Travel north along the coast a very short piece from Carlsbad, California, the beaches of which were the subject of my previous post, and you’ll reach Oceanside, California. Like Carlsbad, Oceanside is a beach community.
The one aesthetic advantage that Oceanside’s beaches have over the beaches of Carlsbad is that inland fringe of Oceanside’s beaches are largely lined with palm trees. Carlsbad’s beaches have the occasional palm tree on their edges, but the trees are fewer in number and less regular.
Another difference between the oceanfront of Carlsbad and that of Oceanside is that, about midway along Oceanside’s beaches, there is a wooden pier that juts more than 1,900 feet out from the shore. As best I can tell, ships don’t dock at the pier. I didn’t see any place for them to tie up.
Instead, the pier seems to be for only walking, fishing and eating.
The walking is enjoyable. As I mentioned, you can stroll more than 1,900 feet out into the ocean. Well, not into the ocean exactly—that would be injurious to your health if you weren’t a good swimmer—but rather over it. But you get my point. When you walk along the pier from the shore you are walking in a generally Asialy (to coin a word) direction.
At the end of the Oceanside Pier you can look back and take in the broad sweep of the shore, with 1,900 or so feet of ocean between you and the beach, which is kind of cool, so to speak.
As you look out on the ocean from the end of the pier it’s easy to understand why people used to think the world was flat. The unpunctuated horizon spreads before you in an arc that is so wide that it is almost straight. And, at the horizon, the ocean appears to fall off abruptly. Nevertheless, I do believe in the general spherical shape of the Earth.
Then again, from my perspective, it’s all hearsay. I’ve never been to Asia, so who knows? Maybe there is nothing beyond the horizon. Maybe the ocean does cascade off the edge. But I don’t think so. I not one of those nuts who think the moonshots were faked. I’ve seen the pictures of the Earth taken from there and it looks very much like a sphere.
But I digress.
About halfway along the pier is a bait shop. When I was there, the shop had a good clientele of fishermen and fisherwomen, but mostly fishermen. I didn’t count, but I’m guessing there were at least a couple dozen people fishing off the pier.
This surprised me because the pier is quite high off the water. I did a Google search to look for Oceanside Pier’s height above sea level at high and low tide, but I came up empty. However, I think that in most cities buildings as tall as the pier was over the water would be legally required to have an elevator.
People who caught anything would have an awfully long way to haul their catch up. That didn’t seem to be a problem because, despite hanging around on the pier for a while, I saw only one person get lucky. (Get lucky catching a fish, that is. Get your mind out of the gutter. Regrettably, the sort of getting lucky that you were probably thinking of rarely happens to me or within my eyesight.)
I also glanced in the buckets of those fishers who had buckets. They were all empty. Many fishers didn’t have anything to hold fish that I could see, so expectations likely weren’t terribly high.
When I think of ocean fishing I think of marlin, shark, tuna and so on. The one fish that was landed when I was there was a tad smaller than that, to say the least. When I came by it was already up over the side of the pier and in the fisher’s hand. It was so small that I at first thought it was bait. However, it was still very much alive and flopping around. Plus, the fisher took it off the hook and put it into his pail, rather than the other way around.
So, I guess it was destined to be dinner that night. I hope the fisher is going to serve a generous appetizer, side dishes and dessert, because no one would fill up on that fish.
I don’t know if the fishers were disappointed or if they came just to drop a line in the water and hang loose on the pier, but there were a couple of creatures that did indeed seem disappointed. Pelicans usually fish for their meals. However, while I was there, two pelicans came on to the pier, walked around, looked in fishers’ pails, and stood by fishers to see if they would bring up anything that the pelicans could steal.
Jeez, even wildlife is getting lazy these days. Next thing you know, they’ll be ordering in.
When I said that the pier’s purpose seemed to be walking, fishing and eating, the eating part didn’t refer to the fish.
There is a restaurant at the ocean-end of the pier. At such a unique location I would have expected something special, but it’s a chain restaurant called Ruby’s. The chain’s outlets are mostly in California, but it also has locations in Hawaii, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Texas.
I’ve never been in a Ruby’s, and I didn’t go into the one at the end of Oceanside Pier, so I can’t give you a review. It looked like an old-style, stereotypical diner and that’s the way it promotes itself, but that’s all I can report.
Well, that was stupid, wasn’t it? I organized this narrative in a way that closed with a restaurant that I didn’t visit and, therefore, can’t say much about. I’m never very good at composing closings for my narratives, and this is one of my weakest closings yet. Sorry about that.
It is a nice pier, though.