March 3, 2009
From Monterey we drove south and found the entrance to Pebble Beach. We were surprised to have to pay $9.50 to even drive into the area, but were glad we did because of the spectacular views of the surf and rocky shoreline. We drove along the 17 Mile Drive which had many viewpoints to see the shoreline.
Pebble Beach is world famous for its golf courses, so we snapped a couple of shots to show to Marty. There were lots of courses and from many locations you had views of the surf.
The thing that was really exciting was the view of the sea with the crashing waves against the rocks.
The wave action against the rocks produced an endless variety of scenes. At left above, a huge wave produced a water explosion as it pounded the rock. I loved the sight of the water cascading off the rocks after they were inundated by a big wave, as at left and at right above.
The same weather that was giving us such an exciting surf was pelting us with rain and about to blow us off the footpaths. It was just like being in Wales, we thought. It was exhilirating!
Viewpoints along the 17 Mile Drive and walking paths got us near the pounding surf.
This famous cypress is featured on the icon of the Pebble Beach Resort, dating to 1919.
One of the most famous points on Pebble Beach, photographically, is the Lone Cypress. I have seen many pictures of it. We were glad to get our own view of it on this rainy, windy day. I found the broader view below of the crashing surf in the area really exciting.
Toward the end of the 17 Mile Drive we came upon this cove where the waves looked six feet high and seemed to be running toward the beach at 40-50 miles per hour. They would break somewhere along the path to the shore, and the thing that amazed me was that as the wave crest would break, it would create a plume of fog behind the wave, like a contrail! I had never seen anything like it.
I watched, transfixed, for quite a while at this incredible spectacle of running waves. In this example, you can see that on the left where the wave has not broken, there is no fog. But on the right as the wave breaks, you get the puff of fog. It brought to mind the plume that a fighter aircraft makes when it breaks the sound barrier.
The rocky shore in the view above adds to the drama of the violent waves. You can see the fog plume that so fascinated me forming at left, and in the water you can see the black head of a seal. We saw dozens of seals playing in the strong waves. At left you can see the heads of three seals awaiting the arrival of the wave. The distant houses gives you some perspective on the size of these waves.
This gull seemed to be enjoying the scene like we were. It brought to mind a gull we saw in Scotland.
Driving back to Watsonville we saw this brilliant rainbow. Brenda was shooting out of the car window as we drove along Hwy 1, and as the road turned the rainbow position crossed this other expressway perpendicular to us and she caught this extraordinary perspective of the rainbow settled on the expressway.
Then as the road turned, she was able to get this view of the rainbow straight ahead of us through the windshield.