At the parking area, two outdoor exhibits describe sub-tidal life and climatic conditions, while a 3D Marine Reserve Underwater model allows non-divers to visualize the underwater topography, which has been described as the best place to scuba along the west coast. This is a good spot from which to survey the cove and locate various birds, rafting sea otters, or basking harbor seals which frequent the area. The large granite cliff above the restroom was a rock quarry that furnished granite to the SF Bay area in the early 20th century. The parking area was the location of an Abalone Cannery during the early 1900’s, when the otter population was diminished, allowing the otter’s favorite food, abalone to flourish. What’s an abalone? A snail-like mollusk with a beautiful interior mother of pearl shell. Check them out when you get to the Whalers Cabin.