What is this thing (with pics!)

It’s about 6 feet tall and made of heavy gauge steel (I think).

Whole thing.

Bottom detail.

Thanks in advance.

At a guess: a buoy, possibly used as a mooring.

(Was it near an ocean or large body of water?)

Yes, I saw it along highway 1.

More like a buoy anchor, wouldn’t you say?

My guess is a buoy, it’s upside down, the chain would go down to the anchor. The top has a ring around it to tie off on. You’ll notice the bottom is more corroded than the top (assuming it’s upside down).

Heading out to the beach on these hot Valley daze?

Damn right!

That was my guess as well.

No guess … Here’s what they look like in use. http://www.navigationandsolartec.com/skirt-keel-steel-buoy-sks-3600--product-294721.html

Well the ones with rings may be used for mooring, but they can also have a pole ( flag, light,etc) held upright by stays.

You can still buy similar design steel bouys…

Yes, buoy, definitely.

It could originally have been put there as a marker. The top (currently under it) would be painted red or yellow, and in high water conditions it would float up to mark the location of that wall. they are also used to mark the locations of underwater cables and pipes/conduits. Again, in flood conditions it might show where something underwater lies. Obviously, it’s either floated in on a storm, or when they put new erosion control rocks down they forgot/declined to make sure it was free to do its job. I imagine GPS is making those less necessary.

Those cables get mucked up and covered with barnacles, etc. My old boss had a job in highschool going out in his small boat, following the buoy lines and pulling the cables up by those chains you see. Then he’d knock off all the sea life he could from the cable insulator. Otherwise, it could eventually become too calcified to maintain.

Does it sing?