The Chumash’s annual crossing of the Santa Barbara Channel by tomol encountered some rough waters this weekend, and the 21-mile journey was canceled near its midway point Sunday morning. The team of paddlers left for Santa Cruz Island from Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard around 3 a.m. in Muptami of Kalawashaq, the Santa Ynez Band’s 30-foot tomol. With wind swell battering them and filling their short-walled canoe-like vessel with water, event organizers called off the crossing 11 miles from Santa Cruz. Support boats scooped up the paddlers and towed the craft to Ventura Harbor.
Tomol crossing paddlers