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Powerful king tide waves thrill beachgoers along Central Coast shoreline

King tide
King tide waves roll in against the Pismo Pier Tuesday morning. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

PISMO BEACH, Calif. -- Powerful king tide waves pounded the Central Coast shoreline once again on Tuesday, creating a spectacular show for beachgoers.

"I think they're amazing," said Yvonne Bramson, while watching the waves near the Pismo Pier. "They're beautiful. They're loud. They're crashing. It just brings peace to the soul."

The Grover Beach resident was just one of many visitors to Pismo Beach that came out Tuesday morning to check out the rare high tides.

"I'm very amazed," said Bramson. "They come from way out in the back where you can see three, four, five crashing waves. If we see the sand, it comes all the way up, so that's another beauty."

At about. 9 a.m., the tide reached its highest point, with waves rolling all the way to the seawall.

"We haven't seen them like this in a long time and it's kind of nice to have them now," said Jeff Stokes of Oceano.

The National Ocean Service describes king tides as "a non-scientific term people often use to describe exceptionally high tides. Tides are long-period waves that roll around the planet as the ocean is "pulled" back and forth by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun as these bodies interact with the Earth in their monthly and yearly orbits. Higher than normal tides typically occur during a new or full moon and when the Moon is at its perigee, or during specific seasons around the country."

This week's king tide was scheduled to run two days, on Monday and Tuesday.

"It's just powerful," said Stokes. "I love the crashing of the waves and it's just Mother Nature. It's an awesome sound."

For local surfers, the big waves created ideal conditions to test their skills.

"We get excited," said Ernie Brigham. "We've had a real run the last week or so of some good swell, so it's fun. It's unique for us to get a good run of like this of waves."

The Arroyo Grande surfer was just one of many who came out Tuesday in Pismo Beach to ride the waves.

"I think everyone is kind of excited to get out and enjoy it," said Brigham. "Not a whole lot else we can do these days, right?"

For some like Lee and Lana Cross, who moved to Los Osos from Maine four years ago, they've spent the past two days watching Mother Nature in wonder.

"We have been intentionally everyday going out to Montana de Oro and enjoying it. Never have I ever really like that," said Lee Cross. "I don't think there's anything that one can compare to what we're experiencing here, so yeah, it's been very enjoyable!"

Lana Cross added watching the arrival of the big waves is coming at just the right time.

"It's very exciting to come down to the ocean and see the waves like this," said Lana Cross. "We have been housebound for a long time because of Covid and we just want to get out, get the fresh air, get the exercise and enjoy it."

California / Environment / Offbeat / San Luis Obispo County / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / What's Right
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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.


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