‘4 mile beach’ full of sea life

Next day after visiting Big Basin Redwoods, we mostly stayed on the road heading south, but we had a nice memorable stop at Four Mile beach next to Santa Cruz. This is an official clothing-optional beach, as was designated on our bike map. It was recommended to us by Dan, the masseur from Burning Man who you might remember from my blogpost about acro-yoga in San Francisco. The beach looked beautiful already on our approach to it, and we could see just a couple of surfers there.

naturist 0005 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

As we came down, the beach looked even more impressive, though we were not sure if it was 4 miles long… or where did the name come from?

naturist 0007 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

Besides those few surfers, there were only some fishermen quite far out…

fishermen 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

and lots of birds!

seabirds 0008 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

When we arrived, most birds moved from the sand onto the water, and we could see all beach covered in their footprints.

naturist 0001 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

Then we noticed there also was an airplane! No, just cliffs that look like one 😉 The cliffs were full of birds too.

gulls 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

Gulls were the most numerous,

gulls 0001 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

but there were many kinds of other sea- and shorebirds too, mostly grouped together. The photo below illustrates that indeed birds of a feather flock together.

gulls and cormorants 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

Cormorants were probably the second largest group,

cormorant 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

but there were many pelicans too.

pelicans 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

This was a clear indicator of richness of the ocean waters by this beach. To a large extent, it was probably thanks to the kelp forests, of which we could literally only scratch the surface.

giant kelp 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

Low tide revealed the rocks covered with the densest mussel colony I had ever seen.

seashells 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

That’s a lot of seafood!

seafood 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

In just few minutes, Niko created this seafood bouquet. We didn’t feel adventurous to actually eat any of that, but it looked tasty 🙂

To make this place even more ecologically diverse, there was a freshwater pond too.

sandpiper 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

A sandpiper and a group of ducks were hanging out there away from the seabirds.

ducks 0001 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

And aside from all these water birds, ravens apparently called this place their home too.

raven 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

So as this young snake, whose species I couldn’t identify – any serpentologist among my readers?

snake 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

With all this biodiversity, I thought that we only missed dolphins but Niko said it would be too much to ask from just a couple of hours at the beach… We played some frisbee, which went very well, probably because the beach is protected from wind by the cliffs.

naturist frisbee 0003 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

And then we saw them! 4 dolphins were passing along the beach showing their back fins. I was happy and ran with my camera to the cliffs that went farther into the ocean to take a better picture, but they disappeared.

dolphin 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

And then I saw something that I didn’t even expect to see – a sea otter!

sea otter 0000 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

It even showed me its cute swim on the back while opening a mussel with claws.

sea otter 0001 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

Then I felt like we could leave the place with enough memories…

naturist 0004 4 Mile Beach, CA, USA

And my boys were already checking out the map to see how we would get to the next campground… and we had to get dressed too.

anti-naturist 0000 cafe, CA, USA

12 thoughts on “‘4 mile beach’ full of sea life

  1. What a gorgeous spot! Of course we have gulls aplenty here in Devon but I see Ravens over my garden often and once a Cormorant bobbed up right where I was swimming naked in the litle river Exe.
    Michael

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  2. what a wildly natural place……from your photos it must of been like paradise to enjoy. looking forward to your continuing (naked) adventures!

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    1. Thanks! we biked from San Fran to San Luis Obispo and the took train from there to San Diego (stay tuned for new posts). We cycled down Pacific Coast Highway most of the time

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