Thursday, 01 September 2011 14:32

Monterey, the Aquarium, 17 Mile Drive, and the Almost Sunset Photos.

Written by  Ken Ku
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Catching some rays on the beach at Birds Rock at one of the lookouts at 17 Mile Drive Catching some rays on the beach at Birds Rock at one of the lookouts at 17 Mile Drive Ken Ku

Today was a very eventful day.  Woke up early and took off for a drive to Monterey.  There were several things I wanted to see and do on this particular outing:  Monterey Bay Aquarium, Tillie Grot's Cafe (a highly recommended vegetarian restaurant), drive along the 17 Mile Drive, and catch a sunset at the Lone Cyprus tree.  Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate with the sunset plan but three out of four wasn't bad.  Instead of the sunset we caught a spectacular rescue of some stranded swimmers up in Santa Cruz on our way back to San Jose.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium was like other aquariums I have been to in the past, but they also have an out door observation area as well since it is right on the beach.  We were able to see up the coastline and on a clear day you might even be able to see Santa Cruz!  There are so many exhibitions and information at this aquarium that it is easy to spend an entire day there...or if you had enough time, the entire year.  I spend most of my time in the jelly fish exhibit.  Some I had seen before while diving in Vancouver such as the Moon Jelly and the Lions Mane Jelly.  There were other species there as well.  They are just so fascinating to watch.

Standing in front of a video of Moon Jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium


We also took in a show about the deep sea creatures.  A fascinating look at what lies roughly ten thousand feet!  There were jelly fish that looked like they were solid and had muscle!  Also a squid called the Vampire Squid, an extremely interesting creature that lives in a minimal oxygen layer of the ocean.  The entire lecture was only 15 minutes which was definitely peaked my interest learning more about these deep sea creatures!

Later we checked out some of the touch pools where there was a Bay Ray that was accustomed to being touched.  I water for my chance to pet him.  Unfortunately he wasn't in the mood so that didn't quite work out.  Perhaps when I go diving I will that chance to encounter more rays in the wild.  Other things that were there were mostly hermit crabs, sea stars, kelp, and sea lettuce.  Things that I'm not particularly fond of touching.  Especially the plants.

After lunch, we started our drive towards the famous 17 Mile Drive.  We entered the park by The Links at Spanish Bay gate and were immediately welcomed by some deer resting on the golf course.  Obviously they are used to seeing people everyday and this group were casually laying down on the fairway taking an afternoon nap in the sun.  Further down, we see more deer watching the golfers play putting on the green.  I wonder what they think of us as they watch.

As we progressed on the drive, all I could think about were things like "who lives here" and "why does this house have turrets"?  The architecture was all unique and of course to have an address with 17 Mile Drive would most certainly be prestigious.  However, the logistics of living there year round probably proves less than feasible.  First, it is isolated, second, it is primarily a vacation/golf destination, and third, the majority of people are tourists.  Fighting the two lane road with people who don't know where they're going and stopping every few hundred metres must be annoying.  On the other hand, the isolation does seem attractive not to mention the view.  If I had that kind of money it would be a hard decision to make I would imagine.

Since the weather was mostly overcast, my friend and I decided to scrap our original idea to catch some sunset photos by the Lone Cyprus tree around the Pebble Beach Golf Course.  Instead we exited the 17 Mile Drive, headed north back up to Santa Cruz to the look out point and spent an hour watching the surfers.  Continue to the next Stranded Swimmers blog to read what happened next.  That is pretty much an adventure in it of itself.

To see all the photos from the day, check them out in the Daily Snaps section!

Last modified on Friday, 02 September 2011 15:17
Ken Ku

Ken Ku

A photographer/printmaker/perpetual wanderer going on a backpacking adventure around the world.  Follow my journey as I discover new places and meet new people!



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