High Surf Warnings & Lobster Season
Sunday September 30
By: Robert Tongen
There was a very nice morning at Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard this morning. The tide was coming in, sun shining, breeze dropping, and calm seas. Keith Elliott, Peter O'Sullivan, Lance Pillsbury, Joe Barrett, and I launched from Kiddie Beach despite these conditions. Peter launched first and started rolling and rolling. Keith has not been feeling well for several weeks, so wanted a easy day, Joe was planning to keep up with Keith and Peter. Lance and I spotted oil platform Gena looking very close and headed that way.

As we left the breakwater behind, we saw a lobster trap boat heading into the harbor after setting a string of traps west of the breakwater. The boat produced a huge wake that was fun to paddle over. We were paddling on glassy surfaced ocean with only a very small swell, in spite of hearing about high surf warnings. It was a easy paddle to Gina. Most of the time there is a current to the north or south so the trip is kind of an arch, but today we did not experience a current. As we approached, we saw the service boat sitting at the platform with 5 people fishing off it. As we drifted away from Gina, the crewmen told us they were going to tie up at the tank we were by. That was enough of an incentive for us to head back to Kiddie. We encountered a few small dolphins that changed course to head right toward us and then under us. It was easy paddling about half way back, then the breeze came from our back and the ripple on the surface, made it feel like we had put the brakes on. Again it was a straight shot back to the breakwater.

We were assured that Peter and Joe had fully briefed Keith on the coincidence that they both showed up for jury duty on the same day. Joe wanted to be picked, Peter did not. Luckily for the guilty accused neither were selected.

That is the way it was the last day of September 2018.

Robert Tongen reporting

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