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.