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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Friday, August 25, 2006

Smugglers' Cove, Santa Cruz Island (SE corner) Thurs 8/24 4:30PM (Leigh)

Yesterday we hiked from Prisoners' Harbor to Del Norte campground . We must be a little out of practice or just anxious to see everything because we were looking for the handheld VHF radio (again) and we got a very late start. We've been lucky and happy to have lots of sun and yesterday was no different. So, mid-day hike, straight up a hill with no map and just a quick glance at the one by the trail head resulted in some hot tired hikers a few hours later. We took sandwiches, peanuts, dried fruit and (2) 26 oz bottles of water but 4 would have been about right. When we got to the campground we were lucky to see one of the endangered island foxes about 20 feet away. There were also lizards and salamanders everywhere. We had great views from the campground and I was sure the ranger station was nearby from my glance at the map the day before, so we continued up to the top of the island. Well, it turns out the ranger was another few miles toward the center of the island. We gained lots of elevation and did get a view of the south side of the island. This is very dry country and there's not much shade at 3PM here so after 8 miles of hiking we were very happy to get back to the kayak and paddle out to the boat. Peter needed to replace lost electrolytes so after several glasses of water and some canned pears it was time for sardines, saltines and beer. The snack of champions! One more search of the saloon and the VHF was found jammed behind a couple of seat back cushions! It was time to open the bottle of port and celebrate the found radio, we enjoyed chocolate and great port watching sunset from the cockpit.
Another rolly night at Prisoners' Harbor, about like Port Townsend but with ferries coming every 5 minutes. We were glad we stayed because we got a new neighbor this morning the tall ship the Irving Johnson which had just arrived after motoring all night from LA. Peter paddled the kayak over to chat. The elder hostel group was in great spirits headed ashore for a hike, the captain may have been a little sleep deprived as he wasn't in a chatty mood. We sailed to the east end of the island anchored off Scorpion Bay in strong wind and swell. Hiked up to the bluff above the boat for a photo op and took in the scene. This must be the big Channel Island destination. There were about 75 people all over the beach kayaking, swimming, hiking and hanging out. We haven't seen so many people since Santa Cruz the city. Late afternoon we headed around the corner to the lee of the island. The swell is breaking in great waves on the beach. Some surfers got dropped off by a ranger a few minutes ago so this must be the place! We're watching the waves break, sipping wine and enjoying cheese and crackers. We weren't expecting beaches like this until Mexico.

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