When I find conflicting information about relatively recent events and things, it really makes me wonder about stories from 2,000 years ago when most stories were passed around verbally. We all know how stories get changed each time they are told, even by the same person!
One local conflict involves the Ocean Beach Fishing Pier:
The Ocean Beach Fishing Pier was opened on July 2, 1966. The Y at the end of the pier extends 360 feet to the south and 193 feet to the north. When it opened it promised to be one of the premier piers in the state, with nearly a mile of railing space for fisherpeople. The pier jutted out into the Point Loma kelp beds, purported to be one of the finest fishing areas in Southern California. The first fish caught was reported to be a sunfish, but since sunfish are freshwater fish, after-the-fact reports presume that it was a perch of some sort. The second fish caught was a gray shark.
There used to be a sign at the entrance to the pier that said “Welcome to the longest pier on the West Coast.” A storm tore it down in January 2010 and I don’t think it’s been replaced, perhaps because the Ocean Beach pier is NOT the longest pier on the West Coast. At 1,971 feet, however, it definitely is long.
Longer piers on the West Coast include the San Mateo Fishing Pier in San Francisco Bay (4,135 feet), Berkeley Pier in San Francisco Bay (3,000 feet), and Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf in Santa Cruz (2,745 feet). That would make the Ocean Beach pier the fourth longest.
However, in order to get the Ocean Beach pier closer to the top, some sources discount both the San Mateo Fishing Pier and the Berkeley Pier because they are in San Francisco Bay and not in the Pacific Ocean. That makes the Ocean Beach pier the second longest pier on the West Coast AND in the Pacific Ocean.
But wait! There’s more!
By discounting wooden piers along with San Francisco Bay piers, we can get the Ocean Beach pier to numero uno: It is the longest concrete pier in the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast.
In addition to the Ocean Beach pier at #2 (using length of all piers in the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast), San Diego County also has the fourth longest (Oceanside pier at 1,942 feet), the ninth longest (Imperial Beach pier at 1,491 feet), the eighteenth longest (Scripps Pier in La Jolla at 1,090 feet), and the twenty-fifth longest (Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach in San Diego at 872 feet). We are a pier happy people here!
The Ocean Beach Fishing Pier is often battered by high waves during storms because of how the ocean floor is shaped and the direction the beach faces.
Quite often the pier is closed because some waves can get so high that they actually crash over the pier. Don’t need any Zonies being swept out to sea. (Zonies are tourists from Arizona; they inundate San Diego from Memorial Day to Labor Day, our Tourist Season.) Many people go to Ocean Beach when the pier is closed just to watch the huge waves. Best wave watching in the County!
The way the ocean floor is shaped, as well as the direction the beach faces, means there is great surfing on both sides of the pier, and those surfers are out there in good weather and bad.
For some reason the waves are supposed to be extraordinarily high today and tomorrow. Not sure why because it’s bright and sunny here, but I will be going out to Ocean Beach to check on the waves and, hopefully, get some flash videos if the waves are dancing high.
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