On the wilds of the San Mateo California coast there lives a tribe of kayaking seafarers calling themselves the Tsunami Rangers. A close knit clan, they are known for their daring and courage in braving the rocks and surf and caves of the Western coast of North America. About 25 years ago leaders of this clan toured down the northern and central Big Sur coast. They camped at a hidden little beach, fished for ling cod, and explored in detail the complex rock garden they named Neptune’s Castle. They climbed the pyramidal islet of the Castle and placed a bottle with a message in it on top. They have not been there since.
Time moved on. The Tsunami Rangers beards have grown gray, their exploits more sublime than the adrenaline fueled adventures of youth. Who would rise up to take their place in the surf and caves and chaos of the rock gardens? To encourage others to follow in their path, they issue a challenge to the kayaking world: 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. All they gave for a clue was a photo of Neptune's Castle and the info above.
Rhetoric and hyperbole flowed across the internet as teams of adventures from around the Pacific Rim boasted that they would be first to meet the challenge. Fat Paddler from Australia. The Hurricane Riders from Vancouver. Team Oz from parts unknown. Liquid Fusion from Fort Bragg. Lady Lenora from southern waters. Many words. Little action. Months passed.
Many months later, further north in a camp on the Mendocino coast, another band of adventurers gathered around a campfire after a glorious day of riding the waves and braving the rocks. Beer and tequila and marshmallows and tall tales flowed freely. The story of the Tsunami Ranger quest was told. These comrades determined that they must rise to the challenge! Plans were made. Dates were set. A new clan was formed. The Neptune' Rangers were born. Within days the troop located the Castle using maps and satellite images. Logistics were worked out on launch points and gear.
The new Rangers gathered and paddled out onto the sea, braving the crash of waves as they passed through the gates of passage. Miles they paddle over the sea. Determined to reach their goal, many were the play spots they let slip by. At last, the target of the quest lay before them. Out of the kayaks. Climb they did. No treasure was there to be found. The 25 year old bottle was long gone as was the Tsunami Ranger script. The Neptune Rangers were prepared. They left their own bottle (the cache) and a poem penned by Sir Tony for the next brave soul to find.
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. The photos on this listing are your clues. 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.