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~  Pierheads's ~
Goleta Pier Log

PFIC Get-Together, Goleta Pier,  July 2003.  Photo credit:  Rich Reano, webmaster,
Volunteer Time:
2006 (total):  103 days, 169 hours
2007 (total):  238 days, 425.75 hours
2008 (total):   68 days,  98.50 hours

April 1st, 2008:

With a little help from the County Easter weekend we were able to get the entire pier cleaned with the exception of a section of railings just past the hoist area. What that means is that every bench is now accessible and you don't have to worry about your shoes tracking pier goo into your car and home.

It's Spring - time to reestablish contact with your favorite pier - come on out!

Noontime -

 I'm still shaking with anger ... I did a noontime check of the pier and found these three 'anglers' at the end. The one on the extreme left had buried a hook in a pile of bait and potato chips he had purposely left on the railings. I noticed him propped up on the other bench waiting to 'set the hook'.

The one next to him with the cap was dangling a multi-hook baited jig rig in front of another group of birds also trying to snag them. Both initially thought they were being funny.  Then they were offended that anyone would be bothered by their sick sense of humor.

I called the head ranger and spoke to him about what I saw - he will be checking on them shortly as they have not yet left the pier. The incident was also reported to the local Fish and Game warden who said he would try to swing by the pier as well.

April 2nd, 2008:

I've posted several times over the past couple of years about the problem of people jumping from the pier in violation of the posted ordinance. 

Yesterday the water was extraordinarily clear and I was able to get this photo of several remnants of old pilings in the area of the midpier restrooms. I haven't seen these snags before and decided to post it as a reminder why pier jumping is prohibited ... can you imagine jumping 15-20 feet down to the water only to land on top of one of these jagged old pilings?  Ouch!

April 6th, 2008:

Took a walk down the beach at the east end of the park during the afternoon's low tide and discovered an area of offshore volcanic rocks populated by sea lions and cormorants. 

In addition to these marvelous living sculptures the shoreline cliffs have numerous old dried solid tar seeps which extend out over the onshore rocks like a rubberized coating.  Very comfortable to sit on when watching the sea and birdlife.

There will be minus low tides in the early mornings for the remainder of the week and next weekend ... perfect time to get and explore!

April 7th, 2008:

Here he is again - California vessel registration 41133.  The owner of the Chameleon is a commercial diver who has repeatedly violated the 200' restricted area around the pier for commercial fishing vessels. 

He was here a couple of days ago and worked the entire reef down to the shoreline. I reported it to the head ranger then and was told that since he was more than 100 feet from the pier he was outside the restricted area.  Once again  I pointed out that the regulation in question is the one that applies to commercial vessels and clearly establishes a 200 foot limit (the reef is about 90 feet from the pier):

Sec. 26-77. Pier--No mooring within two hundred feet. 
No person shall moor or anchor any commercial vessel within two
hundred feet of Goleta Beach Pier except in an emergency. 
(Ord. No. 3708, § 1)

Given the increasingly high cost of fuel there is always the temptation to dive areas closer to home even though they may be off limits. But these regulations were established for a purpose and commercial activity within the park boundaries are highly regulated. 

Update 4-8-08: Spoke with the head ranger today who had requested the vessel's registration number. He was also concerned that the diver was working alone with no tender aboard to maintain the pump or watch for other vessels or problems.

April 10th, 2008:

Shane Anderson who is a Diver / Collector for UCSB and oversees their research vessels says the water temps have dropped 3-4 degrees over the last week which is unusual for this time of year. Lots of tiny shrimp in the channel between the reef and the pier.

Overall water clarity at the shallow end remains exceptional down to 8 feet or so ... like being in Florida. His divers report the reef is free from the accumulated sediment that plagued it following the slough dredging several years ago. The fish are beginning to rebound.

Perching at the shallow end remains the big attraction with many anglers limiting over the past several days. But that may change if the wind dies down ... saw significant patches of algal bloom today starting at the hoist.

This form is called sea sawdust (Trichodesmium) and tends to clump together like small grains of brown rice ... it is most noticeable when the wind dies down. The sailors on Captain Cook's Australian voyage in the 18th century thought it looked, from a distance, like a sandbar and were afraid of running aground.

Most people assume that some passing vessel has dumped its holding tanks ... and sometimes it does smell like that. Mixed together with the surface sheen from offshore oil seeps at Goleta it can cause havoc with lines and reels.

As a former GP angler was fond of saying - 'The wind is my friend' and in this case it has been helping to disperse the red tide before it reaches critical mass :)

April 18th, 2008:

The County has recently installed a porta-potty at the hoist area next to the new power panel. The latticework enclosure pictured above will be raised to roof level shortly.  Yesterday a county carpenter was working on the old bathroom removing the partition and disinfecting the walls and floor prior to its conversion to a Marine Center.

April 19th, 2008:

Mixed feelings about this new 'artwork' recently installed across the deck on the end of the pier ...kind of intrigued by the mixture of inner city boxcar art and the 'octopus tentacle' detail :) 

Wikipedia has entries under SKAM referring to a Toronto graffiti artist ... wonder what the connection is to our local skammer?  Seems to be some linkage to skateboarding as well ... fascinating to spend an afternoon jumping from one Google link to another trying to discover how SKAM fits into the big picture :)

April 27th, 2008:

Image courtesy of the California Coastal Records Project
Due to an unfortunate bout of pneumonia I have been confined to my RV for the past week or so.  Since my preferred daytime parking spot is in the back row of the East lot I have had a chance to observe just how many people use the unimproved strip of bank that borders the Slough.

This 25' by 100' section, outlined in red above, begins just past the dumpsters and is used by at least three different groups on a regular base:

  • Birdwatchers observing the numerous local and migratory bird populations
  • Amateur and professional painters capturing the many moods of the Slough
  • Students from UCSB and other local schools studying wildlife and marine ecology
The County has lined the outer edge of this strip with large logs which serve both as a safety barrier as well as a place to sit. The major difficulty is with access ... the area is pockmarked with ground squirrel warrens resulting in an uneven and unstable footing. 

The County has been using this entire area as a temporary rubbage dump as well which results in an unkempt appearance ... attracting more trash from visitors parked adjacently.  At no time however has the accumulated trash required more than the initial twenty foot section of the triangular strip.

My suggestion for an easy and affordable upgrade would be to plant a hedge between the trash area and triangular strip (see green vertical) and clear and level the remainder of the strip planting it to native grasses. 

At a later date it would be nice to see some more interpretive signs  such as this one I found at Jade Cove (Big Sur) during a recent get-away. Signs addressing bird feeding and leash laws would also be greatly appreciated. 


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Copyright © 2007 by Boyd Grant.  All Rights Reserved