I didn’t understand tidepooling when I moved to the Bay Area. I wasn’t totally sure what it was and why you would plan your day around it. Turns out, it’s a really fun adventure. For everyone.
The idea is that when the tide goes out, little pockets of water and sea life are left behind in the rocky landscape craters, these are the tidepools. This is when it gets fascinating. Each of these craters holds their own little world, their own ecosystem, that creatures and plants have adapted to. It is like looking down into an aquarium.
When my husband and I decided to give this a try, we just went to Half Moon Bay during low tide and picked a random spot off of Route 1. (I can’t even remember the name or exact location, sorry!) And, I was mesmerized by these little pools which were teeming with life that is usually far from view. My husband and son were just as captivated as I was. We went from pool to pool investigating each cavity, looking for crustaceans and urchins, and hoping to find an octopus. We did not find an octopus but we were not disappointed in our discoveries in each unique tide pool.
If you want to be more organized than I was; Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a popular place to explore the tidepools, Santa Cruz County has several great spots and Crab Cove in the East Bay is highly recommended.
I can’t wait to go again. This is an activity that would be awesome to do with out of town guests, kids or no kids. Next time I’m going to refer to this Tidepooling Trip Planner on KQED Science
I would love to hear about your tidepooling experiences, especially if there is an octopus involved!