Low Tide Tips

  • During the low tide season at Cabrillo (October-April/May), the entrance rocks can be extremely slippery especially the slip and slide area.  Prolonged marine layers and low sun angles do not allow the green and black algae to dry so the rocky access routes down to the tidepools can remain hazardous the entire shift. It is highly recommended that a TPERP be posted close to the rocky entrance where visitors climb down to warn them about the slippery conditions. 
  • King tides and winter rains increase the possibility of severe erosion. When starting a shift, scan for any new cliff failures.  If a new rock fall has occurred notify 799 and keep visitors away from the area.
  • Extreme low tides can bring in large hazardous pieces of debris from boat wrecks. Try to warn visitors not to go bare foot along the Zone 1 beach area especially through the kelp piles.  Where there are larger pieces of debris, try to keep visitors away from the area.
  • Most visitors don’t know the purpose of the people with the blue shirts and backpacks that are standing around in the tidepool area (sheriff, teacher, or protector) and are sometimes hesitant to initiate contact if they have questions.  A “hi how are you doing today” or “please be careful it’s slippery in that area” or another similar initial comment on your part can often open a communication path with the visitor.
  • There are often an abundance of lobster molts in the tidepool area. Visitors have asked about the dead lobsters they see not realizing that lobsters cast off their shell as they grow. The molts are great training aids and can generate significant interpretive contacts. The frequency of molting depends solely on the abundance of their food source.  Small lobsters can molt 2-4 times a year with larger one molting about once a year. After molting, the lobster will hide under a rock for 3-4 days until their new shell hardens.

Last revised 25-Jan-22