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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 (to date):  227 days, 400.25 hours

November 2nd,  2007: 

Finally finished the 'deep' cleaning this morning and the pier is back the way it was when I was sidetracked in September by things medical ... now I will be able to breeze through the daily cleaning in 2 hours or less. Spoke with the head ranger yesterday and maybe the deck will get power washed this weekend.

November 10th,  2007: 

The predicted high tides and a bar across the mouth of the Slough for the past month make for exciting possibilities this weekend ... the annual breaching. 

For several weeks now the shore birds and pelicans have been massing on the adjacent beach in anticipation of the sudden bounty which will be theirs when the impounded water is finally released

The best possibility for natural breaching occurs on Sunday with the 5.74 foot tide at 8:18am. 

Meanwhile the Slough, which has been accumulating more and more baitfish with each incoming high tide, is being visited daily by several Ospreys to the delight of the many bird watchers in the area. 

After spending the previous two afternoons totally enthralled with their hunting successes I decided yesterday to stalk them with my camera. However the wind came up riffling the surface of the water and obscuring the baitfish. 

Four hours of patient observation produced just one photo. Maybe today they will be back.

November 13th,  2007:

I have been concerned about the recent increase in rowdiness on the pier and vicinity so it was heartening to learn that the Sheriffs detained 5-6 young men in the east parking lot last night for setting off fireworks.

Kudos to our local police for their immediate response ... hopefully by staying on top of such rowdiness the pier and adjacent parking lots will be a bit safer and more people will be encouraged to visit the pier after dark.

November 15th,  2007:

Finally - the long awaited moment!  At 3pm today the Slough will be officially breached.  The above picture shows the two berms which will be removed allowing the impounded water to reach the ocean and the waiting seabirds and hungry fish.

Later ...

What a poorly attended opening ... somebody forgot to tell the birds :) 

This couple however had been told by the dozer operator to return from farther down the beach before 3pm and chose to ignore the warning effectively stranding themselves.

Fortunately for them some bystanders took pity and advised them of a path up the slope where they could then hoof it all the way across More Mesa back to Patterson Avenue.

Over the past several years I have seen a number of people similarly stranded resulting in a call for help and the dispatch of rescue crews.  I always wondered why they weren't simply told to walk out on the path. Perhaps the path should be more clearly marked including appropriate signage.

November 17th,  2007:

The earthquake yesterday was received with typical Santa Barbara indifference since so many of the natives (myself included) are almost non-reactive to any quake that measures less than a magnitude of 5.

However a little research using the coordinates published at the Latest Earthquake site revealed that it was centered on the historical Mesa-Rincon Creek fault zone... a fault implicated in the disastrous June 29th, 1925 quake that literally brought down the town. 

The two quake sites are shown above.  That nineteen miles long fault is a reverse slip fault meaning, in this case, that the ocean side uplifts and overrides the shore side. In the process it created the bluff above the Mesa and extends past Carpinteria to Sheperd Mesa.

Looking on the bright side a larger quake on that fault could produce enough uplift to solve or at least delay the effects of the inevitable rise in sea level attributable to global warning :) Small consolation though for the amount of damage that would ensue.

November 19th,  2007:

This morning before I started cleaning the pier I stopped by the restaurant's dumpsters because I noticed a large flock of seagulls clustered there. The lids to the dumpsters had been left open exposing the trash to the birds.

Looking closer I was confronted with this horrible scene ... somehow one of the birds had become trapped in the fence and was left hanging by one leg. 

I didn't want to jump to conclusions but I failed to see how the bird could have become wedged so deeply down between the fence slats without some help. To be fair I checked with June Taylor from the Wildlife Care Network and was told that since the bird seemed otherwise healthy it was unlikely that it had been captured and deliberately hung from the fence. 

Still given that the park has experienced animal torture and mutilation previously I am concerned. The bird was released and flew away before I could determined the amount of damage, if any, to its leg.

For more information on the Wildlife Care Network or to report injured birds call the WCN Hotline at (805) 966-9005.  The Network has posted an excellent page on the proper response to wildlife emergencies.  Injured seals, dolphins, or whales should be reported to the Marine Mammal Center at (805) 687-3255.

November 21st,  2007:

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30th,  2007:

Pictured is one of the swans that have been visiting the area for the past week.  Three were first seen in the UCSB lagoon and more recently at Rancho Mobile Home Park lake.

Question is ... what type of swan is it? 

There are three species that are commonly found in this area (Trumpeter, Tundra and Mute) but only the Mute Swan (Cygnus olar) has a light colored (orange) bill and an 'S' curved neck pointing downwards. 

A local photographer, Jim Greaves, has posted pictures of all three found within the past four years in the Goleta area.

Now that I am no longer actively fishing I have begun to take an interest in local birds and wildfowl. The Goleta Slough is an excellent location to observe large numbers of different species. It will be interesting to explore it in the coming months.

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Copyright © 2007 by Boyd Grant.  All Rights Reserved