Marine scientist Ed Ricketts explored tide pools from Alaska to Mexico searching for specimens for his Pacific Biological Laboratories business and for insight into the relationships between all living things. Eric Enno Tamm wrote in Beyond the Outer Shores: “Arguably more than any scientist of his time, Ed Ricketts saw the tide pool as the place where celestial and worldly forces interacted most vividly.”
A site Ricketts visited frequently in Pacific Grove, and where he was joined many times by Steinbeck, is called The Great Tide Pool. In Cannery Row Doc and Hazel collect starfish there for Western Biological. An oft quoted paragraph from the book beginning “It is a fabulous place” describes its varying moods and inhabitants.
The Great Tide Pool is located west of Point Pinos Lighthouse on Sunset Drive and north of the junction with Lighthouse Avenue. In late 2017 the city laid a board walk and path over the dunes for easier access to the tide pool overlook. Avoid the rocks at water’s edge, especially at times of high surf.