Visiting California – Gaviota state beach

The entrance to Gaviota State Beach
The entrance to Gaviota State Beach

Gaviota state beach is on the Pacific coast, just South from the Santa Ynez valley. It is a small beach and it does get crowded during the summer, but during winter early spring it is a quiet place made for enjoyment and reflection. Gaviota is Spanish for seagull and there are plenty of birds around this area, seagulls included.

Looking South from the boat launch pier at Gaviota state beach.
Looking South from the boat launch pier at Gaviota state beach.

The  boat launch is not functional because the pier suffered damage during a storm and has not been repaired. The bridge to the left is for the rail that carries the Coast Starlight trains Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles, here is a link to Amtrak for more info.

Gaviota state beach looking North towards the boat launch pier.
Gaviota state beach looking North towards the boat launch pier.
Boat launch crane at the end of the pier - now it's for the birds...
Boat launch crane at the end of the pier – it’s now for the birds…
A Pelican in flight.
Pelican in flight.
Pelican landing on the pier.
Pelican landing on the pier.
Oil platform in the Santa Barbara channel out towards the Channel Islands.
Oil platform in the Santa Barbara channel out towards the Channel Islands.

Oil drilling in the Santa Barbara channel is controversial because there are many important and very sensitive fish and wildlife protected areas in and around the channel. There has been oil spills which always result in pollution and kills fish, birds and other wildlife, the latest one in 2015.

The Gaviota life guard tower is stored in the parking lot for the winter.
The Gaviota life guard tower is stored in the parking lot for the winter.
Surf at the pier.
Surf at the pier.
Surf hitting the rocks.
Surf hitting the rocks.

 

Flippin the bird at the Bird

There are nuisance birds flocking on sidewalks and other public areas in Venice and Santa Monica – they are the “Bird” electric scooters, not animal birds. The real – live birds are generally welcomed by most residents.

These birds are the result of a so called “disruptor” and much like others in that game, they start without proper licenses and with no other focus than to make a quick “buck”. In the cause of this they risk other peoples well being and in some instances even peoples lives may be at risk. To ride any motorized vehicle in the state of California some basic requirements are that you have to wear a helmet, have a valid drivers license and to obey ll traffic laws including not riding on sidewalks and areas meant for pedestrians only – common sense, right? Another adverse effect is to all legitimate rental businesses that rent bicycles and other modes of transportation along the bike path and in both Santa Monica  and Venice in general, they have seen a drop in business after the nuisance birds arrived.

Nuisance birds on the sidewalk in Venice.
Nuisance birds on the sidewalk in Venice.

The police in Santa Monica has started issuing fines to riders, and the can get very costly – no license, driving on sidewalks, not wearing a helmet etc. etc. the fines can amount to hundreds of dollars.

The LAPD need to step up enforcement in general – as it is there are problems with regular bicycles coming down Ocean Front Walk, sometimes narrowly avoiding crashing into pedestrians walking on the “Boardwalk” LAPD need to start enforcing the municipal codes that bans all vehicles and on Ocean Front Walk – please note that running in parallel with OFW is the Bike path which is meant for bicycles, so there is no reason whatsoever other than stupidity to ride your bicycle on Ocean Front Walk.

Birds left laying in front of a bicycle and rental place on the beach - the  legal rental places are adversely affected by the nuisance birds.
Birds left laying in front of a bicycle and rental place on the beach – the legal rental places are adversely affected by the nuisance birds.