Just south of IB is Tijuana, Mexico, where the natural flow of their sewage goes into the Tijuana River and seems to end up at the beach in this area after a rain storm. Which is one reason the waters may be unsafe to swim or surf in.
Usually, after any rain storm these, 'KEEP OUT' signs will be seen posted along the beach. Take this warning seriously. Swimming in the water while the sewage over flows from the Tijuana River can cause illness and ruin your week!
Imperial Beach is not the only beach in San Diego that periodically post these signs, even the wildly popular Pacific Beach and the elegant La Jolla beaches have contaminated waters at times.
There are other warning signs posted at various times or Life Guard flag's on the beach marking the area of such dangers as a riptide.
One of the most interesting signs I've seen lately was a Tsunami Warning. At first I laughed, because I had never heard of a Tsunami along the Californian coast. Soon afterward we did have a tsunami arrive here from the terrible earthquake in Japan. Of course, though the waters were a bit rough for a few days, it was nothing like the tsunamis in that part of the world. Still, I guess with all the earthquakes we have around here, it is enough of a possibility to set out the warnings. Jut follow the sign's directions
Not all beaches in San Diego are good for, nor allow surfing. Imperial Beach is and does. The Surf Henge "sculpture" (Acrylic surf boards standing next to Imperial Beach sign) and even the benches around the park, (made of specially designed surfboard replicas) give the hint that this is a surfing beach. Not only a surfing beach, one of the best surfing beaches in the USA!
Allen "Dempsey" Holder is noted to be the guru of "The Sloughs" crew. This is the place Bob Simmons--of Simmons' Boards fame--retired to. So, get a board and come on down!
There are a couple of places to rent a surfboard, but if you are seriously into surfing why not take the opportunity to have a board custom made just for you and pick it up while visiting? Can't be a Simmons' so try a Novak.
Novak Designs Surfboard is located in Imperial Beach and is pretty well know in the surfing world.
They can be contacted at:
P.O. BOX 1116
Imperial Beach, CA 91933
(Located at 536 13th street in Imperial Beach, California at the TNT Surfboard Factory.)
Their 100% hand-shaped boards start at $290.00!
Lots of travelers like to mix and mingle with the locals to get a feel for an area. In Imperial Beach this is a bit easier than some of the more popular areas. The beach here is populated mostly with locals.
There is a casual and comfortable sense of community here. People will wait outside a shop to give you more information than you got from asking the shopkeeper. People will say, "Hi!" to you while walking along the beach and a very good source of connecting is that lifeguard on duty. Ask him and he'll try to give a useful answer. Of course, we shouldn't expect to take up too much of his time and though he responds in a patient and friendly way, he's always looking out for the safety of the beach goers.
This particular lifeguard tower at the end of Palm Avenue, is the location of Dempesy's lifeguard shack from the 1930's. Dempsey was an IB lifeguard for several decades, as one of the present day lifeguards has over thirty years service in IB. Dempsey was an accomplished waterman, as all the lifeguards are today. Dempsey was a famous surfer, as two of today's IB lifeguards are professional surfers.
There is something about this community that endears itself to people and when you visit you can feel that too.
Dogs are not allowed on most of the beaches in San Diego. Imprerial Beach has a section of beach where you can walk your dog on a leash.
This handy dispenser is located at various places along the IB Beach area as well as at the foot of Palm Avenue, just before getting on the sand at the Dog Beach section. It supplies protectors and bags to store the waste your dog dumps on the ground--either on the sand or elsewhere. It is a thoughtful convenience from the Ocean Blue Foundation and free to the public.
For Kamal, and all other VT fisherpersons; you'll find pertinent information relating to your sport posted on the I.B. Pier daily.
In most places throughout San Diego County one must have a fishing license in order to fish legally. Fishing from the pier in IB a license is not necessary! Just take your pole out and drop your line, use a net or as some do, a bow and arrow! Catch all you want, anything from an anchovy to a baracuda!
All along the pier you'll see fellow fishermen and women, especially at the end behind the restaurant.
It's easy to make friends while fishing here because unlike fishing on a lake, it is not important to be quiet at the ocean, the fish couldn't hear you even if you yelled to each other.
Showers and restrooms--toilets--are open to the public and located at the foot of the Pier. This is the place to get that grainy sand off your body after swimming, sunbathing or just off your feet after walking along the beach.
The showers are out in the open and public so undressing is not advised, the toilets however are enclosed in stalls and though the doors might not all lock securely, the stalls do offer privacy.
Maybe you have palm trees just outside your house. Hmmm... I can see them either in a botanical garden or drive at least... over 900 km (600 miles) south to see them. So, I always admire palm trees and when I see them I always think about holiday.
There are millions of palm trees (usually as in my photo) in San Diego area - in yards, in parks and just along streets. I wonder if they must water them in summertime?
Palm trees don’t need to be watered. Natural moisture in the air and rainfall is enough for them to grow.
I was surprised to see so many American national flags not only on public buldings but outside their homes, yards and outside their cars in 2003.
Why do they put them in front (or on the top) of their houses? What does it mean? Hmm... I have many theories:
1. I love my homecountry USA,
2. I support my President,
3. I support our troops in Iraq,
4. We are united in fight against terrorism,
Which one is correct? Hmm... I don't know exactly - maybe all.
What do you think?
Finally I found one thing smaller in the USA than in Europe: waves of the Pacific Ocean in Imperial Beach (at least in comparison to the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal :-).
No wonder, the Pacific Ocean doesn't belong to the USA hehe.
I am sure that they love old cars there - I saw quite a lot of them on streets and I liked them much, it seems that one lady with me, too :-).
Imperial Beach started as a refuge beach community for those living in the desert area of Imperial Valley. That was in 1887. Since then IB has grown, though it is...