The starfish are calling. I’m totally serious, they’re wondering where all of the humans are. They’ve finally come up for some air after a long, chilly Winter under water.
So, it must be time for us to dig out the wellies and head for the waves… or at least the low tide line. This is the time of year for which the tiny person and I have been waiting.
We are beach Lovers with a capital L. The tides, the tiny person, the mommy, we are one.
Winter makes for one big, angst-filled wait until the water recedes and the temperatures perk up enough to send us back out, wading in our Crocs, to hang with the starfish who’ve been waiting too – along with the anemone, jellies, sea urchins, cucumbers, assorted cool fish and, of course, our pals the crabs.
Tide pooling is one of the most incredible Comox Valley pastimes, and some of the best beaches around town in terms of catching a glimpse of crazy cool creatures are a bit off the beaten path.
So, with the sun sparkling and a 2:30PM. low tide today, here are a few OBE recommendations for hot spots to start your Spring tide pooling adventures.
One of the ultimate tide pooling adventures around town is at Seal Bay Beach just Northeast of Comox.
It’s a day trip – definitely not something you do in an hour – as it requires a bit of a hike to the beach down the main beach trail and, once you get there, the beach goes for ages and there are tons of nooks and crannies to explore.
We love Seal Bay and have spent some serious time passing out the tide pool love HERE. (full details on the trail, amenities and creatures).
Then, there are the main drags – The Goose Spit and Pt. Holmes Beach.
At low tide, both of these spots offer easy access, lots of cool tide pooling action and plenty of other beach fun options like boogie boarding (for the brave this time of year, brrrr), picnicing and sandcastle building.
The Spit is noted for its crabs and anemones with an occasional giant jelly (don’t touch).
Just around the bend, Pt. Holmes reef when it is revealed at low tide is one of the coolest tide pooling spots in the Valley – home to all sorts of creatures and an almost guaranteed starfish bonanza. Buckets and magnifying glasses required.
Then, there’s my “secret” spots that aren’t really so secret any more. But, they are definitely the path less traveled and are surprisingly rich in the discovery department. I call them my less-is-more locations.
We love Croteau Beach that spans the waterway at the edge of MacDonald Wood and Mack Laing nature parks. This tiny beach near Comox Harbour is quiet and uncomplicated – all about exploring. Birds love it, snails and crabs pile on the beaches and there are often some magical finds for the intrepid explorers. Read up on MacDonald Wood HERE and Mack Laing HERE. They are great entryways to an awesome beach adventure.
My other not-so-secret fave is Williams Beach in Merville. Out of the way and oh so lovely, this laid back spot is oh-so casual and super fun in the tiny discoveries department. When you need a quiet escape that involves packing a lunch, this is a sweet spot. Get the details HERE.
Finally, a tide pooling adventure tome couldn’t end without a mention of two fantastic spots – Air Force Beach and Kye Bay.
Basically, these two beaches are the same stretch of land divided by a bit of a point – all of it spectacular in the view, sand and sea creature department.
Air Force Beach is one of the best family beaches around. No matter what the tide, there are always piles of sand and plenty of space for water fun. You have to hike a ways down the beach to get to the cool tide pooling portions. But, there’s a sand dollar colony that hangs out down there that is really incredible to see. Check out the details HERE.
Kye Bay is the quintessential “‘locals” beach where folks in town often hang out while vacation lovers pack Miracle Beach Provincial Park (a great tide pooling beach too) in Black Creek.
With giant sand bars that allow beach combers to wade out a long ways into shallow water to discover undersea coolness and enjoy the sunshine, Kye Bay has been home to some of our most major discoveries including a Moon Snail and a baby octopus. Get the details HERE.
So, while you are staring out the window at that gorgeous sunshine and predicted 11-degree temp this morning, think tide pool and hit one of these great spots for an awesome day admiring the magic that is nature.