San Clemente Island

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Posted by Brad on April 26, 2002 at 17:08:15:

Took the good skiff on a run to the east end of SCI yesterday, leaving the house at the leasurly hour of noon. (how presumptious of me!)

There was a blustery 20kt westerly wind when i left the breakwater, but it got progressively better the farther i went. I arrived at the east end around 4PM. The wind was calm and the afternoon water was 62 degrees, bright sunshine, clear skies and 40ft vis!

I saw huge bat rays congregating for the spawn. Every year they heap up in big numbers in 40-60ft, on that gentle sandy slope. As i swam near the shore, i saw a seal pup on the rocks. I made a noise so that she will know i am there... It immediately went into the water and languished just a few feet away. I gently splash my hands on the surface and did a 360, then swim away...

As i re-approach, she does a 360 and stared at me... She allowed me to get within 3 or 4 feet of her without any fear whatsoever.

I didn't want her to get too comfortable with human company, so i left her and made my way over to the grotto where my eel buddy lives. On the first dive, as usual, i don't see him, so i call him and go to the surface to get another breath. Sure enough, the next time down he is there. In his grotto there is always more life than the surrounding area. He has a cuke, an abalone, some lobster, and a few scorpian fish right there with him. So good to know he is well!

The night started dry and warm, crystal clear with a big full moon. Somewhere around 3 am, it started to sprinkle, and continued to sprinkle gently until sunup. I had fashoned a nice tarp over the cot, so i stayed dry through the night. By morning, there was an inch and a half of water in the good skiff. How ironic, the first time the bilge pump has pumped water in 25,000 miles and it is fresh water!

And so describes the good fortune of the good skiff...

This morning, i rode the cusp of a serious onshore flow back to safe harbor, yet once again...


loves the sea

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