Atmospheric River

We decided to leave Shelter Cove a day early because the weather was really building up to be pretty bad. Since the house didn’t really have a view, we didn’t see any good point in sitting in there all day while it rained. We were also a bit concerned about driving the trailer up and over that road in a driving rain storm.

We were originally going to go visit our friends Donn and Mandy in San Jose, but they both got the flu so we had to cancel that. I looked online and had enough points to get us a room in Rohnert Park at a Fairfield Inn. It was a good location because it would also help break up the drive and get us to Aptos before the atmospheric river hit.

According to NOAA:

“Atmospheric rivers are relatively long, narrow regions in the atmosphere – like rivers in the sky – that transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics. These columns of vapor move with the weather, carrying an amount of water vapor roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River. When the atmospheric rivers make landfall, they often release this water vapor in the form of rain or snow.

Whoa. Don’t want to get caught up in that…no, thank you.

We drove to Gilroy, found the RV storage place, recombobulated our stuff and headed to Aptos. The weather was cloudy but not bad so we headed down to the beach for a walk. Sadie, of course, was happy.

Jason and Cynthia showed up around 6, but they couldn’t fly over because the forecast was pretty bad. It was great to see them as always.

Monarch butterfly

We drove out to the monarch butterfly sanctuary to go and see what we could see. It was a tad disappointing as there just weren’t many butterflies around. There were a couple of owls, but they were playing hard to get and at best you could see their butt. Not super exciting. I did get a couple good shots though. It was helpful to try out my 600 lens since I hadn’t really used since it got calibrated. Seems like it is working fine.

That’s a lot o rain!

Sunday the atmospheric river hit. First with huge wind and then rain. Luckily for us, we were just a bit south of the worst of it. It was a good thing we weren’t in Rohnert Park as that area got just absolutely pounded.

Sadly Jason and Cynthia had to go to work on Monday, so we were on our own. After a wet start to the day, it cleared out and got nice. The swell was forecasted to be 20′ in Santa Cruz, so we decided to go check out the swells smashing into the cliffs. We parked and headed out to the path running along the cliff just north of Steamer Lane. The waves were really impressive. In places it was splashing up over the sea wall which was 50′ or 60′ above the ocean. We just stood there and watched the impressive display of power and turbulence. Every time there was a big splash everyone that was watching would go “OOOOOHHH!!! AAAAHHH!!!” It was fun. There were a couple guys that were out surfing in it. Holy cannoli batman! Those dudes are either (a) really good, (b) crazy, or (c) both.

That splash is over 50′ feet high.

We were glad that our timing was such that we were hanging out at Jason and Cynthia’s place during the storm. That wouldn’t have been much fun in the trailer. Hopefully the weather will be good for the rest of our stay.

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