Bay Nature stories about the Pacific Ocean.

Leatherback Turtles Back in Earnest

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Pacific Leatherback Turtles have been spotted in the coastal waters south of San Francisco earlier than ever before. Sightings of sea turtles are rapidly approaching last years’ 23, with 17 showing off their thick shells so far, and it’s earlier … Read more

Point Reyes: On the Edge

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You always know essentially where to find it: just aim yourself toward the western horizon, and go. At the road’s end, the trail’s end, the far end of that last dune-trudge or bluff-scramble, it’s there: a great conjunction of land, sky, and sea. North America meets Pacific Ocean.

Point Reyes: Fingers of the Sea

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Dawn. Spring tide. Fog shrouds the estuary. A shore-cast tree trunk–contorted, branching skyward–rests in the shallows. On its twisted branches roost a half-dozen cormorants, some with wings outstretched or akimbo, others standing upright, necks coiled into graceful question marks. That congregation, silhouetted by the morning light, suspended on the rising tide between the pewter sky and the mercurial bay, conjures a prehistoric diorama, a world awaiting sunlight parables.

A West Marin Walkabout

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Jules Evens has lived next to the Point Reyes National Seashore for most of his four decades in the Bay Area. With the park’s 50th anniversary at hand, Jules decided to honor this milestone by trekking every one of of the Seashore’s 154 miles of trails on foot.

Killer Algae on Sonoma Coast

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In late August, environmental scientist Laura Rogers-Bennett was driving back to Bodega Bay after conducting ocean surveys in Mendocino when she saw “dark-coffee-colored water” north of Salt Point State Park. Within days, dead sea stars, abalones, urchins, and chitons were piling up on area beaches.

Humpbacks Make Rare Near-Shore Visit in Santa Cruz

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A pod of humpback whales, about two or three families, adults with a few calves, have been dazzling whale-watchers since about October 18, as they feed in Monterrey Bay about a quarter of a mile from Santa Cruz Harbor. Calm waters, warm weather and an abundance of food like sardines, anchovies and other baitfish have produced the ideal whale visit.