A. The Atlantic Ocean, seven miles off Miami, and one of the beaches near Miami.
When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 12, the Season 6 finale: "This is the Way the World Ends".
In the previous episode, Travis had captured Dexter and left him to die at sea in a ring of fire.
start of this episode, Dexter is clinging to a piece of wreckage from
the dinghy, floating seven miles out at sea, and not faring well.
When the wreckage he had been clinging to sinks, it appears that Dexter is about to drown.
Instead, a fishing boat, the Milagro, appears out of nowhere, and the Cuban refugees on board fish Dexter out of the water.
One of them, who speaks English, tells Dexter that he is very lucky, and that God is looking out for him.
trip back to shore, the captain of the boat pulls a pistol and begins
robbing the refugees. When he threatens a woman, Dexter kills him
with a fishing gaffe.
As they near land, the refugees jump into the water and wade ashore. Dexter joins them.
On the beach, Dexter stops a Miami couple and borrows a cell phone.
What is it actually in real life?
A. The Pacific Ocean and a California beach.
Where can I find it in real life?
A. These scenes were shot in two different locations:
at Cabrillo Beach, in San Pedro, CA
Berth 60 (AKA US Water Taxi), a dock at the south end of Signal Street, also in San Pedro.
They prepped a fishing boat, named the Bronze Back
(which is normally docked off nearby Terminal Island), to look like the
Cuban refugee boat you see in the episode - including changing its name
to the Milagro.
(The name means "Miracle" in English, and that seems a deliberate choice
on the part of the writers, considering the semi-miraculous nature of
Dexter's rescue at sea, and the woman's comment about God looking out
They shot the scenes of Dexter in the water (and probably the close-ups on the boat's deck), at Berth 60, the same small dock where they filmed the lake of fire scene last week.
They've used this dock often in the past, including the scenes
back in Season 2, when Dexter threw away the Barbie doll head that Rudy
had given him, and where the divers recovered the remains of the Bay
Harbor Butcher's (Dexter's) victims.
For the beach scenes, where Dexter and the refugees jump into the water and wade ashore, they moved to Cabrillo Beach - which is less than a mile from (southwest of) Berth 60.
Cabrillo is a sheltered, east-facing beach on the west edge of the L.A.
harbor, just southwest of the Cabrillo Marina, at the far southeast
corner of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
They used CGI to insert a fake background of the Miami skyline on the
horizon of one shot (possibly concealing San Pedro's industrial harbor),
which explains the slightly ghost-like appearance of Miami in that view .
The solo shot of Dexter walking out of the water onto the beach also has
a certain CGI look to it, and I suspect that they digitally erased the
horizon in that shot as well.
But in another shot, where they are jumping from the boat into the
water, you can clearly see the San Pedro harbor behind them, in the
distance (including, if you look closely, a glimpse of Trinity's warehouse).
The boat was at least 300 yards off Cabrillo Beach when the actors
jumped off. But for the wading-onto-the-beach scenes, they just
had the actors wade safely into the water (from the beach), and then wade back onto the beach.
I shot these photos of Cabrillo Beach in 2009:
(The large ship that you see below was sailing into the L.A. harbor that day, escorted by two tugboats.)
A. In previous seasons, I've
usually had to hunt down the locations after viewing the episodes,
using clues from the various scenes. By the 6th season, though,
I'd developed a small group of fans, spies & tipsters who kept an
eye out for Dexter filming in their neighborhoods, and would let me know
in advance when something was about to film there.
Between those reports, my own personal reconnaissance around town, and a
few new resources I discovered, by the time the first episode aired, I
already knew most (but not all) of the filming locations, and only
needed to watch the episodes and match up the scenes with the correct
This group of helpful fans includes Kerry, Rick, Ellen, Susan, Jason,
Elaine, Joel, Julie, Geoff, Jeff, Jen, and others. My thanks to all of
This time, Rick let
me know they were filming down at Cabrillo Beach, and an anonymous
tipster filled me in on the details that I mentioned above. (Thanks, Rick!)