Here we were, the biggest reason I chose to go to California in the first place; to see the dive boats in Santa Barbara where my father worked for the majority of his late 20’s. Growing up, I knew my father was one with the water. First of all, he was a Pisces, that says a lot in itself. Second, my father worked and still does on the Erie Canal boats as a dredge operator. I remember him teaching me how to swim and open my eyes underwater. I remember when we went to Disney World he surprised my sister and me by showing up in the aquarium in his scuba diving gear. As I got older he told me stories of when he worked as one of the youngest captains on the dive boats in California. He had so many crazy stories, I just had to see it for myself.
The Santa Barbara Waterfront, such a beautiful area. How lucky was my father to live and work in a place like this? My father had called earlier letting the employees know that I was visiting. The boat that was present was called the Truth. A tiny little thing. I
was able to get a personal tour of the place; the kitchen, where they slept, a little bit of the engine. I looked around imagining my father living and working there. I was instantly inspired. If you couldn’t tell I am a Daddy’s Girl after all. When I called my father letting him know I visited and saw the boat, he said, “I’m glad you liked it! I could get you a job there in no time! Get you in there as a Gally Cook!” I laughed and promised to hopefully go on a two or three day trip with him on the dive boats.
We stopped by the pier and I looked out into the ocean. I had never seen the ocean before I came to California and I could tell the ocean was in my blood, just like my father. We tried to also go to Brofy’s Restaurant but unfortunately, they were under construction. That was where my father used to do Oyster Shooters on his days off. None the less, if you are in this area of Santa Barbara, I would highly recommend it.
Our next stop was, of course, a historical one. My cousin surprised me by taking me to the Queen of the 21 Historical Missions. The 21 California Missions sparked around the turn of the 16th century when Europe was emerging into the Reinassaince and there was renewed energy and spirit to discovering what lay beyond the Ocean shore. Europe and Asia had started a trade route but it was grueling travel, and Spain wanted to expand their country. With these facts, the King of Europe, realizing there was a large population in Europe decided to expand and colonize Spain while moving their citizens to other parts of the New World. A man named Juan Cabrillo was the one to explore what we know today as California and began to rename different harbors. Since then a few other explorers took after Cabrillo when he passed on from the grueling 6 months of travel and injuries he sustained along the way. Along with conquering a whole area, these colonizers wanted to make the indigenous people of the land into Spanish Citizens. Spain was a Catholic country and so the King decided to start what is known as the 21 Missions, each one marked by a church built by the indigenous people to protect from wild animals, provide warmth, and living and working courters. The missions ended in 1810 with the revolt of Spain in conquest to be their own independent people.
The Mission of Santa Barbra was founded December 4th, 1786 by Fray Fermin Lasuen as the 10th mission in California. The magnificent building was built by the hands of the indigenous people. The peace which was originally establish was swept away by the bloody revolt that attacked this mission and two others. The remains of 4,000 indigenous people are buried underneath this church and the graveyard may show much more. Signs of hauntings are said to populate this area which is still used today as a modern Catholic church.
One can choose from three different tours of this building. I chose the self-guided tour which is open 7 days a week from 9:00 A.M. to 4:15 P.M. ($9.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and military personnel, $4.00 for youth, and free for children). Another option is to go with a guided group tour which is first come first serve ($13.00 for adults, $11.00 for seniors and military personnel, $8.00 for youth, and free for children). Last but not least there is the option of a private tour which has to be reserved 2 weeks in advance and has the same prices as the guided group tour.
The tour was incredibly interesting. A lot of my information listed here can also be found on my other blog, Ghost Seekers of CNY. I recommend checking it out if you want a spooky perspective.
Overall, it was a beautiful day. I love California!
If you would like to catch up on my previous travel days in California, please follow the links below: