful striding and stream-of-consciousness world-problem-solving. Some Palomino-Captain Chem conversations are quite brilliant if I do say so myself, and alternatingly funny as hell. Maybe we should start taping these hiking wisdom nuggets for broadcast or podcast or outcast podcast or something. When the good Captain completes his 70th year in 2023 I think it is, if there is still such a thing as the Internet, we can begin to share with the world the many ways they can get their sh*t together. The Septuagenarians might stream all the way to Netflix.

One way that people could improve things is to knock off the whole oops-I-killed-a-porpoise-when-fishing-for-ling-cod nonsense. I think they call these accidents "bycatch."  Here is a definition of bycatch from Merriam-Webster:

"the portion of a commercial fishing catch that consists of marine animals caught unintentionally"

Okay, okay, it happens, they didn't mean to do it (key word mean), but my questions are: how and why did this poor critter get sawed so perfectly in half? Just to freak out septuagenarian beachcombers? The vultures and gulls will gladly, or at least efficiently, take care of it, I suppose.

Speaking of birds, there were planty of snowy plovers, curlews, gulls, pelicans, and yes, a few wary, but persistent vultures at the beach. They make a very good living from Monterey Bay and I don't believe they ever kill anything unintentionally. 

Peace, Love, and Be More Careful,


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