Saturday, September 6, 2014

Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument

Old Point Loma Lighthouse
Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Pretty, but too high up on the peninsula, thus often socked in with fog and low clouds.
Another lighthouse is placed on the tip of the peninsula, low down near the water where it is more useful.
Point Loma, San Diego, California. August 31, 2014. Greg Gillson.
This past Sunday Marlene and I visited Point Loma--the large peninsula that juts out into the ocean to create the northern edge of San Diego Bay.

San Diego Bay
San Diego Bay looking east as viewed from Point Loma.
We visited Cabrillo National Monument at the very western tip ($5 entry fee is good for an entire week!). It was in the bay just below here, in 1542, that Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo made landfall--the first Europeans to visit California.

After a brief tour of the visitor center we went back to the marina area at the base of the peninsula and had lunch at Harbor Town Pub. They had some yummy fish and chips that Marlene had been craving since leaving Oregon a year ago. I had the seared Ahi Club sandwich. Both were very good.

Point Loma
New Lighthouse (center and a bit right) and the Pacific Ocean at the tip of Point Loma.
After lunch we went back to Cabrillo and visited the tide pool areas. It was not low tide, so the tide pools were under water. I was hoping for Black Oystercatcher. This is a reliable spot for this shorebird that is fairly rare and local this far south. But it was not to be.

Point Loma tide pools
Tide Pools.
When we spent some time with the splashing surf, we went back up near the visitors center and walked around the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma
Visitor Center with San Diego Bay in the background.
To reach Cabrillo National Monument you have to drive through Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, which is probably the best spot in San Diego for rare land birds during migration (and through winter), since it sticks out a couple miles into the Pacific, is covered in flowering trees and bushes, and usually does not freeze in winter (often stays in the 60's through much of winter winter). I still haven't figured out how to bird it, but am gathering information.

Wikipedia for Point Loma.