Mothers Day Paddle
Sunday May 14
By: Robert Tongen
As I drove up to Kiddie Beach in Channel Islands Harbor, Keith Elliott and Peter O'Sullivan were observing the seals taking up half of Kiddie Beach. Keith has not paddled with us for nearly a year. He is still suffering from "Long COVID", but felt well enough to drive down and say hello this morning. As we talked under the marine layer, a SE breeze came up and felt chilly. As Peter and I were launching, a Jeep with an upside down kayak pulled into the parking lot. Brian Adolph, from Ojai had come to join us for the first time. Brian was soon on the water. Peter went over all his standard questions to make sure we weren't going to paddle Brian into trouble. We headed out to and through the pond. We immediately noticed that Brian was a strong paddler as he led us out of the channel. As we got into the pond, the closely spaced swells from the south refreshed our skills on paddling in confused seas.

As we turned the corner at the north end of the breakwater we were surprised there was almost no swell from the west, just from the south. We paddled into the swells and it was a fun paddle outside the breakwater. We noticed that the water was quite chilly, but when we got south of the breakwater the water felt quite warm. The south swells made for an interesting paddle back to the channel as our kayaks would yeah back and forth trying to turn us to the south.

We were holding Brian's speed back, so when we turned back at the high bridge, he continued to paddle further up the harbor. The wind had increased and swung to the south so it was a good workout paddling into it on the way back to our takeout point. When we got there the seals had taken even more of it. I quit counting seals at 50 and was only 60% up the beach, but 50 was 12 more than I had digits to count on. We speculated where we would be able to launch on Memorial Day weekend when the lifeguard comes on duty. Will the minimum 150 ft. required distance from the seals be enforced? Would all of Kiddie beach be closed?

By the time we were cleaned up Brian was back and had his Seda Swift loaded. We hope he comes back when we other paddles are there to give him a better workout. It was great to have a new paddler join us.

We discussed holding a Kayak Rescue Practice Day this summer. Watch for an announcement coming out in the future.

That is the way it was this Mothers Day in 2023.
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