Report Details

It was a beautiful day.  Many people were at Mile 188 enjoying the spring weather, leaving the Strawberry Hill parking lot way over-crowded.  A wedding was held on the bluff below the parking lot!  Erosion of the bluffs overlooking the north and south beaches continues.  A large group of harbor seals were lounging on the rocky islands just offshore.  At least two colonies of sea stars were visible in the tidepools right at low tide, looking very healthy and varying considerably in size.

Conditions

Temperature: 52 F. Cloud Cover: Cloudy. Wind Velocity: Moderate. Wind Direction: NW. Tide Level: -0.3 feet.

Human Activities

Number of people: 50. Number of dogs: 8. Walking or running: 20. Tidepooling: 20. Other Activities: A wedding was taking place just below the parking lot! See photo.. The parking area was filled with cars -- way over capacity. Some were parked in ways making it difficult for even my small compact car to get past. Some of the larger vehicles parked there certainly could not have gotten through.

Concerns

Apparent violations: A few dogs were off-leash. Several people were climbing on rocks near 30-40 harbor seals, clearly agitating some of the seals..

Disturbances: Disturbance/harassment of marine mammals

Vehicles

Cars/trucks parking: 20.

Notable Wildlife

As usual on calm days, there were 30-40 harbor seals lounging on the rocky islands just offshore from the Strawberry Hill parking area. Very large numbers of mussels are visible in the tidepools at low tide. Some have scallopy shells, but most are smooth. The tide pools also held large numbers of barnacles of various types, snails and/or periwinkles, small black shellfish that look like clams, green anemones, and small crabs and fish. Most importantly, there were two colonies of sea stars in tidepools accessible only very close to low tide, totaling at least 50-60 animals. Most were purple, but a few were bright orange. They were of varying sizes. They appeared very healthy, with no sign of sear star wasting disease. There is also considerable sea grass and what looks like purple lichen in the tidepools, along with some kelp in areas accessible only at low tide.

Beached Birds

Pigeon guillemots are starting to nest in the cliffs above the south beach. Numerous cormorants and gulls are all around the site.

Driftline Content

Small rocks, Seaweeds and seagrass, Shells, Animal casings (e.g., crab, shrimp molt), Wood pieces, Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.). The beaches generally have very little human debris. There are huge numbers of mussel shells on the beaches.

Natural Changes

Landslides/major boulder falls, Newly exposed roots/trees falling, Visible retreat of solid bluff.

Actions & Comments

The erosion of bluffs overlooking the north and south beaches noted in previous reports continues, with several landslides that seem to have occurred since my last visit, in early January.

Report Images

Harbor seals offshore from Strawberry Hill parking lot.
Wedding on bluff below Strawberry Hill parking lot.
Recent erosion of bluff south of Strawberry Hill parking lot.
Sea stars some 300 yards south of parking lot.
Recent erosion north of parking lot.
Sea stars some 50 yards north of parking lot.

Report Images

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All Mile 188 Reports

Showing 8 of 53 reports

Mile 188

Neptune SP, Strawberry Hill Picnic Area

March 15, 2024

It was a beautiful day at Strawberry Hill, with many visitors -- and the resident harbor seals -- enjoying the balmy weather.

Mark Gasiorowski

Mile 188

Neptune SP, Strawberry Hill Picnic Area

January 5, 2024

The high surf (even at low tide) made for dramatic conditions during this visit.

Mark Gasiorowski

Mile 188

Neptune SP, Strawberry Hill Picnic Area

October 2, 2023

Mile 188 has no notable changes since my last visit two months ago.

GasiorowskiM

Mile 188

Neptune SP, Strawberry Hill Picnic Area

July 21, 2023

It was another beautiful day at Mile 188.

GasiorowskiM

Mile 188

Neptune SP, Strawberry Hill Picnic Area

April 14, 2023

It was a beautiful day at Mile 188, with the resident harbor seals dozing on the rocks just offshore and many gulls flying around.

GasiorowskiM

Mile 188

Neptune SP, Strawberry Hill Picnic Area

January 16, 2023

There were two mudslides on the north beach, 20-40 yards north of the parking area, that appeared to be recent.

GasiorowskiM

Mile 188

Neptune SP, Strawberry Hill Picnic Area

October 17, 2022

It was a beautiful day at Strawberry Hill.

GasiorowskiM

Mile 188

Neptune SP, Strawberry Hill Picnic Area

July 18, 2022

Strawberry Hill is a popular destination for beachcombing and tidepooling.

GasiorowskiM