The Seasonal Diet is run by myself and Peter. This is a business, we sell a “product“, but at the end of the day, we’re people too. So last week, you might have noticed it was a little quiet around here. If you’re a Tastemaker (what we call our paying members), then you know we went to Catalina Island for my birthday with some friends.
A big part of our business is connection. We like to share our stories and lives with you, in hopes to inspire and form relationships (we love connecting with like-minded peeps!). What I’m trying to say, is we like to keep you in the loop, so I thought it would be appropriate to share what happened. I usually re-cap our trips, you can see past camping trips, HERE and HERE. Unfortunately, this one isn’t as cheery and bright, but I think it’s important to be honest and share the good with the bad… tis’ life.
Our Catalina Adventure
Peter and I went last year to Catalina Island for my birthday and had a great time. We faced a few challenges, like getting lost on a 7 mile hike in extreme heat, but it was so beautiful we didn’t seem to mind. So I thought this year would be a little easier. Been there done that kinda thing.
Our game plan was to kayak from Two Harbors to Parsons Landing – it’s about a 4.5 mile trip that seems to take anywhere from 2.5- 3.5 hours – and then camp on Parsons, from Friday night to Sunday morning and then Kayak back to Two Harbor and catch the 2:15pm ferry.
We went with another couple, the four of us are beginner kayakers and knew this could be a challenge, but we were all in pretty good shape and felt confident that we could pull over to the shore if we got tired.
Thursday night and Friday morning, Southern California got a huge rain storm, and we were worried the entire trip would fall apart, but we carried on and ended up on Catalina Island at 2pm on Friday afternoon. It was dry, sunny and beautiful. We had lunch and then got to work.
We rented our kayaks before lunch around 2:15pm, and I asked for any tips from the guys working (as this was our first time making the trip). The response was: “Have Fun!” Okay, I’ll take it.
We put on our life vests, packed our kayaks (that took a while!) and got started on our trip.
It started out fine, we got the hang of it and our two double kayaks took off side by side. Our friends took the lead for awhile, seeming to have a better grasp on the whole “working together” thing. Peter and I were struggling.
Peter kept telling me “we gotta get in our groove” (I came to HATE that phrase by the end).
We eventually found “our Groove” and ended up ahead of our friends. After about an hour and a half of kayaking, I started to get a little sea sick. I was feeling tired and just wanted to get onto dry land. We were pretty far out from the shore with nothing but open water. This was my mini panic attack!
The worst part was the waves were getting bigger and our friends were pretty far behind us. Unfortunately, every time we stopped rowing a big wave would come, almost knocking us over!
Luckily, we could see our camp site and a large boat in the near distance. We just had to battle the waves and make a run for the shore. Unfortunately, that was the not the way waves were moving, and every time we tried to “make a run for it”, a big wave would crash over our boat, soaking us and almost tipping us in the cold water.
Panic set in, and we were working as hard as we could, my hand was bleeding from the boat and the waves knocking it. All I could think about was our friends, “were they okay?” but I couldn’t look back because every time I tried a wave would come drench me and almost knock us over.
Peter and I worked together and made it to the shore.
In Tears. Wet. Thankful.
We looked for our friends, but I was doubtful they would make it, the waves were huge at this point and it was extremely hard for us to get to the shore.
Well, they didn’t.
Their kayak tipped over about 300 feet from the shore and every time they tried to get back in it, it flipped back over. We couldn’t really tell at the time, but I had feeling.
We started screaming Help as there was the boat just offshore, it was anchored in between us and our friends. We would later find out our friends lost their oars and were screaming and blowing the whistle on the life vests for help as well.
Finally, after what seemed like forever (probably 10 minutes) the boat noticed our friends needed help and went to rescue them. I wish I could say it was easy, but the boat struggled with the waves and just getting to them.
Eventually the boat rescued them, pushed their kayak back in towards us, and brought them in another 10 minutes after that. It was about 6pm.
Everyone was safe, freezing, scared and really shaken up.
To see your friends in the ocean and not able to do anything was scarier than us almost being stuck in the ocean.
After that traumatic experience, you can imagine we wanted to get the heck out of Catalina.
Without much choice, we stayed the night. The next day we called the Dive Shop on Two Harbors that rented us the Kayaks (somehow we had service). They didn’t really care that we almost drowned. They wouldn’t come and pick us up, or our stuff, but they would, however, pick up our kayaks for an extra fee and charge us for the missing oars. Other than, that “sorry guys, you’re on your own”.
I do pretty well in times of distress and I’m a big fan of treating others how you want to be treated, so I kept my cool, but I couldn’t help but ask if the manager, Josh, cared if we were even okay?
If he had a little humanity inside, and if he had any ideas on how he could help us get back to the main land, as we were in no shape to hike the 7 miles to get back to two harbors, wouldn’t he help us?
I feel like that’s not really asking too much, considering everything… But NOTTA.
We carefully packed everything we had, and hiked 20 minutes to a neighboring camp called Emerald Bay, where our faith in humanity was restored, when one of the camp organizers called a water taxi for us and apologized for what had happened.
So here is what I want to conclude with: Cherish your friends and family, kayak with caution, don’t support the Dive Shop on Two Harbors and if you own a business, please, value your customers over profit. If I owned the Dive Shop, I would have went out of my way to help any kayakers out, and I would have warned them about the conditions before renting and I would have made sure the giant (sorry Mike, you’re so tall!) dude had a life vest that actually fit (he could barely stay afloat because he was so exhausted from the paddle).
Needless to say we didn’t have S’mores on this camping trip (we ended up staying at a Marriott and hanging out for the day in Manhattan Beach).
And since we had all the Ingredients for S’mores, we decided to make them… At home.. In our oven!
Indoor Vegan S’mores
- 3 cups almond flour
- 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. molasses
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 dash sea salt
- 1 package marshmallows (we used Sweet and Sara's vegan marshmallows)
- 1 bar dark chocolate (keep in the freezer)
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
- In a food processor combine all ingredients
- Process until dough forms
- Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper to ¼ inch thick
- Cut dough, we used mason jar lids as cookie cutters, but you can try your luck at cutting rectangles for a more traditional cracker.
- Poke holes in the surface and sprinkle with cinnamon (and sugar if you want).
- Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes (they harden up a lot)
- Cool completely before eating or storing
- Pre-heat the oven to 350.
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Place crackers in a single row and top with chocolate and then a marshmallow.
- Place in oven for 5 minutes.
- Take out of oven and place another cracker on top and squash together. Will be messy and delicious.