Thursday, August 24, 2017

CFV Point Estero aground at Point Estero

Commercial Fishing Vessel hits sand near rocks at Point Estero

MEDIA CREDIT: Bay News, 8.10.2017

The Odd Oddities of the Odyssey of the Point Estero
As the Bay Flushes
By Neil Farrell

(Excerpt) "A commercial fishing boat rests on the shore of “Abalones,” an obscure coastal trail and secluded beach off the north end of Ocean Avenue in Cayucos; stuck in the sand and the bureaucracy after running aground in an early morning fog.

The CFV “Point Estero,” sits on the beach at Point Estero, which is just one oddity of this odyssey that began in the early morning of Thursday, July 28.

The boat was returning from a trip loaded with slime eels, when for a so-far-unexplained reason, she ran aground 10-plus miles north of the Morro Bay Harbor entrance. Knowing the captain, I can only believe the boat lost steering or had some kind of mechanical failure.

The crew tried to get her off the beach, even dumping their load of slime eels overboard to try and lighten the boat. It didn’t work.

Then the government took notice and efforts to float the run-aground tug ran aground. The Coast Guard, State Parks, Fish and Wildlife Oil Response Team took over, putting the Point Estero stuck on the bureaucracy, as well as the beach.

When I finally got out there on Saturday, July 30, the boat had a line securing it to shore, holding her in place (oddly enough, so the ocean couldn’t float her away) while the wheels of officialdom turned.
They were awaiting a dive assessment team from Santa Barbara, said a Coastie on scene, who didn’t want to give his name. He directed official questions to the Marine Safety Office in Santa Barbara (I called, left my name, title, cell number and email with another anonymous Coastie who answered the phone and who of course knew nothing himself).

The A-Team was supposed to inspect the boat to check for oil and fuel leaks, but there was no sheen on the water Saturday. The Point Estero — with the toughness of a life long working vessel — was still solid.

When I got to the remote area that Saturday just as the tide was coming in at 2:45, it rocked gently with the waves. ‘Thank goodness this happened in summer, when the Pacific is pretty tame,’ I thought while traipsing down a narrow trail to the Estero Bluffs’ edge. She sits on sand just short of a rock that could have hit bow on.

The Coastie said the dive team would oversee removal of the boat’s oil and fuel and any other hazards and by Aug. 2 that had been completed. Some 91 gallons of oil and 2-1/2 cubic yards of “contaminated material” were removed, the Tribune reported.

Then a salvage plan would have to be drawn up and be approved before they’d allow it to be dragged off the beach — if it can be dragged off the beach that is. She was still there as of Monday — 11 days after the Point Estero ran out of ocean on Point Estero.

State Parks, which owns the Estero Bluffs, has shifted responsibility to the State Lands Commission, which owns the offshore area.

So the Point Estero’s future could be dependent on the SLC in Sacramento, which is led by the Lieutenant Governor? And therein lies perhaps the oddest oddity of this whole odyssey.
Good luck to the skipper and crew of the Point Estero. Hopefully the locals won’t be changing the name of the beach from “Abalones” to “Shipwrecks.”

As the Bay Flushes is a light-hearted look at the comings and goings, the happenings and the scuttlebutt and scandalous rumors on Morro Bay’s waterfront..."
Source: Bay News, 8.10-23.2017
(; search: CFV Point Estero)

On Topic:
"Boat that ran aground near Cayucos still stuck; toxic material removed"
(Includes 0:33 video)

Photo below captured 8.22.2017



GIVE ME A MOMENT a lifestyle
Subscribe FREE (see: upper right column) for new posts. Reader-referred topics are welcomed and considered. Comments here are disabled. Readers may contact the blogger by email:

Post No. 268