Is It Pomo Bluff— or Chicken Point… Fort Bragg, California

I see a massive wave like this and I remember the wise advice of old sailors: Never turn your back to the ocean. Even now when I look at this photo, I think, run! Fortunately, I was happily ensconced on a high cliff at Pomo Bluff when this big fellow came rolling in.

I laughed when I read the information sign posted up on Pomo Bluff in Fort Bragg. Sailors, fisherman, and other boaters of yore making their way out of Noyo Harbor would go out on the overlook to check how the Pacific Ocean was behaving. It could be calm and welcoming or it could be ferocious and dangerous. Checking was an opportunity to chicken out, to remember there was a cold beer that required quaffing at the local pub. Thus the name. Modern technology and weather forecasting have reduced the need to do a visual check.

We wandered around on the Bluff, admiring the ocean, checking out ice plants, watching rowdy crows, and wondering who owned the mansion hidden behind a tall fence.

In spite of the big waves, it was a beautiful day on the ocean. We watched as the charter boat, the Telstar, made its way back into Noyo Harbor. It’s available for sport fishing and whale watching. Apparently some folks had been out to try their luck. We didn’t wonder about what they caught or saw, we wondered how their stomachs had tolerated the rolling sea. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Looking back toward the entry into the protected Noyo Harbor.
A close up of the sea stack seen above.
Looking out to sea from Pomo Bluff. Go far enough and you will end up in Asia.
Peggy captures a photo.
And then goes in search of another. The sign is a common one along the coast, warning of the dire consequences of getting too close to a cliff’s sheer drop. But does this woman casually strolling along seem worried?
How can one resist when the best photos are often on the edge?
Such as this. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Ice plants provide an attractive foreground for photos on the coast. But there is a problem. It is an invasive species that replaces native plants.
I was surprised to find that the ice plant had adopted fall colors, something that I had never noticed before.
This crow took a break from its aerial display of chasing other crows to steal their food, to rest among the ice plants.
Peggy captured one carrying something delectable, like a long dead snail. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
From her perch out on the point, Peggy was also able to catch a photo of this mansion. Otherwise, it was hidden behind a tall fence.
So I took a photo of it through a knothole.
A seagull showed us the way. I liked its feet. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
And finally we came to the end. It was time to head on to our next adventure and my next post: The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse.

47 thoughts on “Is It Pomo Bluff— or Chicken Point… Fort Bragg, California

  1. Pingback: Is It Pomo Bluff— or Chicken Point… Fort Bragg, California — Wandering through Time and Place – Kastonedigital

  2. A rugged coastline indeed! And a pleasure to see it from a distance. Thanks for these great pictures from you and Peggy. Hope she wasn’t too close to the edge, of course. My favorite is of the waves bashing the rocks — we just don’t see that in our gentle Tennessee streams!

    • You are welcome, Rusha! I do remember some beautiful rivers in your neck of the woods, however. And your gentle Tennessee streams can get a bit rambunctious in sustained heavy rain. 🙂 As for the cliffs, she’s usually pretty careful. I tend to be a bit more edgy. Grin. –Curt

  3. I love it when the sea is big and crashing and churning around rocks. It’s so beautiful. Peggy takes great photos, Curt, though I like your photo through the peephole. And gulls have great feet and wonderful expressions, don’t they? Thanks for taking me on your walk. It looks like it was a glorious day.

  4. I’m thinking the Oregon Coast could use some of those “dire consequences” signs. All too often there are reports of folks needing rescue or beyond rescuing by the Coast Guard around here. Perhaps you need to keep a close eye on that intrepid woman! 😉

    We could probably use some ice plants, too!

  5. And there’s another bit of sailor’s advice that’s worth remembering: when the storms come, head for deep water! It used to feel counterintuitive to me, but eventually I figured it out. Too bad a few local sailors didn’t.

    I must have told you about my cruising friends who were anchored off Phuket the day the tsunami rolled in. They were drinking coffee down below, but felt the odd movement of the boat as the water went out. They rolled up on deck, saw what was happening, and managed to pull the anchor and head to deep water in time to avoid being sent ashore and adding to the piles of debris.

    That ice plant’s interesting. We have some beach/mudflat succulents that look much the same, but they’re native. They turn colors in the fall, too, although they’re a little more scraggly than these. One of these days I’m going to put together a post about the mudflats, and include them.

      • My thought: I wonder if melting ice and more water/weight in the ocean are having an impact on plate tectonics. Is it one more thing we can attribute to global warming? Great video, Linda. That is one big boom! –Curt

    • One look at the rocks along the Oregon Coast that I have been featuring, Linda, is one good clue why sailors might prefer deeper water. I don’t remember your Phuket it story, but it sounds like your friends were very, very lucky. And smart.
      Mudflats are fascinating places, full of all sorts of interesting life that exist between the world of land and the world of water. –Curt

  6. Curt, we lived on the US southeast coast for may years and never appreciated your advice of “Never turn your back on the ocean” … until we moved to Oregon. The Pacific Ocean was an entirely new experience! We learned quickly that we had to pay attention. Peggy’s photos really capture the beauty and wildness of the sea. And I know the ice plant is invasive, but is sure is beautiful. ~Terri

    • Hi Terri. First my apologies for taking so long to get back to you.Life has been crazy ever since we decided to hit the road full-time and have been preparing for it. Those Pacific Northwest storm waves are beautiful, but you sure don’t want to get caught in one! 🙂 –Curt

      • Wow! What? Yay! That’s so amazing and wonderful. I’m so sorry I missed the announcement. Are you heading out in the van or going overseas? I can’t wait to hear more. I’m happy and excited for you and Peggy. 🙂 ~Terri

      • We will be wandering North America, mainly, Terri, with occasional forays overseas. We’ve actually sold the van and bought a 22 foot Imagine trailer and a new F-150 to haul it so we can park the trailer in places we want to explore and wander for a week or two before moving on. Thanks! –Curt

  7. Hey Curt–this is totally off subject but I don’t know another way to contact you. Don’t know if you remember, I was also in PC Liberia. I’m planning a road trip to the Southwest this April and I wonder if you could refer me to your blog entries on that area. We’re starting at Big Bend Nat’l Park and moving up into N.M. and Arizona from there. If it’s easier to contact me by email (and I imagine it would be) my email is I apologize for sending this (maybe) intrusive message on your blog! Best, Mary

  8. Great post, Curt. The story about naming Chicken Point is awesome. I love your photo of the crow in the iceplants. The mansion is very fancy. I can relate to Peggy’s surefootedness, and I can’t resist the edges when I’m looking for a good shot. Your admonitions to respect the sea are absolutely appropriate here. I like how, in the comments, people are comparing different bodies of water. I’ve never lived on the Atlantic, but living close to the Pacific has taught me some serious respect. When I lived in Eureka, CA, people were washed off the jetty every single year and it was heartbreaking. Stories of deaths due to unexpected waves are part of life for people at the coast.

    • Thanks, Crystal. It’s really hard to beat our Pacific Northwest Coast. As for danger, people don’t understand it, or they are junkies in terms of how far they can push the envelope. I just read again in the past couple of days where a person fell off a cliff while taking a selfie. Another coast hazard. As for jetties, they are not the place to be when the big waves are rolling in! –Curt

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