It is said that as harbor manager of Port San Luis Harbor District, Andrea Lueker is in charge of scheduling the whales. Another little-known fact is that she knows exactly who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
A transplant from a land-locked state who grew up wanting to be a cowboy, Lueker is celebrating her one-year anniversary running a harbor district on the edge of a continent – and really can’t see herself doing anything else.
The former city manager puts to work many of the skills she learned during her time in Morro Bay as she navigates the workings of the harbor district – really a small city – from her office with a million-dollar view.
Lueker recently took the time away from tracking down the whale’s new booking agent to talk about mermaids, paddle boards, and what it takes to run a harbor district.
How do you schedule the whale appearances? Do they have an agent, or a marketing agency that you go through?
The whales, as of late, have become free agents and are now eligible to sign with the franchise of their choice for viewing opportunities. However, they have advised us through a recent press release to pay attention to the bay over the next 2 months, for optimum viewing opportunities. The whales also want to remind us to view them at a distance as sometimes they forget how long they are and the strength and power of their flukes.
Have ever seen a mermaid? I’m asking for a friend, of course.
No, but I have often heard them singing their mermaid songs at dusk!
Where would you rather be right now?
Since my office overlooks the bay, it’s really difficult to say I would rather be anywhere else…but if pressed, I would say on a longboard in the water at the point break just outside of the little town of El Viejo in Northern Nicaragua.
What aspect of your job surprises people the most?
Definitely the diversity of what can happen during a day. While many people can’t predict what their day will hold, I believe the normal uncertainty in working with the public, coupled with working within the ocean environment, just makes the day that much more unpredictable. And that unpredictability makes the job very attractive!
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Helen Hunt or Al Capone.
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
So…. unknown to most, not only does Sponge Bob Square Pants live there, but also Mr. Krabs, Sandy Cheeks, Squidward Tentacles, Patrick Star, Gary the Snail, Mrs. Puff, Larry the Lobster and Plankton.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A harbor manager or cowboy (grew up in Colorado).
What is your favorite word (ahoy)?
What does it take to run a harbor?
Managing Port San Luis Harbor District is very similar to managing a small city, we have Business Department, Harbor Patrol Department and Facilities Department and all the associated tasks those Departments would be tasked with. We have thousands of visitors that come each year to enjoy the Port, piers, beaches and Lighthouse. We are a service oriented organization where customer service is always on the forefront. I would also say that based on the variety of things that occur on a day to day basis, it is extremely important to be flexible.