Spanish Word(s) – el mar (the sea), el oceano (the ocean)
This has been a strange week since we didn’t have class on Tuesday, July 4th, it sort of throws you the rest of the week. The sunshine has returned so it didn’t really matter what day it was as long as I could catch some sunshine! This week I have tried to go to the sea more.
Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine Conservation Area – Monday after class I just went and stared out at the ocean for while, climbing the big rocks and finding hidden spots to snap pictures of crashing waves. I love these moments of finding the harmony of life at the beach. I saw a few whales in the distances, spotted an otter snacking and one day I will be able to name the beautiful birds I saw all around the shoreline. I am so thankful to be living here! Spotting whales, otters, seals or sea lions is so amazing…but here it’s a normal thing to see! I highly recommend this beach area if you want to clamber over rocks and find tide pools. You can also walk quite a ways along the beach to many beautiful spots. There are a few dirt parking lots as you drive along the coastline.
Carmel Meadows Beach – Tuesday I continued my sea adventures in Carmel at a beach just past the main downtown area. There I met other SILP students of a bonfire at the beach to celebrate July 4th. It was a beautiful spot! We spotted whales, dolphins a seal and a surfer. I found a few interesting tidepools too! This beach is less crowded than the other Carmel and Monterey beaches, it has beautiful views and based on my experience lots of sea life to spot! You do have to take a lot of stairs or long trail down to the beach, so keep that in mind.
Wednesday and Thursday I did not make it to the beach. I have to do homework sometime 🙂
Monterey State Beach – Friday a classmate and I spent our lunch sitting on the main beach and wading in the beautiful blue sea. It was so refreshing! This is a very popular beach, but it does have the classic beach feel with the golden sand, sunbathers, kids making sandcastles and lots of beach umbrellas/tents. The water here is calmer because it is sheltered. It is also a long stretch of beach and you can walk all the way to seaside. Just above is the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail if you need to get off the sand and walk.
Monterey Aquarium – After class (and some homework) I headed to this famous aquarium with a few friends. You can buy an annual pass which is totally worth it, so I’ll be back to the aquarium. It was such a nice aquarium! We didn’t have a lot of time but we did see the main exhibits. They have a kelp forest and huge sea turtles! They have huge, old bass and tons of little sparkling sardines and anchovies. The jelly fish exhibit was mesmerizing. One of my friends is a local and will be studying environmental policy with a focus on the ocean in the Fall, so we had our very own tour guide to tell us everything we needed to know about all the sea life of the area and the aquarium, it was great! I definitely recommend going here. The ambiance of the place is wonderful, you feel like you are in one of those underwater documentaries. There are also plenty of fun things for kids of all ages.
Del Monte Beach – Today I spent the afternoon walking the Monterey State Beach which at it’s furthermost point, almost to Seaside, is Del Monte Beach. You can also access this part by road. It is still popular but not as much as the Monterey State Beach nearer the Municipal Wharf #2. All along the state beach there is plenty of sand and sand dunes to find a good spot to read and/or enjoy the waves. I also went in for a swim which was so refreshing! The water was actually not that cold, just a bit of a cool breeze. After my beach time I explored the two wharves, Municipal Wharf #2 is a commercial wharf where the fishing boats come in, there are also people fishing from the wharf and places for the public to buy fresh fish. Fisherman’s Wharf is the tourist spot. Here you can buy your souvenirs, try many samples of clam chowder, dine over the water with a view of the marina and leave of a whale watching trip. It was a bit crazy walking this wharf at 5pm with all the crowds, but it was worth the free chowder!
Every place I have gone around here I have just been overwhelmed with the beautiful creation of the world and all that live within. I was watching a huge school of fish at the aquarium just go round and round and learning how you would only see something like that in the depth of the ocean. How many hundreds of years did these fish go unseen before at last man saw that for the first time. What a beautiful discovery to see for the first time! What beautiful sights have been hidden around the world for us to discover! How grateful I am at the gift we have been given by a God who loved us enough to create all this wonder for our enjoyment! What a privilege we have to be the caretakers too!