Victoria Beach

Rena was the muse to two California Artists. Christine Rosamond would not have become a world famous artist if  I had not rescued Rena Victoria Easton, by the sea – twice! She would go on to marry Admiral Sir Ian Easton who flew a Fairey Fulmer off an aircraft carrier in WW2.

Rena is right out of a Black Mask comic book. I am certain that is writer, Arthur Barnes, and John K. Butler in the camping photo where a unnamed writer brandishes a hand gun. I will be sending this to Parks department in order to get the unnamed beach named after Rena, and the Queen, in honor of War and Sea Romance.

When I first lay eyes on Rena, she was hiding her fear. War creates fear. One had to overcome your fear in order to defeat your enemy. We only found out three years ago we had the same enemy. Rena is ruled by Mars, and I, by Venus. We are a hundred and eighty degrees apart. We were Yin and Yang atop our mountain, searching for Peace and Serenity while war raged in Vietnam. Rena fought me as she fought her fears. We are epic.

Rena may have married an Admiral and lived on the Isle of Wight in order to get over her fear of the sea. Is there a monument to the joint effort to defeat the enemy in the Pacific Theatre? Ian was in charge of making sure America and Britain would be allies, forever!

Last night, world leaders listened to Beethoven’s 9th. Rena is a Aries, the god of war. She is my Damsel in Distress. I rescued her and helped her combat her epic fears. One could stand on Victoria Beach, and imagine a squardron of Spitfires flying out to sea to meet a wave of Nazi bombers in the battle of Britain. Beauty has been captured once again by the forces of evil. Our beautiful women need to be protected fro The Beast!

Christine Rosamond and Rena met. My sister looked deep into her. What she saw was her own fear and abuse, but it was hidden. They are like sisters. That outsiders were given THEIR STORY by an attorney associated with Alcohol Justice, is a true travesty, because it kept THE TRUTH down in a dungeon. Two beautiful artists and their beautiful muse – did not deserve this fate. Rena says in her letter her brother exhibited mental illness, and has disappeared. I have been disappeared because the truth can be frightening. I am just the messenger.

Victory over our fears! Peace…… last!

Easton joined the Royal Navy in 1931 and qualified as a pilot at the start of World War II in which he saw active service on aircraft carriers.[1] On 4 January 1941, flying a Fairey Fulmar of 803 Squadron from HMS Formidable during a raid on Dakar he force landed, with his aircrewman Naval Airman James Burkey and was taken prisoner and held by the Vichy French at a camp near Timbuktu until released in November 1942.[2] He was appointed Assistant Director of the Tactical and Weapons Policy Division at the Admiralty in 1960 and was seconded to the Royal Australian Navy as Captain of HMAS Watson in 1962.[1] He went on to be Naval Assistant to the Naval Member of the Templer Committee on Rationalisation of Air Power in 1965, Director of Naval Tactical and Weapons Policy Division at the Admiralty in 1966 and Captain of the aircraft carrier HMS Triumph in 1968.[1] After that he was made Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy) in 1969, Flag Officer for the Admiralty Interview Board in 1971 and Head of British Defence Staff and Senior Defence Attaché in Washington D. C. in 1973.[1] He last posting was as Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1976: he commissioned armourial bearings for the College which were which were presented during a visit by the Queen in November 1977.[3] He retired in 1978.[1]

In 1922 a cabinet committee under Winston Churchill, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, recommended the formation of the College.[1] The college was founded in 1927 as the Imperial Defence College and was located at 9 Buckingham Gate until 1939.[1] Its objective at that time was the defence of the Empire.[1] In 1946, following the end of World War II, the college reopened at Seaford House, Belgrave Square and members of the United States forces started attending courses.[1] It was renamed the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1970 and in 2007 the Queen and Prince Philip visited the college.[1]
The British Defence Staff – US, which was previously known as British Defence Staff (Washington),[1] is the home of the Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) in the United States of America and its purpose is to serve the interests of Her Majesty’s Government in the USA. The British Defence Staff – US is led by the Defence Attaché and has responsibility for military and civilian MOD personnel located both within the Embassy and in 34 states across the USA.
British Defence Staff – US alongside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other Government Departments collectively serve the interests of Her Majesty’s Government in the USA.

Every three days, or so, Rena and I would drive Eisenhower on Highway 1 and spend the day at my favorite beach. She did not have a favorite beach. She was afraid of the ocean. I found this out when we stopped on a beach in Santa Barbara. She put herself well away from the waves, with her back to them, reading a book.

“You’re afraid of the ocean, aren’t you?”

“How did you know?”

We would climb a ladder to get over the barbed wire that kept the sheep off the road. I always stopped to take a picture with my mind’s eye of Rena walking amongst them, to the cliff, and down the trail to a protected beach. It was like being in Ireland, or Scotland.

Being from Nebraska, I knew Rena was ignorant of the many dangers. I did not take a chance that she was a quick learner. Note the warning signs, with discourse. Someone is trying to save lives.

I would make us dinner here. I went to gather driftwood. Coming back with an armful, my heart jumped out of my chest. I dropped the wood and ran down the beach. Rena was nowhere to be seen. Did a sneaker wave take her? There was only one place she could be – if she were still alive. The chances of her being there, was very low. This was an extremely dangerous place.

There was a large rock that buttressed into the water. My heart was racing as I made my way to the other side. I was in a kelp bed. The tide was still low. And, there she was, sitting on a dry rock surrounded by kelp. The look on her face was painful to behold. I knew what she was doing. She was embarrassed that she was afraid of the sea. Well, there are times to be very afraid of the ocean.

I spoke as calmly and lovingly as I could. I did not want her to panic, slip on the kelp, and get hurt. If the tide was coming in, a ten foot wall of water would be pushed in, and not break like a wave. Rena would find herself in a thick kelp bed – just like that! Her struggle to get to the slippery rocks, would be epic.

“Rena! Stay calm. You can’t be there. It is not safe. Get up slowly. Watch your footing, and come towards me.”

The look on her face guaranteed I will love her till the day I die. She did exactly as I told her. When she was near, I grabbed her, and gave her a long hug.

“I thought I had lost you. I thought the sea had taken you from me.”

This is “Unnamed Beach”. How about Victoria Beach?

One day one of the women said leave
me to solitude and nature today I want
to write a letter home and then she settled
herself on the sand and wrote:

“They call this a barren rock — this
Anacapa Island — but yesterday the tide
was low, leaving the plant life exposed.
I wish that I could name the varieties
of sea weed and moss and their wonder-
ful color, but I drop my pen in despair
of ever giving you any conception of
them. The marine gardens grow upon
submerged rocks, for I discovered a
little sand path between them resembl-
ing the pathway of a garden. Hard
against a rock affording protection from
the direct sweep of the waves, I found
a multi-colored star-fish, his back covered,
at regular intervals, with tiny spheres

of white, as if a mermaid had decorated
it with pearls.

Note how the young girl’s father and brothers put her out on the rock to gather kelp. American women couldn’t vote when this image was painted.

(c) Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Black Mask Authors



This extremely rare photo of the first west coast Black Mask get-together on January 11, 1936 captures possibly the only meeting of several of these authors.

Pictured in the back row, from left to right, are Raymond J. Moffatt, Raymond Chandler, Herbert Stinson, Dwight Babcock, Eric Taylor and Dashiell Hammett. In the front row, again from left to right, are Arthur Barnes (?), John K. Butler, W. T. Ballard, Horace McCoy and Norbert Davis.

Rosemary told me her father, Royal Rosamond, used to sail to the Channel Islands and camp with his friend, Dashiell Hammett who is seen standing on the right in the photo above.

Aunt Lillian told me she would fall asleep listening to Royal and Erle Stanley Gardner on the typewriter in the living room. Royal was Gardner’s teacher and a member of the Black Mask. I believe I can almost recoginize Black Mask authors under the tree on Santa Cruz Island sitting under a tree with my grandmother, Mary Magdalene Rosamond, who does not look very happy as she embraces a black dog. Who is that woman? Is she a writer? She looks a bit crazed, as does the guy holding a gun. Is Mary hearing some far-out and weird ideas around the campfire?

When I was fifteen Rosemary showed me about six magazines wherein her father’s stories appeared. There were several mysteries. I am going to send the camping photo to some experts. That looks like Raymond Chandler in front of the tent. Is he the guy packing heat?

Hammett wrote the Maltese Falcon that begins with a story about the Knight Templars. Was this a tale passed around the campfire on Santa Cruz Island?

Jon Presco

Copyright 2013

Sir Ian Easton was the head of College of Defence Studies in Washington where I believe he met Rena. It appears Ian Flemming opposed the entrance of Americans into this unit, and his Bond novels were a coded protest. I am sure he knew about Flemming’s feelings, they discussed on a regular basis, especially when the Bond movies came out.  Did Ian marry Rena in hope of employing her in a real spy drama, but, she proved, difficult?

Rena on the beach at night – alone

bee3It is 3:00 A.M. in the morning at the pier in Venice Beach California. It’s been twelve hours since she saw her boyfriend being chased down the boardwalk by a half-dozen muscle men that he called a name. She waited hours for him to come back. She saw the muscle men come back, but she dare not ask what became of him. She had no way of knowing he was in the hospital.

If Rena had gone down and sat on the sand, as it began to grow dark, she went up and sat in one of the bars. What money she had, got spent.

She dare not go back to the apartment she and her lover were staying at because the occupants had taken LSD, and were being rude and extremely suggestive. The two men that took her and her boyfriend in, were considering raping Rena, now that he was not there to protect her.

I am sure as Rena sat in the bar nursing a cola, some older guys put the make on her, tried to pick her up. She turned them down. When the bar closed, she took refuge in the recessed doorway. Christine, Michael, and I did not see her on our way to the end of the pier.

Rena dare not make a collect call to her grandmother in Nebraska for she would become extremely alarmed. What could she do at this late hour. Except for these three people, she had not seen anyone for an hour.

Then, she saw me stop about a hundred yards on the pier. She saw the young couple continue walking. She watched me. She studied me as I looked down on the crashing waves. There we were, alone, on the beach, at night. This beautiful young girl was never more afraid, never more convinced she would die.

* * *

When I was sixteen, Marilyn came and found me and had me go with her. She took me down a hall at our high school where they had a display case. There were works of art and some photographs. There was a young man standing on the sand looking out to sea. He was wearing a peacoat.

“Is that you?” Marilyn asked.
I studied it, then recalled a young man who came up to me while I doing my meditation and asked if he could take a photograph. I loved the ocean. I found sanctuary here with Marilyn, and then with Melinda.
“Yes. That’s me.”

I was famous for my seascapes. I could do one in six hours. I never knew what they would look like. After posting Walt Whitman’s poem, it came back to me.

I unbuttoned my peacoat and invited her to lie on a wing of it on the sand. I clutched her tightly to me as she sobbed. I felt her warm tears roll down my neck. I had just talked her out of walking north up the beach to her friends she said she had in San Fransisco. They were Beat types, like Sky, who was found dead with his beautiful face erased with a blow-torch. Melinda’s father sent two guys after this Venice Beat who was in love with his sixteen year old daughter.

I applied all my love, all my art, all my poetry, all the beauty I owned, in my search for a solution. I had just turned seventeen. I had no job, no money, no home of my own, and no power.

When I saw Christine and Michael coming back from their walk to the end of the pier, I started walked back to my little sister’s apartment. That’s when Rena sprang out of the door towards me.

“Can I walk with you?”

range_tent-gardenista_0 beach23

When Brian shut Rena and I out, I reminded him I had just given up my apartment for his good friend. So, he grabs his tent, and throws it down on the ground, locks the door, and leaves. I set the tent of in the backyard, and that night Rena and I get in it. It is summer. We start taking off our clothes, so alas we can have sexual intercourse. Then I see her bare back with the flow of her auburn hair cascading down it.

“My God, Rena! You have the most beautiful back. Let’s leave our underwear on. I don’t think doing it in a backyard is right. Here, lie down and let me rub your back.”

For an hour we were both in heaven as my hand explored, my nails, tickled, and the palm of my hand lie on her abdomen. I worshipped a Goddess, and I filled her with color energy.  Then, I pulled our blankets halfway outside our tent, and we looked up at the stars. My message was one of cosmic union and love. Rena fell asleep on my arm and shoulder.

I had a poetic voice. Rena had forgotten that. Then she listened to my ‘Birth of Venus’. She became alarmed, because, she came to own that voice. She never considered the source after she left for home.

Jon Presco

When Rena and I first kissed on my friend’s floor, a cosmic event occurred. We both found The Other. Cosmic Sparks, flew. The energy we created altered – much! How much?

Let us return to the place of The Kiss. It happened on Congress Avenue in Oakland California after my friend kidnapped Rena, drove down Pismo Beach with her until she demanded he return for me, he having left me standing there, watching him go crazy. He had to have her, just as Paris had to have Hellen.

So jealous was Brian of me, of us, that he locked us out of his apartment and went to stay at his mothers. Rena and I were now homeless. Brian gave us his tent and sleeping bag so we could sleep in the backyard. I went to Map Quest to look at that house again where I once lived. I had just given up my apartment there for a married couple and newborn child. I had gone to LA and considered moving there. I met Rena at the Venice Pier. I have never seen such a beautiful woman hence. Her animal magnetism was off the chart. She was a creature from another planet. The cosmic image above was posted on Facebook by my friend Persephone Rose who post a beautiful woman on her wall everyday. She thinks Rena is my Twin Soul. I concur, for we are both very isolated at this moment, if not most of our life.

Jon ‘The Nazarite’

Congress of Love

congress4 congress7 Congress10 williscdodge_coronet_4dr22calgirl4 calgirl13 calgirls2

Whatever wonderful genetics Rena’s parents carried before they made love and born four beautiful daughters,  was from a superior gene pool. Combined, the results were overwhelming, overpowering. When Rena came at me from the dark doorway and stood feet from me, I had to look away so I could catch my breath. When I looked at this creature, I was a disbeliever. They don’t make human being this beautiful. Then, it spoke;

“Can I walk with you?”

When I saw the movie ‘Species’ I laughed aloud at the urgency of the alien to mate with an earth man and was being very direct. Rena could have been asking me a carnal question. This just doesn’t happen in real life. Why me? Is it because I carry the genetics of Royal Rosamond who gave birth to four beautiful daughters? Did Rena read my genetic material, somehow, and I was fit to be her Knight in Shining Armor?

I found, her. She was lost and forsaken. Rena is a Foundling. For reasons she did not divulge she was sent to live with her grandmother when she was seven. In a letter she sent me a year ago she says she was sexually abused by her father. She did not grow up with her three sisters who became models. She did not get along with, them, her family, that she felt she was not a part of. And now, he boyfriend has disappeared leaving her alone, and without a place to lay her head. Alas, Rena has made manifest her core identity, the way she truly feels most of her waking hours. For seven hours or more she has had time to study her situation, take it all in, her hidden feelings that are concealed no more. This is one of the best things that ever happened to her, for she alone can hone her survival skills, and come up with ‘The Solution’. I was that solution, she chose. She chose me, like a preditor, a Cheetah that has run down a gazelle.

“Sure. I was expecting you!” is the answer I managed to eek out, for I was rendered speechless.

“What do you mean by that?” Rena asked, she moving a step ahead of me in order to head my answer off, get a better look into my eye for the glint of a a hidden agenda.

When we woke that first morning she was very relaxed with me, for I told her the truth;

“I am a harmless romantic. Don’t be afraid.”

We spent two nights in that backyard. Men who met me, now rushed into the backyard to behold her. They didn’t bother to say hello to me, the dude they didn’t know that well, and, didn’t want to know – at all! I was disgusted! They were like dogs around a bitch in heat.

Then, there was Rena’s walk, her gate. We walked through a tough Oakland neighborhood she oblivious and impervious to any danger, or anyone. I was awestruck at how she was taken in. Rena got respect. It was like I had a man-eating beast, on a leash! We walked to a store located on 35th. Avenue in Oakland. When people saw Rena coming their way, they were spellbound. She exuded animal magnetism. She was a Sexy Beast. She put on a show for real cowboys back in Nebraska. Se made grown married men, whimper.

Rena was the most perfectly proportioned woman I have ever beheld, and she was tall, about 5/11. From afar you knew you were going to be treated to a show. She had a walk – the walk! It was like a great cat. Then there was the look in her eyes. This was a powerful human being. I loved to study people’s reaction to her. There were some cool Latinos and Blacks in this hood. Coming from Grand Island Nebraska, this seventeen year old had no idea how cool she was, how she complimented every scene, every stage she walked onto. Everyone parted the way, and got a good look she seemed oblivious to. Irene had animal magnetism – in spades! She was a very rare Royal Flush!

About to go into the store, suddenly Rena backed up. She spotted a magazine in the window depicting a blonde in a bathing suit.

“I think that is my sister. She said. “She was going to be one the cover of a magazine.”

We went inside to get a closer look.

“No. It’s not my sister.”

Now, I am four generation Oakland, and I never dreamed I would hear such words. LIFE magazine had done a pictorial on ‘California Girl’s’ obviously shot on the beach in Southern California. This blonde is emerging from the sea, dripping wet, splashing in the foam. She is a beautiful Nereid. I just found the photos for this article. I suspect Rena’s sister is amongst the group of waders, or, perhaps she is the woman lying on her side with her back to us.

This article precedes the Sports illustrated pictorial. I am sure there was a contest to see who gets on the cover, and Rena’s sisters, lost. This meant, LIFE magazine hired at least one professional model. However, when I first walked on Santa Monica beach at sixteen years of age, I saw model material everywhere.

Marilyn, my first girlfriends, modeled for Sea and Ski when she was thirteen, which happens to be the age of consent in Nebraska. I assume this was because young women were scarce in the barren planes, and young men were want to start family early so as to have sons to work the fields. Rena, and her three beautiful sisters, wanted none of that, and fled. That is Marilyn, the blonde in the black and white photo. The famous fashion photographer did a shoot of Marilyn on the beach siting on a rock like a Mermaid.

I am going to assume Rena’s boyfriend heard about the sister modeling in California, and drove Rena out west to see if she could be discovered and end up in a magazine, or, on the silver screen?

My friend was a good friend of the Stackpole family who lived in the Oakland hills. After the Oakland fire we went and looked at the ruins of the Stackpole home. What a loss. Thousands of negatives were consumed in the inferno. Peter Stackpole shot Hollywood stars for LIFE and was assigned to Liz Taylor. Peter went on a cruise with Errol Flynn who dated two of the four Rosamond sisters who were raised in Ventura by the Sea. Rosemary and Lillian argued forever about whom the Swashbuckler was attracted to the most.

My grandfather, Roy Reuben Rosamond, wrote for Out West and Liberty magazine. I believe he and I were the embodiment of the minor god, Nerites, who was the brother of the Nereids, the only male sibling. Consider the fifty images of the Rosamond Women captured in the gallery in Carmel, a city co-founded by Robert Louis Stevens.

I just noted that the name Irene (Rena’s birth name) is found in Nereid.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2012





My grandfather, Royal Rosamond, was encouraged to take up writing by Jack and Fanny Cory, tow creative siblings not unlike I and my sister, the world famous artist known as Rosamond.

The Channel Islands remind me of the Isle of Wight where the poets Tennyson and Swineburne lived. It was Royal’s dream to found a retreat for poets. Both of these English poets were inspired by Fair Rosamond.

Jon Presco

IT WAS a glorious summer morning
at the Chautauqua at Ventura-
Bgra by-the-sea. A breeze wafted in
5^™* from off old ocean, Jaden with
mysterious odors — a salt tang — as wel-
come as it was invigorating.

As far out as the eye could reach, a
cobalt mist clung to the bosom of the
sea, above which the peaks and slopes
of the Anacapa Islands appeared, height-
ened by the uncertain thickness of fog.
To the right, on a high plateau, but a
few rods from the beach, “Pierpont
Inn,”, that wonderful hostelry — stood
like an old lion looking out to sea.

Although early, the bathers were
sporting in the surf, shouting their hap-
piness above the thunder and roar of
the breakers. A maiden in a bathing
suit of translucent green came dripping
from the surf, seating herself hear where
the waves were spreading out like great
fans. She began to arrange, with deft
fingers, the massive coils of golden hair.
Suddenly, a great wave rose up,, curved
and spilled, and the contour of her slen-
der body was caught in sharp relief
against the foam — a vision of jade and
ivory and gold perched imperiously be-
yond the waves.

Two couples came up from the sea
and threw themselves upon the clean
white sand to dry — among the dunes
over which appeared the Chautauqua
Building and the rows of white tents —
the tent city.

One of the women shrieked in ecs-
tacy of delight, throwing the dry sand
as she had splashed water the moment
before. “Oh,” she cried. “I am the
mate and the captain bold, and the crew
of the Nancy Lee; I’m going to explore
those islands!” pointing toward Ana-

By Roy Reuben Rosamond

Anacapa twenty miles away.

“Completely wearied by this ocean
air and splendid environment, science,
religion, literature and music and art!”
exclaimed Frank, her husband.

“Certainly not,” laughed the girl,
pelting him with sand. “I expect to
camp here every summer of my life and
rest and hear the lectures and the music,
but a trip to those islands is the missing
link in my chain of happiness. We have
gone sailing, fished and bathed in the
sea, visited the grand old San Buena-
ventura Mission and the Native Daugh-
ter Palms, enjoyed the scenic beauty
of the Matilija and the drive around the
Triangle, and now it must be a trip to
the islands. And so it was agreed that
they would go.

A boat was chartered and the day set
for the trip ovei*.

The Captain steered the boat Anacapa
— the morning that they started — one
point west of south. This would bring
them to the little harbor at the islands.
Perched upon the roof of the cabin,
forward, the women enjoyed every mo-
ment, for the sea was as calm as a lake.
Frank and John were aft, where the trol-
ling lines claimed their attention. Sud-
denly a line stretched taut. “Another
passenger!” Frank shouted; and then the
Captain slowed down until a twenty
pound albacore could be taken aboard.
The excitement was intense until the
fish lay flopping on the deck.

The Santa Barbara Channel is always
interesting to those crossing to or from
the islands. Whales and sharks are
often seen and a trip is seldom made
without passing through a school of
porpoise. Sea gulls circled the air.
A coast line steamer appeared to port
and then dissapeared to starboard, cross-
ing the bow.

“We should be able to see the island
presently” said Frank.

The Captain looked at his watch.
“Three hours out,” he said. “They
are about three miles off.”

“See the arch there at the east end.”
said the Captain. Immediately all eyes



were turned toward the solitary rock
near the larger east island, resembling
the arch of some great gateway.

“How long are the islands?” asked

“About six miles long,” the Captain
replied. “There are three islands in
the group, the west island and the middle
island separated by a gap about ten feet
wide, and the middle and east island
separated by a wide gap, where the
waves of the south meet the channel
waves, making a great roar as they
come together.”

“It appears to me that the west is-
land would afford some hill-climbing,”
said Frank. “It must have been the
peak of a great mountain before the

“Yes, it is difficult to climb,” agreed
the Captain. “It is almost a thousand
feet high. Those dark spots you see
just above the surface of the water are
the caves. And the marine gardens
lie near the shore. Can you see the camp
there near the first gap? That is where
we land. We call it Webster Bay.”

“See the houses there on the middle
island!” Rose exclaimed.

“They were built years ago, by Fish-
ermen, and are now used by the campers.
Just below them there is a cave that
has never been explored and which roars

The islands became more interesting
as the launch drew nearer. More caves
came into view. The rough jagged
rocks became more and more picturesque.
A seal thrust his head above the water
near a great garden of golden kelp.

It was twelve o’clock when the Anacapa
dropped anchor in Webster Bay. Every-
one declared that it had struck twelve
in their stomaches fully an hour before,
so keen was their hunger. So they went
ashore with only that part of the camp-
ing outfit that would respond to their
immediate wants. No need of haste
here in this other world where whistles
did not blow nor the telephone ring.

They chose a sandy shelf high above
the rocky beach, with a pathway lead-
ing up to it; and here they pitched their
tents. The real exploration began early
the next morning, after an out-of-door
breakfast. They secured one of the
Captain’s skiffs — and started toward

the marine gardens and the Painted
Caves, which are only a short distance
west of the harbor.

Soon they were looking over the edge
of the skiff at the wonders beneath
them. Mysterious, busy life swarmed
everywhere. The marine gardens ex-
tend to the very entrance of the Painted
Cave. Golden kelp swings back and
forth as the violet waves go slowly
in and out; but beyond the narrow en-
trance the water widens into a minia-
ture lake, and the receding walls and
roof are plainly visible.

Within the great dome-like cavity
a narrow: beach makes a half circle, and
here they left the skiff, climbing up the
sloping back-wall as if passing up the
aisle of same great theater. Water
lashing against the stony beach sent
up a sound to be pitched back and forth
against the walls until it became a hol-
low, awesome sound, filling the cave
with a roar.

The cave is about three hundred feet
in diameter and over a hundred high.
It is color rather than dimension that
makes it attractive. It looks as if a
painter had mixed, in turn, the brightest
colors with green, throwing the result
promisciously against the walls and roof.
The fact that the colors are always fresh
and vivid is a mystery to many.

The Painted Cave is the most beauti-
ful wonder-spot about Anacapa. The
nature lover will travel as far to see it
as the art lover to view a masterpiece
in painting.

West of the Painted Cave perpendi-
cular walls of rock come down to meet
the sea. A bald-headed eagle was perch-
ed on a high pinnacle like a guardian
of the isles.

The Water Cave was the next place
to be visited. Here the only fresh water,
excepting that caught in a cistern below
the houses, trickles down the walls,
watering the wild flowers growing in
natural jardeniers, being finally caught
in a cement basin some thoughtful fish-
erman had made some time before.

That afternoon they passed through
an arch in the ridge of the island and
explored a portion of the south side afoot,
the beaches where the moonstones
abound and the shells of many pattern
lure one into searching for them.



Of all the shells none are so beautiful
as the abalone. Some seem to have
caught, in some mysterious manner, the
sheen of moonlight upon the water, still
others the crimson and gold of the sun-
set sea.

“Come,” said the Captain the next
morning. “We are going to the east
end of the island and see the arch and
will troll on the way.” This was an
invitation to all the campers, and so the
Anacapa glided away.

On the way to the east end the launch
passed by many interesting places. Just
below the houses there is a place called
Stingaree Bay, a narrow beach, the en-
trance of which is lined with jagged
rock-points. Here the Winfield Scott,
that merchantman of the olden, golden
days of California, loaded with gold dust
and bound for Panama, ran ashore in
the fog, Sept. 1852, and was wrecked.
A few of her crew managed to cross the
channel in a small boat, landing some-
where in the vicinity of Ventura, where
they sent a messenger by relay to San
Francisco and a rescue ship was sent
out from that port, reaching the remain-
ing crew of the wrecked ship after their
many days of hardship and suffering.
Not a man of the crew was lost, although
it was believed that only a portion of the
gold was recovered. For years a por-
tion of the half-submerged ship remained
in the little cove, its wreckage strewn
upon the narrow beach, but piece by
piece it has been taken by visitors and
cherished as a relic.

One day one of the women said leave
me to solitude and nature today I want
to write a letter home and then she settled
herself on the sand and wrote:

“They call this a barren rock — this
Anacapa Island — but yesterday the tide
was low, leaving the plant life exposed.
I wish that I could name the varieties
of sea weed and moss and their wonder-
ful color, but I drop my pen in despair
of ever giving you any conception of
them. The marine gardens grow upon
submerged rocks, for I discovered a
little sand path between them resembl-
ing the pathway of a garden. Hard
against a rock affording protection from
the direct sweep of the waves, I found
a multi-colored star-fish, his back covered,
at regular intervals, with tiny spheres

of white, as if a mermaid had decorated
it with pearls.

— “I think that the real charm of
these islands is the color and the clean,
pure sea. One day we looked down into
the sea from a great distance, into the
green and purple depths and the creamr
white racing foam. Purity! How near
God seems over here. One grows ac-
customed to looking at the life below
rather than the life above the water,
so deep can the eyes penetrate.

— “We have been here five days, have
eaten fish twice a day and have not
served the same kind twice. The law
on crawfish has been in force for two
years and is just out. The fisherman
are busy with their traps! We found
a cove where large crawfish abound, and
went to get one, with no other weapon
than the oars. The water was clear
and shallow, and there they were hugging
the grass-grown walls of the cove only
three feet beneath us. Frank stabbed
one with an oar.

— “This morning we climbed the middle
island and visited the ancient burial
ground. Judging from the dimensions
of their camping ground, which is strewn
with de-composed sea shells, there must
have been a large tribe here at one time.

— “Last night phosphorescence cover-
ed the whole surface of the sea and
when the great waves broke and pored
they sent out great flashes of shattered
light and glimmer. John threw a rock
into a quiet spot and as it descended it
left behind it myriad sparks like a comet’s
tail. Fish would pass near the shore,
with two streams of light trailing back
on either side. The spectral depths
were all aglow.

— “One of the island peaks reminds me
of the Statue of Liberty. And just
west of our camp there is a likeness of
George Washington on a point of rock
that juts out into the foam.

— “We must start for home tomorrow,
for our ten days provisions have lasted
but a week. Such appetites! Our main
diet, now, being fish. We are coming
again next year, but will be provided for
ajlonger stay, you may be sure of that.”

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Victoria Beach

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    Rena’s Beach.

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