A Cape Town Two Oceans Aquarium tagged image from photographer – mlhradio as published on Flickr.
Image by mlhradio
Moss Landing, California.
Salinas River State Beach and Moss Landing, Monterey County, California – Located in the far northwest corner of the county, the Salinas River State Beach is a small slice of the Pacific coast just north of Watsonville. The state beach is a couple miles of sand, bordered by a line of low-lying sand dunes just inland; a short hiking path winds through the thick sand of the dunes, and the Salinas River winds lazily to the east (re-routed a century ago to provide more farmland).
The state beach ends on the north at the mouth of the Salinas River – just over the bridge on the other side of the river is the small coastal fishing community of Moss Landing. With only a few hundred residents, there are usually more boats in the harbor than people in the town, and Moss Landing is one of only a handful of commercial fishing harbors in the state. The town is famous for its antique stores and fresh seafood – but the one landmark that distinguishes the town is the two towering spires of the massive steam power generating plant just off Highway 1.
Much of the early history of Moss Landing (much like other local coastal communities) was built on the whaling industry. Rendering whales for their blubber has been going on along the coast for decades, but it reached a whole new level with the opening of the Moss Landing Whaling Station in 1919, a massive factory that thrived while the whaling industry boomed. But the local whale population was quickly played out, and by 1926 the factory was closed down for good. Today, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute now marks where the whaling station once stood – only a pile of ballast rocks and nubs of the former piers remain of the station itself.
For me, the trip to Salinas River State Beach was a short afternoon visit – a mere twenty minute drive from my apartment to the southern access point on Molera Road. From there, a tough slog through thick sand along the Dune Trail northward, to the northern end of the state beach. Across the bridge into Moss Landing and the main harbor itself, to the southwest corner of the Moss Landing Harbor itself. Then walking back along the shoreline itself (much easier with wet, compacted sand), past the remnants of the whaling station, back to the southern end of the beach.
Pictures taken October 24, 2007. For more photographs, please visit my Salinas River State Beach and Moss Landing photoset.
For more information, please visit:
– Salinas River State Beach official website.
– Moss Landing official website.
– Detailed history of Moss Landing Whaling Station.
This photograph is free for use on the internet under the ‘Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial’ license. You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and/or adapt this photograph without seeking permission first, as long as you provide attribution to the photograph (preferably by linking to this web page, or including the phrase ‘Copyright Matthew Lee High’), and as long as the the photo is not used for commercial purposes. For more information about Creative Commons licenses, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en.
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