The Albion Opens Up

The Albion Open, an annual invitational fishing tournament was held the last weekend of July in Albion, California.  My friend Tote who participated this year, shared a few details below, along with great photos.  Being an ocean loving adventurer who’s had scary encounters, I could only imagine his situation.

Look close at the picture above.  Just to the right of center, you’ll see a very small kayaker in the water.

“The conditions were ROUGH. It was the first time I’ve been scared on my kayak. I was first to launch around 5:10 a.m. in the dark with a light on the bow of my kayak and a headlamp on the back of my head.  Half way through the cove I took a wave to the chest.  That got my attention. When I made it outside of the cove the waves were big and steep and the ocean was very confused.  Usually wave sets are about 10-16 seconds apart coming from the north.  These were 8-10 feet and VERY steep, about 5 seconds apart coming from the north with a mixed 3 foot south swell.  This made for very nasty water, and it was dark.

I decided to turn around albeit fear of getting rolled by a breaker.  Steep waves coming from both directions felt like someone was swinging the stern of my kayak side to side, trying to make me pearl.  (A term when the stern of the kayak goes ass over tea kettle over the bow).

Being alone and at just first light with those conditions gave me a good scare.  I did have my VHF radio on my vest but I would only use it if I got separated from my kayak. I made the turn and got back.

The after tournament food was incredible as expected, and not just at the potluck.  One highlight was the Tiki bar at my campsite; margaritas from Thursday until Sunday morning.  Someone dropped off a slab of smoked tuna and yellowtail candy at the Tiki bar.  Another dropped off smoked smelt, which actually looked a lot like bait.  I was reluctant at first but OMG it was delicious!

One thing about the potluck is the food just keeps coming.  It starts at 5:00 p.m. but the food goes long afterward.  It’s hard not to get filled up when something new you want to try shows up.”

Fishing in Calmer Waters

The 2011 Albion Open is July 22-24.  It is run by the Norcal Kayak Anglers Association. The group is amazing; no egos, just great people looking after each other, and having lots of fun fishing.  If my dad, who taught me how to fish, was only alive to see and experience this!

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