location: Rudy's Dock.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. Both scenes were shot near the southeast corner of the Alamitos Marina, in Long Beach, CA, at very end of Marina Drive, at the far tip of a marina jetty
The dock that Dexter inspects is located right behind the blue City of Long Beach Marine Bureau building, at 205 Marina Drive (which is also home to the Long Beach Police Dept.'s Marine Patrol).
Here is a photo of the dock that I shot in 2012:
( It's the very same dock that we see much later, in the 7th Season, when Isaak kills Louis on Dexter's boat. )
There are several of these
smaller docks (all to the southwest of the larger dock), and they used
the one closest to the large dock (a sign reads "Berth 1"). It's close enough (perhaps 250 feet) that you can easily walk from one to the other.
Here is a Google map of the area, with the locations labeled:
If you want to
visit the spot, be sure to check a map -- the jigsaw puzzle shape of the marina can get a
little confusing without one. And finding this dock can get tricky, because there is more than one Marina Drive in this area. In fact, this Marina Drive actually crosses another one: N. Marina Drive, which itself later turns into E. Marina Drive.
All of these Marina Drives run along outside edge of the Alamitos Marina, marking its northern and eastern borders.
This jetty is tucked away behind the Alamitos Landing shopping/dining center.
Don't confuse this
Alamitos Marina with Long Beach's Shoreline Marina (another spot where Dexter films a lot). The two marinas are
five miles apart. Alamitos Marina is just west of Pacific Coast Highway,
right across the San Gabriel River channel from Seal Beach.
(A bit of trivia: part of the opening credits for "Gilligan's Island" were shot at this same location.)
A. I didn't find this one until years later - in 2013.
had originally suspected that it was probably shot at Bay Shore beach,
where they filmed the scene of Dexter meeting Rudy, earlier in the
1st season. But the night scene with Debra was very dark, and I
couldn't match up the background lights. So I moved on to other
wasn't until 2013, when I happened to be looking at episode 12 again,
that I realized that they had also shown more of the dock under better lighting
(in the next episode) - and that it should be much easier to identify:
So, first I checked the dock at that Bay Shore beach, but it lacked the diagonal planks seen in the screencap above.
By then, I had seen the 7th Season scene were Isaak shot Louis,
and had visited that dock to shoot photos for the page, so I decided to check
that dock next. And sure enough, it was a perfect match for the
scene with Dexter on Rudy's dock: diagonal planks, matching posts, twin storage boxes, et al. (Only the lamps were added.)
when I compared that Dexter dock to the night time scene with Debra
& Rudy, it still didn't match. As you can see in the screencap below, there
was a chain-link fence running along part of the ramp that Debra walked down to the dock, and
there was a gate at the entrance. There was no such fence on
Dexter's dock. There was also a parking lot right
behind her, a cluster of palm trees to the left, a patch of lawn on the
left, and a blue, square box to the right. (The flowers, of course, were added.)
So I started looking at the smaller docks near Dexter's dock, and sure enough, there was the fence & gate at the top of the ramp, as well as the lawn to the left.
All of the smaller docks here look more or less the same, but there is a blue box visible in the Debra scene, just to her right, and that only matched one dock - the dock closest to Dexter's daylight dock.
Here is a Google StreetView looking (west) down the ramp that Debra walked.
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