Monday, November 14, 2011

Central California Coast - Port San Luis

One of the great places along the central California coast is the town of Avila Beach/Port San Luis (pop. 1600).  There are so many world class destinations in the area, that most people just drive right past this turn off and never give it a second thought.  The day we were there on our last roadie, it was initially so foggy that you could barely see anything. We hung around for a while and the fog thinned enough to let a little light through.

One of many seals hanging around under the pier.

The pier was built in 1873. There are exactly zero tourist attractions on it.

A lot of different contrasts in this scene.

There are no slips or docking places for the small fishing fleet here, so when not at sea, they anchor off the shore.


No marina for the few pleasure craft in the area.  I was pleasantly surprised that this photo turned out okay, despite the fog. Or maybe it was because of the fog.



  1. These pictures are fantastic. The first one and the last one especially. I could just hug and play with that seal. And I think the fog made the picture. Really great shots.

  2. love the 'old' feel of these b&ws. and love the gossips! :)

  3. Those are incredible black and white shots! The one of the seal appears out of a magazine.
    It's difficult to find a place untouched by tourism.

  4. I like your choice of monochrome for this foggy series. My favorite is the fourth shot of the boat anchored offshore. Cool... these have a sense of timelessness.

  5. Love your seal photo-
    every time we go to the coast my husband takes a million photos of the seals- I always joke that they just look like big brown blobs and that I'm going to make him a photo album titled Giant Brown Blobs.

  6. Great shot of the seal, Pat and I think the fog and B&W really makes all of these shots.
    We have driven through Avila Beach but never stopped. Perhaps next time we are in the area we will. I am teaching my hubby to explore.

  7. Pat, your pictures always go straight for the essence of the subject. For example, I never saw such a RESTING seal before! He is slumbering all the way. And the photo of the birds in the mist is haunting...

  8. Beautiful! Fog always makes things seem....well....different. And beautiful.
    Love the anchor capture.

  9. Those are terrific, and rhat seal is incredible!

  10. I love the look of your B&W shots, Pat. Especially the eerie fog.

  11. Thanks for the tour - how lovely - and I want to see a seal like that! Can you fish off of the pier and did you?!?

  12. Love the black and white and that seal is awesome!

    The last one, of the sailboats in the fog, almost looks spooky.

  13. The fog gives a ghostly feeling. Great photos and I love the one with the hook in the foreground. Interesting.

  14. Great photos Pat, the B&W works so well with foggy conditions!

  15. It's difficult to get good pictures in the fog, but you sure did a great job with these.

  16. love the b&w, took me a minute to figure out the first pic though.

  17. More great pics! I dont think these would have been very good in color. I like your choice of black and white. Gives it a more natural shot, to me anyways with the fog and all. I also like to hear about the places you have eaten and which ones are the best.. I is a foodie! =)

  18. °º✿
    º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.
    Como é bom morar e fotografar o mar e a praia!...
    Onde moro não tem mar... apenas cachoeiras...
    Suas fotos são como sonhos!...
    º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.

  19. Your B&W photos are amazing, Pat. (And I love that you used my favorite word in this post...and even highlighted in RED just for me!)

  20. That's an incredible seal photo, Pat! They are all amazing photographs. I LOVE black and white photos. I like them better than color. (I love the classic black and white movies!)
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  21. That's very beautiful, the seal especially !

  22. love your pics, esp. the boats lined up in the fog and the gossiping birds. I wonder what they're talking about :)

  23. I love the fog in the photos. I think it made them perfect!

  24. I love how the seal takes on an entirely different personality in B&W.

  25. Gorgeous pictures! I love black & white, but you probably noticed that. What great shots!

  26. Ah, the life of a lazy seal. Just lay around and wait for tourists to toss food at you. Hey, that pier meeds a Ruby's at the end of it!

  27. Oh, this is one of my favorite areas and I love these b&w foggy images, especially the last one of the boats! Weather is as much a photographic subject as location and really sets a mood. Good for you hanging out to get these excellent shots.

  28. I love your pictures. They're so amazing!!

  29. Barb - thanks! I like the cute and gentle looking face on the seal. We were pretty much stuck in our RV the first day and a half. There was a HUGE fog bank that socked in about 200 miles of the coast.

    TexWisGirl - The fog gave it all a sort of grainy look. Thanks!

    Alex - Thanks Alex! I appreciate the compliment. The actual town of Avila beach has grown some, but the port area, hardly at all.

    Francisca - Thanks! I really liked the fourth one also. The photo looks like it could have been taken 50 years ago or more.

    Ren - Thanks Ren! That's pretty funny! I have a post coming up with photos from an elephant seal rookery. I'm sure your husband would like them.

    Martha Z - Thanks so much Martha! Just a little earlier, you could barely see your hand in front of your face. To me, Port San Luis is the star of that show. I found out that it was a port of entry, way back in the day.

    Margaret - Thanks Margaret! There were about 10 of them all cuddled up. This one's face looked the most gentle to me. Pelicans look like Pterodactyls to me.

    Dawn - Thanks Dawn! Fog does make the world look different, but too much of it and photos just don't come out well.

    Brian - Thanks Brian! She was a cutie, that's for sure!

    Pam - Thanks so much Pam. Yeah, eerie! I was trying to think of a word that describes it. Thanks...

  30. laughingmom - My pleasure! You can fish off the pier, but we didn't. I really don't fish anymore. I fished in my youth, but now I'm too A.D.D. to stand in one place for too long with nothing really going on.

    Ms. A - Thanks! It came out pretty well. About 5 minutes before I took that photo with the sailboats in it, you couldn't even see them.

    Belle - It sure did! Thanks so much! That "hook" is used to hoist small boats in and out of the water.

    Nat - Thanks Nat! In that fog, there just wasn't much color to see anyway, so it worked out well.

    Steadfast Ahoy - Thanks Rosemary! I just had to wait the fog out. The day before, it didn't clear all day.

    Budd - Hey Budd! I tell you what, there was plenty of fish breath in the air from where they were sleeping.

    Sergio - Thanks so much Sergio!

    Michelle - Thanks Michelle! I agree with you. There was a great and semi-famous little cafe in Port San Luis called "Fatcats Cafe." I guess there used to be a real fat cat that hung around the place. I had the shrimp po'boy. Man, was it ever good!

    Magia da Ines - thanks! There is usually always something nice to see around the ocean.

    Marlene - Why thank you! I always think of you when I use "embiggen."

  31. oh my, those are breathtaking b&w shots!
    that seal is adorable!

    have a great day!

  32. Ann - Thanks Ann! I tend to agree with you on the B&W. Some things have to be in color, but B&W is my favorite.

    Wong Ching Wah - Thanks so much! Yes, that seal was pretty cute.

    mshatch - Thanks, I really appreciate that. They were probably talking about me...

    missing moments - Thanks! I was pleasantly surprised that they came out so well.

    Jesse - They sure did! All the little shades of color in their fur came out well.

    Christine - I did notice that you like B&W also. That was a good group of them on your last post!

    Stephen Tremp - All they have to worry about is being eaten by sharks and killer whales. Somehow, I don't think there will ever be a Ruby's there. I'd like to have some of their french fries right about now though...

    Stickup Artist - I figured you'd probably been there. Most people in our own state have never even been there. I guess that's a good thing. It wasn't too hard to wait around as long as I was eating. Thanks for the nice comment.

  33. wow...just WOW. I love moody, introspective fog photos and these are superb. I love that one of the seal zoning out, and the last one of the sailboats too. each one is a delight to look at. put these in a gallery. happy day to you Pat.

  34. oh wow. Gorgeous photos. My favourites are the hook, the seal, and the gossiping birds.

  35. Oh my, I am in love with the seal picture! Wonderful images Pat!! Have a fabulous week too!

  36. Baby Sister - thanks so much! I appreciate it!

    Betty M - thanks so much! It was a great place!

    Ms. Becky - I really appriciate the kind words! I'm thinking a gallery is a long ways away. I've never even printed out one of my photos.

    Lynda - thanks so much! Those birds were funny. One would look at something and then the others would turn their heads also.

    Talei - Thanks Talei! She was a cutie!

  37. Pat that first shot is gallery-quality. Simpley amazing. And you were there on the perfect day ...the fog completely makes everyone of those shots. Any other condition just wouldn't have been as good. You have a good eye and take great trips!!

  38. That's an amazing perspective of the seal. It took me a while to see him. He's almost camouflaged. I also love the title of the second to last picture. Your photos are works of art.

  39. love the black and white photos.

    ps can i hide in your suitecase the next time you tack a trip

  40. Chuck - Thanks so much Chuck! We were stuck in our RV for the entire day before because of THICK fog. This day was pretty good. We are pretty lucky to be able to travel around.

    Robyn - Thanks Robyn! I appreciate the nice words. I'm glad the seal photo turned out.

    becca - thanks becca! We usually travel around in an RV towing our jeep, so you'll have plenty of room.

  41. All are beautiful, but especially the last two very nice photos.

  42. Beautiful pictures, as always. The fog makes for a very mystical touch to all the shots...

    Arnab Majumdar

  43. Great shots Patty. The pier shot looks from 1873!

    Love the seal shot and the metal hook. Awesome.
    You must have some great albums. You should put together a book!


  44. Oh I love black and white pictures, they seem to give the subject such a mysterious air about them..
    I miss seeing these things (used to live in Monterey and loved it there)

  45. These black and white photos are awesome, Pat! Especially LOVE the seal and the fog. :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking on me. I appreciate it! I've been out of town. Hope to post something soon. Big Hug to you!

  46. Yes, the fog! And the seal - that photo is a KEEPER!


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