Just west of Cayucos, along the coastline and the Pacific Coast Highway, is a fascinating shipwreck, in remarkable condition!
The Point Estero was a commercial fishing vessel that had originated from Morro Bay Harbor. On July 28th, 2017, on its way back to Morro Bay, it unfortunately ran aground at the eastern part of Estero Bluff State Park, supposedly due to operator error.
It took the U.S. Coast Guard less than two days to remove all the hazardous materials from the stuck ship, including a large supply of oil. The Coast Guard though does not salvage abandoned vessels that are located on land or are semi grounded on coastal rocks, as their area of authority is navigable waters, therefore the Point Estero did not fall under their purview, and remained where it was.
The owner gave up possession of the boat, once it was estimated that it would cost at least $175,000 to remove the boat and tow it back to Morro Bay Harbor. Since the vessel is stuck in a state park, the State Lands Commission does have the authority to remove the ship, but due to a legislative oversight by the state, the commission has no funding or budget to actually do so!
And thus the boat remains, there along the coast west of Cayucos, just south of the Pacific Coast Highway, which runs east / west there as it hugs the coastline! It has been stripped of everything, including all electronics and engine parts. When the tide is low, it is extremely easy to walk out to the shipwreck and board her. I advise some caution, however, as holes are already forming on the ship's floor.
Not surprisingly, there are a few urban legends surrounding why the ship crashed off shore ranging from the ship being stuck in a storm surge to the ship being borrowed by a friend of the owner and being used for a night drinking, resulting in the ship being run aground after one too many. Whatever the reason, there is now another fascinating stop along Route 1.
To locate the shipwreck, exit Route 1 at Ocean Avenue, the most northern / western part of the road. Make an immediate right onto a dirt road located there that will take you a very short ways into a dirt parking lot, probably filled with surfers on the weekend. Follow the dirt path in front of you towards the ocean and you will eventually come to a small cliff that you will have to navigate down, in order to get to the beach and cove below. The shipwreck can be found there. I advise going at low tide, as during high tide you may not be able to get very close to the ship, and much of the cove that the ship sits in will be under water. From the right angle, when viewing the shipwreck, you can see the Morro Bay Rock behind it.
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First Created: 2021-04-26
Last Edited: 2021-05-02