Weak Bungees
Thursday June 7
By: Robert Tongen
This morning Keith Elliott and I launched from Hobie Beach in Channel Islands Harbor on a warm, calm, sunny morning at 9:00 AM. The tide was going out so there was a nice beach to launch and even more to land on.

Keith wanted to try a maiden voyage in his beautifully refinished Chesapeake kayak. I wanted to test recovery skills in a SOF. So what do we do but head to the calm pond, noticing a swell out beyond the breakwater and a couple of bottlenose dolphins.

We decided to head west into the breeze and found the swells closely spaced out of the west interspersed by closely spaced swells out of the SW. It took some time to get used to and by the we spotted a flock of birds diving to the NW, so headed that way. Soon we were in the middle of a medium sized pod of dolphins chasing fish in every direction. We sat, watched and enjoyed for more than 30 minutes. We were so busy watching, we had not noticed that it had clouded over and the wind was stronger. By then we had drifted quite a ways south, so decided to paddle in a clockwise direction around the breakwater and back to the pond. While doing that we saw the Island Packers, Ranger come out the north end of the breakwater and head toward Ventura with no visible passengers.

Once back in the pond, I decided to test my roll and found I could not get under my boat, so an onside roll required switching the paddle and being a offside recovery, and vice versa. I then decided to see if a paddle float recovery would work in a SOF. Well it kind of did, but the SOF is such low profile that water kept entering the cockpit as I climbed in and by then was still coming in as I sat there. Deciding to paddle to the beach soon found me upside down and swimming the boat to shore. After relaunching, we headed to Hobie and Keith wanted to try some rescue efforts. He has a good system, but his newly installed bungees, that held the paddle behind the cockpit were not strong enough to hold the paddle flat across the stern, so the boat tipped and cockpit filled with water. I tried some more rolls but had the same problem getting under the boat. Was envious of Keith because he was able to wade his boat to shore. I realized that I had the same problem with the bungees on the paddle float reentry in the SOF.

By then we were wet and chilly to called it a day to warm in the sun as it came out.

It was a fun and learning day.

Robert Tongen reporting.
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