Paddle from Channel Islands Harbor
Sunday July 18
By: Robert Tongen
Kiddie Beach in Channel Islands Harbor was warm and overcast with what looked like rain clouds at low tide this morning. Joe Barrett had his boat staged on the beach and Peter O'Sullivan was unloading his as I arrived this morning. We saw Bev Waldron pull up in the parking lot, as we launched about 8:30. We headed to the pond and were soon observing the construction on the breakwater. Last week we saw a lot of re-bar being tied and anchored on the breakwater. Our speculation of a stairs seemed to be correct, as forms had been built and concrete poured. Joe Barrett, initially in his construction business specialized in stairs. He became known in the trade as the "Escalator Hombre". So this project was now under professional scrutiny. He immediately noted the steps were about 2 feet high, so would not comply with OSHA requirements. Then he noted they did not comply with the American Disability Act. So what were they? Surely they would not build a fish ladder that only went up one side of the breakwater! We doubted that they would build stairs for fishermen/women to climb up on the breakwater. As we headed north along the breakwater we noticed another prefab stairs form sitting on top of the breakwater waiting to be fastened in place. Surely they would not build two stairs for fishermen?

Paddling along the breakwater, behind Peter and Joe I was reminded of the last of the hit songs by Roy Rogers, "Hoppy Gene and Me".

After a couple of trips outside the breakwater, Joe shared oranges with us, and as we were enjoying them, he spotted 4 large dolphins moving north inside the pond. The were soon gone. We decided to see if we could head off Bev in the Harbor. As we made the turn into the harbor we were surprised to be greeted by a short rain shower. Peter spotted Bev heading for Kiddie Beach on the east side of the harbor. As we paddled toward her, she did not see us because she was busy avoiding a small fishing boat with a shark's mouth painted on the bow. When she did see us, in typical Bev fashion, she paddled right in front of us cutting us off. Only Peter avoided a collision.

We then headed to Hobie Beach where Peter spotted me, to help with the roll I so badly blew last week. A few pointers and I was coming up again. Two unnamed students of the Helen Wilson School of Rolling, held their tongues as Peter performed his magic.

That is the way it was this warm July Sunday in 2021.

Robert Tongen reporting.
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