Thursday, April 30, 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
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
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
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".