2016 California Kayak Friends Festival

By George Miller

Paddling club California Kayak Friends (ckf.org) held a memorial paddle (club event report) and concert today in honor of beloved former club President Steve Holtzman and some of the other memorable paddlers they’ve lost along the way, Len, Anne and Dave

Current club President Lee Shurie officiated at the morning paddle, which launched from Kiddie Beach, Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, near the Coast Guard Station on Victoria Avenue. Not only is that beach the unofficial headquarters for the Ventura County and SFV paddlers division (they meet most Sunday mornings at 0900- you are welcome, too), but there are two benches there, facing the sea. One is dedicated to Steve and one more to former President Len Goodman.


Some of CKF paddlers by the Channel Islands Harbor outer breakwater, 7-10-16. Photo: Bob Carey




CKF President Lee Shurie rests after surfing in “The Pond” outside of Channel Islands Harbor, 7-10-16. Photo: Bob Carey

Some CKF members before 7-10-16 launch at Kiddie Beach, Channel Islands Harbor. Photo: Lee Shurie?

Some CKF members before 7-10-16 launch at Kiddie Beach, Channel Islands Harbor. Photo: Lee Shurie?

Members brought lunches or foraged for food onsite at the Seabridge malla. No shortage of food resources there, with Anaba Sushi, Fisherman’s Catch, Jersey Mike’s and other restaurants in close proximity.


Seabridge Marina, viewed from amphitheater.

Club musical director/historian Steve Wilson took over during/after lunch, to present his unique brand of original kayak music at the Seabridge amphitheater (at Victoria & Wooley, by Von’s). He was accompanied on percussion by Pat Martin. They played Pink Kayak, Kayak Deep Trouble, Screaming Like a Little Girl and more. By popular demand, Mark Sanders was coaxed into playing “Mineral Spirits” and more for the group. Steve and Pat wrapped up their set with “California Kayak Friends,” which has become the club hymn for events both joyous and sad. (Music sample from another event)


Pat Martin on drums, Steve Wilson- vocal and guitar. Photo: Bob Carey



Mart Sanders belts out “Mineral Spirits” at CKF event 7-10-16. Photo: Bob Carey.

Quite a few passersby invited themselves to the concert, which was held n a public venue directly below the mall and above the marina. One wonders what they thought of the unusual song lyrics, sung in blues, ballad and Bob Marley styles.


Some of the OC members watching Steve/Pat play. Photo: Bob Carey.

People had come from as far away as San Diego. Some of the OC/SD members hadn’t been up to VC for years, so it was a reunion of sorts. They headed south after discussing future events out to the Channel Islands and down to Baja.

George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.

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