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Posts Tagged ‘Fitzgerald Marine Reserve’

I’ve written before about how much fun our kids have on Negative Tide Day at Half Moon Bay’s Fitzgerald Marine Reserve — see here — but this year we decided to do a Negative Tide Day from the ‘other end’, from Seal Cove, and it was even better.  You can still reach the whole FMR by walking along the beach at low tide but there are several advantages of starting at Seal Cove. First, parking is much easier–you’ll find plentiful space on the streets around the cove off Cypress Avenue even on the busiest morning. Second, the tide pools at Seal Cove are a little less crowded with fewer teenagers running about manhandling the sea animals. And third, the beach at Seal Cove is far nicer. The main Fitzgerald Marine Reserve beach is small and, at this time of year, partially closed for the resident seal colony (which, incidentally, is the biggest its been in years and worth checking out).  At Seal Cove you’ll find empty golden sands, a relatively small wave swell and lots of interesting rocks and sea shells. It’s perfect for toddlers, although you should note that it’s most definitely a beach to visit at low tide, there are steep steps down to the sand, and there are no restrooms or other amenities.

The view from the top

The view from the top

Watching the many seals of Seal Cove

Watching the many seals of Seal Cove

Our kids enjoyed the tide pools more than ever this year partly, I think, because they knew what to expect but partly because we’d found some perfect  laminated toddler guides to Half Moon Bay’s sea life (see here if you’re interested). The boys really got a kick out identifying the various creatures they found. It was a great way for them to engage with the tide pool creatures without touching them.

Identify and catagorize

Identify and catagorize

Leaf Barnacles

Leaf Barnacles

 

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We were lucky last weekend that a negative tide occurred on a gloriously sunny afternoon and fit in perfectly with the PuppyDog’s naptime.  The shore at the Reserve is always beautiful but on a negative tide day, when the sea goes out especially far, the rocks and tidepools are revealed and accessible from the beach and it becomes an irresistable destination for small people.  The boys both had a wonderful time clambering around on the rocks and checking out the marine life in the pools.

Surf, tidepools, and harbor seals

The PuppyDog flouting Reserve rules

Before we went down to the beach, we stopped off at the visitors centre to pick up a guide to the tidepool creatures on the beach. The Monkey loved identifying all the animals he found. He especially loved the giant starfish and sea anemones.

"It's a sea enemy Mommy!"

It was a great toddler day out — just make sure to being several changes of clothes and either water sandals or wellington boots if you plan to go down for the next low tide.

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