The Beach


Month: October 2017 (page 1 of 3)

Mandalay Beach

It’s nice to visit a local beach once on a while. For this adventure, I decided to pay a visit to one of my favorite hometown beaches in Oxnard. Mandalay beach is a 20-minute drive from CSUCI. The history I have at Mandalay beach is important to me. I grew up there with my family and friends. I used to think of it as an amusement park. The park and the beach were so close to each other. I remember playing soccer at the park, running up and down the dunes, crashing up against the waves, looking at all the plant life, and making sure the birds didn’t take the food. One thing I can never forget is the ride to the beach. Every main street taking you the beach passes by some sand dunes. One good indicator is looking for the European beach grass and beach sand verbena. These are the plants that help with the formation of the dunes. With-out these plants, there are no dunes and no beach. I kept these memories, because it brings out the joy and positive feeling into my life.


It’s nice to visit a local beach once on a while. For this adventure, I decided to pay a visit to one of my favorite hometown beaches in Oxnard. Mandalay beach is a 20-minute drive from CSUCI. The history I have at Mandalay beach is important to me. I grew up there with my family and friends. I used to think of it as an amusement park. The park and the beach were so close to each other. I remember playing soccer at the park, running up and down the dunes, crashing up against the waves, looking at all the plant life, and making sure the birds didn’t take the food. One thing I can never forget is the ride to the beach. Every main street taking you the beach passes by some sand dunes. One good indicator is looking for the European beach grass and beach sand verbena. These are the plants that help with the formation of the dunes. With-out these plants, there are no dunes and no beach. I kept these memories, because it brings out the joy and positive feeling into my life.


Visiting the Mandalay Beach was an adventure well-needed. I feel more stress-free and have no worries. I also feel very positive after this trip. It is a good way to relieve one’s stress. The good old fashion natural healing!






Although I aimed to leave my comfort zone and travel to a new beach, I decided to post about the first beach to ever steal my heart. Mandalay beach park has a reputation for being the venue of special events: weddings, birthdays, commencement, baby showers and gender reveal parties. On this Thursday afternoon, it was the venue for recreational sports under the afternoon sun.

Although I’m not a scientist, I’ve always been attracted to the diversity of life on a beach. The plants growing along always catch your attention as you’re on your way to shore, and they’re all so distinct. They say all these local beaches look the same by every side has something special about them. Mandalay is distinct because of the dunes and vegetation diversity.

During this trip, a group of women were participating in a yoga class. When visiting this park, you always see the park portion jam packed with soccer, volleyball, or even badminton. The sun was just starting to set, and we decided to look for some crabs in the sand. The weather must’ve scared them away because no matter how deep the hole, or how far along down the shore, we could not find a single crab. We started to notice some birds picking at something in the sand, but we decided observe and see if they had scored anything. They didn’t.

There was a little of everything going on. The community was taking advantage of the weather and their local beach to come together, spend time with family, or spend time with the ocean. This beach has always felt like home; although I didn’t know anyone else on that beach, we were all there because we know that beach on a personal basis.
This beach is peculiar, too. It’s serene and desolate until you realize you’re in someone’s backyard…and down a couple miles there’s a visibly active power plant. The sands are wide enough to forget they’re there.
I’ll be back sooner than later, I really enjoy this beach in particular. However, I’m hoping I make the trip to see something new down the golden coast.

Zuma Beach: My experience

I have only been to Zuma beach a few times, but I know it is a clean and safe beach. The sand is so soft, every step I took my foot would sink into the sand, and its keep clean and lifeguards are always patrolling the beach.  When I got their I ran into people who told me about the times that they have seen wild life at the beach like dolphins, fish, and seals surfing in the waves. The beach itself is 2.7 miles, so there is a good amount of walking space and plenty of places to park your car. Now I know what you’re thinking, I’ve been discussing all this other wonder stuff but what about the waves? I only can describe them as gnarly. On most days the waves can be 3 to 4 feet tall. During the summer most waves get to around 2-3feet and anywhere from 6 to 8 feet in the winter. A fun fact about the beach is that there have been moves and television shows filmed here. Once thing I found when researcher about the histroy of the beach was that there is  the annual Malibu Nautica Triathlon which is held on Zuma beach, for the Children’s Hospital of LA. There are many sporting events held, that starts with a half mile swimming, then a 17 mile bike ride north to Deer Creek Canyon, and for the last a four mile run. This event has competitors from around the world. It has also had celebrities from Hollywood and even retired Olympic Athletes. Here are a few that participated
I really enjoyed my experience overall at Zuma beach. The beach wasn’t really packed out but I’m sure it gets tons of crowds during the summer because the beach outline looked like it carried out for a lot of tourism and was catered  because of all the lifeguard towers and all the smooth sand that was their that looked like it was smoothed by man. I would suggest and recommend for anyone to check out the beach in their free time

Marina Park-Ventura, Ca

Marina Park Beach is a beach that my parents used to take me to and where my elementary school would take my class on field trips. This beach is in Ventura right off Seaward Avenue. When you first arrive at the beach you will notice a big grassy area where people picnic, play volleyball, or fly kites. Between the grassy area and the and the beach there is a playground that over looks the the beach. The beach is composed of fine sand and angled a bit steeply. On the north end of the beach you’ll find fishermen fishing off of the jetty or the beach. I fished this area before and had luck on catching barred surf perch.  As you make your way south along the beach, the beach begins to flatten out. This side of the beach is great for children to play in because the water doesn’t drop off as fast as the north end. When you get to where the southern jetty and the beach meet you can make your way up a sandy path and get to the Russian Mermaid statue at Soter Point. The Russian mermaid statue was a gift from the Benke family to the city of Ventura. The statue is actually a fountain that will eventually have water running through it. A path can be found from Soter Point and back to the parking lot. The path from the point to the parking lot is only a quarter of a mile but the path totals to over a mile around Marina Park. The path is used mostly by people walking their dogs and people on beach cruisers. On the east side of the path there are plenty of opportunities for recreation. The inner part of the marina is protected from the waves and is a good spot for beginners on kayaks, paddles boards, or small sailing boats. You can also fish off of the dock here. I have spent some time here and have caught small croakers for hours. I haven’t caught anything worth keeping but this spot provides enough action to keep me coming back.



Ventura Pier Beach

I am at the Ventura pier beach a lot, every weekend to be exact.  I work right on the pier and whenever I am on break I sit there and enjoy the beach.  It’s the perfect spot to look over at Surfer’s Point and see all the surfers.  You see kite-surfers, paddle boarders and even some people kayaking.  This past Friday, it was really windy, and the waves were really big and breaking hard, the ocean looked angry!  There was this kayaker and he was catching waves with his kayak! Click the link for a clip of him kayaking. IMG_6578

Knarly waves due to high winds this past Friday


Ventura pier beach  is a clear example of development right on the beach.  They have a children’s park set up on the sand with swings.  There is a parking structure and a Crown Royal hotel and restaurants right up on the beach.  They have quite a bit of revetment on Surfer’s Point because of erosion and even more on towards  the state beach.

Most people use the beach that is directly to the right of the pier, that’s closest to Surfer’s Point and has the park.  To the left of the pier down a ways is Ventura State Beach and that is where

Glowing blue waves due to bioluminescent phytoplankton.

I witnessed the bioluminescene that was happening along our coast.   For those that don’t know we were having some red tide happening along our coast.  This is when there is an algal bloom and can be harmful, causing eye and skin irritants and sore throat.  This usually occurs when there is a high concentration of very small phytoplankton making the water appear a rusty-brownish color when the light reflects on it.  At night on a day that there is red-tide, the phytoplankton emit light when stressed due to the crashing waves and the waves glow blue.  Some surfers don’t care about the possible harmful effects and surf the waves with glowing blue tails!


The picture doesn’t do it justice, but you can still see the glowing tide.  It is definitely something I recommend checking out, it’s the beauty of the beach and biology all in the works.  I get to enjoy many beautiful views while I work and it never gets old, such beautiful sunsets.  Staring out at the ocean is a relaxing thing and I am lucky to be able to do that while I am at work, because sometimes you just need to relax.

Last night’s perfect sunset with the moon in sight.


One of the many gorgeous sunsets.




Ormond Beach

For my second beach blog, I decided to take advantage of being let out of class early and head for the beach to kill some time. I went to Ormond Beach, a place where I visit often and now have grown accustomed to what to expect when visiting; a beautiful wide natural beach with a kelp wrack above the swash zone and dunes running along the back of the beach. One reason that I have grown to love this beach so much is that not many people seem to know or come to Ormond, making it one of the most low key beaches of Southern California that I know of (if there are others let me know!). Currently, there are four people on this expansive beach with me: two fishermen, a father, and his son.

Another great thing about Ormond beach is that it is now left to its natural processes. Back in the 50’s cars were allowed on the sandy shore, killing much of the wildlife on the beach. However, that has changed making Ormond now teaming with life. Looking in the swash zone there are a number of insects and infauna crawling around. These bugs seem to be more prevalent in the kelp wrack that is present at the high tide line. When observing beaches without this assortment of sea grass, kelp, and feathers, like Zuma beach, there is much less life found living in the sand. On the back-beach of Ormond is a fenced off dune area that acts as a sanctuary for nesting birds; specifically the snowy plover, which is a bird that has made its home at Ormond and lay their eggs on the back beach which is reserved for them.

Furthermore, being a regular at Ormond Beach I have now started to pay attention to the changing beach profile. Currently, the beach is still showing signs of a summer profile with a wide and flat beach face. However, you can begin to see the stronger winter swells forming the beach through the scarp that is begging to form. Bellow this berm the beach gets a lot steeper running into the ocean. The waves too are beginning to show signs of the changing season as the swell is large and breaking on an offshore bar. In the end, Ormond is a great example of a natural beach where you can see the dynamic process of the ocean changing the beach face.

Point Mugu and Mugu Rock

I’m not from Southern California, so I haven’t had much opportunity to explore the beaches here. In fact, I haven’t had much opportunity to explore beaches in general, the Central Valley doesn’t have much to choose from. The beaches of Lake Tahoe were as good as it got. I’ve been told that Point Mugu isn’t the best beach, but as far as I am concerned as long as its warm and sandy it is good enough for me. San Francisco beaches are usually cold and rocky. Point Mugu state beach lived up to my expectation (albeit basic).

It was very quiet, I went around 11 am on a Friday. Many people were still at work, but there were plenty of tourists. I stayed on the beach and did some homework, but mostly I people-watched. I saw a bunch of European tourists jump in their car and disappear around a huge rock that jettied out from the coast. Now I know that rock to be Mugu Rock. I drove up and saw a look-out area with a few cars parked in the lot, though it didn’t seem like many stayed for long. Most seemed to stay just for the photo-op.

Mugu Rock is interesting because you can really see the difference that the position of the coastline makes. When you look over the sharp cliff you see huge, sharp, boulders instead of the soft sand that lines the coast just around the corner, only a few hundred feet away. The rocky headland breaks the waves first, so there is no sand deposition and the erosion and weathering process is slowed – leaving the coastline sharp and rocky.

While Mugu Rock isn’t actually a beach, I think it is really educational in that it provides an excellent example of what geological processes do not make a sandy beach.


Santa Rosa Island

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to visit Santa Rosa Island with a class here on campus. We stayed the weekend at the Channel Islands Research Station and spent time hiking and volunteering for restoration projects around the island.

On the boat ride to the island we saw a ton of dolphin and sea lions swimming around the boat. The captain was talking to us about how the formation and history of the multiple islands and the variation in depth of the sea floor because of the tectonic plate boundaries.

The water on the shore of Santa Rosa was the most clear a lot of people had seen it in a long time. This being my first time there I thought it was pretty normal, but a lot of students and faculty who had been there before said the water was much more clear this time, most likely due to the fact that the weather was perfect that weekend!

This island has such unique wildlife, I was really glad I got the chance to go see it. The rocks that were able to be seen from the shore were absolutely breathtaking. I could not get over how distinct every layer of sediment was and how beautifully it has formed over the years.  And the fox on the island really are as cute and adorable as everyone says! The tide pools were awesome with a ton of bones and shells to find.  The san was really soft and completely different than what we have on most of the California coast.

This place truly was a beautiful island to experience and I recommend it to anyone who gets the chance to visit.

Oxnard State Beach

Dogs borking, swimming, fetching is what i usually pay attention to when i visit Oxnard State Beach. It is less then four miles away from where my husband and i live and our dogs Bowie and Oakley love it.  However, it was a much different experience this visit, because i noticed my surrounding in a different way.  I payed close attention and took note of the broadness of the beach and how there is lots of sediment.  While walking along the littoral zone I noticed lots of bird footprints and little crab shells that had been most likely eaten these birds.  I am not sure exactly what type by of birds they were, but i saw seagulls and little tiny birds that looked like they could be Snowy Plovers.  There are patches of kelp, seaweed, drift wood, rocks, and shells scattered in random spots on this beach. The dunes are big and tall because of the vegetation that is growing on it.   The waves are gentle and the tide is low.

I see a strip of homes and a huge hotel that are right on the beach and wonder how long they have been there, and if them being there has affected the biodiversity of this beach.  I see a park with a play ground not too far in the distance, and can hear the children playing.  I can see a lush green mountain at the very end of the beach, but it is too cloudy to take a clear photo of especially with my not so great phone camera.

It is now six in the evening and the sun is starting to set.  A fiery dark orange circle that is so big and bold disappearing slowly into the vast blue abyss  .  It is quite the view and i can feel it getting colder, i run along side the shore and continue playing fetch with Bowie and Oakley until it gets too cold and the sunlight is there no more.  They start panting and that is when i know that my job here is done. Till next time dog beach and thank you for all that you offer us.  Pure bliss!

Point Mugu Beach

I haven’t really visited many beaches out in this area, since I just transferred, but yesterday was my first time visiting Point Mugu Beach. I actually visited the beach right before it closed yesterday. It was different visiting a beach during the night time, of course there weren’t many people there, which was actually nice because I had the chance to just relax and listen to the the sound of the ocean while I just laid out there on the beach. There was actually no moon out from what I could see, which obviously had to do with the type of waves that took place last night, they seemed like short, a bit dry since it was at low tide from what I could tell.

I also noticed how the wind and/or waves had shifted the sand on the beach, it seemed that the beach is basically losing more of its shoreline as time goes by and I also noticed the weathering of the rock cliffs near by as well. It had signs along the road showing warning of rock cliff fall and it was interesting to see these types of signs for a beach just because I’ve never personally visited a beach where it had a problem like this. You can definitely see the rocks that have fallen off from the cliffs and see the erosion that had been happening to these rock cliffs as well.

Aside from all this, the beach is really one of the nicest and cleanest beaches I’ve been to; there are many trash cans located around the beach for you to throw away your trash, so maybe since trash cans are so easily  accessible on this beach, it probably causes more people to take appropriate action into picking up their trash and keeping the beach clean. I know that if I saw a clean beach and it was kept that way always, it would motivate me even more to throw away my trash and pick up after myself because I want to enjoy my time at the beach without having to be surrounded my pieces of trash everywhere.

This trip to Point Mugu Beach was great, I look at beaches differently now whenever I do have the chance to visit one after learning all the different aspects that there are to a beach.

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