2006 (total): 103 days, 169 hours
2007 (total): 238 days, 425.75 hours
Sometimes the best
birthday gifts are totally unexpected!
Underground site reported today that "a large W to
NW swell continues to build down the California coast from an earlier Pacific
storm. This large swell will affect all of the coastal waters... beginning
today and will last through Thursday morning...peaking tonight and Wednesday
This is how the waves looked at sunset tonight when the tide
was only three feet high with maybe 6 feet of swell. Tomorrow at 6:30 am
the tide will be 5.5 feet and the forecasted swell will be between eleven
and fourteen feet high. The combination could bring the the water level
even with the pier decking.
is a real possibility that the pier will be swamped making for an extremely
dangerous situation. I spoke with the Park Operations Manager, Richard
Lindley, this afternoon and requested that the pier be closed for the duration
of this event.
Already the pier has suffered some minor damage when a small
pleasure craft broke free from its moorings near the Campus earlier in
the afternoon and smashed into the pier at the second fishing ell.
I had brought the situation to the attention of the Santa Barbara
County Sheriffs and Fire Department in the hopes that the impending crash
could be averted but to no avail. The only response was to transfer my
call to the the Coast Guard which is stationed much too far away to have
been able to respond.
Fortunately the boat broke into pieces on the first impact and
the flotsom floated through the pier without further damage.
Had it been a larger boat like some of the sailboats moored in
the bay the damage would have been considerable. Santa Barbara regulates
its 'free anchorage' (see EAST
BEACH ANCHORAGE) ... the County or whatever agency has jurisdiction
should do likewise at Goleta.
Got out to the pier around 5am and found both the pier and the
entrance to the park barracaded with the Rangers and a County crew hard
at work cleaning up the mess.
The overnight swell and tide left the west parking lot and the
pier patio covered in beach wrack including some fair size timbers that
beached before damaging the pier.
In the East lot there was a boogie board propped up against a
sign. Another spectator told me that several young men were attempting
to surf the swell yesterday evening.
One surfer was so exhausted by his ordeal that he climbed out
on the ladder near the crane ... reportedly he was almost unable to make
Later the Ranger told me that he had also found a pair of surf
booties as well. If the person who lost them is still with us the board
and booties can be claimed at the Park office.
be careful out there today! ***
Been watching the vultures gather over the past few days on the
bluff above the East beach and finally located the object of their interest
... it appears to be a decaying carcass of a large marine mammal carried
to the far side of the slough by the recent high tides and swell.
Perhaps it is the remains of the large sperm whale that beached
and was buried on the beach at the west end of the park last April. At
the time there was concern that, due to lack of sufficient sand depth,
the burial was too shallow and the whale would resurface.
So far the massed gulls appear to be reluctant to share this
newly discovered food resource. Perhaps it will keep them out of the frequently
unsecured dumpsters in the area for the time being. But it certainly hasn't
resulted in a decrease in guano on the pier ... after 8.5 hours of intense
scrubbing this week the pier is finally back in presentable shape.
In the end ... the vultures win.
The vultures descended en masse today like an avian memento mori
... for the most part the gulls moved to the side demonstrating, once again,
that he who has the largest wings gets to claim the prize.
I know, this is a kind of eerie and morbid post, but vultures
do that to me. In the air they are majestic like the condors but on the
ground there is just something creepy about them.
Not that I have any real fondness for the local gulls ... [grin].
I'll be home for Christmas!
I'm dreamin' tonight
of a place I love
Even more then I usually
And although I know
it's a long road back
I promise you
I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and
And presents under
Christmas Eve will
Where the love light
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
It has been "a long road back" for the gentleman
(and my good friend) pictured above but this year he truly will be 'home
for Christmas' ... after years of living in his van due to increasing
medical problems resulting in loss of employment and housing.
Last April he was referred to the City's Safe Parking Program
where the Program Director (and Local
Hero), Shaw Talley, was able to qualify him for a spot in the new low
income Senior Housing complex at Villa
Several of his friends from Goleta Beach helped him move in today
and tonight I was his guest as he prepared his favorite dinner of steak
and baked potatoes.
Safe, warm and able to entertain friends on the holidays ...
isn't that what we all want?