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Chumash Make Tomol Crossing


Hours before dawn on 9/7, Chumash paddlers in tomols set out from the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard and successfully completed the annual 21-mile crossing of the Santa Barbara Channel. Despite rough wind and water conditions, the group arrived to a welcoming crowd of 150 friends and family members on Santa Cruz Island 12 hours after the 4 a.m. departure. The two plank canoes, the 30-foot-long Muptami of Kalawashaqi and the 24-foot-long Elye’wun of Syxtun held five paddlers at a time; 30 men, women, and young people rotated shifts from a support boat.

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