Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Paddle of the Year!

The best way to send off 2008? Paddling in Morro Bay, of course!
I paddled solo from Pasadena Point in Los Osos and headed almost due north into a blustery wind. My rudder cable was stuck, necessitating a quick turn-around to take care of it (stuck pedal cable). The tide was 3 feet and waning, the stiff wind bringing tight waves that made me glad to have a spray skirt on. The waves were breaking in the shallower areas on my way north toward Morro Bay. After a brief rest in the lee of an oyster barge, I headed NW and landed on the sandspit due west from the museum. I took a hike over to the ocean side to watch the breakers for a while; beautiful with the wind spray coming in from the ocean. The trip back was surfing time; some brief adrenaline rushes as I fought to keep the bow from pearling under, since I feared the tight waves would turn the stern and send me swimming! Plenty of ducks out on the bay, a couple of seals and not much else (except wind and waves). This was the kind of day that would have been easy to blow off (windy as it was), but instead turned into the kind of day that was a fitting way to finish off a great year of paddling.
Happy New Year!

*photo taken with iPhone

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paddling Saves the Weekend

My son Bennett and I set out early on Saturday, Nov. 18 headed for a Warriors/Clippers basketball game at the Forum in Los Angeles. We never made it. Due to fires, interstate 5 was closed and traffic routed onto State 126. We averaged nearly 4 mph over the next 4 hours. Having missed the game and detoured near to the coast, we opted to drive up through Santa Barbara and up to the coast house in Los Osos. Dinner from Noi's Little Thai Takeout and a Sunday paddle on the bay with good friend Mike Milanesi salvaged an otherwise inconvenient weekend.
Our thoughts go out to all of those who suffered real loss in the fires.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Morro Bay 11/8/08

This paddle began at the Morro Bay marina near tidelands park just after 1 PM. The tide had just turned and was coming in to fill a pretty low (1.5 ft.) tide that left a lot of exposed areas. I paddled across to the sand spit and followed it down to the harbor entrance at Morro Rock. The wind was mild, the sky intermittent gray and blue. What made this paddle noteworthy was the wildlife. Schools of bait fish (mostly smelt I was informed) were in the bay, and the pelicans followed them back and forth, diving from 20+ feet. Aiding the pelicans in the search and destroy mission were groups of 3 and 4 sea lions, who dove in and out, sometimes coming completely out of the water. I caught some action on my phone's camera, but you really don't want to see it.....
Down near Morro Rock, a family of sea otters frolicked 15 feet from the shore. They got plenty of camera time from everyone walking by. I kept a respectable 75 or so feet away on the water. On my paddle back, I was near the shoreline walkway when a young family walked by and a boy of about 8 said that he hoped the sea lions wouldn't eat me. So far, so good.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Prius Update

OK, I was wrong. We went ahead and paid the extra $500 to take delivery on our 2009 Prius. I guess we'll get the $500 back if we ever sell it (it will be a year newer than a 2008).
This car is fantastic! It is very comfortable, and we have gotten over 46 mpg since we bought it. It has made 2 trips to San Diego in 2 weeks. Can't wait to see what the future brings.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

2009 Toyota Prius Blues

If you are looking for a paddling entry, this is not one. I am using my blog to vent.

Well, we thought we bought a Prius at the end of June..... $500 deposit and signed purchase agreement MSRP on a Package 2 2008 Prius. We were told that there was a 4-6 week wait, middle of August at the latest, OK, no problem. August came and went, batteries not available, I get it, OK, no problem. Our car would be here between Sept. 9 and Sept. 15! Since the dealer gets deliveries mid-week, I called today. Our car is not there, but is due on Sept. 22. Huh? That's because they are not 2008 anymore, they are 2009. No changes in the car except: New model year and $600 more. Will Toyota honor the price they gave me? No. The dealer claimed that their price went up $400. Ok, what if I pay $400 more than the 2008? No. Besides being just plain wrong; is this legal? At best, it is terrible PR.
I thought I bought a Prius in June. In September, I'm not so sure.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sand Spit Picnic

August 31, 2008

It was a beautiful day for a picnic, so we set out from Pasadena Point in Baywood and paddled west to the sand spit. Today's flotilla was comprised of the Wonderful Wishons (Rob, Kim, Pearl and Emery), their visiting friends Carrie and Chris, and yours truly. The sun was out, the tide was up, the wind was down, and a picnic lunch was packed (thanks Kim). The happy crew had a pleasant paddle and enjoyed the splendor of the sand spit, far from the Labor Day crowds present elsewhere.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Morro Bay paddle August 7, 2008

This 3 hour paddle had it all! I rolled the boat down to Pasadena Point and headed NW into a decent wind on a nearly cresting 4 foot tide. As soon as I got out, I was treated to another display of bird diving and feeding, this time augmented by 6 seals, 3 abreast, who were flat out booking through the feeding area. They were too fast for me to get a photo. I paddled to the sand spit and hiked up to the top and over as far as the snowy plover rope-off area. A beautiful day with gorgeous vistas in every direction. I continued my paddle north along the sand spit, all the way into Morro Bay. Along the way, I passed by a group of 100 or more terns, who were gathered on the low dunes and would sometimes alight en-mass. A hundred terns can make some kind of noise. I paddled past the great heron rookery, where I counted 14 sentinels on the dune watching out. No sound, no movement. On my return, there were a couple of seals, a bat ray, and 2 purple jellyfish (along with the hundreds of pelicans, etc.). I got back just in time to pick up my Noi's tofu stir. Tough to top an afternoon like that.

Morro Bay paddle August 6, 2008

Had another fine paddling outing with friends Jim and Linda Angelo. I rolled my boat down to the pier in Baywood, and paddled across to the Cuesta Inlet to meet Linda and Jim. On the way, I watched no less than 400 pelicans, terns, cormorants and sea gulls circling and diving to partake of the influx of feeder fish (grunion or anchovie are possibilities) in the bay. We had a fine paddle out to the sand spit, south into shark inlet, and a leisurely return to Baywood. The paddle was ALMOST as good as the dinner they fed me the night before. Thanks.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Morro Bay paddle July 27, 2008

Another beautiful day, this one with a bit more wind. I paddled from 4-5:30 PM on a 4 ft. tide, leaving from Pasadena Point and sprinting NW into the wind for 12 minutes to reach the sand spit. Resting in the lee, I pondered in which direction I would head when I spotted a red kayak that seemed to have no paddler. I watched it while I spoke with my son Bennett on the phone, finally pulling out the binoculars to discern that there was in fact no paddler on board. I searched the shore up wind from the boat, and spotted a person walking back and forth on the beach. By this time, the kayak was half way to Los Osos, so I paddled out to it and was pleased to find that it had an attached bow line with a clip (also a paddle and a pair of sandals). I attached the clip to my boat and towed it back upwind. I was met enroute by a paddler in a fine looking (wooden)CLC Chesapeake 17 who confirmed that the boat belonged to the guy on the beach. When I reached the owner, he shook my hand and told me that his name was Robert and that he had fallen asleep. He kindly offered to buy me dinner, which I politely declined as not necessary. He was a bit embarrassed, as any paddler (especially a seasoned one) would be. Just remember to pull your boat further up than you think necessary. It's a long swim from there to Los Osos. All ended well, and it was nice to have something come up that dictated where today's paddle would go.

Morro Bay paddle July 26, 2008

This was a beautiful, sunny day on the bay. I paddled with friends Jim and Linda Angelo, who have recently turned their economic stimulus check into 2 kayaks! We paddled from 3-5 pm on a rising 4 ft. tide, leaving from Pasadena Point and heading north towards the State Park Marina/museum area. On the way we spoke with gracious outrigger builder/paddler Marc Schulman, who filled us in on the types of terns that we had seen diving. We paddled west to the sand spit, and were treated to a feeding feast as 50 or more pelicans dove all around us. Amazing. From the sand spit, we eased downwind back to Pasadena Point.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Morro Bay paddle July 24, 2008

With strong winds and tight waves, this paddle was more about getting some exercise than anything else. With a 4 foot tide, I set out at 4 PM from Pasadena Point, and was one of two boats I spotted in the back bay. The other was a sailboat, and it was flying. I paddled into the wind, which was from the NW, and wound up at the sand spit, almost across from the State Park Marina. A fun, roller coaster paddle back, surfing waves that were closer together than the length of my boat. A good workout.

Kaweah Lake- July 18, 2008

Awesome bassist and first time kayaker Jeff Parish and I paddled Lake Kaweah on Friday, July 18, 2008. We drove down to the public area at Slick Rock, just before the town of Three Rivers. At Slick Rock, where the water level can be a lake or a stream, it was low enough to leave all of the big rocks exposed, so we continued down the access road that leads down toward the lake. We put in and paddled toward the lake against a pretty strong head-wind, and one that was made stronger by virtue of its confinement in the narrow section that forms the head of the lake. The day was warm, and we saw many good-sized fish jumping during our paddle. We paddled leisurely, talking and admiring the scenery. About half way up the lake, we decided to head back; the day was getting hotter, and the motorboats and jet skis became more numerous. With the wind at our backs, the return was easy, and we decided to paddle beyond the put-in to see how far up we could paddle, and to play around the rocks a bit. A quite pleasant way to spend a Friday morning. I regret that a camera was not taken.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stone Lagoon July 12, 2008

Stone Lagoon and Big Lagoon are about 35 miles north of Eureka, up where the "Elk Crossing" highway signs are meaningful, and just south of Redwood National Forest. A seriously scenic area. Both Big and Stone Lagoons are separated from the ocean by a very narrow sand beach, maybe 100 yards wide in some places. Both lagoons are fed by creeks, but are apparently subject to sea water incursion when big storms breach the sand spit. We chose Stone Lagoon for our paddle because it was a windy afternoon, and the launch area at Stone Lagoon would make us paddle out into the wind (at our back on return). Despite the hard wind, the water was warm. I saw a seal in the lagoon; not too far to cross the beach. This is a very pretty place, and would make for an enjoyable day-long paddle with picnic and swimming combined. At Big Lagoon, the feeder creek is said to be a worthy destination, where elk are frequently seen.
From the parking area by the launch spot, you can choose to either enjoy the beach, which is very scenic with lots of driftwood and big rock features nearby, or the lagoon. There is no fee at Stone Lagoon (there is a small fee at Big Lagoon, where they also have camping), and the parking area is a short distance off of Rt. 101. There is a visitor center on the highway, but it was closed the day we were there.

Humboldt Bay July 12, 2008

A day after Clear Lake, I paddled in Humboldt Bay, which was cold and foggy on this day. I left from the public ramp in Eureka located beneath the Rt. 255 bridge. The tide was up, so I paddled NE into the large estuary part, but soon reversed direction to paddle between Woodley and Indian Islands. As luck would have it, I met up with some local kayakers, who turned out to be a couple on a tour with local guide Ed Murray of Humboats. Ed informed me that they were on a paid tour, but the couple invited me to join, which I did for only a brief time. Ed filled us in on some important bay layout knowledge, and pointed out the aerial activity around a group of trees, where an eagle was raiding an egret rookery. Eagle wins. I left the group as they turned up a channel, and paddled up past the end of the islands and over to the city of Eureka side, where I paddled up along the waterfront for a half mile or so, stopping to chat with the Captain(?) of the commercial fishing vessel Aurora, out of Morro Bay, who was waiting for decent weather to head up to Coos Bay, Oregon fishing for albacore. I turned back and paddled back to the put-in, this time between Woodley Island and the Eureka waterfront. It was a windy day with rough water. Perfect. This is also a large body of water, and would take days to see it properly. My two hour paddle was just a taste. Hiring a good guide like Ed Murray would be a great idea.

Clear Lake July 11, 2008

My Dad and I paddled for a few hours on Clear Lake today. We cut our stay there short due to the smoke from the fires 100 miles north. What we saw of Clear Lake was very pretty. It's big. Too bad visibility was about a mile. Our paddle took us south from the State Park Campground to the next peninsula point and then back following the shoreline. We had fun checking out all of the lakeside homes and boat docks, and encircled a small group of islands that were only 100 yards off shore, but featured numerous places where a constant flow of bubbles escaped from the water. On the islands, there were several places where someone had cemented natural rocks together to form baths. Warning signs were posted that warned of death (lack of oxygen) as a consequence of visiting the sulfur baths. The lake was warm, and was quite popular with motor boaters. The temperatures were over a hundred on both days we were there; this would probably be a much nicer paddling destination in cooler weather. It would take several days to explore this lake, which is approximately 18 miles long and nearly half that wide. It is somewhat hour-glass shaped.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sailing on styrofoam

Instead of paddling today, I mixed things up a bit and took the Sea Snark down from the rafters. This boat has been out maybe 5 times in the past 20 years. If you saw it you would know why.
I bought this boat for $35 from a garage sale in the early '80s. It is nearly the same as the Sunflower sailboat that I left behind when I moved to California in '76. The Sunflower was the "deluxe" version, which meant that it had a yellow plastic coating and a spray deck. This one is pure, un-adulterated styrofoam. This model was from a Kool cigarette promotion where the smoker could turn in the ends of (10?)cartons of cigarettes and get a boat. There may have been money involved, but I doubt it. Today's sail was great, and the boat will see more water time in the future. I might want to fix the piece on the top of the mast that is presently an old film container with a hole punched through it. Then again.......

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Morro Bay Paddle with Jim Sill

On a foggy and not very warm day in Los Osos, buddy Jim Sill and I took a short hike in Montana de Oro, walking along the bluffs near Spooner's Cove, down to the tide pools, and looped around back through the bush trail. Unfortunately, the fog kept Jim from seeing the awesome panoramic views available from the hill top overlooks in the park. We did get a close up view of a rattler just off the trail. After a bit of lunch, we put the kayaks in at Pasadena Point in Los Osos and paddled across to the sand spit. A bit windy, but not bad. I noticed something odd on King dune, and we paddled down to watch a group of young men who had constructed a hundred foot long "slip and slide" from a roll of plastic on the steep dune. They doused it with water, poured liquid soap on themselves and slid their way down and into the bay. Quite amusing. We paddled north along the spit and stopped to hike up to a point where the vista is broad, but visibility was limited. Still gorgeous. Paddled back with the wind at our backs.

Some Dune Slidin'!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Morro Bay paddle June 29, 2008

That's right, two paddle outings in one day. I went out just after 6 PM for an hour or more, just because there was so much water and I'm leaving tomorrow. I spent the entire time in Baywood watching bat rays. I saw many (or several many times), and tried to get some photos. Of course, the fins are only out of the water sometimes, on the "up" flap. If you paddle close, they just stay under water and avoid you. On several occasions, one would be quite near, but I never got a good shot, so the one that is posted is all there is to show for the effort. Next time.

Port San Luis 6/29/08

Got out into the ocean for a few hours today in the bay at Port San Luis (Avila). It took me two tries to get out, and for the lamest of mistakes. As I waded into the surf holding the bow up, the wind and receding wave behind me swung the stern toward the water, where it was promptly filled with an inch of water. Instead of going out already wet, I dragged the boat back on to the beach and used the pump and sponge to bail it out. I stopped once to chase my hat down the beach. Successful entry on the second attempt. The wind was really blowing off of the hills that form the bay, and paddling was slow. I paddled under the pier and hugged the shoreline, staying out of the wind and playing around some rocks. Spotted some otter out in the kelp, and lots of seals (there are hundreds here). I beached in the cove at the point by the lighthouse, and let some things dry as I had lunch. On the beach, I met Tom and Tim, who were enjoying a few brews and waiting for Tim's stuff to dry. It was his first time out in a borrowed kayak (round bottomed sit inside Wilderness Systems no longer in production) and he dumped twice before making it out through the surf. They were both good natured about it, and we all know that there are dues to be paid. Very windy on the way back, but mostly on my port side, since I paddled a straight path back to the beach. No problems beaching, but difficult to carry the boat up in the strong wind. Another great paddle.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Morro Bay paddle June 28, 2008

Wow! This paddle started out at 4 PM on a completely gray afternoon with white capped wind waves from the southwest on a rising tide at 3.5 ft. Aside from one canoe and a sailboat in the distance, it looked at the start to be one of those paddles that would be mostly just good exercise. Wrong again. I paddled due west to the sand spit, enjoying the quartering waves and stiff wind and didn't stop until reaching the spit; sheltered from the wind. I paddled leisurely north toward Morro Bay, stopping to hike up the spit for a view of ocean and bay. Continuing north, with the wind non-existent, it was a fine time to appreciate things like the dunes with steep enough slope to create paddling-depth water just inches offshore on the rising tide, and to give paddling access to areas that are usually exposed. I spotted several egrets along the shore, and in the area that is host to the blue heron rookery, counted at least 9 heron sentinels in the brush just offshore. I kept my distance, but was able to photograph a few. Near the point where the sand spit becomes property of Morro Bay, I glided over a bit of orange and paddled back around in hopes of seeing it again. The orange was a jelly fish about 12" in diameter. I took a photo, which is a poor re-creation of the original. At the point, dozens of pelicans stood on the shore, with many taking flight just overhead, then returning to stand and wait. A cormorant, using 6 flaps or more and much "running" while taking flight from the water gave me further appreciation for the larger pelican, which requires only 2 or 3 flaps to become air born. I turned back toward the south for my return to Pasadena Point, and sat watching an otter (perhaps two), do continual back flips in and out of the water. Keeping a respectful distance, I took many pictures, hoping to catch the action, but breaching otters are not cooperative with digital still cameras. I will have to read more about them in an effort to decipher what was really going on. Aerating the fur? A mating ritual? Just plain fun? No idea, but enjoyable to watch. As I paddled a few hundred yards east of grassy island (at a low tide this would still BE grassy island) a motorboat with two gentlemen on board passed between me and grassy island. I knew this was still quite shallow, and watched as they hit bottom and backed up. I paddled over and asked if they knew the area (they did not), and explained how they could travel between the channel markers and be guaranteed sufficient depth for their boat. They headed toward the channel and slowly followed it, while I made great time with steady paddling, little wind and an incoming tide. After they passed the markers at the State Park Marina, we met up again. I cautioned them not to motor into the estuary (covered with 6" deep water) and pointed out the next marker, one of the white plastic poles with red on the top. Then they asked me if the channel ran all the way to Avila! I explained that the bay was a dead end, and that they needed to go back to the rock and go out to the ocean there. I was glad not to be on that boat, and was both puzzled and amazed that anyone would go out into the ocean who didn't know where they were or what the channel markers meant. I hope they made it OK. On the way back into Pasadena Point, I sat and watched a seal and a small bat ray, then made for land, arriving at the same time as Mark from Orchid Outriggers, who had been called out to rescue a distressed Pelican (he did). I also spoke with friendly paddlers Tom and Sara(h), recent Los Osos arrivals who are avid paddlers but new to the bay. The tide was up to 5 ft. by then (7 PM), making it easy to get the boat up into the grass for loading on the cart for the walk home. Somewhere along the way, the sun had come out, and it was tempting to just put back in....

Friday, June 27, 2008

Morro Bay paddle June 27, 2008

Had fun today paddling with friends Jim and Linda Angelo. We paddled from near their home at the Cuesta Inlet and out to shark inlet; the very back corner of the bay. Plenty of water in the back bay today, with the tide rising from 4 ft. at start (approx. 4:30 PM in the water) to 4.6 ft. when we returned just before 6 PM. A nice easy paddle with a steady but light breeze from the west. We paddled across to the sand spit, then south along the spit to the corner at shark inlet. The day was warm, the scenery beautiful, and conversation among friends a defining feature. Not many birds observed; several egrets, a lone pelican, a few grebes. The lack of birds was odd, considering the numbers of small silver fish in the back corner.

Morro Bay paddle June 26, 2008

Paddled into the estuary from Pasadena Point between 4:45 PM and 6:20 PM. High tide was just at 6 PM, with a tide of 4.2 ft., enough to get to most places in the estuary. I first paddled nearly over to the State Park Marina, then headed into the estuary and paddled generally east until I wound up in the channel that becomes Turri Creek. Plenty of small birds; terns, willets(?), grebes, avocets, 1 heron, half a dozen egrets. Took a pic of a gull and a comorant standing together on a bank. The odd couple. The cormorant was still there on my return (possible hurt?). My paddle took me under the bridge at Turri Creek, where there are thousands of sparrows nesting in the bridge work. Returned to Pasadena Point, walked back home.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Morro Bay paddle June 20, 2008

This was a ridiculously hot central coast day. Mid 90s and up depending upon where you live! No wind either. Today I actually CLOSED the blinds and tested the ceiling fans, but still thought it a good day to paddle. I set out from the marina at Tidelands Park in Morro Bay; on the water at 2:45. Ten minutes in, my cell rang and it was Mike Milanesi, just arriving in town. I paddled back to the marina and awaited his arrival. We paddled out to Morro Rock, and beached there to climb up on the jetty to look at the ocean breakers. While there, gusting winds (30-40 mph?) came up, and we watched from the jetty as the wind threw our paddles out (or off) of the boats, and sent Mike's pfd into the water. We scrambled down, hit the water and retrieved it. The wind was too hard-blowing for hats (as Mike found out). Fortunately, the direction of the wind allowed us to sail back into the harbor, and it soon died down. We spent some time talking and cooling ourselves by dangling our feet in the shallows across from "The Rock". We saw 3 otters floating in the area. Hikers on the beach startled the resting birds there, and we ducked our heads and covered up as hundreds of pelicans flew directly overhead. You don't want to be crapped on by one pelican, let alone hundreds. Trust me, I've been there.
We paddled slowly back toward the marina and stopped on the sand spit directly opposite the park to rest, talk, enjoy the day, cool our feet, and delay our impending return.

Morro Bay paddle June19, 2008

Today, I paddled between 7 PM and 8:45 PM, on a tide that rose from 2.8-3.3 ft. There was only a slight breeze, and temp was still in the mid 70s. I left Pasadena Point and paddled north and east into the estuary, following the channels that were exposed by virtue of the slight wind. Where the slight wind-waves flattened out, deeper water was revealed. I paddled back to the area next to the Elfin Forest, but there was not enough water to make it to the main channel that goes under the road at Turri Creek. I contented myself with watching the pelicans that stood on the banks of the main channel, themselves apparently waiting for the rising tide to bring dinner to them. I counted 65 of them on the bank. After a while, as the water rose, many of them flew off, and the remaining 2 dozen or so glided single file in the channel, going with the tide and then back along a several hundred yard circuit. On my return, I paddled back to a spot a few hundred yards off Pasadena Point, and sat watching as the sun set. A perfect end to a beautiful day. Back on the beach, I met and spoke with Doug and Lana, recent Los Osos arrivals, who had been watching the sunset from the beach at the point. They left together on their electric scooter.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Morro Bay paddle June18, 2008

Another quick late afternoon paddle today after a day of landscaping (pathway around plantings). Out on the water from 5:30 PM - 7 PM. Sunny and warm (high 70s) with a 5-10 mph wind from the SW. Paddled into the wind and into the corner of the bay known as shark inlet. Water too low to go all the way back. Noticed almost no birds until reaching the sand spit, where a handful of egrets were fishing the shoreline. I did notice lots of little ripples and jumps from small fish, and wondered why no birds were around. It didn't take long until approx. 30 pelicans in small groups showed up and feasted, diving into the water all around me. The dives were from glides just over the surface, as the depth was shallow. Great to watch. Got my rudder adjusted, and is working fine! Tides during paddle today between 2.5 and 2.7 feet. No pics.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

San Simeon Cove

June 17, 2008

Today, I drove north from Los Osos, looking for driftwood to use to build a bench. I had no exact destination in mind, and stopped at various beaches from just north of Cayucos on up to San Simeon cove near Hearst Castle. I found a few pieces here and there, and had fun hiking them out. At San Simeon cove, I chatted with Todd from Sea for Yourself Kayak Tours, who was just stowing boats from the day's tour. He is quite knowledgeable, and easy to talk with. The cove looked so good, I decided to paddle out. The only gear I was missing was a pair of trunks. Oh well, the surf was small, and I figured that I could get out without getting my shorts wet. I was wrong, of course, but not too bad. The wind started to pick up just as I was getting in the water, and, once through the surf, dropped my rudder and began turning the opposite of where I intended. Busted a line somewhere (will find out tomorrow) and had no rudder control, so up it went. I love my Necky Kyook (the model, not a typo), but it has one major flaw. It doesn't track worth a darn without a rudder! Lots of leaning today, some one-sided paddling and sweep strokes to keep it pointed where I needed to go. After sponging out some water, I paddled across the cove to the protected shore and explored. Since I was alone, I didn't try anything risky, and stayed out of the small caves and away from the washes. Still a pretty paddle, and I plan to do it again with company (and my swim trunks and rudder). Beach landing no problem in small swell.

For a larger slide show, visit

Morro Bay paddle June16, 2008

Location: Morro Bay
Route: From Baywood Pier, Los Osos to sand spit
Time: 4:30 PM-5:30 PM
Tide: 2.5 ft and rising to 3.0 at 5:30
Temp: 62 F, sunny-partly cloudy
Wind: 10-15 from the northwest
Birds: Morgansers, grebes, a few pelicans
Other: one seal and dozens of crabs
Notes: A quick paddle just to get out on the water. Walked my boat down on the cart and decided to leave from Baywood Pier, which is just a bit closer. Nursing a bad back. Took a heading NW into the wind, which was blowing just hard enough for a few white caps and made for tight wind waves. Twenty minutes straight out to the sand spit. Cruised up and down the spit for another twenty or so minutes, hanging along the reeds and just off shore. Spent a few minutes watching the crabs do their crab-dance in the shallows. At one point, my presence caused a crab traffic jam that was comprised of dozens of crabs who exited in a tight group that resembled a highway full of cars. They followed a quick route and remained bunched together that reminded me of a flock of birds that rapidly changes direction but remains a group. Crabs may not be as solitary as I presumed (I obviously know nothing about crabs).
With the wind at my back, I paddled and paddle-sailed back to the pier in 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Morro Bay paddle May 31, 2008

Location: Morro Bay
Route: From Pasadena Point, Los Osos to harbor entrance at Morro Rock
Time: 1:15 PM-5:00 PM
Tide: 1.6 ft. at 1:15 Pm and rising to 3.1 by 5 PM
Temp: 62 F, sunny-partly cloudy
Wind: 10-20 from the northwest
Birds: Morgansers, grebes, a few pelicans; very windy
Other: beached cluster of seals (several dozen at least)
Notes: Wow. What a workout. Left Pasadena Point in less water than I would normally start there with, but thought that my knowledge of the channel and small channels between exposed mud flats would get me by. Had to walk out beyond the sandy beach and into the muck to launch, then paddled in very shallow water into a stiff wind to get out the main channel. Reached the channel even though some places were about 3" deep. Lots of wide, shallow strokes that lacked power! Followed the channel to the State Park Marina and took a pit stop there and a welcome break from the wind. Headed into Morro Bay and took another brief rest along the sand spit across from the Embarcadero. Less wind here. Paddled out to the beach next to Morro Rock and got out to climb up the north jetty and look at the ocean. Very small swell, but lots of wind all afternoon. Headed back to Pasadena Point with the wind either at my back or on starboard side. The combination of wind and in-coming tide made for a fast return. Wind was blowing hard enough to make getting boat from the water to the truck a final workout to the old arms and back. One of those days when a lighter boat seems like a good idea. Wooden kit perhaps........ Any suggestions: Chesapeake Light Craft vs. Pygmy? Here' a slide show built with Google Docs presentations, which allows me to create a powerpoint-like file online (free) and upload the pics as well. The imbedded code can be customized to several sizes. Peace and paddling.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Morro Bay Satellite View with placemarks

There is a larger map posted as the footer of this blog. Just scroll all the way down.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Steve's Paddle on May 10, 2008

Location: Morro Bay
Route: From Pasadena Point, Los Osos to sandspit and south to Shark inlet, follow shoreline past Cuesta Inlet, Sweetsprings Nature Preserve, Baywood Pier, back to Pasadena Point
Time: 3 PM-5:30 PM
Tide: 2 ft. at 3 Pm and rising
Temp: 62 F, sunny-partly cloudy
Wind: 5-10 from the west
Birds: many grebes, several brown pelicans, shore cluster of egrets, 2 great blue herons, hawk (dining on dock)
Other: 1 seal, many silvery feeder fish (splashing, jumping but un-seen)
Notes: lots of algae on sandspit side of bay, 2 other kayakers, 1 sailboat, saw Marc Schulman leaving when I was exiting. He had 2 of his orchid outriggers in the water and was out with 2 scientists from Scripps Oceanographic

Reasons for starting this blog

While paddling today, I noticed a lot of algae, and couldn't remember if it was present at this time in previous years, so I decided to create a blog to keep track of some things in order to compare and to add to the knowledge base regarding the bay in Morro Bay, California.
I will attempt to keep track of observations regarding:
Times and conditions (tides, wind, temp, etc.)
Wildlife observed
Area paddled
Misc. observations

I would also like to invite other paddlers to add similar data, with the object being to compile observations that will assist in guarding the health of this precious area.