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.

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