Strange Paddle
Sunday July 2
By: Robert Tongen
We were surprised to see Hugh Warren, from Big Bear, paddle up to Kiddie Beach in Channel Islands Harbor as we were preparing to launch on a calm, grey, misting morning. Hugh had launched fro the kayak EZ Launch. Peter O'Sullivan, Lance Pillsbury, and I enjoyed catching up on what he has been up to since we last saw him paddling. Kiddie Beach was devoid of seals when we launched.

Lance and Hugh headed off to the Hueneme Power Plant. Peter and I made our usual circle of the breakwater. We noticed some signs of red tide in the pond but not outside the breakwater. We lazily paddled back up the channel and Peter spotted a large bull seal sitting in the water next to the seawall at Kiddie Beach. He thought it was the same one that was there last week, but they all look alike to me and don't wear name tags. We paddled up the harbor a ways noting the Coast Guard ship, "Black Tip", was decorated with a long string of pennants strung from the mast to the bow and also the stern. By the time we landed at Kiddie Beach the bull seal was gone, but would soon return.

When Hugh landed the seal came up behind him and started barking. When Lance landed, the seal sat in the water right behind his kayak. They reported a heavy red tide from the breakwater to the mouth of the Hueneme Harbor, then the water was clear all the way to the power plant. There were no bull seals on the buoy.

Now, the strange paddle! I am now the proud owner of Bev Waldron's Superior paddle. Bev at age 84 has decided not to paddle anymore and has sold her Epic V6 boat. For years she has insisted that it was a hybrid kayak. The buyer was looking for a surf ski! "Anyway", I used the Superior paddle today and noticed it seemed to make my boat veer from side to side, end up in the right of way of other kayaks, and sometimes want to go in circles, like Bev always did. Was it the paddle or what the paddle learned from Bev? "Anyway" I will always remember Bev as I make mistakes in the future.

That is the way it was in a marine layered day before the Thunder Full Moon and 4th of July 2023.
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