How to Become a Tsunami Ranger

by Eric Soares on March 8, 2011

NOTICE:  The Tsunami Rangers are looking for new members.  Ideal candidates will be strong, bold, courageous, fun-loving, adventurous and love water, kayak well, be proficient at many outdoor activities, be individualistic and a team player, a fast learner, and a true friend.  And young—18 to 21

Sasha Joura in the bow and Michael Powers in the stern represent youth and experience

That’s right.  We want the next generation of paddlers to take what we know about paddling in ocean rock gardens and stride into the future.  We have too many older Tsunami Rangers who are on the way out, not up. And while we cherish the wisdom and skills of our elders, we know it is time to get new blood.  Frankly, we are looking to recruit our kids and grandkids!

The mission of the Tsunami Rangers is to explore surf and rock gardens—that is, coastlines, the more rugged, the better. We also further the sport and lifestyle of coastal kayaking and educate interested paddlers who want to go beyond their current skill level.  Not a club with dues and social interaction, we’re a team and recruit people with mutual interests after we’ve paddled with them in various kayaking environments for a year or more.  At the right time, after much practice in controlled conditions, we offer them a chance to formally prove their mettle and become a Tsunami Ranger officer. 

Misha Dynnikov shows what Tsunami Rangers do when they go sea kayaking

For fun, but also to reward merit and acknowledge skills, we give naval ranks to candidates who pass our officer test.  The test lasts one or two days and consists of answering scenario questions, performing rolls and rescues, swimming and surfing, paddling in rock gardens and caves, and leading missions through same.  Afterward, we debrief the candidate and give a rank commensurate with demonstrated abilities.  Rank is a badge of honor, and says they are full-fledged waterwomen or men, akin to a fighter pilot being given his wings.

Regrettably, you can’t just sign up and join us.  We are exclusive and have only a dozen operational officers at any given time.   We’ve had to pass up many great kayakers for various reasons.  If you are a competent coastline paddler, it’s highly unlikely you will become a Tsunami Ranger because the stars must be aligned for everything to click.  But there is nothing stopping you from forming your own ocean whitewater adventure team.  Why not?

From Force 10 to The Hurricane Riders

In winter 1984, I met Steve Sinclair and his gnarly team of storm sea skiers in Elk, California.  They called themselves Force 10, because they kayak far out to sea in force 10 conditions (that is, wind whips at 60mph and waves crest up to 40-feet high).  I was so impressed with them that a year later Jim Kakuk and I formed the Tsunami Rangers, who specialized in navigating rock gardens.

Over the next decade, two more northern California teams arose—the Slackwater Yacht Club, an ironic name for guys who race kayaks in roughwater conditions; and the Banzai Bozos, a band of outlaw kayakers who paddled the same waters we did but with (even more) reckless abandon. Though we competed against Force 10, SYC and the Bozos in races and contests, the bottom line was we were all friends and admired each other.

Hurricane Rider Pawel Szopa rips it at Skooks

I have caught wind of other adventure teams forming here and there.  And I encourage them all.  The latest ocean whitewater team I have just become acquainted with is The Hurricane Riders, based in Vancouver, Canada. At their website at you can read their mission statement “…paddle in rough water, tidal currents, wind and surf” and watch their YouTube videos of them doing same in places like Skookumchuck.  I met THR member Rowan Gloag at the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium a couple of weeks ago and admired his gung ho spirit.  I was immediately inspired to make a public challenge to his team and to all coastal kayaking tribes who enjoy a quest.

Big Sur Challenge

About 25 years ago, Tsunami Rangers Jim Kakuk, Glenn Gilchrist, and I toured down the northern and central Big Sur coast.  We camped at a hidden little beach, fished for ling cod, and explored in detail the complex rock garden we named Neptune’s Castle.  We climbed the pyramidal islet (see the photo), and placed a bottle with a message in it on top.  We have not been there since.

The pyramid-shaped island is Neptune's Castle, somewhere on the Big Sur coast

The challenge is for your team to locate Neptune’s Castle, kayak to the Castle, scale its walls, find the bottle, insert a new message in the bottle to accompany what is there, and take a picture proving it.  Whoever accomplishes this noble quest within one year will be given a boon by the Tsunami Rangers.  So says Neptune.

A challenge, a quest of this nature is what teamwork is all about.  First, Neptune’s Castle must be found.  That will entail map work and route planning.  Then, to make it truly worthwhile, a team must prepare for and embark upon a short expedition, both on the road and water. Once Neptune’s Castle is discovered (by kayak, of course), a tactical plan must be formulated and executed.  When on top of the rock, what will you write?  And, for documentation, remember to take pictures and video while you ply the gauntlet, passageways and nearby boomers in the beautiful rock garden of Neptune’s Castle.

Hurricane Riders Rowan Gloag, Chris Wilson, James Dunderdale, and Marty Perry look at their action shots

If you and your team intend to accept the mission and undertake the Big Sur Challenge, let us know by posting a comment directly below this notice.  Anyone who wants to comment on any of the above, or ask a question about the Rangers or any of the teams mentioned, please do so by tapping the comment button below and writing your words. I would love to hear from any wild sea kayaking teams out there anywhere in the Blue World.

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Kenny Howell March 8, 2011 at 11:21 am

Brilliant challenge! This task will require all the skills of an ocean paddling team.
Eric, the path of the Wave Warrior has captured the imagination of my 14 year old boy, who you know well. Surfing is in his blood. Your latest post has reminded me that his waterman training will be a long journey…Long Live the Tsunami Rangers!


Tess March 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm

‘Like’ !


John Lull March 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Great idea for a challenge, Eric! One thing I’d add to this, in addition to taking a photo and leaving another message, is to read the message left there 25 years ago and tell Eric what it said. Assuming the bottle hasn’t been blown to smithereens during a winter storm at some point. In that case, a photo standing on top of the pyramid should suffice.



Fat Paddler March 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Team Fat Paddler, from the wild east coast of Australia, accept your challenge!  Of course we have a little work to do first, namely….

1. Commission a fleet of Tsunami X-15 Scramjets, ideally made locally and adorned with Indigenous Australian artwork to reflect our heritage. They’ll also need to be customized with a built in eski for our beer.

2. Scour the surf beaches for 18 year old grommies, starting with the ones that rip apart cliff and reef breaks, for recruitment into the TFP Big Sur Pro Team. I expect we’ll first need to hire a recruitment team of bikini-clad beach babes to drag them from the waves.

3. Buy a helicopter for aerial scouting of your Pacific coastline looking for Neptune’s Castle. Or a satellite, I hear China is making them quite cheaply these days.

4. Secure a sausage supplier and a chef that we can take with us. Ideally one that doesn’t mind surfing kayaks into cliffs.

5. Attract a sponsor that will be happy to support our mission with between 2 and 980 million dollars (satellites don’t come cheap, even the Chinese ones!!).

Once these minor challenges have been met, we’ll look forward to beating all your north American adventure kayak teams to the prize. We’ll even leave a case of Aussie beer at the summit as proof…. Well, the empty beer bottles anyway.

Cheers! FP


Moulton Avery March 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Nothing like a bold challenge (aka Bitch-Slap with a paddle) to get the young turks all fired up, Eric.

News Flash:
Changing of the Guard
Aging Tsunami Rangers Issue Big Sur Challenge to Young Upstarts.

The Big Sur Challenge! Talk about larding on the bait and setting the hook; how will they resist? But, wait, wait a minute; who are they anyway, these upstarts? Monterrey Misanthropes? Surf Lions of Lobos? Point Piedras Piranhas? Morro Bay Marauders? Time will tell. Maybe the crack team (crack as in “skillful, not smoke) that will paddle to victory doesn’t even exist yet.

This is such a Mighty-Dog challenge that I can even envision some rogue solo paddlers and dynamic duos coalescing around the worthy quest. Although, come to think of it, you might have to define “boon” for the young lads and lasses. “No, no, no”, cried Eric, “I said B O O N, not bong, you Nimrods!” They’ll have a little leg up with the satellite pix on Google Maps, but it still looks like it’s gonna be a real Holy Grail bitch. Geo-Caching Gone Wild. I love it!


John Lull March 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Hey fat paddler, save your money and buy those bikini clad beauties a drink instead! No need to hire a helicopter or buy a satellite. There was a time when this place would have been difficult to find. Not anymore (but no hints from me), so no points for finding it. But paddling there, landing, and climbing to the top to retrieve a bottle will definitely be a worthy challenge for the young whippersnappers! It’ll be fun to see who pulls it off.



Jim Kakuk March 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Eric, Good challenge. I would like to go back there myself, remember “Big Sur Boogie” and the quest for the hot springs in 1986? –Kuk


Eric Soares March 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I am laughing so hard I can hardly write. I’m glad that Fat Paddler is accepting the challenge–but why do it in jest–get a Team Oz together man!

Yes, I request that ocean adventure TEAMS do this (2 guys is a nominal team, okay), because it’s not safe to do this on your own. If you got to the top of the Castle and fell off, it would suck to be alone and all bashed up. There is not much room at the top, barely enough for a bottle and a buccaneer. I kid you not.

As John suggested, please let me know what words we wrote all those years ago, as I have forgotten. Jim or Glenn, can you remember what we wrote? If the bottle is broken or gone, put up a new one. I believe we used either a rum or a port bottle. Please use a similar bottle if ours is kaput (We don’t want a Welch’s grape juice jar).

I’m stoked that a 14-year-old is stoked about the Big Sur challenge. This is what we’re hoping for–young people like Kenny’s son August yearning to become a wave warrior by undertaking a dangerous quest. BTW, no kids under 18 should try this. We’re talking cold water, big waves, rocks and caves, steep & crumbly cliffs. This is a serious mission. I hope whatever team(s) attempts the endeavor has good climbing skills.


Fat Paddler March 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Jest? WHAT jest?? I’m SERIOUS man!


THR March 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm

We’re in. Not sure when. Not sure how. But we’re in.


Eric Soares March 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Thus far we officially have THR (Hurricane Riders) and TFP (Team Oz) who have accepted the Big Sur Challenge. Anyone else?


Moulton Avery March 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm

If you hype it, Eric, fear not – they will come…


Padre jack March 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Good one e-man!
Nothing like a Holy Grail challenge to get the rum curdling in the blood.
Although, I have to admit, you made me think of some in the Catholic Church begging for vocations…. (Maybe that’s the CC’s problem: the heroics have gone out of it in the West. Crusade anyone?)
P’dre Jack


Malcolm Schweizer March 9, 2011 at 7:18 am

Hello Rangers and friends,

I’ll be in Cali for the Sacred Craft show. I will be at the Wood Surfboard Supply booth and my latest board will be displayed at the Robert August booth. I am an expedition kayaker/surfer/shaper in the Virgin Islands. I’d love for any of the Tsunami Rangers to stop by and introduce yourselves if you’re at the show.

Now, about this challenge, down here in the VI we call hurricanes “light airs” and we call areas like this “playgrounds.” This is a challenge that needs to be accepted by a pirate, and being a pirate myself, I am up to this challenge. I believe that bottle needs to be replaced with a bottle of Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum. Arrrrrrrr. (sorry, I’m required by the pirate code to say “arrrrrr” any time rum is mentioned.)

Arrrrr, there just be one problem, me needs a kayak. Hmmmm… perchance I shall have to band together with Fat Paddler and his crew and pillage and plunder this castle together.

And now- me feels like a pirate toast: “Lord above, send down a dove, with wings as sharp as razors. To slit the throats of the lousy blokes who sell bad rum to sailors.” ARRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Fat Paddler March 12, 2011 at 6:45 am

Arrrrr! We welcome pirates, even scurvy dogs like yeself!


Jeff Laxier March 9, 2011 at 9:11 am

This is great! I expect to start seeing teams show up on the Mendocino Coast prepping for the Big Sur Challenge and just to play in the rocks!
What kind of new body armor will we see?
Liquid Fusion Kayaking has started in on logistics and is up for a trip to Big Sur. Hope to see others out there!
Best of days,


Eric Soares March 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

I’m excited that Jeff’s Liquid Fusion crew has joined the Quest for the Holy Rum Bottle. I’ll add that the magnificent Mendocino coast is just as exciting as beautiful Big Sur.

Years ago Jim Kakuk and I searched for a hot spring on the Big Sur coast that I envisioned in a dream. We searched right where we thought it would be, but no hot spring. Drat. Sometimes these Quests are not what they are cracked up to be, but we still had a great time out there.

Hail Pirate “Light Air” Malcolm! If you come out West, somehow you will be connected with the right people and equipment. You might want to contact Jeff’s outfit at Arrrrrh!


Lenora d'Arc March 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Argh…. Some pirates in the Sounthern California seas be’ conspirin’….


Eric Soares March 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm

That be splendid, Lady Lenora.


Nick Crowhurst March 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Two great plans – get the youngsters to continue the tradition, and have a specific challenge. I’m minded of a rock climb called Hell Gates in the Avon Gorge, Bristol UK, immediately below the Clifton suspension bridge. In a tiny cave, just big enough to shelter two climbers, and half way up the 200 foot cliff, is a weatherproof box containing a book for “visitors” to sign. The route is 5.8, which was quite respectable in the mid-60’s when I first reached the cave, so signing the book was an event in itself. Pictures here, bottom of the page, including one from the cave:
I’m thinking of a water-resistant book in a Pelican case, secured to your pinnacle.


Kenny Howell March 9, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Nick, I li,ke your comments about climbing. We used to do orienteering races when I was in college in Arizona (and my team sometimes won!) – it involved searching for checkpoints in remote areas, sometimes via climbing. Eric, you would have loved these orienteering races – except, there is no ocean in Arizona. As for the challenges thrown down by climbers in the UK, did you ever hear this story? At a famous crag in the Lake District (not 100% sure of the location), there was a super hard route, a fist-jamming crack climb. Guys were daring each other to do it “free”, without aid, and then free soloing it. Then one day, a total freak climber showed up and did the route with boxing gloves and rollers skates on. Got to love that style.


Moulton Avery March 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm

OK, Eric. Gotta sort this out before anyone takes another step forward. Since before PCs were invented, I’ve been saying Arrrrrrgh! as a pirate. Now I’m seein’ Arrrrrr, and I’m thinkin’, what’s next, Arf Arf Arf?!? Like a wee yappy caniner?

So I gotta know: are Lady Lenora and I correct, or do we stand corrected? I’m not givin’ up me Arrrrrrrrrrgh! for nothin’ less than a couple barrels of that Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum that me VI mate was talking about. It’s got me real worried – he hails from an area where pirates used to be thick on the water….


Nick Crowhurst March 9, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Kenny, I believe this was the late Ray McHaffie on the Lake District classic route “Little Chamonix”. On our wall at home is a photo of my wife cruising this route. Here’s Ray’s obituary, which includes a reference to this famous exploit:


Kenny Howell March 9, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Bless you Nick, that is priceless, man! Thanks for sending the obit of the “Borrowdale Mac”! I believe one of my climbing instructors from Prescott College, who was an Outward Bound instructor hailing from the Lake District, climbed with Ray McHaffie. That’s how I first heard about the dude. His stunt was made for a Tsunami Ranger, eh? Who will be the first to ascend Neptune’s Castle – or whatever it’s real name is – with his legs shackled together, chanting “ARRRGGH!” all the way to the summit, then diving back into the sea to retrieve his X-15 kayak?


Eric Soares March 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Nick presents a great idea. I request that whoever scales Neptune’s Castle leave your note on waterproof paper in a waterproof pelican box secured to the top, so the next team can add their notes, and so on.

NEWSFLASH: The quest just became more difficult. Anders Landin, route finder extraordinaire, informed me that Neptune’s Castle (not the “official” name but our given name for the rock) has eroded some since 1986, when the picture in the post was taken. So, crusaders take note. It looks different.

Who goes “Arrrrr, arrrrrh, arrrrgh, aarrrrrp!”? (answer: a retired pirate)


Gary Allen March 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm


I believe I know where this is. Now I’m a bit over 21, but if I get there, take a picture, and leave a note is there still “Tsunami Ranger boon” available for an old guy?

Great way to capture people’s imaginations!


Eric Soares March 10, 2011 at 9:00 am

Gary, you will get the boon. Since I’ve known you for many pirate seasons, I know you can do it alone, but please share with your mates, as the drive down from the sumptuous Sonoma coast takes a day, the quest will take up at least a day (depending upon whether you kayak there and camp along the way and play at the playgrounds or just walk your boat down from the road and do it as fast as you can–boo), and then you have to drive home. That’s a minimum of 3 days.

So who are you paddling with? Scott Becklund at least? And this brings up a good point. There’s no reason that individuals cannot join together to accomplish the quest. And BTW, how come no one from BASK (Bay Area Sea Kayakers) has yet taken up the challenge?

Have fun!


Malcolm Schweizer March 10, 2011 at 5:51 am

@ Moulton, actually it depends on the emotion: “Arrrrrrrr” Is happy, “Arrrrrrgh” is a bit more mean. “Aaarrrrrrggggghhhhh” is downright nasty! I would never introduce with an “Arrrrrgh” as it might invoke drawing of swords.

What’s the first letter of the pirate alphabet? “Aaaaarrrrr” What’s the last letter of the pirate alphabet? “Aaaaarrrrr” What’s the middle letter of the pirate alphabet? “Deee” “Aaaarrrrrr Deee Aaaarrrr”!!!



micaila March 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Exciting challenge! How old was the youngest member ever to join the Tsunami Rangers?


Kenny Howell March 11, 2011 at 9:33 am

I’ve noticed that once someone becomes a Tsunami Ranger, they may get older, but they stop growing up.


Eric Soares March 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

Hi Micaila, lovely daughter!

The youngest was 28 I think. And that was Alan Hillesheim. Misha Dynnikov was 29, I believe.

Maybe my new granddaughter Paisley (age almost 3 mos) will be a Tsunami Ranger some day!


Paddleshrk Mo March 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Ayyy – I want to join Gary and paddle more with Scott! Arrrrrhhggggg!


Gary Allen March 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Come aboard Paddleshrk Mo, and we’ll receive the boon!

Eric, I’d never go all the way down there and do it in one day–too much beautiful water and too many beautiful hikes. I already have plans to be camping on Big Sur in early June with some friends, so it may have to wait until then.

Nice paddle with Scott today at Bodega…


Eric Soares March 13, 2011 at 8:32 am


Thanks for taking Mo aboard. That is the right spirit. I know you guys will find it and do the deed.

You say you and Scott paddled at Bodega y-e-s-t-e-r-d-a-y? Even with the tsunami warning? Gulp.

My next column will be on the tsunami in Japan. I’ll post it on Tuesday morning, so stay tuned.


Gary Allen March 13, 2011 at 10:08 am


It was actually a pretty calm day yesterday at Bodega. I have a boat in a slip at Spud Point Marina, and Scott and I went there first to check for any problems, but there was nothing evident. In talking to some people at the Marina the day before, I was told there were a few surges but not enough to cause any significant problems, unlike in other marinas such as Santa Cruz, Fort Bragg, and Crescent City. I watched a pretty unsettling Youtube clip of the tsunami entering the harbor at Brookings.

We did have a minor encounter with the effect of the tsunami, however. Scott and I carried our kayaks down by the water at Doran before we got changed into our wetsuits. We had left them at least 12 or 15 feet from the water. Suddenly we noticed that our boats were floating! I overheard someone say that a ranger had just come by and warned that there was a three foot surge on the way. Amazing the effects even more than a day after an earthquake 5,000 miles away…


Marty Perry May 12, 2011 at 8:05 am

Hey Tsunami Rangers, this is Marty from THR and I’m heading down the NorCal coast for june 15th to 26th to surf Trinidad to Mavericks. Looking to meet up with some kayakers for some surf sessions. Can you guys set me up?
I’d really like to meet the crew and collect material for our next film.


Kenny Howell May 12, 2011 at 8:23 am

Marty, I’m only an honorary Tsunmai Ranger (don’t take tests well), but I surf at Pillar Point a lot – usually on a surfski. Would love to cruise out there with you – unfortunately I’ll be away that week in the mountains. As you must know, Mavericks refers to the big wave off Pillar Point, not to a geographic area as some people might think. If you’re making a film about kayaking, you’ll want to make that point clear. I have seen Mavericks go off in June, although it’s rare. Kayakers can only ride the “foothills” of Mavericks and live to tell the tale. Hope your surfin’ surfari is full of great rides! -Kenny


Eric Soares May 12, 2011 at 8:44 am

Marty, Heed Kenny’s words. Mavericks is a good place (but the actual Mav wave is gnarly to say the least). Let’s just say I’m too chicken to try it again. The rock just south of Mavericks is the place for kayakers to surf (believe me, it’s challenging).

Jim Kakuk and Helen Wilson are residing up north. Helen is in Trinidad (a beautiful place), and Jim is south of there, so they may be able to work with you. Also, check with Jeff and Cate at Liquid Fusion in Fort Bragg, as they could show you a really good time on the Mendo coast. John Lull can connect you with the right people in Half Moon Bay (Mavericks).

Now, the big question: Are you going to accept the Big Sur challenge? Since you’re over half way down there….

I will put the word out to my friends that you need friends and assistance.

Good luck mates! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrr….


Neptune's Rangers August 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

We are a group of advanced coastal and rock garden paddlers who have recently got word of your treasure on Neptune’s Castle. We have formed a team that is going to take on this challenge – hopefully soon. For now, we will remain anonymous, but if our team succeeds, we will take on the name Neptune’s Rangers.”


Marty Perry August 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Wo!! what planet are you from? oh! yeah Neptune. Just messing with you Neptune boyz or galz. THR is on the prowl for the vase too. Secret time, secret location and cheap beer.


Eric Soares August 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Arrrrrh, me hearties. May the best pirate get the boon!


Moulton Avery August 14, 2011 at 5:23 am

In the fullness of time, it came to pass that the TR Holy Grail “Big Sur Challenge” gave birth to yet another band of ocean-paddling scurvy dogs and scalawags: Neptune’s Rangers. Eric, concerned that too much information might confuse the contestants, had wisely refrained from mentioning that the term “blunt”, in pirate slang, referred to money rather than a large slug of “pirate tobacco”. Despite his restraint, or perhaps because of it, rumors began to circulate that a massive Blunt, one the size of a huge smoldering turnip, lay at the summit of Neptune’s Castle, awaiting discovery by some lucky tar….


Devil's Slide Doug August 17, 2011 at 4:48 pm

(And BTW, how come no one from BASK (Bay Area Sea Kayakers) has yet taken up the challenge?)
We are lurking. For extra style points it may even be done in a skin boat. Now if I could just find another skin on frame rock garden paddler. I might have to settle for people who reinforce their boat with tarp material instead.


Eric Soares August 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Paddle on the Big Sur Quest in a skin boat? I say YES, do it!


Neptune's Rangers August 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm

The challenge has been met. The original bottle and message are gone. We have left a replacement. Sorry, it is only half full as we used the rest to celebrate. Any other takers to the challenge? Photos to follow


Neptune's Rangers August 24, 2011 at 10:14 am

Photographic proof: Vanquish of the Big Sur Challenge

(copy the links into your browser window)

Planning the assault:

Scaling the flanks of the castle:

On top, preparing the stash:

There’s still some left…

A secret message (blurred in photo) for future warriors who take up the challenge:


Moulton Avery August 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Well, that post seems to have left everyone speechless! Is the claim under review? Did the Neptunians make good on their claim?
Stay tuned…


Neptunes's Rangers August 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm

The initial proof be stuck waiting for approval from the moderator of this site.
I guess he just can’t beleve it.


Moulton Avery August 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Eric sat at his desk, stunned and speechless, a half-consumed bottle of fine rum at his side. Arrrrrrh! Had they really done it? Snatched the prize from the jaws of Neptune’s Castle? It seemed incredible. A week ago no one had even heard of Neptune’s Rangers; now they were claiming victory in the TR Holy Grail Bitch-Slap-With-A-Paddle Big Sur Challenge. It was all too much, so he decided to take a well-earned nap. Much later, as the great orb of fire sank slowly into the Pacific, he arose refreshed to study the evidence anew. Arrrrrrh! What was it that one commenter said about a blunt the size of a huge smoldering turnip? They didn’t leave anything like that on the summit of Neptune’s Castle, but nevertheless, rumors persisted. No matter. He would soon have the whole affair sorted out….


John Lull August 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm

No, Eric is not at his desk. He’s off on a kayaking adventure in an undisclosed location. I was going on the trip myself, then got a last minute, mid-week music gig (we never get mid-week gigs!) that paid way too much gold to pass up.

I’m sure Eric will be the first to congratulate the intrepid Neputune Knaves who found the bootie when he returns!

Well done mates..


THE HURRICANE RIDERS August 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

One trip less for us to Cali, Non de Dieux de merde … non! Neptune it is, congrats and please send pictures as proof, never know till its on the net. Maybe hook up with for a write up.


Eric Soares August 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I just returned from a kayaking retreat on the Mendocino coast (stay tuned for great pics coming up in 10 days). I have reviewed the photographic evidence submitted by the Neptune’s Rangers team. It is my opinion that Neptune’s Rangers have succeeded in the quest to scale the castle.

Congratulations! I will talk with Captain Kuk of the Tsunami Rangers to determine suitable freebooty for this feat. If an ambassador of the NRs will contact me at or make himself/herself known via this post, we will make good on our promise to reward their bravery. BTW, how hard was it to scale the walls? The photo made it look dicey.

Long live Neptune’s Rangers!


Eirik the Grey


Neptunes's Rangers August 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm

So who are the Neptune’s Rangers you ask.
It be us
Thanks again Eric for creating this challenge!!


John Lull August 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Hey guys, and gal! Now that I know who you are (I know most of you), I’m not the least bit surprised you met this challenge. Congrats and here’s to a lot more adventures in ocean rock gardens.


Eric Soares August 28, 2011 at 7:49 am

I should have known it would be ye scurvy dawgs! Again, congratulations on completing the challenge. Two questions:

1. Did ye leave geocache info for future intrepid souls to find?

2. Now that ye have formed the Neptune’s Rangers, will ye continue on as a rock garden team or fade away like a ghost ship in the fog?

Captain Kuk is returning from a kayaking trip. Read me blog post next week to find out more. We’ll get back to ye soon with your boon.


Bill Vonnegut NR's August 28, 2011 at 9:10 am

As for the first question I will wait for Cass.

As for the second, no you haven’t heard the last of Neptune’s Rangers.
We have alwies been and will be looking for more challanges.

See ya in the rocks!!


Cass August 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Yes on the geocache left behind. Not yet posted, but soon. A poem penned by Tony is inside. Most importantly, half a bottle of Captain Morgan awaits the next adventurer if the seagulls and cormorants don’t drink it first! 🙂


Eric Soares August 29, 2011 at 8:05 am



Eric Soares October 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm

To find out more about Neptune’s Rangers, their successful mission to scale Neptune’s Castle and deposit a geocache, and their boon, click on the link that says that I “…recently posted..” below.


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