SWELL SOT Fishing
Sunday June 10
By: Robert Tongen
We were met with sunny skies, light breeze, and 4-5 ft swells coming over the breakwater this morning at Channel Islands Harbor. Peter O'Sullivan, Lance Pillsbury, Bob Glicksman, and I launched from Hobie Beach at 9:00. Marc Mayes from Santa Barbara drove up as we were launching. Jory Kahn from Pacific Palisades was close to launching too. We took our time exiting the channel and were treated to some nice boat wakes as the Coast Guard Boat headed out on an emergency call for a boat taking on water about 12 miles south of there. Moving through the pond toward the south end of the breakwater another smaller Coast Guard boat followed the first.

We noticed a couple of SOT kayak fishermen at the end of the breakwater, but then noted that it looked like one was out of his boat. Peter led the charge and asked if they needed help. We were assured that they did so Peter steadied the fisherman in the water's boat while he climbed in and immediately tipped over again. Inspecting his boat it was riding low in the water, and then checked the hatch. It was full, and after short attempt Peter realized the pumping the water would take longer than the fisherman would want to stay in the water. He and Bob, using a great deal of strength, were barely able to dump the water out of the SOT and it's very large, but not very water tight, storage area. The fisherman said he weighed 260 lbs. so it took a couple of us to hold his boat while he climbed back in. He and his companion remained very calm through the ordeal, but was thankful to be back in his boat, now missing all his fishing gear. He was not sure how he had tipped over, but had put his PFD on when the wake of the Coast Guard boat went by, and maybe leaned too far to the side. We were glad he had! Last we saw, he was paddling fast toward Hobie Beach. Think he owes Peter a number of beers!

Mark and Jory arrived during the rescue so we decided where to paddle. Bob, Lance and Marc decided to head to McGrath campground on the outside of the breakwater. Jory headed north in the pond to try surfing, while Peter and I decided to not be so adventuresome. The large swells from the west and smaller swells from the south made for interesting and challenging paddle. Due to the conditions the paddle to McGrath only got to the Mandolay Resort with more time spent in the washover at the north end of the breakwater.

The fisherman's rescue, reinforced the discussion we had, before launching, about having a kayak safety rescue practice on August 19. Mark your calendars!
 
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