This is just a disclaimer these photographs were taken over a three-day period because it took that long to be happy with what I got. Of course the day I go to photograph the shipwreck, it was cloudy.
Anyhow, I mentioned before how in high school my friends and I would go down the cliff at Bluff Cove and just chill. It was relatively secluded, and even if there were people it was easy to separate off on your own.
Despite having grown up in San Pedro since I was eight years old, I never knew about the shipwreck of the Dominator. Back in 1961, a 441-foot Greek freighter carrying wheat and beef came a little too close to the rocky shore during heavy fog. Instead of going to Long Beach to refuel, it got stuck on the rocks.
For two days they tried to rescue the ship to no avail. The ship was abandoned and left at the mercy of the sea. And looking at the pictures, the sea is merciless.
Now don’t get it twisted. The walk from Bluff Cove to Rocky Point is difficult. It’s only two miles or so with no grades, but because of the rocks it is very slow going. Not only do you have to dodge kelp brought on shore from the tides, you have to be on the lookout for dead mammals and birds. Fortunately they leave a stench that make them unavoidable.
If you’re lazy, there is a drainpipe at the end of Cloyden Drive at Paseo Del Mar that will dump you right onto the beach. I’ve only gone up this drainpipe, and I’ve never slipped or had any close calls. (You can en-biggen the map above for all the details.)
Environmental lovers will probably be in tears seeing the trash and debris left by drunken teenagers. There are abandoned fire pits, make shift benches, and even a bench swing. There’s graffiti, broken beer bottles, condom wrappers. But for some reason, it puts a smile on my face.
Another word of warning: be sure to stick to low tide when making this trek. Not only do you see more of the shore, it will ensure the beach will not be blocked off by the incoming waves.