Hole in the Wall Beach Blowhole

Normally you’re unlikely to catch me photographing the coast on a sunny day. But on Saturday, March 23rd, I had two reasons for going out: 1) There was a Bay Area photowalk at Hole in the Wall beach and I wanted to go fraternize with some fellow photographers, and 2) I had a new filter to test out (more on that later). Arriving at the beach I set off for the south end, which is by far my favorite section of the beach due to its dramatic rocky stacks, shelves, and fingers. I set up on one of said fingers and started doing some test shots. While I was thus engaged I started hearing a large Ba-Woosh! sound from behind me and feeling little droplets of water strike the back of my neck. My curiosity got the better of me and I walked over to the far side of the rocky finger to investigate. And what should I find but a tiny slit in the rocks, perfectly poised to catch the crashing waves and redirect their energy into a waterspout that often reached 20 feet high. I’ve been to Hole in Wall countless times but it was the first time I ever saw that water spout. Which just goes to show you why seascape photography is so much fun: the coast is always changing and there’s always something new to shoot. If you want to see the spout, I recommend going when the tide is around +3 feet. As to the location, head to the second set of rocky shelves south of the big seastack (aka Panther Rock) and wait for the big Ba-woosh!

Hole in the Wall Beach Blowhole, Santa Cruz, California