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Friday, July 15, 2016

Day at the Beach

Today I am going to share with you some of my pictures taken at the beach, since that is where I have been recently and where I prefer to be rather than writing a blog post.

Seacliff State Beach, Aptos

This beach is known for its fishing pier and concrete freighter, The Palo Alto.
In 1910 a Norwegian civil engineer named Fougner thought of using concrete to build ships. It wasn't until 1917, when wartime steel shortages required the use of cement for construction that Fougner's idea was used. Three concrete ships were built. Two, the Peralta and the Palo Alto, were built at the U.S. Naval Shipyard in Oakland, California while the third, the Faith, was built in a shipyard in Redwood City, California. The Peralta and the Palo Alto were built for wartime use as tankers, however World War One ended before ship construction was finished -- so they were never used. 

The Palo Alto remained docked in Oakland until 1929, when the Cal-Nevada Company bought the ship with the idea of making her into an amusement and fishing ship. Her maiden voyage was made under tow to Seacliff State Beach. Once positioned at the beach, the sea cocks were opened and the Palo Alto settled to the ocean bottom. By the summer of 1930 a pier had been built leading to the ship, the ship was remodeled. A dance floor on the main deck was added, also a cafe in the superstructure was built, as was a fifty-four foot heated swimming pool, and a series of carnival type concessions were placed on the afterdeck. The Cal-Nevada Company went broke after two seasons -- then the Palo Alto was stripped, leaving the ship and the pier to be used only for fishing.

Unfortunately, the ship is unsafe and closed to the public. The pier is also closed for fishing until needed repairs can be made.

Monterey Bay

The first European to discover Monterey Bay was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo on November 16, 1542 while sailing northward along the coast on a Spanish naval expedition. He named the bay Bahía de los Pinos, probably because of the forest of pine trees first encountered while rounding the peninsula at the southern end of the bay. Cabrillo's name for the bay was lost, but the westernmost point of the peninsula is still known as Point Pinos.

The present name for the bay was documented in 1602 by Sebastián Vizcaíno, who had been tasked by the Spanish government to complete a detailed chart of the coast. He anchored in what is now the Monterey harbor on December 16, and named it Puerto de Monterrey, in honor of the Conde de Monterrey, then viceroy of New Spain. Monterrey is an alternate spelling of Monterrei, a municipality in the Galicia region of Spain from which the viceroy and his father (the Fourth Count of Monterrei) originated.

Shell Beach

Shell Beach from the top of the cliffs 
Shell Beach is located just south of Pismo Beach. Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States.

Pelican Rock seen from cliffs above Shell Beach
 Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. Her novel, Family Secrets, was published by Fire Star Press. 

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating stuff, Robyn. I was shocked when I found out ships had been made of concrete. Who knew something that heavy could float? Engineering marvels, those ships.

    There's one in Galveston, too, grounded just off Pelican Island: the S.S. Selma, a tanker built in 1919. What remains of the ship bears a Texas Historical Commission historical marker, and it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Selma is unsafe, too, but that doesn't stop people trespassing and exploring. Every year, the private owner hosts a birthday party for the ship. I've never been on the ruins, but the ferries between Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula pass right by them.