While making the trek down to Cathedral Cove, I was overwhelmed with all the breathtaking views that could be seen during the short hike. The water appeared crystal clear, holes and caves existed throughout these white, rocky cliffs, and on top of the mountains, sat a lush forest filled with a variety of trees and plants. When I finally made it down to the beach, I could not believe my eyes. There were caves in the mountain walls to my right, a hole through the mountain on my left, a ridge through the rock behind me, and right out in front of me in the ocean stood a rock ledge, emerged roughly two meters above the surface. Islands could be seen in the distance, and although the waves were dismal, it was the coolest beach I have ever been to.
The most noticeable geological aspect of the cove was the occurrence of honeycomb weathering, in which wind blows small grains in and around creating pitted "honeycombs" in sedimentary rock. This process was not only evident by the large "hole in the rock" on the beach, but also by the many small holes found throughout the mountainous backing of the beach. Cathedral Cove's beach was not too wide and was only moderately steep. There were also tiny waves, all of which helped make it clear that the beach was in an intermediate state. The sediment was roughly 0.5 millimeters in size per grain, poorly sorted, sub-angular, light brown, composed of shell fragments, and was fairly coarse. Some fish could be seen in the clear sea, and barnacles and muscles were observed clinging to rocks. There were sea gulls and only a few shells on the beach. Really the only flora was the trees and plants that grew and lived up on top of the mountains behind the beach, which we passed while on our journey down to the cove.
Another intriguing feature of Cathedral Cove was that it is a cultural preserve. One could "only take photos, and leave footprints". This meant Cathedral Cove lacked any litter, and its biological and geological attributes were left untouched and allowed to stay in natural form. I wish I could say the same for environmental attractions in the U.S.
Cathedral Cove was an absolute blast. We swam out to the flat rock in the ocean and jumped off it several times, and even daringly swam out to the cave located on the right side of the cove. I still cannot believe there was a small beach on the inside of the cave that could only be entered by swimming through the sea. Walking through the hole in the rock on the beach was another experience I'll never forget. It was also interesting to climb and sit on the rock ledge located in the middle section of the beach. I could not believe how smooth and soft the mountain was. All in all, I had a great time at Cathedral Cove, and got to witness the effects of weathering by seeing a rock completely separated from the main mountain, a hole in the rock which will one day be isolated, and the rest of the mountain yet to be substantially affected.