The Beach

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Month: December 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Port Hueneme Beach

King Crab someone caught on the pier

For my third beach, I had gone to Port Hueneme Beach.  Port Hueneme Beach has a long pier where you can find many people fishing.  I have fished there many times before and even saw someone catch a giant king crab once back in 2013 and I still have that picture.  I used to go to this beach a lot when I lived in Port Hueneme and I would see a lot of fish and game people standing in the beginning of the pier trying to get people to take surveys, I took one before, and they were mainly asking what kind of fish you would generally catch and if you had a fishing license.

Down Port Hueneme Beach you could reach Ormond Beach and see that eyesore of a power plant, but we didn’t walk that far, or go by the water’s edge even.  This beach has a lot of tar and it isn’t uncommon to get tar on your feet after visiting this beach, which was a huge hassle to get off, but I found that coconut oil works the best for this.  I went with my dogs this time and walked along the beach sidewalk with them and enjoyed to sweet ocean breeze, this was a couple days before the fires, so the air was still fresh.

Port Hueneme Beach gets dredged every year usually in the Fall season.  They do this to make sure that Channel Islands Harbor, stays a harbor…. It is unfortunate that we have to keep doing this to sustain the human activities that goes on.  Port Hueneme Beach has a beautiful park and a little seafood restaurant area right at the front of the pier and when I used to frequent this beach often I would see the most beautiful sunsets, especially between the trees.  The picture below was one I took when I used to go to the beach often, it looks like a default wallpaper that you see on computers sometimes, absolutely gorgeous.

Port Hueneme Sunset

I took some pictures of the view from the beach sidewalk where I walked with my dogs, it was a very clear day , so clear you could see the Channel Islands in the distance.

North Coast

Many of my family members have lived on and off again in the area of Crescent City, California. My dad spent hours wandering the redwoods of Jebediah trail, writing music and pondering life’s biggest mysteries. My grandparents helped raised cousins, nieces, nephews and grandchildren, including myself, in the earliest years of my life. Today, my oldest and closest cousin has returned to this little nugget of beautiful wildlife and impoverished culture, to maximize his career in surf photography. My dad and I visited him for a few days and on our trip, my dad insisted that we stop and visit Pebble Beach.

The beach has less pebbles than the name implies. If anything, it was covered in beautiful green moss, ice plant, and driftwood. The beach isn’t quite as wide as ours in areas like Oxnard Shores, but it’s got a pretty good amount of sand left, just a short distance from a public access road. Here and there along the road are lookouts, atop medium height cliff sides overlooking the blue water and big, black rocks. There are rocky formations everywhere you look on the horizon, leaving a feeling like being a character in The Goonies. Even on what would have been a hot, sunny day in our coastal area, this beach was my ideal: cold, wet, and gray. Only a few miles away from redwoods, I can see the appeal this coastal area has had on my family.

This beach and its surrounding nature trails have a lot to offer, but unfortunately much of the community surrounding it is poor, and unemployed. There are few businesses and not much areas for profit based around the natural structures. All the attractions (woods, beaches, cliff sides) and free of recreation and infrastructure, for the most part… which poses an unfortunate conflict. Do we compromise the size and quality of these beautiful areas by introducing money-making opportunities, or do we keep the area quiet, and untouched? Time will tell.

Catalina Island Beach

Early in the fall semester, I visited Catalina island for my birthday in late September. Having been to Anacapa, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz with respective school trips, I wasn’t sure what to expect from an island with so much tourism and public recognition. I only knew of the protected beaches, isolation, and wildlife of my research experiences. I must say, what I encountered was nothing could have prepared for.

I found myself thinking about the history of Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz, the one I’ve spent so much time researching in anthropology and ESRM. I thought about the markets and the daily lives of individuals who resided on the islands, building an economy in their lifestyles out there across the water. This is the modern example of such lifestyles. High end boutiques, hotels and restaurants blanket the space only walking distance from the beachfront, which is narrow, crowded, and overpopulated. Conversations of $1000 hotel rooms are overheard at every table, and I can’t help but wonder if the baristas in the coffee shops sleep in tents, small apartments, island homes, or homes on the mainland. It’s all a very interesting phenomenon and it all happens day after day.

I was only there a few hours, having taken the trip out from several hours south of here at Newport Beach. I had about enough time to gawk at the tourists, have a meal, and walk past the overpopulated beach to a rocky cliff just past a road where buses, trucks and golf courts zoom to and fro. I tried to snorkel without swim shoes, and couldn’t muster up the strength to get past the pain of the rocks under my feet.

I was ill prepared for Catalina, and found myself missing the beaches of Santa Rosa, wishing I’d learn to snorkel before my earlier visits, when I had a bit of free time to enjoy the crystal blue water. Maybe I’ll get rich one day and return to this island for a longer trip, try to find some more reclusive spots to enjoy… but for poor little 20-something Lauren, the glamour was sort of lost on me. Still, I enjoyed the blue water and blue skies, and I’m always happy on a long boat ride.

Surfer’s Point

Today after my finals I decided to check out Surfers point in Ventura, California a little after a week and a half since Thomas Fire started.

As I walk from the pier surfers point the hills in the back are chard. A thin layer of smoke and the marine layer clash over the water. The mix of fog and smoke made the oil rigs and the Channel Islands disappear. Seeing this was a surreal moment seeing how the fire acted the view of the beach. The fairgrounds had a lot of fire responder’s trucks and vehicles. Some of the first responders were relaxing on the beach eating, chatting on the phone, and some were even surfing. One apartment on the ground floor had a sign that offered their boards and wet-suits for any of the first responders that wanted to surf the waves which was nice of them. A couple of the first responders took up the offer. As I walked further along there a couple surfers, birds, and beach-goers enjoying the beach. The birds were sitting rocks near the shoreline just relaxing.

The beach has a pier with a fishing spot at the end of the pier. There are revetments along the beach and some seawalls that tries to protect the numerous housing along the each including apartments, and the hotels. Near the shoreline where most of the birds were relaxing there was a deteriorated tire and large pipe leading to the ocean.

 

Port Hueneme Beach Park

I decided to go to another local beach near my home.

The beach is visited daily by locals whether it’s for a quick dip in the ocean or a quick catch. The Hueneme Beach Park is home to most seagulls in Oxnard.  However, other birds and animals inhabit the beach and call it home. From squirrels to cats and even people like to call this beach a home. I do agree that proper procedures should be taken to help fix the problems of having homeless people living at the beach. Also, I find it difficult to believe that people still have a hard time picking up after themselves. I was walking down the beach and noticed a bunch of microplastics everywhere. There were big pieces of plastic, like a plastic cup, and even glass. I did not like seeing the trash close to the trash can. People are really getting out of hand with not keeping their local beaches clean.

The beach holds a positive aesthetic value towards the Oxnard community, and is home to one of the most used ports in Southern California. The Hueneme pier was built in 1956 and used for laying a sewer outfall pipeline. After completion of the project, the pier was made available for the public. I myself have visited the Port Hueneme Beach Park throughout my life. I remember thinking how amazing and huge the Port Hueneme pier looked like back when I was kid. Its sad to see the beach go to waste as time progresses. Every year the Port Hueneme Beach Park seems to be dirtier than the last year. The pier seems to be holding its shape but only time will tell.

Who can forget that sign near the Port Hueneme Base, the Hueneme Beach Shoreline Protection Project. The sign explains how the Hueneme Beach Park is located downcoast of the Port Hueneme jetties, which interrupt the normal downcast littoral drift of sand. Because of this, the beaches losses their sand to an offshore submarine canyon and causes erosion. Maintenance dredging and sand bypassing was recommended by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Corps. The funds would be available for the city of Oxnard every two years, for the city would place sand on downcoast beaches where it is needed. If the funds are not available every two years, then the city of Oxnard will have to watch their sand disappear from the beaches.

Port Hueneme Beach


On this December afternoon, I had the pleasure of revisiting another beach located in my own back yard. This pier, these lots, and these waves smell like nostalgia.
With my ripe ecological/marine knowledge, I was able to observe this beach with new lenses.
It was a particularly-windy-smokey-kind-of-dangerous day; however, there were still plenty of people walking about the pier, fishing, and enjoying the view. I figured fishing at this time would not be ideal considering the danger in the air (quite literally) and the effect it would have on our local beaches, even further away from Ventura. It was comforting to see more seagulls about the beach despite the weather conditions, seeing them wasn’t a sort of sign that to assured better things were coming normality would come soon. Aside from the dense air, the pier looked as usual. Kind of sturdy, willing to stand on its own two feet but still sort of out dated. The sand at this location has always been “unpleasant” for me. This beach is, and has been, in rough shape. Picnic tables and swing sets serve as an inviting llave to reunite with family members and host events. The problem is that the users of these public facilities do feel includied to tidy up after themselves. Another contributer to this issue is the growing population of homeless adults in the area. Although I am not implying this effects any aesthetic value, or that these are then only obstructors of cleanliness, but these individuals may contribute to the problem and may be severely not affected if the only place of comfort for them is surrounded by garbage. The waves were moving with the wind, and the wind picked up litter all along the short. It seems as though there’s a strip of land before the shoreline dedicated to holding litter.
I’m disappointed that the community has not made efforts to keep this beautiful beach healthy. The area isn surrounded in homes and apartments, meaning that people are willing to pay market price for beach living, but the ecological price is overlooked. I think many would agree that the area should come together and value the diverse system in their back yard.

La Jolla, San Diego, CA

I had the opportunity just recently to visit La Jolla beach down in San Diego.  I was in aw of its beauty and all that San Diego had to offer.  I am also fortunate enough to have a drone to be able to capture its beauty from above, giving me a perspective that is hard to come by, unless in an airplane.

Upon arriving at La Jolla Shores, I first noticed the smell, and it wasn’t a pleasant smell.  As I got down to the actually beach, there was a great amount of sea lions sun bathing, playing in the waves, and barking at one another.  I was surprised (but not surprised) to see so many people come so close to these amazing, but aggressive, creatures.  Not only are they putting themselves in danger, they are trampling through the sea lions’ homes and the other critters and creatures that live there, a lose lose for both species.  The shores were also lined with many infrastructures, although a very nice view to enjoy, we all know is not a good idea for multiple different reasons.  In a few years, due to sea level rise, those infrastructures will be no longer.

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On another note, I’m a HUGE fan of palm trees, it being my favorite kind of tree, and the road just above the beach was lined with palm trees, and I was in love.  Along the road, there were so many different artists displaying their work, in hopes to sell a few of their finest pieces.

The vibe in La Jolla, and San Diego in general, is just so laid back and chill, a true beach town.  All in all, I really enjoyed La Jolla Shores, and hope to visit again soon, this time having more time to explore in further detail!!

Mandalay Beach and Cool Views

Considering I live a few minutes from Port Hueneme beach, one would assume that I visit pretty often, but I hardly ever do. I am not entirely sure why it does not attract me as much as other beaches, especially to go into the waters so I prefer going to Mandalay Beach. The main difference that I notice from PH and Mandalay is that the water is slightly warmer on Mandalay, but many people disagree so I assume it is just me who feels the temperature change. Not only is the temperature different but it is a very calm beach, with very little people visiting since there is not a road directly along the beach like others in Ventura County.  It was really warm the day I visited this beach and the main reason for my visit was to spend extra time I had on the weekend. Before I left, I captured this image because although I have seen this before, it is rare for me to catch. The clouds came over and make it a cooler since they were covering the sun, but it failed in letting some rays peek through the cloud. The amount of sun rays that were shining through varied within seconds and was so fascinating to watch. I am more than sure that those who read this blog do not see this as a big deal but I was generally amused because I do not see this often. It felt good to have a break from the sun for a few minutes since it was scorching hot, but as soon as the cloud left it was back to applying more sunscreen. As I view this image, I noticed that the Channel Islands are much clearer than on other days. I did not appreciate this sight of the islands while I was there but because it is not common to see them clearly, I wish I would have. I believe it was caused by the waves, but there was hardly sand near the shoreline causing my feet to be exposed to the tiny painful rocks. I hardly experience this at other beaches so I thought it was interesting that the sand was being deprived, causing the rocks to be exposed. Leisure time spent at the beach is always rewarding.

Santa Barbara beach

For my final beach visit I felt it was appropriate to go with the beach that I have spent the most time at. I went to Santa Barbara City college and due to the insane amount of students the only place I could find a parking spot at was at the beach. Since I was always parked at the beach I ended up spending a lot of time there from early in the morning to late at night. I would sit in between classes on the beach to do homework or to relax. The weather in Santa Barbara was always really nice so being at the beach was the favorite part of my day. The beach itself is pretty small and has a little restaurant that is actually on the sand which is cool. When I first began going to go to school the beach was pretty wide and the ocean was a good distance away from the parking lot. It was also purely sand there were not many rocks or seaweed on the sand and many people would take walks along the beach. As the years went on the ocean began to rise and it slowly started to get closer and closer to the parking lot. Sometimes I would get to school and the parking lot would be wet and there would be seaweed all over it as well. The beach itself went from being nice and sandy to being covered in seaweed and sticks. The beach also got covered in flies and it got a weird smell to it. It went from a nice place to lay and relax at to a beach that you can’t really walk on anymore. It was not ever a super pretty beach to go to or anything but it was a nice place to have especially in the middle of midterms and finals.

Point Dume State Beach

The entire state of California is aware of the wildfires that are currently damaging many homes, wildlife and its ecosystems and much more. Although this disaster continues to be an issue, I believe it is important that one takes time to relax and find a therapeutic way to forget the issue for a couple of hours. Personally, not only was the fire worrisome, but the stress of upcoming finals was catching up to the overall stress about what has been going on recently. Somehow, through all the studying, I managed to take a stress reliever and visit a beach I have not been to. It was a drive down the PCH, which as we all know is a very beautiful view even though there was some left-over smoke. Once I arrived to Point Dune State Beach I knew it was going to be very different from the ones I have visited, but in a very good way. It is an elevated beach where you can either stay near the sand or hike a bit to the top of the cliff-like are and oversee the ocean. A designated rail leads you through the top of the cliff and because it is fairly easy to go under it, my curiosity to see better views led me to go under the rail and to another trail. As I was carefully climbing down sandy areas and big rocks along with trees on the side, I was able to capture a sight of the rocks on the beach with the waves hitting the side of the cliff pretty roughly. I also saw a few brown bodies in the ocean and still do not know whether they were sea lions since I am not sure if they are out during the winter—whatever they were, it was interesting to see.  Once I climbed back onto the trail, I continued to walk and came across a wooden board walk with a view of a cape-like area on the coast. Normally, I would not use much physical activity on a beach such as hiking and I believe that is why I enjoyed this beach, as well as being on an elevated part of the coast opposed to directly standing on the sand. If it is needed to take a break from school or other issues, it is always nice to use the beach as a stress reliever.

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