Carpinteria Bluffs in November

This is my idea of how to spend a chilly November morning: in the company of curious seals, exploring interesting, fragile rock formations while the wind whips the surface of the sea into white caps.  Dry sand snaked across the slick wet sand like wisps of incense smoke.  A sign said that the beach is closed during seal mating season around the beginning of December but Matthew and I observed nearly a dozen of them peeking their heads out of the surf to peer at us as we were leaving.  It seems best not to disturb them in November, either!

A seal peers at us from the waves.

Oil bubbles up from underground. This is what is referred to as “tar sands”… To extract the oil for commercial use, people steam the sand in order to separate it from the oil. This is very damaging to the environment because it tears up the beach and uses massive amounts of fresh water for steaming, a limited resource, and the yield of oil is relatively small at great cost.