Point Conception

Point Conception (Chumash: Humqaq) is a headland along the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California, located in southwestern Santa Barbara County. It is the point where the Santa Barbara Channel meets the Pacific Ocean, and as the corner between the mostly north-south trending portion of coast to the north and the east-west trending part of the coast near Santa Barbara, it makes a natural division between Southern and Central California,[1] and is commonly used as such in regional weather forecasts.[2] The Point Conception Lighthouse is at its tip.

Coordinates: 34°26′53″N 120°28′17″W / 34.448113°N 120.471439°W

Point Conception and Gaviota Coast
Point Conception and the Gaviota Coast from the air, looking SW. Lighthouse is visible in blowup (click) at top left center. To left (west) is Government Point, which partly encloses Cojo Bay. The Santa Ynez Mountains extend east (left) towards Santa Barbara.
Aerial photo of lighthouse, looking toward the northwest, taken 4pm 3/5/09


Point Conception was first noted by Spanish maritime explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542 and named Cabo de Galera. In 1602, Sebastian Vizcaíno sailed past again, renaming the protruding headland Punta de la Limpia Concepción[3] ("Point of the Immaculate Conception"). Vizcaíno's name stuck, and was later anglicized to today's version.

Chumash beliefs

The Chumash people of the region have traditionally known Point Conception as the "Western Gate", through which the souls of the dead could pass between the mortal world and the heavenly paradise of Similaqsa.[4]

It is called Humqaq ("The Raven Comes") in the Chumashan languages.[5]

in 1978, the Point Conception area was occupied "by Chumash and other Native Americans trying to save it from development by a liquefied natural gas company."[6]


  1. ^ Characteristic patterns of shelf circulation at the boundary between central and southern California
  2. ^ NWS Coastal Waters Forecast, accessed 3/18/2013.
  3. ^ Gudde, Erwin G. (1969). California Place Names. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 72. Retrieved July 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ Anderson, John. "KUTA TEACHINGS: Reincarnation theology of the Chumash Indians of California". Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  5. ^ Radic, Theo (2002). "The Chumash as the Keepers of the Western Gate". Syukhtun Editions. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  6. ^ Anderson, John. "Point Conception: The Chumash Western Gate". Retrieved 2013-05-07.

Further reading

Courtney Milne, Sacred Places in North America: A Journey into the Medicine Wheel (New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1995).

Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco

Cabo Corrientes is a cape on the Pacific coast of the Mexican state of Jalisco. It marks the southernmost point of the Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags), upon which the port and resort city of Puerto Vallarta stands. The municipality in which the cape lies is also called Cabo Corrientes.

Cabo Corrientes is a prominent navigational landmark, featured on the earliest cartography of the region. Cruising sailors often refer to it as Mexico's Point Conception[1][2].

Catalina eddy

The "Catalina eddy," also called the "coastal eddy," is a localized weather phenomenon that occurs in the "Bight of California", the mostly concave portion of the Southern California coast running from Point Conception to San Diego. The Catalina eddy leads to the "June gloom" that is so much a part of the late spring and early summer weather in Southern California. The eddy gets its name from Santa Catalina Island, the Channel Island closest to the Los Angeles-Long Beach area; the center of an eddy is often located above or near the island.

While a Catalina eddy can develop at any time of the year, it is most common between April and September and peaks in June. During these months, upper-level northwesterly flow along the California coast is directed onshore by the Channel Islands. When the flow is blocked by the mountains that ring the Los Angeles Basin to the east and north, a counterclockwise vortex is created. As temperatures drop after sunset, the marine layer deepens and coastal stratus clouds thicken. While the vortex is relatively small, rarely more than 100 miles (160 km) in diameter, it can extend into inland valleys and even into the southwestern Mojave Desert. A very strong Catalina eddy can be as deep as 6000 feet (1.8 km).

A Catalina eddy is rarely prolonged: as the heat over the deserts causes air to rise, the resulting pressure gradient and increase in the normal onshore winds causes the vortex to dissipate. The result is the common local weather forecast calling for "late night and early morning low clouds and fog, followed by afternoon sunshine and sea breezes."

Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco

Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco is a United States Coast Guard Air Station located 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco, California at the San Francisco International Airport in an unincorporated area of San Mateo County. The air station sits adjacent to the airport which consists of its own ramp, one hangar an administration building and several other support structures.

Coast Range Geomorphic Province

The Coast Range Geomorphic Province is a portion of coastal California, United States. This orogen geomorphic province constitutes a barrier between the Pacific Ocean and the San Joaquin Valley which trends northwest from Point Conception to the border with Oregon, with a significant break in the San Francisco Bay Area by the basins of the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River that discharge into the Pacific. The province consists of mountain ranges and the corresponding valleys and basins.The San Francisco Bay Area naturally subdivides the province into the North Coast Ranges and South Coast Ranges.

The province is formed as an interaction between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates. The Pacific Plate moves northwest relatively to the North American one with speed of about 35–38 mm/year, with the majority of motion occurring during large s, with some aseismic fault creep. The overlap of the plates is about 100 km wide and contains all major geologic faults of the Northern California. The mountain ranges of the province are composed primarily of late Mesozoic (200 to 70 million years old) Cenozoic (less than 70 million years old) sedimentary strata.

Dogface witch eel

The dogface witch eel (Facciolella equatorialis) is an eel in the family Nettastomatidae (duckbill/witch eels). It was described by Charles Henry Gilbert in 1891. It is a marine, deep water-dwelling eel which is known from the eastern central Pacific Ocean, including Point Conception, California, USA; Panama, Guadalupe, and the Galapagos Islands. It is known to dwell at an approximate depth of 734 meters. Males can reach a maximum total length of 90 centimetres.The dogface witch eel's diet consists primarily of small deep-water crustaceans.

Gaviota, California

Gaviota is an unincorporated community in Santa Barbara County, California located about 30 miles (48 km) west of Santa Barbara and 15 miles (24 km) south of Buellton.

Approximately 70 people live in Gaviota. The town is south and east of Gaviota State Park. The road to Hollister Ranch, the large private land holding along the coast between Gaviota and Point Conception, connects with U.S. 101 just west of Gaviota, at the turnoff to Gaviota State Park.Industries include organic farming, ranching, and woodworking. Free range cattle can be seen roaming and grazing throughout the area. Gaviota is also home to a marine mammal rehabilitation center named The Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI.org) which opened in 2006 at the historic Vista Del Mar School grounds.Gaviota was once the location of the Gaviota Marine Terminal, which is currently being decommissioned and abandoned, with intent to become public open space. On the mountain side of the freeway is the Gaviota Oil Heating Facility, also known as the "Gaviota Gas Plant", built by Chevron Corp. and currently owned by Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP); this facility is being reconfigured and partially abandoned. The former purpose of the facility was to heat and process the heavy crude oil produced offshore so that it could flow through the All American Pipeline to refineries in the Bakersfield area.

Gaviota Peak

Gaviota Peak is a summit in the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County, California. It is located 10 miles (16 km) west of Santa Barbara, 16 miles (26 km) east of Point Conception and 2 miles (3.2 km) from the Pacific Ocean.

The Gaviota Peak Fire Road trail starts near the junction of U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, in Gaviota State Park, and ends on the summit in the Los Padres National Forest. The trail passes Gaviota Hot Springs, and offers views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Lompoc Valley, the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands.Gaviota Grade, is the most formidable in length and elevation change along U.S. Route 101 in Southern California.

Hollister Ranch

Hollister Ranch is 14,400 acres (58 km2) of fallow and fertile fields, mountains and valleys along the Pacific coast of California between Gaviota State Park and Point Conception. It was the site of some of the oldest known human settlements in the new world, the last "native" population of which was the Chumash. The Spanish Portolà expedition, first European land explorers of California, traveled along its coast in 1769. It became part of the extensive Spanish land grant known as Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio, operated by the family of José Francisco Ortega from 1794.

The land was purchased by William Welles Hollister after the Civil War as part of a large acquisition, the center of which was at Glen Annie, Tecolotito canyon. It continues to be privately owned, and is one of the last remaining undeveloped coastal areas in California. There have been conflicts over public access to coastal parts of the ranch for nearly 40 years. Beaches along the Ranch remain technically open to the public per California state law, but access is difficult because the ranch itself is protected private property.

Piedras Blancas Light Station

Piedras Blancas Light Station is located at Point Piedras Blancas, about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) west by northwest of San Simeon, California. It was added to the California Coastal National Monument in 2017.

Point Conception Light

Point Conception Light is a lighthouse on Point Conception at the west entrance of the Santa Barbara Channel, California. It is one of the earliest California lighthouses and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Point Conception State Marine Reserve

Point Conception State Marine Reserve (SMR) is a marine protected area that extends offshore of Point Conception in Santa Barbara County on California’s south coast. The SMR covers 22.51 square miles. The SMR prohibits the take of all living marine resources.

Point Vicente Light

Point Vicente Lighthouse is a lighthouse in California, United States, in Rancho Palos Verdes, north of Los Angeles Harbor, California. It is between Point Loma Lighthouse to the south and Point Conception Lighthouse to the north. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.


In music, polyphony is one type of musical texture, where a texture is, generally speaking, the way that melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic aspects of a musical composition are combined to shape the overall sound and quality of the work. In particular, polyphony consists of two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody, as opposed to a musical texture with just one voice, monophony, or a texture with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords, which is called homophony.

Within the context of the Western musical tradition, the term polyphony is usually used to refer to music of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Baroque forms such as fugue, which might be called polyphonic, are usually described instead as contrapuntal. Also, as opposed to the species terminology of counterpoint, polyphony was generally either "pitch-against-pitch" / "point-against-point" or "sustained-pitch" in one part with melismas of varying lengths in another. In all cases the conception was probably what Margaret Bent (1999) calls "dyadic counterpoint", with each part being written generally against one other part, with all parts modified if needed in the end. This point-against-point conception is opposed to "successive composition", where voices were written in an order with each new voice fitting into the whole so far constructed, which was previously assumed.

The term polyphony is also sometimes used more broadly, to describe any musical texture that is not monophonic. Such a perspective considers homophony as a sub-type of polyphony.

Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio

The Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio was a 26,529-acre (107.36 km2) Spanish land grant to José Francisco Ortega in 1794 and is the only land grant made under Spanish rule in what is today Santa Barbara County, California. A Mexican title was granted to Antonio Maria Ortega in 1834 by Mexican Governor José Figueroa. The grant extended along the Pacific coast from Cojo Canyon east of Point Conception, past Arroyo Hondo and Tajiguas Canyon, to Refugio Canyon, and encompassed much of the Gaviota Coast.

Rancho Punta de la Concepcion

Rancho Punta de la Concepcion was a 24,992-acre (101.14 km2) Mexican land grant in the northern Santa Ynez Mountains, in present day Santa Barbara County, California. It was granted by Governor Juan Alvarado in 1837, to Anastacio Carrillo. The grant extended along the Pacific coast from Point Arguello south to Cojo Creek, just east of Point Conception.

Southern California Bight

The Southern California Bight is the curved coastline of Southern California from Point Conception to San Diego. The area includes the Channel Islands and part of the Pacific Ocean. Native Americans occupied the Southern California Bight before the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 16th century. This region is known for having a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean with similar weather patterns consisting of rainy winters and dry summers. The Southern California Bight has a thriving ecosystem that is home to many species of plant life, fish, birds, and mammals.

Transverse Ranges

The Transverse Ranges are a group of mountain ranges of southern California, in the Pacific Coast Ranges physiographic region in North America. The Transverse Ranges begin at the southern end of the California Coast Ranges and lie within Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The Peninsular Ranges lie to the south. The name Transverse Ranges is due to their east–west orientation, making them transverse to the general northwest–southeast orientation of most of California's coastal mountains.The ranges extend from west of Point Conception eastward approximately 500 kilometers into the Mojave and Colorado Desert. The geology and topography of the ranges express three distinct segments that have contrasting elevations, rock types, and vegetation. The western segment extends to the San Gabriel Mountains and San Gabriel fault. The central segment includes that range eastward to the San Andreas fault. The eastern segment extends from the San Andreas fault eastward to the Colorado Desert. The central and eastern segments (near the San Andreas fault) have the highest elevations.

Most of the ranges lie in the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion. Lower elevations are dominated by chaparral and scrubland, while higher elevations support large conifer forests. Most of the ranges in the system are fault blocks, and were uplifted by tectonic movements late in the Cenozoic Era. West of Tejon Pass, the primary rock types are varied, with a mix of sedimentary, volcanic, and metamorphic rocks, while regions east of the pass are dominated by plutonic granitic and metasedimentary rocks.

USCGC Halibut (WPB-87340)

USCGC Halibut is a United States Coast Guard Marine Protector-class coastal patrol boat based in Marina del Rey, California. Her patrol area is the 300 miles (480 km) from Morro Bay to Dana Point, California, and several important offshore islands.

Like her sister ships, Halibut was built at the Bollinger Shipyards, in Lockport, Louisiana.Commissioned on April 26, 2002, she replaced the Point-class cutter USCGC Point Bridge (WPB 82338). She was commissioned on 26 April 2002.

In the early morning of 2 December 2012, Halibut encountered a suspicious vessel and dispatched her pursuit boat to investigate. The crew of the pursuit boat hailed the vessel and attempted to board her for an inspection, upon which the suspicious vessel rammed Halibut′s boat. Senior Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne, Halibut's executive petty officer, was credited with heroically pushing a colleague to safety at the cost of his own life.

In October 2016, Halibut joined the Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Blacktip (WPB-87326) in supporting operations by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) personnel aboard the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary′s research vessel R/V Shearwater who used a VideoRay Mission Specialist remotely operated vehicle to find and identify the wreck of the Coast Guard cutter McCulloch, which sank in the Pacific Ocean 3 nautical miles (5.5 km) off Point Conception, California, on 13 June 1917 after colliding with the passenger steamer Governor.

Yellowfin croaker

Yellowfin croaker (Umbrina roncador) is a species of croaker occurring from the Gulf of California, Mexico, to Point Conception, California. They frequent bays, channels, harbors and other nearshore waters over sandy bottoms. These croakers are more abundant along beaches during the summer months and may move to deeper water in winter. There is no set size limit for the yellowfin croaker.

Other common names include yellowfin drum, Catalina croaker, yellowtailed croaker, and golden croaker.

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