Editor: This is the latest segment in our series, “The Hitchikers’ Guide to Ocean Beach” by Citizen Cane, the pen (or keyboard) name for a very local denizen of OB. To view the other segments, go to our Nav Bar above and hit “Ocean Beach”.
by Citizen Cane / April 4, 2011
There is a four sided tidepool at Sunset Cliffs known to some as the Mysterious Quadripool. Visting scientists from the United Kingdom sometimes call it the Tetragon Tidepool, but that term should only be attempted by people capable of the proper accent.
Erosion from waves and marine organisms have clearly altered the walls of the tidepool, but it appears that it was once a perfect four foot square. The walls of the Mysterious Quadripool are very close to facing the four points of a compass. This has led to rumors that the pool is Masonic in origin. The rumors are also fueled by the location of the pool in relation to the Masonic Hall up on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.
Some people say it was just a pool that fishermen carved for their freshly caught fish. Others claim it was a primitive ice chest for a root beer vendor. There appears to be a terraced notch in the reef on the ocean side of the quadripool. Plus what looks like some corroded metal bolts in the terrace. That makes me think there was some sort of wave motor there.
The quadripool is near the outer edge of the sandstone reef, so it’s safer to visit at lower tides or when the waves are small.
The closest access stairs are at Santa Cruz Avenue. Descend the stairs and head North along the path toward the OB Pier. The pool is low on the reef in front of the last house on the North side of the foot of Santa Cruz. It can even be seen on Google maps if you know right where to look.
We may not ever know the origin of the mysterious quadripool, but we know what it is now.
It’s a first class tide pool with a diverse mix of creatures and seaweeds. Never forget that the world is your limpet. Veer off the beaten path, and take the time to stop and smell the algae. Take off your sandals, and cool your feet in the mysterious quadripool. Relax, but be safe. Keep an eye out for hungry crabs, rogue waves, and anyone wearing a fez.
More information on California wave motors can be found here.