A Great Day for Fun and Fund-Raising

With postcard-perfect weather, Sunday was a great day to be outdoors.

"I've been out here three hours and haven't caught a thing, but who cares?" said Ventura's Brian Olson, 24, who was fishing the waters beneath the Ventura Pier. "It's the first time in months we've had a Sunday like this."

Weather forecasters said to expect more sun, with hardly a cloud to be seen through at least Saturday. Inland temperatures will climb to 75 throughout the week, with coastal locations rising into the low 70s. The lows will be in the mid-40s.

"There's nothing heading for us at all," said Stuart Seto, a specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Not everybody was out just for fun this weekend. About 1,300 residents spent Sunday afternoon raising almost $85,000 during the 21st annual CROP Walk, a series of 10-kilometer walks held throughout the nation to fight hunger, said regional director Emily Abbott.

Thousand Oaks walkers topped the list with 300 participants and more than $18,000 in pledges. Camarillo doubled its donations from last year, up to $9,400, and 230 Ventura residents raised $14,000. Moorpark raised $4,000, Oxnard $16,000, Ojai $10,000 and Santa Paula $13,400, Abbott said.

Several other county residents worked while the sun shined, including Chris Piume, 48, of Thousand Oaks, who brought his truck onto the beach near the Ventura Promenade to collect firewood.

"It was a great day to bring a lunch and load up the truck with wood," Piume said above the roar of his 24-inch chain saw. "Now I don't have to go 100 miles to get my wood for next winter."

Children played near the Port Hueneme Pier, the site of some of last month's most vicious storm damage. A 5-foot drop-off in the sand, created by pounding waves and El Nino-driven tides, has created a natural slide for the kids.

All along the coast people were out in force, dressed in everything from their Sunday best to shorts, sandals and T-shirts.

Jim and Linda Nunes of Oak View were planning to ride along bike paths and bike lanes from the mouth of the Ventura River to Channel Islands Harbor, then back to the Rincon on specially made three-wheelers Jim designs at home.

"It's so beautiful. This is fabulous," Linda said during a break in their trek.

Pleasure boats dotted the horizon off the coast, and the U.S. Coast Guard reported that an 18-foot powerboat took on about 50 gallons of seawater two nautical miles east of Anacapa Island about 1:40 p.m.

Two Ventura men issued a mayday to report a leak in their craft's hull, and Coast Guard crews escorted the pair 11 miles back to Channel Islands Harbor without incident, said operations officer Todd Venero.

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