I always had this fantasy about Santa Cruz, and thought it would be somewhere I would fall in love with. I expected a beautiful, laid back, beach town. Instead, it had a little run down feel, and was a bit garish – with its bright and historic Boardwalk with Arcade and Amusement park. It reminded me of Brighton in England – fun to visit, but not somewhere I would want to live.

The sea life and good food did surprise me. There were several sea otters around the wharf that kept me entertained for some time. Also many sea lions and birds.

My disappointment in Santa Cruz may have had something to do with the fierce storm we arrived in. It was raining hard with flash flood warnings every 30 minutes or so being broadcast on the radio and our cell phones, and there were wind gusts up to 60mph. The ocean was brown from being churned up, and huge tree trunks and logs were washing up on the beach. There was debris everywhere from the storm. I was probably not seeing her at her best.

I was amused by two guys trying to salvage a huge tree trunk in the bay, by trying to push it to shore, but the current was against them and they lost the battle and gave up, eventually. Every now and again, sea lions would swim up close and bark at them, making the swimmers anxious. I wondered if it had occurred to them that with the murky waters, it was a little difficult for sharks to differentiate between them and the sea lions, the favorite meal of the shark.

The food was wonderful – fresh seafood from the bay again. Going to eat seafood everyday until I am sick of it. It is great to eat it so fresh, just swimming hours ago.sc-101

Sea Lions swim in ocean waters turned brown from storm
Sea otter breaks open mussel
Boardwalk beach cluttered with logs and debris
Two simmers trying to salvage huge log while sea lion torments them