Thursday, October 28, 2010

Squid Coming In

Just on a lark my daughter and I took a little stroll along the waterfront here in Ventura Harbor.

The water had a white crust of seagulls floating on it, telling us something was up.

The Ocean Angel III, a massive stainless steel fishing trawler, lay at the end of the fish dock, canted over on her port side. Seagulls wheeled and mewed and gabbled at one another.

We walked closer, because here at Ventura Harbor the waterfront walkway brings you into the very heart of the fish-offloading operation.

A vacuum pump roared at the edge of the dock, and conveyor belts thundered on the fishery side of the walkway.

Squid, tiny market squid no longer than your hand, cascaded from the end of the vacuum hose onto the quickly moving conveyor belts. Squid by the thousands, pale, fleshy colored guys with big black eyes. Every now and again one would slip off the conveyor belt to be seized by a greedy gull.

Next to the conveyor were massive four foot orange cube-shaped plastic containers filled to the brim with iced squid. Forklifts hurried back and forth across the docks, moving filled containers to market trucks and bringing more ice for those waiting to be filled.

The whole operation took only about an hour. Ocean Angel III disgorged the contents of her massive fish hold and then headed over to the anchorage to replenish for her next voyage. She hurried away from the dock, of course, to make room for another boat coming in.

Now, I’m just guessing that Ocean Angel III’s hold is about 36 feet long by 15 wide by 9 feet deep – those numbers are absolute guesses, by the way. Those numbers yield 4,860 cubic feet of squid. Imagine she’s just one of 20 or so boats that operate of Ventura Harbor, and imagine Ventura is one of ten ports operating on the Pacific coast at any one given day. That works out to nearly a million cubic feet of squid coming out of the sea.

It begs the question: just how many squid are out there?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Home to Central California's Fishing Fleet

Ventura Harbor is the hub of Southern California's seafood wheel. If it's seafood, and your in Southern California anywhere between Santa Barbara and San Pedro, chances are good it was landed by a boat from Ventura Harbor.

Squid, halibut, red snapper, sheepshead, rock fish, king fish, shrimp, octopus and a host of other fish come in through our little fishing port. Even tuna makes its way in from those boats that range all the way across the Pacific.

Do yourself a favor and take a little stroll along the waterfront on just about any weekday and you'll see the fishing fleet at work - well, that's not really true. In most cases many of the boats are out at sea, doing what they do best.

But follow that crowd of seagulls in our harbor to the docks where the fishing boats and tied up and you'll see the bounty of the deep coming up out of the holds of boats with prosaic names like Pacific Pursuit, Challenge, Ocean Angel, Pioneer, Sunrise, and Karen Marie. Swing into Andria's Seafood our go upstairs to Brophy Brothers and you can dine today on what was swimming out in the deep blue sea last night.

Come by early on a Saturday morning and you'll find the freshest fish market on the coast, with fish literally coming in off the boats as you browse. When the tuna is running you can actually purchase the fish while it's still on the boat! Now that, my friend, is fresh fish.

Ventura Harbor is a working seaport, a fish market, a home to the Gentry Eagle, a deep water boatyard, and much more than you think it is. You should come see for yourself.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Home of the Gentry Eagle

There is no luxury yacht faster than the Gentry Eagle. And there is no port in the world she calls home except Ventura Harbor.

The Gentry Eagle is a mystery ship. Built by Vosper Thornycroft LTD she crossed the Atlantic at an average 73 miles per hour. Her interior designer, Robin Rose, decorated yachts for Jackie Onassis. The Eagle's owned by the Gentry family after her builder, Tom Gentry, was killed in a horrific boating accident back in 1994. But what is her future?

She’s for sale! Drop me an email and I’ll tell you more about that.

Come to the Harbor and take a look at her. Yes, there’s some cosmetic failure – the polyester is bubbling in a couple of spots, and the paint is taking a UV beating. But no matter how you look at her, you’ll be looking at a thoroughbred, meticulously designed to provide opulence at breathtaking speed.

And she’s only here, in Ventura Harbor.

You can learn more about the fantastic Gentry Eagle here: Gentry Eagle, World's Fastest Luxury Yacht, Backwatered.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Where You Want to Be

Ventura Harbor is where you want to be. Nestled on the California Coast about an hour north of Los Angeles and half an hour south of Santa Barbara, there is nothing like it in the world.

Far from a simple marina, Ventura Harbor is a working fishing port, and boasts the only deep water boatyard on the Central Coast.

While there's plenty to do in the harbor, from boat rentals to video games, it's the breathtaking scenery that will make you want to stay. Those mountains range up to almost nine thousand feet back there above Ventura. Climb the stairs or take the elevator to the observation tower in the Channel Islands National Park headquarters and enjoy the view of the Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands sticking up like blue mountains from the western sea.

It doesn't matter what time of day or year you come here; it's always beautiful.