Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beach-combing near the North Jetty at the Humboldt Bay Entrance west of Eureka, California

Ocean wave spectacle at the Humboldt Bay Entrance at the south tip of the Samoa Peninsula
A sandy strip of land extends west of Eureka between the Pacific Ocean and Humboldt Bay—the only deep water bay between Coos Bay in Oregon and San Francisco Bay. At the tip (south end) of the north strip—the Samoa Peninsula—is the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area with the North Jetty. Once US military property, this is now a multi-use land run by the Bureau of Land Management. Beach-combing, bird-watching and wave-watching are just a few low-key activities visitors enjoy to do here.

Waves crash over the North Jetty

In case you are walking or picnicking on the beach between the jetty shore line along the bay entrance and the sand dunes, you want to watch the incoming waves for your own safety and pleasure. Usually, they make quite some splash. As with the Crescent City harbor jetty, this jetty line should never be considered completely safe. Often, it is a dangerous place to hang out at. Approach a jetty at low tide and only if no water is spraying over its top. An informative board recommends to “Be swept Away By the Beauty Not By the Sea” and continues:

People have died while walking on the jetties. Beware of sleeper sneaker or rogue waves. They can appear without warning often coming up on the rocks with deadly force. Never turn your back on the ocean!

A wave flowing and foaming over the jetty

Getting there
From Euraka, take Highway 255 across the Samoa Bridge and turn left onto New Navy Base Road. Drive south for about four miles to the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area. At the junction with Bunker Road, from which the latter leads to an OHV staging area with historic ammunition bunkers, stay on the main road until you reach its dead-end. There is parking space in a dry and safe distance from the Humboldt Bay Entrance and the North Jetty.

References and resources
[1] BLM: Samoa Duenes Recreation Area [].
[2] Humboldt Bay recreational map: Humboldt Bay Area Beaches and Dunes [].
[3] Surfline: Humbold Harbor Entrance HD Cam & Surf Report [].
[4] Humboldt Bay Entrance, Califirnia Tide Chart [].

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