What Low Tide Reveals

I have walked on the beach behind the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) building in Moss Landing many times before.

Apparently, I have never walked there during low tide as I don’t remember, or haven’t noticed these items jutting out on the beach…

Or maybe the beach just looks different during this time of the day.  Upon closer look, they appear to be old wood pilings… from a long ago pier / dock?

They looked interesting as the sun was setting, and I took more pictures, using my phone camera.

The shot above captured a bird flying by…

From this angle, it had a sort of mysterious, Stonehenge feel about it…

And from this angle, with the dog passing by, it looks like what I thought they were, the remains of a place where once there was a pier or dock area.

If you stumble upon my blog and know what happened to the pier — if that is what it is — please comment.

UPDATE: Here are comments posted here as well as on the about page, on the lost pier.  Blogs are awesome!

From http://localnomad.wordpress.com/

Hi Jane:

Yes, there used to be a pier there — I remember it from before the MBARI buildings were built and Moss Landing consisted mainly of just the harbor and old cannery buildings.

I think people used to fish off it. I don’t remember ever walking on it, because it was gated for a long time, probably to prevent accidents. I have some film of low tide at Moss Landing too — I’ll post them on Local Nomad sometime soon.

FYI you can see photos and learn some Moss Landing history by simply walking into the Moss Landing post office — it’s a little mini museum!


from Melanie of the Captain’s Inn, http://www.captainsinn.com/history.html posted on the “About” page.

Hi Jane,

I am writing in response to your curiously about the lost Moss Landing Pier.

The pier was originally put in place by the town’s namesake, Captain Charles Moss in the Mid-1800s. It was used by him for loading shipping for many years in the mid1800s, there were first tall sailing ships and later steamships.

Moss sold to the Pacific Coast Steamship Co in the late 1880s. They shipped from the pier for about 50 years.

This was followed by whaling and landing whales at the pier and its beach.

Then it became a fishing pier 1960s (you paid for access to use it) and then used by the marine research station starting in about 1980s. The harbor originally used it to hold its dredging pipes.

The pier was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and then further ripped to sea in the ealy 90s storms.

Sometimes the ML Labs still talks about replacing the pier. All that is left is the bottom of the piers and the shore side bulkhead, bulkhead belongs to the property owned by San Jose State Univ..

Watch the waves during the next really big storm, the pier location will be the quietest portion of the waters. If you come by the Captain’s Inn bed and breakfast mid-day, I can show you a few photos of the old pier with tall sailing ships docked.

Great information learned here…all through posting this on my blog!


Update to post on February 2015:

Looking back at this post, I think the area’s history of being part of the whaling industry is why it felt haunting to me.  My reference to one of the photos having a “Stonehenge” feel seemed odd, but now makes sense since Stonehenge was a burial ground in its early history.

Thank goodness that part of our history is over, and we now have a different view of whales, especially since humans hunting whales so dramatically reduced the number of some species.

Whalefest LogoThese days, the Monterey Bay Area — a fantastic place to watch migrating whales — celebrates the whale through an annual festival, held during the month of January.

There are also marine conservation films and documentaries shown in conjunction with “Whalefest”.

The year that my grandsons and I visited, there were films shown from the Blue Ocean Film Festival.   My post Whalefest at Old Fisherman’s Wharf gives an idea of activities enjoyed by kids, if you want to take your family to the next one.  You can also visit the Whalefest Facebook page for more information.