Santa Monica Bay Diving Log: Old Long Wharf Broken Pilings

Old Long Wharf:  An Area of Broken Pilings

This is another spot you can Google on the internet for its interesting historic past.  Long Wharf was constructed in 1893 and advertized to be the longest pier in the world at that time, hence its name.  It stretched 4,720 feet out from the shore at Portrero Canyon, that’s just short of a mile, and it was briefly known as the Port of Los Angeles.  San Pedro and Long Beach were later selected over Long Wharf to become the Los Angeles port of entry, and by 1920 they started removing the pilings that made up Long Wharf.  The inshore pilings were completely removed, but there are several areas offshore where the pilings seemed to have been just broken off just above the surface.  Obviously this once-operating wharf was way before this old man’s time, but the area of broken pilings still juts out of the sand and out to sea there.  Someone, I suspect a Venice dive shop group, turned this into their own reef by strapping plastic milk cartons to the broken pilings.  Interesting!  We pretty much left this spot to them.  After all, they put out a lot of effort, and we were doing quite well elsewhere.  Still, last time I checked, the plastic reef was still there.  Note!  After a big winter storm the sand gets shifted around and sometimes uncovers strange things.  A lot of things were tossed off this pier when it was in its prime.  Divers have found a few artifacts around here, including some very old and valuable glass bottles.  Start checking marks at 34.027206 N, and 118.529623 W.

About Otto

Otto Gasser grew up mostly in southern California and obtained his Doctorate In Educational Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He was hired as a professor to teach in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, where he initiated a multilevel Scuba training curriculum on campus. Dr. Gasser spent 37 years at Cal Poly before recently retiring. During that time, he certified over 2,000 students in Scuba. He served as the University’s Diving Safety Officer and represented the campus on the California State College and Universities Diving Safety Committee. Off campus, Dr. Gasser spent ten years on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles County Underwater Instructors Association, three of them as President. Over the years, he has volunteered time on a number of county Scuba training programs and has authored several articles about diver training. Otto is now an active recreational diver. In addition to the California coast, his more frequently visited dive locations include Hawaii’s Big Island, Indonesia, and the Caribbean islands.
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