Chamber of Commerce Day, Seals the Deal
Sunday October 30
By: Robert Tongen
It was a cool, calm, clear morning when I arrived at Kiddie Beach in Channel Island Harbor. There was a big bull seal and 2 smaller ones sitting on Kiddie Beach right in front of the lifeguard stand. Lance Pillsbury had just set his boat on the beach and Peter O'Sullivan was already paddling. Keith Elliott stopped by to show us his broken finger and watch us launch. It would be hard to hold a paddle with a broken finger in a splint. He mentioned it looked like a perfect day to paddle.

One of the Manson Dredge supervisors stopped to talk to us, while he was waiting for a boat to come in to pick him up. He said the dredge had been laid up for maintenance this week, but they were making good progress, estimating they were 1/3 done. He told us this was the first time he had ever seen seals resting on the pipes floating on the water that were pumping the sand being pumped through them. He said he counted 210 seals resting on the pipes at one time.

By the time we launched there were 10 seals on Kiddie Beach. This is the first year I can remember seals frequenting Kiddie Beach. Keith was right, it turned out to be a Chamber of Commerce day. We made a couple of paddles around the breakwater, watched the dredge work and of course observed the seals laying and barking on the dredge pipes. There was a nice swell with no chop or wind on the water so it was an easy paddle. There was a small flock of Common Terns flying and landing on the pipes that are not being used yet.

We ended paddling into the harbor and visiting. Lance decided to paddle almost the entire harbor, while Peter and I decided to turn back earlier. There were 3 girls on SUPs in Halloween costumes leaving Kiddie Beach when I returned. I counted 27 seals laying on the beach. By the time I had my boat loaded there were 33 seals on the beach and it loud and smelled BAD! The seals were attracting a crowd on the sidewalk.

This was one of those beautiful days on the water that keeps us coming back year around.

That is the way it was the last Sunday of November, before Halloween and a end to Daylight Savings Time.

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