Central California Leg of Tom Jones ‘California Paddle’ Environmental Awareness Campaign for our Oceans

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For Immediate Release

Central California Leg of Tom Jones ‘California Paddle’ Environmental Awareness Campaign for our Oceans

Story and Pics by Shawn Alladio and Ray Wolfgramm

Shawn Alladio joins Tom Jones as he passes Pillar Point, home of the big wave spot ‘Mavericks’.

On Saturday we had launched from Pillar Point out to the legendary Mavericks surf spot. This was Tom’s ‘California Paddle’ launch point for the Central California leg of his environmental awareness paddle.

Tom is drawing world-wide attention to the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans. A recent study has found that there is six times more plastic in the ocean than plankton off the coast of California.

A United Nations Environmental Report estimated that there is more than 5.76 million tons of plastic in our oceans. To put that in perspective, that’s enough to put 2/3 of California in a plastic bags!

On September 10th, I said goodbye to Tom Jones and the crew at Pillar Point harbor, that was yesterday. My phone rings, Rhyn’s name texts and I answer with a familiar buzz, the sound of wind.

Wind means waves I muse. “I can hear the NW wind blowing Rhyn, where are you now? I wait for Ryhn’s slow motion response. Ryhn is a long way from his home in Crescent City, navigating the craggy and foggy California coast with his teammates, Tom and Zoltan, whom we call ‘Zolie’.

Danny Misken drives the chase vehicle, following the crew from stop to stop via binoculars and VHF marine radio. Most often they work off Channel 74 or 68, so you might be able to catch them and say ‘hello’ on their journey. The California Paddle crew all have radios, so check in with them and give some encouragement.

“We running down to Santa Cruz right now” he says with a blustery ‘pu-pu-pu’ sound whipping in the background of his voice. It’s not an easy thing to pilot a Personal Watercraft trying not to get your personal cell phone water logged. Ask me how I know?

Zoltan Torkos who is from Santa Cruz, a Westside Boy, and Rhyn are about to hit ground zero, the Santa Cruz scene. They have come all the way from the Oregon border piloting the 2 personal watercraft for Tom Jones at a brisk speed of 3 MPH on the average, with favorable waters and atmosphere.

Tom has been planning for the California Paddle for over a year now. His message is not just simple, it is profound. Plastic, our modern commercial answer to packaging and transport is literally chocking our world’s oceans. He decided to do something about this with a project that would bring attention to this environmental catastrophe. Tom began training and preparing and organized a solid team for the journey.

Tom Jones on the Stand Up Paddle board and Rhyn Noll tackle the Half Moon Bay leg

Zoltan and Ryn Noll today received a rare ocean treat. ‘We saw about 15 pilot whales that came up to us so close you could definitely see them very good, I got some great video footage. We got 3 other paddlers today, Ron Kucera, John and Mark Alfaro, they are going to paddle to Waddel today with us today. I’m not sure where that is exactly but I think its’ just south of Ano.” Mark Alfaro runs surfpulse.com a popular surf website for the San Francisco coast. He’s posted pictures of Saturday’s paddle: http://www.surfpulse.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=542

“It was so much fun heading up with Zolie today, there were so many jellyfish, I swear you could walk on them they are so thick out by Ano and they are all full of eggs, I stuck the camera housing under water so I could film them while we’re motoring. We’re heading around Franklin Point now, Northwest wind at our back”. Rhyn keeps rolling out the daily report.

‘It’s good because we have no ocean and the wind is helping Tom move down the coast at a brisk pace, should be yet another great day for Tom’s paddle ahead’, says Rhyn.

Rhyn continues, ‘Channel 2 news came down and did a live interview at Santa Cruz harbor with Tom. We’re going to get Tom down 10 miles from Franklin, so we’ll do 10 miles through Ano today, I’m not sure about this, I’m not sure anyone has paddled this part of the coast since they are psyched out about ‘whitey’, this might be a legendary paddle happening right now.’

‘We’ll be in the Santa Cruz harbor this afternoon when we’re all done. When we went by Ano Nuevo, I could totally see why they have that as a reserve, there are so many seals, the seals cover the whole island, they are everywhere, good food source for Whitey’. We say our goodbyes with a cheeful ‘Aloha’ , I hang up and the sun breaks through the morning clouds. Another good omen.

This month a kayaker had been hit by a great white shark in this coastal region, said Cary Smith who works for me at K38 as a instructor and is also a Pillar Point harbor deputy. He along with other colleagues have gotten the word out down the coast that Tom’s California Paddle will be hitting stride into State beaches or harbors approximately every 10 miles on average potentially.

The coast is watching. The weather has been favorable with just a few days of contentious wind blown chop on the ocean surface, otherwise a perfect blessing of celebrating the California Coast for a great cause.

They will be launching from Santa Cruz Harbor tomorrow morning at approximately 7:30am. If you are a good paddler, come out and support the team on the water, they’ll be heading 10 miles out tomorrow.

For more information:

www.CaliforniaPaddle.com

California Paddle Supporters

· Bodyblade

· World Black Belt

· K.O. KnockOut Fitness Recovery Drink

· Joe Bark Surfboards and Paddleboards

· Katin Surf Shop

· Ohana Health Company

· Patagonia

· S&S Metal and Plastics Inc.

· Silver Star Finance Inc.

· Teva

· Alaskan IPA

· Save Our Shores

· Believe Agency

· EX Drinks

· Wild Oats marketplace

· San Diego Coastkeeper

Contact:

Shawn Alladio

K38 Water Safety

714 280 7274

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