Sacramento is located 2 hours from the Northern coast, and during the hot summer days this is a welcome relief. This location takes a bit longer (about 5-6 hours). The central and northern coastal beaches are beautiful, rugged and cool.
The fog is dense. Feels like cool misty rain.
We drive north on Highway 1 from Cambria, and about 4-5 miles north of Hearst Castle and come to Piedras Blancas Rookery. This is a most amazing place.
Elephant seal line the shore, take over the beach.
The seals started coming to this beach in 1992 when one pup was born. In 2016 5300 were born. There are always some seals here, and we arrive at a time when the seals are molting. Shedding and growing a new skin layer. When at the rookery the animals fast, and they conserve their energy. No eating or drinking at the Rookery.
Different colors represent molting stages
“Make way. I’m coming through!”
“Don’t mind me. Just out for a stroll!”
Young juvenile males sparring on the beach.
Sparring at the shoreline the juveniles are playing. This time it is not serious.
Males sparring in the ocean
Time to cover up.
I’ll just quietly make my way down the beach.
Do you mind if I get some sand on you?
Love the way I captured the sand motion.
A docent from Friends of the Elephant Seals provides information. Docents train for 20 hours and commit to 4 three hour shifts a month.
Male elephant seals develop their distinctive nose (Proboscis) after they mature at 5 years. The nose is part of their status during the breeding season.
Able to get a good view from a safe distance. I am using a 150mm lens. Equivalent to 300mm since this is my Olympus OMD E5 camera. Pictures are not cropped.
All quiet on the Central Coast of California
One of the best parts of this experience is that there is no fee. Plenty of parking, easy access, wheelchair accessible, knowledgeable guides, no reservations, and the ability to safely watch these magnificent animals. WOW!!!
Amazing place. Elephant Seal Rookery now covers two beaches. Docent will point out best spot if they see you are a photographer!
For more information follow my links provided above. You can even watch the elephant seals be web cam.