the intertidal zone at Jockey Cap and Salacious Crumb Rock offered exceptional tidepooling; and if you’re into Gooseneck Barnacles, it’s also a good place to be
My long, very satisfying walk back to Cannon Beach from Hug Point brought me to Jockey Cap Rock. Jockey Cap Rock is the humongous, blunt-topped offshore rock below you when you’re about a mile south out of Cannon Beach on Highway 101. It only looks like a jockey’s cap if you can envision Jabba the Hutt in the Kentucky Derby, but I suppose a jockey’s cap is a jockey’s cap. At high tide, it looks impossibly far out in the water and you would never dream it was accessible by foot. But indeed, you can walk right up to it at a pretty low tide, like I did on Sunday night. The pointy little haystack (pictured below) immediately north of Jockey Cap apparently does not have a name, at least not that I’ve found. It’s a lot bigger than it looks here (though it does pale in comparison to Jockey Cap). I liked it as a backdrop for some of my tidepool pictures. I hereby propose that it be referred to as Salacious Crumb Rock.
The tidepooling here was exceptionally good, with gigantic beds of common sea stars, phosphorescent anemones and enormous individual California Mussels.
I could have spent all night shooting the tidepools here, they were fascinating. However, it was getting dark and I had to move on. Haystack Rock looked so, so very far away. I walked several miles from Hug Point to get here, but you can walk to Jockey Cap Rock from the south end of Cannon Beach. Tolovana Park makes a good starting point. I brought Adam and Diana back here on Monday morning to see the starfish. Unfortunately, the tide was starting to come in and a lot of the good stuff was already underwater. Especially the sea stars.
The ochre sea star is an important keystone species (one that is critical to maintaining a healthy ecosystem) in the ocean. Without them, mussels would explode in growth and alter the balance of intertidal ecosystems like the one at Salacious Crumb Rock. Biodiversity would be significantly reduced. And tidepooling would be boring. Have you seen a mussel? They’re not very exciting.