Friday, September 3, 2010

Margo's epic paddle

Seattle to San Diego - by canoe - to raise ocean awareness.

Margo is one tough woman, on a mission to help the ocean. Knowing she was on the way, I wanted to do my part to welcome her to Ventura and get out the press. A few e-mails and I had the local paper, KVTA radio, cable TV, a couple of ocean paddlers, as well as contact with the Hokulo Outrigger Canoe Club who I hoped could provide overnight storage for her boat.

After tracking her progress all day, I put in at Emma Wood and paddled with her for a couple of miles around the mouth of the Ventura River - I had hoped to point out the view looking up the watershed to the 6,000 ft mountains, the land-sea connection to which this blog is dedicated. Although it was sunny and 99 degrees in Ojai, we could hardly see the beach through the thick fog. I came ashore at Surfers Point, releasing Margo from the burden of waiting for me on my slow sit-on-top kayak.

The Hokulo crew paddled out to meet her, and the press was there at the Ventura Harbor. She endured an hour of interviews, obviously cold from her all-day paddle from Santa Barbara.

I had organized with June, her one-woman ground support crew, for them to stay in our guest room. After a hot shower we went up to meet with our local Surfriders who were holding a meeting and spaghetti dinner.

I hope our guests remember Ventura, one of their countless nightly stops on the epic paddle along the Pacific coast. I am in awe of Margo's energy and dedication, and June's steadfast optimism.

In the news:

Paul Jenkin, Surfrider Foundation Ventura Chapter environmental director, said he had originally hoped to celebrate the passage of legislation banning plastic bags in California when he met up with Pellegrino at sea. But he was disappointed to see the Single-Use Bag Reduction Act, Assembly Bill 1998, defeated by the California Senate Tuesday on a 21-14 vote. “It is disheartening to see elected officials react to industry pressure,” Jenkin said, noting that such bans can be enacted on the local level. “It’s time for the city of Ventura to step up.”

See Margo's video interview here: