Walking along the tidepools

California brown sea hare

You never know what you might see walking along the tidepools. On a recent excursion I got lucky and spotted a California brown sea hare (Aplysia californica) in a little pool of water tucked amongst the rocks. My first sighting of one in the wild! I watched it eat for several minutes. It was easy to see the steady munch, munch, munch motion it was making while chomping on algae.

Where did I see this cool critter? At the Point Fermin tidepools, which are located in the coastal park that surrounds Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. If you head towards the Outer Beach (see this map) and follow the path on the right, you’ll run straight into the tidepools. The best time to go is during low tide, so check a tide chart and look for the days with the lowest tides, preferably a number with a minus sign in front of it.

If you prefer a guided tour, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium hosts tidepool walks, check their calendar for the next one. This is a nice option because staff members explain about the tidepools, tell you what to look for and help spot animals.

During my jaunt, I also spotted two stunning green sea anemones (Anthopleura xanthogrammica). I’ve seen them before in the tidepools, but this pair seemed especially beautiful.

So head out and take a walk along the tidepools, it’s worth a trip. And please just look, don’t touch.

(For more information about sea hares, check out my post 7 cool sea hare facts and for more information about green sea anemones check out my post What makes a green sea anemone green?.)

Green sea anemones

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