Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Morro Bay December 30, 2009

Another very high tide this morning (5.8 at 8:45 AM), but other duties kept me off the water until near noon. With an approaching 4:30 low tide of -.87, the tide was rushing out like a river, so I put in at the marina in Morro Bay and headed across toward the sand spit on the north side of grassy island, hoping to have enough water to make it across and up the spit to deeper parts. I did, but would not have if I'd left any later. The tide was running so fast that it was like a river crossing. Fun! I followed the spit south all the way up to where the channel loops to the sand spit side just north of King Dune, and then followed the channel back toward Morro Bay. I shared the channel ride with thousands of birds; large groups of coots, cormorants and grebes, as well as terns, swifts and at least a dozen white pelicans, along with the usual assortment of shore birds and sea gulls. With the tide baring land everywhere, there was the usual group of seals present at the mouth of the channel leading to the estuary. I counted at least 40 seals resting, and a few more in the water scouting me out. I always keep my distance, just to be a good neighbor. The seals were joined by an otter. Once I reached the museum, I knew that there would not be low water issues, so I coasted along with the tide and enjoyed a ham, provolone and guacamole sandwich on sourdough rye. So tasty. I watched the dredger a bit, and let the tide swirls spin me twice around at the corner of the roosting area near the Morro Bay Inn. The tide is always fun there, but was really creating some odd patterns today. After my paddle, I drove up the coast past Cayucos and hiked to the beach near the abalone farm where the creek comes in, scouting it out for a future paddle from Cayucos. It would be an 8-9 mile round trip up the coast, and there are lots of little coves to explore on the way.

Back Bay December 29, 2009

There was a 5.7 foot tide this morning at 8 am, so I got on the water around 8:30 from the pier at Baywood and paddled out toward Shark Inlet. The sky was blue and windless, temp in the high 50s. On the way to Shark Inlet, I spotted two boats adrift, and paddled over to check them out. One was a rowing skiff that sat high in the water, the other an aging Sabot style sailing skiff that had taken on a bit of water and was riding low. It was not too far from the Cuesta Inlet, and may have come from there on the high tide, so I towed it in and pushed it ashore. It had no name or markings. After paddling to the back corner of the bay, I worked my way along the sand spit, intending to eventually take a better look at the other boat, but it had drifted far off on the rapidly receding tide. The wind came up in the late morning and I headed back to Baywood, but did not spot the other drifting boat. Plenty of birds out in the water, many in flocks.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Turri Creek December 5, 2009

There was a 5 foot tide today that peaked just past noon, so I paddled out from the Tidelands Marina in Morro Bay and headed into the estuary, which was completely covered with water due to the height of the tide. Of course, some of that water was only inches deep, but I followed the channel as best I could by watching the water color. With a slight wind at my back, I paddled under the bridge at Turri Creek and followed the creek until it become impassable due to fallen trees. I got up past the sign along Turri Creek road that warns of possible flooding, which struck me as slightly humorous from my view in the water. It's a picturesque paddle past the groves of Pygmy Oaks. I assumed that the wind would pick up in the afternoon, and boy did it! I paddled out of the creek, across the estuary and west to the sand spit, stopping along the way to put on my spray skirt to try to warm up a bit and keep the whitecaps out of my lap. It was a cold, hard, wet paddle across, but grunting seemed to help! I had seen some hunters on the paddle toward the creek, but they were all gone with the strong wind and waves. More than a dozen seals checked me out in both directions (the wind doesn't seem to bother them..).
I took a break on the sand spit and stretched my legs before digging out my gloves and continuing north along the spit toward Morro Bay. On the paddle back, I watched a sea otter preening for a while, and counted nine great blue herons standing guard. With the tide so high, there was a clear line of trash along the tide line, and I grabbed as much as I could carry, including a bag filled with crushed Tecate cans that had evidently been destined for recycling but never made it (at least not the first try).
On my return, there was considerable activity at the marina, where boats and boaters were arriving for the Christmas Boat Parade.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Morro Bay November 14, 2009

I have been remiss in updating some paddles; I did paddle the back bay a few times in September and October. Nothing out of the ordinary to report on those trips.
On Saturday, 11/14/09, I got the chores done and headed to Morro Bay to paddle from the marina at Tidelands Park. At 2 PM, the tide was almost out but was still flying by in a hurry on it's way to a minus reading. The wind was blowing hard from the north, and the bay was a brown froth of tide versus wind. I opted to paddle north into the wind, taking a few breaks in semi-protected areas along the sand spit. It was a good workout getting to Morro Rock, where there was construction activity going on along the shore near Target Rock.
I paddled out to the red buoy that marks the harbor entrance at the end of the breakwater, and could see that the ocean was not looking at all hospitable to small craft. I headed back, and didn't really need to paddle at all; just let the wind blow me back. Followed up my workout with a trip to Thai Bounty for a delicious dinner (Noi's Little Thai Takeout closed for the month as they visit Thailand.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back Bay August 6, 2009

I paddled out from Pasadena Point at 11 AM with the tide near high and went around to Baywood, where there were a dozen or so sailors out learning to sail as part of the Sail Away Camp. The wind was blowing pretty good; nice for them but tough for me as I headed toward the Cuesta Inlet and Shark Cove. There was enough wind for me to feather my paddle, which I do not prefer, as I have more control with a straight paddle. Oh well, good practice.
The sun was shining as I followed the wind-sheltered sand spit north, taking my time and watching the numerous egrets and herons. Around noon, I noticed the fog bank coming in from Morro Bay, but continued north picking up trash on the shoreline. Within the hour, the fog dropped in from the south and then over the sand spit (photo), with visibility down to about 150 yards by 1:00. I floated around for a while, waiting for the fog to get to its thickest. When I couldn't see anything at all, I checked my compass and headed back toward the put in. I knew I was a bit off course when I saw the outline of one of the oyster barges. Sure enough, I had altered course northward and made the correction. I was darn close to shore before I could see the outline of the peninsula, and landed back at Pasadena Point. This was my last paddle before returning to work at school next Monday, and it was an interesting one.
Peace and Paddle on.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

San Simeon August 5, 2009

San Simeon twice in one week! The cove was blue with a bit of wind. We had an un-remarkable entry (yeah) and paddled out through the cove and north along the shoreline for about a mile or so. We kept a close watch on the fog banks that were threatening from both the north and south, and turned around when they came together and covered over. It was still easy to see the shoreline, and with the wind at our backs, the paddle back was fast. Upon reentering the cove, we were greeted with blue skies and sunshine, so we spent some time poking around the rock features and sea caves on the wind-protected side. Noticed many rows of sea stars along the rock edges. Perfect landings finished off a great paddle.

Morro Bay August 4, 2009

I paddled out from Pasadena Point on the small high tide of the day (3.2')and rounded the Baywood pennisula north to the Elfin Forest area. The water was too shallow to make it through to the channel, but in the shallows I disrupted several leopard sharks who broiled up the water getting away from my boat (I saw one fin to identify them). I headed straight out and across to the sand spit and hung around for a while picking up trash and then paddled back. By the time I got to the sand spit, the fog had rolled in and the opposite shore could not be seen so I used a heading from my compass/thermometer/magnifying glass/whistle to find my way. I heartily recommend the $3 investment. On the beach in Baywood, I saw another dead seal; this one was being reduced via vultures. Is there some reason why seals die in August? It's the third one in several days.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kayak surfing Cayucos

This was a kayak surfing/boogie boarding outing off of 24th street in Cayucos. The waves were great, and the boogie boarding awesome. We shared the waves with a handful of surfers, a couple of seals and dolfin, and several hundred surf-camp participants.
Kayak surfing had some mixed moments. Both Lorelei and I had our share of great rides, and also some pretty good wipeouts. I finally learned what an end-o in a kayak feels like when I failed to clear the crest of an incoming wave. Lorelei was a natural; she seems to have great balance (not that she didn't crash plenty of times). What a great workout, and we all made it through injury free! I haven't been this sore in a while......
Alas, pictures are not an option when you know you're going to get all the way wet (frequently).

San Simeon August 2, 2009

The cove at San Simeon is a gorgeous place; nice pier, protected water, sea caves, good access, restrooms, it has a lot going for it. It's even prettier outside of the cove and north along the shoreline. The only visible sign of human habitation are the hiking trails that follow the coast for a ways. This area has great rock gardens and an ever-changing landscape that features 30+ foot cliffs and forest beyond. We paddled several miles up, and had a nice view of the lighthouse at Piedras Blancas in the distance. We stayed mostly just inside the kelp beds along the shoreline, where many seals checked us out. The adrenaline rush of the day came when the coastline went east into a large cove. A swell that was twice the size of what we had been watching all day surprised us, and I headed out to sea paddling as hard as I could (while yelling-Get the @#$% out of here!) and crested the swell, dropping into the air space behind it. Mary was 5 yards back, and honestly, I don't know how she made it through before it broke. Several more waves of the same size followed in the set, and we kept paddling hard until we were well clear. Whew. A learning experience. The paddle back was just as nice as on the way in, and Mary got to do some side surfing on the landing.

Morro Bay August 1, 2009

This was a great paddle that lasted over 4 hours. I left from Pasadena Point and ran into Mary, Lorelei and Ron. We paddled down to the rock in Morro Bay, and then out the harbor entrance for a peak at the ocean in both directions. There was no hurry, and the paddle was dominated by good conversation.
I have never seen so many seals and sea lions in the bay (including several deceased ones). There were also more paddlers on the bay than at any other time that I've observed. At least forty of them were visiting from the Fresno Kayak Club. The rental folks also did a great business this day. Ron and I decided that we liked pink kayaks (they were numerous). We were the only ones who shared that opinion.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eelgrass Program

This info has been in the papers and elsewhere; one more place can't hurt.
Volunteers are needed to take a waterproof map out with them when they're paddling on the bay and make note of their relative position when they paddle over eelgrass. The maps are available in Morro Bay at the Estuary Program office, Kayak Horizons, the Kayak Shack at the State Park Marina and the Harbor Office and in Los Osos at Coffee'n Things. Completed maps can be dropped off where they were picked up or at the Estuary Program office.
Contact info:
Ann Kitajima
Monitoring Program Manager
Morro Bay National Estuary Program
Phone: 805-772-3834, ex. 14
Fax: 805-772-4162

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cayucos, July 7, 2009

Since we had encountered big wind on our previous endeavor to paddle off of Cayucos, we hit the water before 9 AM and went out through the surf on the north side of the pier. We headed out toward the kelp, and then north up along the rocks and coves. Dolphins leaped at several different times, within 25 yards, but couldn't get a picture. Judging by the number of seals, dolphin, and pelicans, there must have been plenty of fish out there. We were on a tight time schedule, and didn't paddle north as far as we will on the next trip. Pretty good surf landing with only minor seepage and sand.

Morro Bay July 6, 2009

Mike M. and I left around noon to check out a possible paddle off of Cayucos, but found that, while the surf was not too big to get out, the wind was already blowing like crazy, so we opted to turn around and paddle in the bay. We put in at the Tidelands Marina and paddled into a stiff wind out to the rock and around the cove between there and the south jetty. There was plenty of swell near the harbor entrance, and we made sure that we stayed away from the dredger and from the several boats and a jet-ski that were working with a group of junior lifeguards. On the easy return trip, we were treated to a trio of sea lions who were coming in and out of the water very near to us. Two of them seemed to tussle a bit, but I honestly don't know the distinction between play and fighting when it comes to sea lions. Tried to get a picture but they were camera shy.

Morro Bay July 5, 2009

After everyone else left Los Osos, I took a pre-sunset paddle from Baywood Pier over to the spit and back. Lots of wind, and a good workout.

Surfing the South Jetty in Morro Bay

Mike, Steve S. and I paddled from Coleman Beach and out around the south jetty to do so surfing practice. It was a full wetsuit morning, and it's too bad we didn't get video. Plenty of great rides and spills. Learned a few things; the most important being that wetsuits are great if you have a good chance of getting dumped. Apologies once more to those who couldn't join us.......

Monterey Bay Aquarium

OK, this was not a paddle, but I drove up Highway 1 from Los Osos to Monterey, and there were HUNDREDS of places that I saw that begged kayaking! The aquarium is a great destination, and there were plenty of folks paddling in the bay visible from the aquarium decks. Anywhere along the coast looked great, although ingress and egress is often difficult. Plenty of places to go later. Don't forget the aquarium, which is just a great place.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Montana de Oro July 1, 2009

This has been a fabulous paddling week. Jim, Lorelei, Mary, Mike and I launched our flotilla from Spooner's Cove at 10 AM on a low tide. Windless gray skies that turned to blue complimented the calm sea and medium swell that remained throughout the 2+ hour paddle. We paddled south past Pt. Buchon, with one detour into a cove. With the tide low and several first timers in company, we avoided the caves and archways nearest the beaches. The return trip was closer to land, and we enjoyed the ride up and down the swells that had gained in size since the start. A bit of time playing around in Spooner's Cove and a safe beach landing for all completed another great day out.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Avila Beach June 29, 2009

A GREAT paddling day!
Mary F. and I paddled out from the ramp at Port San Luis and headed up through the pier and along the shore line to the beach where the sea wall extends out into the harbor. We viewed a work crew high up in the hills constructing a set of stairs for what must be a new (or improved) trail (the view from the top must have been spectacular). We continued out along the sea wall, past a cacophonous chorus of hundreds of seals and sea lions, and out to open water. From there, we paddled about 1.75 miles toward Shell Beach, choosing a spot just south of Pirate's Cove as our destination. The sea was smooth, windless, with a small swell; the air warm but not hot, and the visibility good, with some cloud cover. We paddled around near the cliffs, and picked up a fair amount of trash in the kelp beds (Hey Mickey, you're so fine, but also a choice of litterbugs who heave your empty 32 ounce bottles overboard!). We paddled in through Pirate's Cove, truly a beautiful place, even considering the ridiculously sized homes that overlook it. We continued north along the bluffs, where there are numerous and wondrous geological features. Once past the bluff areas, we headed into a fairly stiff breeze with quartering whitecaps that made our return leg back to Port San Luis a pretty decent workout. Mary experienced a new way of arriving on the beach. Total time on the water was 4 hours, and we paddled between 6 and 7 miles as calculated later on Google Earth. We returned wet, hungry and tired. Perfect.

Morro Bay June 28, 2009

Paddled out on a cresting tide in the late afternoon from Pasadena Point, where numerous fishermen lined the banks. Several had catches of bat rays and leopard sharks. Paddled down to the rookery near the museum, where hundreds of cormorants and herons perched in the denuded eucalyptus grove. Continued down to the sand spit across from the embarcadero, and walked up the dunes to see what was displaying the tall masts that could be seen from the bay side. A large vessel was backing up right in the mouth of the channel, and is presumed to be tasked with dredging said channel. Returned to Los Osos by paddling up the sand spit side. Here's a bad picture of the ship in the channel.

Lake Kaweah June 22, 2009

Bennett and I paddled the Slick Rock area of Lake Kaweah this morning, and went up the mouth as far as the first river drop. We did some playing around in the eddies and currents. Lots of sun and wind. The fish were jumpin'.
The photo shows Bennett at the new launch ramp and dock at Slick Rock.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

La Jolla Cove

June 18, 2009

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My Dad and I paddled La Jolla Cove this morning. We rented a tandem sit on top from the La Jolla location of San Diego Bike and Kayak Tours, who did a fine job of getting folks out with little or no hassle. There are several rental companies doing a brisk business from the beach in La Jolla Shores, where it is easy to get out through the surf and close to the cove. I chose this company because I saved $5 by reserving online. Total for 2 hours with a tandem, 2 pfds was $40. They have free lockers to store your valuables, and a place to change.
The water was nice, the weather pleasant, and the paddling easy. They have caves in the cove, but it is not legal to enter them without being in tour group. It was easy to look inside, and also easy to see how folks who don't know what they are doing could get hurt. The cove is famous for its clear water and abundant sea life (star fish, leopard sharks, seals, etc.) but on this day, we had only 5-6 feet of visibility, so we had to settle for great company and a fine paddle off of one of California's prettiest beach towns.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Montana de Oro June 12, 2009

As promised, we are back today! We paddled out from Spooner's Cove just after 9:30 and spent 3 hours paddling down to where you can see the Diablo Canyon power plant (and back). Along the way, we investigated several coves, did some minor rock gardening, and enjoyed the numerous seals and sea otters. The seals were the only ones around who might have been having more fun than us. Another awesome day kayaking!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Montana de Oro June 11, 2009

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Linda, Mary and I put in at Spooner's Cove in Montana de Oro State Park this morning around 9:45. This is an amazing place enjoyed by many; hikers, bikers, equestrians, surfers and tide-pool explorers, as well as typical "family day at the beach" outings. Anyone who thinks of closing a place like this to save State funds has no soul.
The put in was easy, with very small breakers at the beach in the cove, but wind and tight swells made paddling a bit dicey, especially heading out past the point in the "whacky water" that is trying to go several directions at once. We paddled out to the kelp beds, where the water is settled. From there we paddled south for a quarter mile or so before returning because the conditions were un-predictable. We enjoyed a fine roller coaster ride back into the cove and spent some time playing around the rock features there. A great paddle and a promise to return.

Morro Bay June 10, 2009

Paddled from 4-7 today from Pasadena Point north past the museum and then over to the sand spit side. Followed the spit south and spent some time up on the dunes. Spotted more bat rays, near the oyster farm where the channel goes into the estuary. This is the first time that I have seen rays there.

Morro Bay June 9, 2009

Another late afternoon paddle from the Baywood Pier to the sand spit and down to shark inlet and returned past Cuesta inlet and Sweetwater preserve. Saw several bat rays in the Baywood cove.

Morro Bay June 8, 2009

Nice paddle from Baywood Pier over to the sand spit in the late afternoon. Met fellow paddlers M and L who expressed interest in paddling out of Montana de Oro. Hiked up King dune to admire the 360 degree awesomeness.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Back Bay May 15, 2009

One of the reasons that I started this blog was that the back bay was filled with algae last May, and I couldn't recall if previous years had looked the same. Well, I've confirmed that there is quite a lot of algae growing along the sandspit in the back bay for at least the past two (months of) May.
This was a pleasant paddle on a Friday evening in the hour or so before sunset. Calm winds, and a westward paddle with the sun directly in the eyes. On the return trip to the Baywood Pier, I looked for, but did not see, batrays that had been so prevalent in April.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lake Kaweah April 26, 2009

Brought my kayak home from the coast because it will be weeks before I can return. The nearest local lake is Kaweah, which is just below the town of Three Rivers. This man-made creation was about 20 feet or so below high water marks, which leaves plenty of water for paddling, and lots of places to go that aren't dominated by jet skis, ski boats and bass boats.
There is an area at the northern end of the lake that is called Slick Rock. There is a parking lot and restrooms there; a favorite place for families to swim and fish. When the water level is low, Slick Rock is just a small river running into the lake, but when the lake is full, the Slick Rock area forms the northern section.
I put in here, and paddled into the wind until I came into the main lake section, then reversed and let the wind take me back. I continued up until the lake became a river again, and went up as far as the first drop and rapids. The water is fast and clear here, and it was fun to paddle up the calm side and then into the short section of rapids that came off the drop. Nothing too scary for this solo paddler in a sea kayak; I played it safe at all times.
Between this area and the Slick Rock put in, there were numerous anglers on the banks, and perhaps a dozen more in several boats. The wind was kickin' pretty good, and the return trip was a good workout. I'm hoping to return soon with some friends, before the water level drops too much.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Morro Bay April 18, 2009

From Kayaxeman
Today I paddled from the marina dock at Tidelands Park in Morro Bay and out to Morro Rock. I took a nice break on the jetty next to the Rock, and watched the ocean swells for a while. On the way back, I was near Target Rock (out of the channel) when the Coast Guard rescue vessel poured on the power and created INSTANT 3 foot wake that had a very angular cut to it. I turned into the wake and rode over (and over) and was just amazed at the power of it. Glad to have those folks out there practicing; they do some amazing stuff.

Monday, April 6, 2009


For the 3rd morning in a row, I got out on the water (8:45) for a paddle in the back bay. This morning, I joined friends Jim and Linda, who paddled over from Cuesta. We were treated to a bay full of water, no wind for 2 hours, lots of otters, harbor seals, sun, scenery and camaraderie. We paddled toward Morro Bay for a look at the blue heron rookery, but saw no herons when we arrived. We paddled east across the bay, just north of Grassy Island, and returned, making a nice little circuit. The wind came up about 3/4 of the way back, adding to a great workout and even more appreciation of the windless conditions we enjoyed for most of the paddle.
Last night I walked down to the Baywood Pier to watch the sunset, and watched 30+ bat rays as they cruised up and down the Baywood channel, sometimes creating big splashes with their antics. Mating season? Definitely returning tonight, and might put a boat in if the wind and water cooperate.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bay Cleaners

I got out this morning and on the water early enough to enjoy a few hours before the tides drained the back bay. A perfect, windless morning. Besides the usual water birds, there was an otter in the back bay, and a very young harbor seal accompanied by a more mature seal. Along the sand spit, I paddled over to visit Mike and Mark from Orchid Outriggers, who were paddling one of their outriggers and picking up trash along the shore of the sand spit. They do this on a regular basis, and equip themselves with trash bags for smaller items. By the time I caught up with them, they had a boat filled with all variety of washed up items. They mentioned that on a recent outing, they had recovered nearly 30 tires! Some of what gets washed up are accidental items; the result of capsizing or just the pounding of the tides on land and boats. Much more is just litter tossed from boats or left on beaches that get blown into the bay. I appreciate the efforts of stewards like Mike and Mark, and have always tried to bring back a little more than I take along. We all need to.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mud Fun

I arrived in Los Osos last night, and the wind was blowing hard. Since today promised more of the same, I got out early to get in a quick paddle before the wind came up. The bay was draining quickly, and the back bay would be a mud flat by noon. I hit the water at 9 am and needed to be off within the hour to have a mud-free landing. On the way back, I took a phone call from my buddy Jim Pappas and talked for a while (I know, you think I'm a jerk for taking my phone, but it's pretty handy, and so much fun to call back east from the kayak and gloat). Jim and I caught up, and by the time I reached shore, my mud-free zone had disappeared, so I stepped out and sunk almost to my knee in the finest back-bay slime. All good. Still had a great sunny, windless paddle. Tomorrow I'll go earlier....
On shore, I met Baywood Navy originator and local salty sailor Jack (originally from Massachusetts)and his friend Eleanor. I have nodded and waved to Jack a few times while we were out on the bay (he sails a Pelican with a red sail)and it was nice to finally meet him and chat a bit. I received some insider info on the location of a hose that could be helpful in de-mudding myself. He left me with the parting words "Boats and men rot on land".

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Morro Bay March 14, 2009

As I am only a part-time resident of the central coast, I go paddling when I can. Since I was here for the weekend, and the tides looked ok for a back-bay paddle, I headed out from Pasadena Point just after noon. It was so windy, the only reason I could carry my boat from the truck to the beach was that I was able to point it directly into the wind. The bay greeted me with 2 foot standing wind waves that were only 5 feet apart. I wanted to lean forward to get the strongest possible vertical paddle in, but was frequently forced to lean back to keep the bow out of the approaching waves. Slicing through the waves was not an issue, it just brought too much wind-driven water into my lap (chest, face, etc.). I can not recall a more tedious crossing than the one I made this day. Forward progress was very slow. Upon reaching the sand spit, I got out for a break, and pulled my boat up where it got minimal punishment from the sand blowing off of the dunes. I hooked my spray skirt over the bow to try to dry it out some, and hiked up the dunes for a look at the ocean and a scenic spot for a snack. The sun was shining, but the wind blew so hard that even in protected spots it was difficult to look west with getting an eye full of sand. Quite enjoyable, actually, and a reason to appreciate the windless trips just a bit more. The paddle back took no paddling at all; I just got blown back to Los Osos.
Back home, as I cleaned my gear, I was appreciative that it always holds up so well. My 8 year old plastic Necky Kyook is a great all-around boat that performs well (with the rudder) and is still in great shape. It is garage kept and cleaned after each paddle (or several if paddling consecutive days). The Werner carbon fiber paddle given to me by my friend Jim Lile is light and strong, and the Snap Dragon spray skirt does its job and still fits great. Just add water.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sail Away Camp

I was admiring an old BMW 320 at the Coffee and Things parking lot, and found that I was speaking with Dave (the owner) who also happens to run the Sail Away Camp for teaching sailing right in the bay by the Baywood Pier. What a great treat for would-be sailors. Camp times are determined by favorable tides in the back bay during the summer. Check out the camp times here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Backbay February 21, 2009

It was a bit chilly this morning, but, with no wind, I warmed up quickly while paddling in the back bay of Morro Bay. The tide was receding as I left from the Baywood Pier and headed across the bay to the sand spit. While paddling along the spit, I noticed several areas where the reeds had died out. I have no idea if this is usual or not, or if they die back like grass in the winter, but, since I saw healthy sections of reeds as well, I took a picture to compare during later paddles.
One unusual thing that I did notice today was that I spotted about a dozen white pelicans but no browns. Normally, the browns out-number the white ones by a considerable multiplier (50 to 1?). At any rate, I did snap a couple of pictures with my iphone, which works fine close up but that's about it. I couldn't get too close.
A hike up on the spit to view the ocean side rounded out my paddle.
Another great day (morning) on the bay.

Section of dead reeds

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Morro Bay January 18, 2009

Another impossibly beautiful day! Not a cloud in sight, barely a breeze, and temps in the low 70s. I paddled from the Tidelands marina out to the south jetty across from Morro Rock, hung out on the beach for a while, and paddled back. The usual otters, seals and sea lions were hanging out near the harbor entrance, where the outside swells would occasionally crash over the north jetty. Awesome.
The kayak rental folks had to love this day; I don't think that I have ever seen so many paddlers out on the bay. On the return trip, I wondered aimlessly, merely to prolong my time on the water. Made it back home in time to wash the boat and check out the sunset in Baywood. My sincere thanks to ever water god or goddess who has ever been named.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Morro Bay January 17, 2009

This was the kind of day that makes mid-westerners despise Californians.
Sunny and cloudless, a slight breeze, and temps around 70 degrees. Paddling without a shirt in the middle of January!
I paddled with my neighbors, the Wishons, who took a canoe. We paddled from Pasadena Point and headed SW to the sand spit, to the dune known as King Dune. This is probably the tallest point along the sand spit, and we hiked to the summit to enjoy the views; then continued down the ocean side to the beach, where the twins explored and drew artwork around the jellyfish that had been washed up on the beach. The breakers were big and plentiful, the sand warm. The return trip was just as pleasant; a perfect two and a half hour outing. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Morro Bay January 6, 2009

Another low tide (0 feet) paddle today. I left from the marina in Morro Bay and headed north into a steady wind (NNE)toward Morro Rock. The wind created some interesting water at the harbor entrance near the rock, with wind waves coming from the opposite direction of the swells coming in. I took out at the north jetty for a stretch and a snack, passing the otter family that resides in the area. The wind was blowing hard enough to necessitate removal of my hat (before nature did it). Made it back in plenty of time to wash the boat and truck, and still catch the sunset in Baywood. I'll be heading back home tomorrow, but am happy to have paddled 3 times in the first week of the new year.

Morro Bay January 5, 2009

There was not much water in the back bay (Los Osos)today. I drove into Morro Bay and launched from the marina with the tide slack and less than 1 foot. With almost no wind (or sun) I paddled south toward Los Osos and followed the channel through the back bay up to where it meets the sand spit. With lots of exposed land, it was necessary to follow the red channel markers (keep the red on your right as you return from the sea- red, right, return- thanks Jim Lile) as they wind through the back bay. On the trip, I passed 50 or so seals who were hauled up on the exposed mud, 3 otters and many white pelicans. A paddle like this is more like following a river than the usual trek across the bay. I stopped just short of the sand spit, not wanting to disturb the thousand of birds gathered there.

Morro Bay 1st Paddle of the Year

January 3, 2009!

How many paddlers can head out on the 3rd of January?

With temps in the 50s, 2 feet of water throughout the afternoon, and a steady wind from the north at about 5-10 mph, I set out from Pasadena Point in Los Osos with no particular destination in mind. Paddling into the wind, I just kept going until I reached Morro Rock. On the return trip, I followed the sand spit all the way, knowing that a 2 foot tide would afford just enough water along the shallower points. I stopped on the spit to investigate an aluminum skiff that was apparently washed up at the high tide line due west of the museum. I used my iPhone to take some pics of the registration number and of the contents of the boat. The Sears-made skiff still had one oar in the oarlock, and was chock full of stuff. I turned the pics into the folks at the harbor patrol.

As usual, there were many varieties and numbers of birds, as well as several otters and seals. As you might infer from the picture of a full rack of rental boats at the State Park Marina, not too many paddlers were out, but they should have been! Another great day.