Gordon’s Beach to Iverson Point, May 31st 2009.

In the morning we launched and continued south. As we had feared the evening before, the sea was not as calm as we saw yesterday. I tried to get into some slots and rock gardens that I knew of, but a combination of the rising seas and a low tide made this a bad idea. We paddled within a couple hundred meters of Iverson Point, which has a large well-protected cove behind it. But I could not convince Dörte Mann to go around “one more point” to check it out. The conditions were getting worse and a wind from the north was picking up. Dörte feared that this wind would get stronger and make our return trip a difficult slog of a paddle. We turned back.

The day before we had seen another person on the shore near Gordon’s Beach. This guy had been poking around at the edge of the water and hauling white plastic gunnysacks around. Dave Littlejohn and Dörte became concerned that this guy was an abalone poacher. I disagreed. We ever saw him in the water or even wearing a wetsuit. On our return trip we saw several of these gunnysacks cached at the bottom of the cliff. So we landed to see if we could figure out what the ‘poacher’ was up to. I continued to claim that this could not be poaching because if it was, the abalone would die, rot and become worthless left sitting around in bags like this. The sacks were part way up a rough trail, Dave and Dörte had to scramble to even get close to them. And what they found was a bag full of rough weathered abalone shells. The guy was collecting the shells of animals that died natural deaths and washed ashore on this remote area.

We had our lunch and paddled the rest of the way back to Point Arena Cove. We had an extra day in our schedule but there wasn’t anyplace else we wanted, or could, get our kayaks to with the conditions the way they were. We packed up early and headed home.

All text and images Copyright © 2009 by Mike Higgins / contact