A Walk Along Driscoll’s Wharf

One of the more enjoyable parts of starting a new Rolly Waters book is the research I get to do in my hometown of San Diego. Sometimes I get to investigate places I already know. And sometimes I just happen upon a place that strikes me as great location for scenes in a book. Such was the case when my wife and I discovered Driscoll’s Wharf a few years ago. It quickly became a key location for Ballast Point Breakdown.

Looking into America’s Cup Harbor from Driscoll’s Wharf

Places that are rundown and a little rough looking always attract my attention, especially when there’s a close combination of elements, place where different types of people can intermix. It’s clear when you walk down to the end of Driscoll’s Wharf that the area has seen better days. There have been some improvements since I first visited. The buildings I described as “shambolic grey elephants” now have a fresh coat of paint. The jagged, rusted fence connecting these brick columns has been removed.

Looking out to San Diego Bay from halfway along the wharf. I decided the OTTER boats could be garaged somewhere in here.
Locked gates are always enticing. Harmonica Dan might live on one of these boats.
After seeing a sign like this, you can’t help but start writing a crime novel in your head.
Sportfishing trips leave from the harbor. These carts are brought out when boats come in to collect all the fish, mostly bluefin and albacore.
I couldn’t work lobster traps into the book, but I thought about it.
Rolly gets an Opah burrito from Mitch’s Seafood near Driscoll’s Wharf.
Mitch’s doesn’t actually serve burritos, but they do have great fish tacos.

I took these photos in early March 2020, shortly before the Covid-19 outbreak. Social distancing should be relatively easy to do in the Wharf area if you go for a walk in the area. And Mitch’s is doing takeout orders if you call ahead.

You can see from the map below how Driscoll Wharf abuts part of the US Naval Base on San Diego Bay. The Admiral Kidd Club sits on the point just behind it. Dolphin pens from the Navy’s Marine Mammal program were just offshore near the Harbor Drive bridge, but they moved somewhere else while I was writing the book.

[vsgmap address=”Driscoll’s Wharf, San Diego, CA 92106″ align=”center” width=”100%” maptype=”k”]

A beer and a book. Always a good combination.