Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 2:07 am | Mostly Cloudy 59º


Captain’s Log: The Art of Sunset Watching

Smooth seas and wispy clouds help bring out best in Mother Nature's artwork

Enjoying a serene sunset from Goleta Pier elicits a sense of calm.
Enjoying a serene sunset from Goleta Pier elicits a sense of calm. (Capt. David Bacon)

When conditions are right for colorful sunsets, chasing them and enjoying them catapults to the top of the list of favorite things to do for lovers of natural beauty.

Sunrises on the water during a charter or sunsets across the water are favorite feel-good things for even a hard-bitten ol’ sea captain like me. The beauty is so grandiose that it messes with the emotions.

The best conditions are a calm evening with glassy water and intermittent clouds in the sky. When the sun hunkers down below the horizon and lights up the underside of the clouds, the intensity of the vibrant colors is mesmerizing. I love this stuff!

Now that I have a second location of my bait-and-tackle shop, Hook, Line & Sinker, out on Goleta Pier over the water, I’m getting my share of these gorgeous sunsets and I’m thoroughly enjoying each and every one.

Some folks head up to the mountain to catch a sunset and some folks can enjoy them right from their porch or patio. Some take to the beaches and some enjoy a sunset cruise on a boat, which I can tell you from many of my own experiences is a particularly delightful way to do it.

Calm evenings on piers are magic anyway, as the evening conditions turn nice, the low-light softens the view and the world around us takes on a pretty perspective.

Then that sun goes down below the horizon — which from Goleta Pier is right over the picturesque backdrop of UCSB — and the next 20 minutes are pure delight.

Make a pier visit to enjoy a great sunset. You may find me on Goleta Pier at my bait-and-tackle shack doing exactly the same thing.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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