Sunday April 22
By: Robert Tongen
This morning 7 CKF members launched from Hobie Beach in Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. Keith Elliott, Bob Glicksman, Joe Barrett, Peter O'Sullivan, Lance Pillsbury and I launched before 9:00 AM at near low tide with a good bit of sand showing to launch from on a warm calm sunny morning.

We jockeyed for position along with a bunch having a scuba diving class. As they were getting ready to dive, the harbor patrol came by and notified them they could not use Hobie Beach, but needed to use Kiddie Beach, as long as they did not go further out than the rope.

A couple paddlers practiced rolling in degree water. Some rolls were rustier than others. Soon Lance and Bob headed to the Pt. Hueneme power station while the rest decided to see if we could see any of the last gray whales heading north. We watched the whale watching boat, Ranger, make a sharp port turn as they left the harbor and headed in the same direction Lance and Bob were.

Soon we saw the Coast Guard helicopter coming from Pt. Mugu then after reaching the west end of the breakwater and make sharp port turn and fly right over us heading to oil platform Jena, then another port turn toward Port Hueneme harbor with another port turn right toward us. The flew this same route again, then came straight toward us in a very slow hover. OH NO, They caught us. They stopped right between the four of us and hovered for a long time. We wondered what it would be like to be in the middle of the prop wash. An Coast Guard patrol boat came charging out of the harbor and the chopper followed just off the aft deck of the patrol boat and very slowly moved off to the NW.

We think that any whales came buy when we were watching the chopper.

Paddling back into the pond, we spotted Lance heading toward us. Bob had headed to the takeout. Lance told us they had spotted 2 adult whales, by the buoys at the Pt. Hueneme power station. They followed them for about a mile. We all said OH NO! We missed it. Lance said he had his Go Pro on when following the whales and will post video if it turns out.

We told Lance about the helicopter experience, and he said, OH NO, we missed it.

We appreciated the shorter paddle back to Hobie Beach instead of the EZ Launch a mile further up the harbor. We efficiently helped others carry kayaks and were soon ready for home or lunch.

It was a fun day on the water this double deuce of April.

Robert Tongen reporting.
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