Saturday, June 25, was “Get Into Your Sanctuary Day” at San Simeon Cove, as part of a larger annual celebration of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which extends from Cambria 276 miles north to San Francisco.
Carolyn Skinder, the Southern Regional Program Coordinator for the MBNMS and the Director of the Coastal Discovery Center in San Simeon, said family activities Saturday included learning about marine mammals; enjoying a scavenger hunt (which turned up moon snail egg cases, sand dollars and dried up tunicates called “sea porks”); and taking a pledge to be a “litter getter.”
Cindy Gustafson, a Coast Union cafeteria employee who works for the San Simeon State Park Campgrounds in the summer took the kayak tour. Gustafson, who had planned to do some paddle boarding, changed her mind when she saw the hefty swells rolling into the cove.
Those waves were big and I was following my guide, who called out, ‘come in, come in, come in.’
Cindy Gustafson, Coast Union employee participating in “Get Into Your Sanctuary Day”
The kayak tour included a look at the “alpha male sea otter who was hanging out on kelp bed number two,” she said, and “the females were over on kelp bed number three. The alpha male was just preening, doing his morning activities.”
While bringing her kayak back to shore, she got dunked (albeit she had a wetsuit).
“Those waves were big and I was following my guide, who called out, ‘come in, come in, come in,’ ” she said.
“A wave caught me sideways, I went over, the boat went over the top of me, and I got my adrenaline rush for the day.”
But, Gustafson concluded: “Just being out on the water was wonderful.”
About the Center
The Coastal Discovery Center is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Information on special events and weekly Saturday programs is available at http://montereybay.noaa.gov, or by calling 805-927-6575.