10 October 2012

Sterns Wharf

I decided to go out for a late afternoon leg stretch to Sterns Wharf.  I hadn't even remembered, but Wednesday is a particularly good day to do this.  The afternoon "low" tide was just under 3 feet and a few hours before, so the cliffs by Leadbetter Beach are impassible.  I try anyway, but that last point of land going from below Shoreline Park to the beach has surfers washing up along it.  It is all surge and no beach.  Going back up and coming down along the paths brings me to the wide beaches where it's easy to walk no matter what the tide level.  Well, nearly, I've seen 12 foot storm surge and it doesn't leave much beach.  Today, there's a bit of kelp washed up and the birds are picking it over for their meal beside a very calm sea.

Usually happier bobbing on the water, I found a pelican on the beach.

Little sand pipers brave the waves for a bite to eat.

Someone heads out in their catamaran.

The harbor seems to be full of people as I pass by it.  The breakwater sidewalk seems to have been pulled up, so I can't go out there today although I had hoped to.  West beach is much cleaner of sea debris than Leadbetter as I pass, but there's a bit more grooming going on to make it that way.

Sterns Wharf and a few outriggers on the beach.

Heading out on the wharf seems to be stepping back in time.  These all seem to be the same shops, especially the candy shop.  I poked my nose in and found that the massive jaw breakers are now prepackaged and have outpaced inflation a little.  The same salty characters look down on it all from above. The Sea Center is a new arrival to me, but it doesn't really deserve to be considered so anymore.

Shops along the wharf.  They change a little but if they have changed hands they tried not to change character.

The crab shack says I should eat lobster.  I don't, but the place always seems to have happy customers when open.

Heading down to the end means finding a bunch of fishermen.  Usually there's strict adherence to the "no overhead casting" signs, but today the folks foolish enough to fish the harbor must have moved in, because I see a few rods swing overhead.  I have a look down the cutout, which I seem to recall came with the Sea Center.  The high tide makes it largely uninteresting.  I do see one starfish, which makes it better than most times at high tide.

A fenced cutout near the end of the wharf allows a look at life on the pilings.  The tide is high and I only get a starfish.

Looking back down the wharf, people are fishing and photographing.  The usual.

Hanging out at the end, there's a chorus of hushes as a few dolphin fins break the water just off to the left.  Sailboats are exiting the harbor at a somewhat high pace.  One pulls up between two traveling together and the sailors throw out some good natured ribbing as they go.  Another chorus of hushes as one of the local sea lions swims by close on the right.

Sea lions can almost always be found on the bell buoy.  Today we get a few dolphins as well.

Then right around 5 PM, the channel is full of color as the weekly sailboat races get off.  The shortening days signal the end of the season and they won't be going in the dark, but for now there are still boats to come out an see.  Colorful spinnakers billow in the easy breezes making it all the more picturesque.

The regular Wednesday sailboat race is underway.

More sailboats making their way through the wind.

I drew the boats moored out in the bay while taking it in.  When finished, I meandered back, stopping by the arm with the Sea Center on it before heading back into the sunset.

A woman sits painting and selling watercolors.

Classic flags fly by the Sea Center.

The life sized grey whale model is just visible through the Sea Center windows.

Another look at the groomed West Beach and Sterns Wharf.

Sunset at Leadbetter Beach.  A few surfers, some just in bikinis although the air is chill and the water cooler, still out.

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