Broken Tow
Sunday May 6
By: Robert Tongen
Expecting a forecasted warm, calm, sunny day at Channel Islands Harbor this morning we were greeted with overcast skies strengthening breeze out of the west, and 54 degrees. By the time we launched form Hobie Beach, with a low tide, we were all chilled.

Lance Pillsbury, Peter O'Sullivan, Keith Elliot and I launched shortly before 9:00. A new paddler with our group, Georgy, from Pacific Palisades, arrived in time to see us paddling out the channel. When we got to the pond, we were spotted about 6 dolphins moving north, many birds on the water, and a number of seals. The pond was now being churned by the increasing wind. We headed into large swells from two directions and wind chop west of the breakwater. Keith turned back to connect up with Georgy.

As we navigated the closely spaced swells we saw the Madson Dredge work boat well out to sea, appearing to have left Ventura Harbor. Soon Lance noticed that a smaller work boat, with an A frame crane on the bow, was following it. As we paddled toward them, the larger boat turned around and headed toward the smaller one. Soon because of the wind and waves pushing them toward us we were soon close together. We watched as a boatman todded a line to the smaller boat, and they were soon underway with the larger boat towing the other. Several times we saw the tow line come out of he water and snap taut as the slack was taken up. Heading back to the pond we had our hands full paddling with following seas and sometimes steep swells. When we heard Keith's radio call we were needing two hands to paddle and did not answer his call. When we met up in the pond we learned he was calling to let us know he had met up with Georgy.

The wind dropped in the pond so we decided to make another trip around the breakwater, Georgy and Keith decided to check out the surfing on the small waves in the pond. It was still rough water and windy on the outside of the breakwater. When we returned we say that Georgy was catching some nice but short rides. After exploring the pond waters we were a bit chilled and headed back to Hobie Beach.

Georgy, being a first time paddler at the harbor launched and landed at Kiddie Beach. We saw the Harbor Patrol stop and visit with him in the parking lot, but then continued on to talk to some surfskis that had also launched from Kiddie Beach. Maybe they just wanted to welcome Georgy to Channel Islands Harbor.

Through the day we did discuss holding a safety skills paddling practice day in June. This event should allow each paddler their skills at recovering and getting back n their boat as well as ability to assist another paddler back into their boat.

This event should be when the tide is low enough, so there is a fair amount of beach, to launch and land at Hobie Beach. The best low tide days are:

June 3, Low tide 7:47 AM +0.1 ft, High tide 2:57 PM +3.3 ft
June 17, Low tide 7:27 AM -1.1 ft, High tide 2:11 PM +4.1 ft (This is Father's Day)

Stay tuned as we decide on a date.

It was great to have Georgy join us today. Hope he can return on a regular basis.

That is the way it was this first Sunday in May.

Robert Tongen reporting
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