This afternoon I packed a lunch into the cooler and we set off in the car for the short drive to Port San Luis. It was a cloudy day and threatening rain but we went anyway. This year has been unusually rainy for the central coast and if we keep waiting it will be time to leave soon.
Port San Luis is just to the north of Avila Beach. We'd never been here, so we thought we'd take the short 8 or 9 mile drive to see what was here. We found a large beach first of all. There were many people letting their dogs run free on the beach. The dogs looked so happy to be off-leash and many of them were running out into the waves catching sticks and balls the owners were throwing. It was cold outside so we ate our lunch in the car and watched the dogs have fun. (click on photos for larger view)
After lunch we drove to the Harford Pier which is right by the "dog beach." Centuries ago this port was used by the Spaniards and Portuguese. They would come ashore to get fresh water for their voyages. Then in 1873 John Harford built this wharf area. Smugglers began using the port for illegal movement of liquor under cover of darkness.
Today it is simply a commercial wharf used mainly for fishing. Most parts of the pier are open to the public. This is not a typical California "beach" pier for the sunbathing set, it is a sportsmen's pier. Anglers come to launch their boats or to take off on a fishing charter to catch salmon and albacore.
The pier is 1,320 feet long and extends out into deep water. There is a restaurant at the end of the pier and there is ample free parking in the lot before the pier entrance. You can also drive your car onto the pier, although there is limited parking. Dogs are allowed out on the pier, so Annie had a nice time, too.
Many people just fish right from the dock itself. This is the only pier in California that has a place where anglers can fish under a roof during the rain. Typically they fish for jacksmelt, Pacific mackerel, and walleye surfperch. This man was fishing but I didn't ask him if he was having a good day.
We were able to observe several large Pelicans on the pier and flying overhead. They were awesome to see up so close.
We heard the distinct barking sound of the Sea Lions and went to see where they were. Down past the Pelicans, we saw several of them in the water next to the pier. We saw this warning sign posted.....
Leaving the pier, we got back into our car. I noticed some RV's parked across the street from the water and we stopped to check things out. There is parking for perhaps a dozen RV's with hook-ups. I asked a man who was standing by his trailer how much they charge for an overnight stay. $40.00 he told me. Wow, that is a lot for a place where you are jammed side-by-side with about 3 feet in between. They did have a wonderful restroom facility (I checked, and it was very clean) plus a coin laundry included.
We had a good time just wandering around the pier, even with the cloudy day. When we finished here, we drove back to the motorhome in time to catch the Super Bowl. My team won!
Until next time.....so long for now!