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CHRISTINA GANDOLFO


Navigating the water around Catalina Island revealed up-close sightings of pelicans, curious seals, tendrils of kelp, and jagged shorelines concealing hidden inlets, such as Smuggler’s Cove (previous spread). The crew was joined by Camp Emerald Bay staffers Adam Hunt and Melodie Kunkler, shown above with Venturer Jake Stephens (back).


The appeal of kayaking is almost immediately


apparent, even to beginners. The crafts are graceful and sleek. And unlike rowboats or canoes, they’re easily maneuverable by a single person, offering the individual freedom to explore a magical marine world unfathomed by landlubbers. “I don’t ever want to go back to the mainland,” Nick


said as the group paddled away from Camp Emerald Bay’s crescent-shaped beach. “Ever.”


SOON AFTER LEAVING THE BAY, the island turns wild, and no signs of civilization mar the steep, rocky slopes that plunge into the sea. Offshore, the water is so deep it appears as a rich shade of teal. That Saturday morning, a single heron sliced through the air above the Venturers’ heads, several pelicans skimmed the water, and baby loons trolled the surface, bobbing over 100-foot-tall kelp forests. “What’s so cool about these,” Suzu said as he glided


over the seaweed, “is you only see kelp and small fish at the top, but there’s so much underneath.”


SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2012 ¿ S COUTING 39


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