Photos: Tsunami at Princeton and Mavericks


Posted by
Tue, March 15, 2011

Brian Lynch
Harbor surge
Brian Lynch
Harbor entrance flooding
Brian Lynch
Surfer at Mavericks Beach in high water
Brian Lynch
Surfer at Mavericks Beach in low water

I hiked across the bluff above Moss Beach over to Ross’ Cove to have a view of the harbor.  While the forecast was for a 3 ft. tsunami, I know that we don’t have a lot of data on the subject, so I wanted to make sure I was at high enough elevation in case a 10 footer came in.  After the first couple of surges, I realized that it was about as forecasted, so I hoofed it around to the bluff above Mavericks Beach to get a better sun angle on the harbor entrance. 

The first 3 surges were very dramatic, with a river of water flowing in and out of the harbor entrance.  Timing was about 7 minutes from high to low.  Subsequent surges were smaller (about 2-3 ft of water change), but the period was much shorter.  In the photos of the surfer at Mav’s Beach, there was only about 45 seconds between high and low water.

There were several surfers out at Mavericks that morning.  While the waves were rather small and slow by Mav’s standards, the guys who were out had quite the experience.  I spoke to one of them when he came in.  He indicated that during the first several surges, the ocean water moved significantly, and they had a hard time holding position because the currents were so strong.

Brian Lynch

Brian Lynch

Pier at low water


Brian Lynch

Pier at high water



Very interesting—thank you for sharing this!

Here’s a link to a time lapse video I shot on the docks in the harbor.

It was over a 40 minute period starting at around noon.  The white roller at the bottom of the post is 4 inches high, so you can see that even at this point we were seeing at least 3 foot shifts in water level in the harbor.  A friend even had trouble running through the ebb at the harbor mouth at around 3:00.

The Fukushima I nuclear accidents location is just across (the Pacific Ocean, at the exact same latitude) from San Gregorio State Beach!