On a Foggy Morning
Sunday September 9
|By: Robert Tongen|
|This morning there was only a slight breeze, overcast skies, calm seas, and fog at Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. John Britt and Bob (forgot last name) were ready to launch early for a harbor paddle. Keith Elliott, Lance Pillsbury, Peter O'Sullivan, Joe Barrett and I launched a bit later and headed for the pond. At the entrance to the channel, Joe struck up a conversation with a long time member of CKF, Pam Schlotter, who appeared to be paddling a new boat. The fog was quite thick but the fog horn on the end of the channel was not operating.
When we got to the pond there was a swell coming through, so we headed over to check the surf. With the waves breaking right on shore we decided to head west in the fog. We settled on a compass heating of 260 degrees. As we paddled we did not see anything and heard no boats or foghorns. On the return we set a heading of 80 degrees. We eventually drifted apart, then back together. Lance said that he would not get lost if he paddled between Peter and I. We pointed out that we all could become lost and he would be with us. After a long paddle we saw a surf line between swells, but were unsure if we were north or south of the breakwater. The only thing we could see was the surfline. We turned to starboard and after a while caught a glimpse of the breakwater. We did not realize how large the swells had grown until seeing, through the fog, the backs of them before they pounded on shore.
Arriving back in the pond, we regrouped with the others and then noticed the swells as they hit the north end of the breakwater that we could not remember them coming from the NNW.
After a couple of trips outside the breakwater we headed to Kiddie Beach where some rolls were demonstrated. Some failing, some succeeding.
A GPS track was provided by Lance.
That is the way it was the first Sunday without lifeguards on the beach.
Robert Tongen reporting.
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