Monday, October 1, 2012

The Five Senses of Pillar Point, Princeton CA

Inspired by a warm, sunny Autumn day (the kind Californians brag about) and armed with the keys to a rental car, I drove south on Highway 1 for a late afternoon adventure. I stopped at the Pillar Point Harbor in Princeton, just north of Half Moon Bay, and savored the scene on the docks as fishermen sold grateful customers their fresh-caught fish straight off their boats.


I SAW:
White and blue painted fishing boats trimmed with orange rust; three sea lions slipping through the water; a sea otter swimming playful circles around a white buoy;

a clam spitting streams of water out of the sand in rhythm with incoming and outgoing waves;

a cheerful, bright yellow boat named "Sunshine".




I SMELLED:

Seagull guano; salty seaweed; chunks of cod deep-frying in rice oil.



I TASTED:
Salty, creamy chowder loaded with chewy clams, Diet Coke slurped on the beach at sunset;








peppermint, molasses, and green apple salt water taffy.


I HEARD:
Seagulls squawking for scraps of bread; customers and fishermen haggling for best fish prices; small recreational planes landing at the nearby airport; boats signaling their arrival in the harbor with their deep horns; sea birds dragging their feet in the water as they took off flying;

17 pound frozen tunas thudding against a metal scale; hoses spraying salt water off of decks; puttering boat motors; fishermen warning each other of the whereabouts of the Fish and Game warden.






I TOUCHED:
Weathered wooden railings held together with rusty nails; woven wire crab traps; rough barnacles clinging to dock pillars; smooth ahi tuna steaks resting on crushed ice; ragged ropes.


For other Five Senses blog posts, see:
Five Senses of Pescadero
Five Senses of Haiti
Five Senses of San Francisco's Presidio
Five Senses of Chinatown




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