Camping on the Coast

California Harbor Seal on Beach I spent Memorial Day Weekend camping on the Northern California coast with a group of Venture Crew Scouts. One of whom was my daughter!  Venture Crew is for high school and college age boys and girls and is a little known division of Boy Scouts. One of the things I like about Venture Crew is I get to go along and do things I wouldn’t normally do.

This trip was all about abalone diving.  I wasn’t going to let the kids have all the fun, so I squeezed myself into a rented wetsuit , complete with hood, boots, and gloves. I paddled a kayak out to where the kids were diving so I could keep an eye on them. (Another adult was diving with them and showing them how to find the abalone.)  While keeping one eye on the kids I was able to watch the sea lions and the harbor seals swim around and look for their dinner. I also saw pelicans, sea gulls, cormorants, and curlews.  Later I jumped into the cold water and swam around a bit. I have never been in a wetsuit before and I was impressed by how it kept the cold out, and how buoyant it made me! It was great. I wouldn’t have been able to sink if I wanted to! Did a little snorkeling, and saw a lot of kelp!

The picture is of a harbor seal that was hanging out on the beach. The marine society had posted signs all around telling people to stay away. Most did, but some just had to get up close to take a look. I didn’t seem to bother the seal, but I still kept my distance. My camera has a good zoom so  I was able to take some nice pictures.  The seal blends in with the sand so well I don’t know if I would have seen him if it wasn’t for all the signs!

That evening we all got a lesson in cleaning abalone (be glad I didn’t have my camera then!) and had a wonderful abalone feast for dinner. The kids really enjoyed eating what they had gathered!  My daughter managed to get her limit on abalone so I was able to bring some home and enjoy a second abalone feast.

Did you do anything fun over the holiday?