• Ledge that saved this photographer from a large sleeper wave that hit about 10 minutes after taking this shot.
  • This rock disappeared under the sleeper wave and then all that showed was the very top as the wave rushed in.
  • nice - JaveFoto

Not Just Another Day at the Beach - Pescadero State Beach California

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Best Viewed On Black | My Photostream On Black | Desktop Wallpaper

As you walk down the trails to any of the beaches along this area of the
coast you will see warning signs regarding Sleeper Waves and to beware of
them and I thought I always had been, never turning my back on the ocean.
Sure I like most photographers around these parts I have been chased back
up the beach by large waves. It's something you come to expect. It was a
fairly windy day and there were some showers as the sunset was unfolding
after a recent Pacific storm. The waves were big at times but
nothing I hadn't seen before and could easily outrun. I had taken about two
dozen shots (including this one) of the setting sun when I decided to climb
the rocks and stand on the ledge you can see on the right side of this
image. Once there I set up the tripod and noticed the ocean spray and
mist from the shower was blurring the view so I pulled out my cleaning cloth
and was cleaning my filter when it hit. Out of the corner of
my eye I caught a large splash on the rocks below and looked up to see the
rocks completely disappear under a large wave which raced incredibly fast up
the beach reaching all the way to the base of Highway One, a good 100-150
feet or more up the beach and completely cover the area where I had just
been shooting the sunset under 3 or 4 feet of rushing water. I suddenly
wondered if I was high enough but by the time I had the thought the wave had
already passed my position and it didn't matter anyway as I could go no
higher. As quickly as the wave had rushed up the beach it was headed back
out to sea. Had the wave come about 5 or 10 minutes earlier I would have
been carried a good ways up the beach camera gear and all. There was NO
WAY I could have outrun this one or even scurried up the rocks just 20 feet
or so away. It was sheer luck and boredom of the scene which I had many
pictures of that got me to move up the rocks. I thought to take a
picture of it but I simply didn't have a wide enough lens to get anything
that would show the scale of what had occurred just a few feet below me.
I did snap off one shot but just had moving water toward the end of the wave
going back out to sea. Nothing really worthy posting. It took me a while
before I was ready to move down off my perch on the ledge but eventually I
made my way down and took a few more shots.

So today, this photographer is seriously thinking of heading towards
Yosemite or the Sierra for the next few photo shoots and steering clear of
the beach for a while. Anyways, I did get this and a few other fine
sunsets at the very north end of Pescadero beach along the California coast.
I'll post more later.

Be careful out there.

Darv

© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Photography

blue foot, maxminn2000, Fastblu, and 16 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 7 more comments

  1. JaveFoto 48 months ago | reply

    great light and cloud action going on here, nice catch

  2. evy2010 48 months ago | reply

    So cool Darv!

  3. Heikki Routavaara 48 months ago | reply

    Beautiful light, nice shot!

  4. Jared Ropelato 48 months ago | reply

    Great image with fantastic lighting and an important story. Thanks.

  5. jimhpa 48 months ago | reply

    Very nice composition for a beautiful scene.

  6. Fastblu 48 months ago | reply

    Stunning! instant fave.

  7. Matt Granz Photography 48 months ago | reply

    Well Darvin, that's one chilling story. Twice now I've been up to my waist in oncoming ocean, and holding my camera by the tripod, hoping I wouldn't get dragged out to sea with my equipment. The desert does call to the soul after such experiences… though high winds and snow banks drifting at me unsettled me a month ago as I traveled down 395. So, there is no winning.

    Meanwhile, that sure is a nice sunset pic. I passed by that little beach late last night and decidedly passed it as it was being torn up by huge swells under the full moon.

    I am also quickly learning that the ocean is something to be highly respected. Especially when I have no backup camera!

    Have Fun in Yosemite!

  8. Darvin Atkeson 48 months ago | reply

    MattGranz I know I395 quite well but don't often travel it in the winter. We used to travel up and down it all the time on vacations to the high country. Brings back memories of sleeping under the stars up in Independence or days fishing for trout at Tom's Place or Saddle Bag Lake. I could spend an entire month just traveling up and down I395 taking pictures.

    Thanks Matt,
    Darv

  9. hug n angels 48 months ago | reply

    Not just another image. very nice!

  10. Sudheendra Kadri 48 months ago | reply

    Beautiful light in this frame, the golden reflections in the sand are just amazing. Scary story, the ocean did surprise me on quite a few occasions, but nothing like what you've described here :)

  11. Cher12861 48 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Landscape,Seascape,Skyscape QUALITY Photography! Post 1 Award 2, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    Stunning!

  12. Winky Vivas [deleted] 48 months ago | reply

    Absolutely outstanding!

    This capture is impressive!!! Please, accept this Award!!
    Thanks for sharing your picture, as it definitely looks....

    This photography has been seen in The Landscape, Seascape & Skyscape QUALITY Photography Group.

  13. Per Ola Wiberg ~ powi 48 months ago | reply

    This capture is impressive!!! Please, accept this Award!!
    Thanks for sharing your picture, as it definitely looks....

    This photography has been seen in The Landscape, Seascape & Skyscape QUALITY Photography Group.

  14. Rudy Sempur 48 months ago | reply

    This capture is impressive!!! Please, accept this Award!!
    Thanks for sharing your picture, as it definitely looks....

    This photography has been seen in The Landscape, Seascape & Skyscape QUALITY Photography Group.

  15. eagle69er 48 months ago | reply

    Well Darv you almost had my bad luck with your camera as I did with a rouge wave, thank heavens you moved when you did. It really is scary to think that if you were still standing there taking one more photo and bam there's water everywhere you were standing.

  16. Serendipitous Light 48 months ago | reply

    Wonderful photo, Darvin! I love the light on the clouds!

  17. Lisi~ [deleted] 48 months ago | reply

    fantastic

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