Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Communication Breakdown

Saturday, November 3, 2011

Ron, Lorelei and I paddled north from Tidelands Marina and up the bay near Morro rock. Some of us were in the channel, and I saw approaching fishing boats so I yelled to "get out of the channel". This was interpreted as "go back" and we got split up. After checking, I decided to paddle out through the harbor entrance to check out the 6 ft. swells reported by surfers. Sure enough. We all re-convened some time later back at the put-in, each of us having had our own paddling experience.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dolphins in Morro Bay-10/23/11

This paddle was fantastic! Late morning I put in at Tidelands Marina, which was as crowded as I have ever seen it. Lots and lots of fishing boats. The tide was heading out, but was near low tide, so I paddled south into the tide and past the museum and State Park Marina before turning around and heading back. I took a picture of the floating triangle and puzzled over its placement...??? On the way back toward Tidelands Marina I noticed dolphin fishing in the bay and took lots of still shots with my iphone (actually got a few with dolphin in them) before switching to video and shooting the short video posted here. Pretty unusual to see them in the bay. I continued my paddle up toward the rock and noticed a beach full of activity with (mostly) paddle boarders at Coleman Beach. I had read that there was a memorial race over the weekend. I also noticed the twin of the floating triangle, and am supposing that each was a race point marker. The tide was nearing lull, but there were tight, angular swells coming in between the jetties. I paddled out along the north jetty and just hung out for a while, watching boats coming and going. I noticed three dolphin heading out to sea. There is often whacky water in the channel here, but today produced white caps and very steep, tight swells. I stayed to the edge of them on my way back toward (the town of) Morro Bay, getting some good rides and nearly hitting a seal in the trough between swells. There were times when it took some effort to keep my bow from pearling, and several times when waves washed over, particularly when a big fishing boat produced wake that crossed the swells. I enjoyed the paddle back to the marina, with a slight breeze at my back that was bringing in the fog.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back Bay 9/17/11

This morning I paddled the back bay of Morro Bay in a clock-wise direction, starting at the Baywood Pier and paddling past Sweet Springs Preserve, Cuesta Inlet, Shark Inlet, then north along the sand spit. I took out on the spit and hiked up to see the 360 degree view of the bay and ocean.
It was fairly windy when I began around 10 am, with the tide just under 3 feet and rising.  The sky was sunny and blue, but on the ocean side of the sand spit was the fog bank, which I assumed would blow in and cover Baywood (as it has for a month), but the wind died down and the fog bank retreated out into the ocean. The rest of the day has been sunny and warm!
As I sat in shark inlet watching the feeder fish aerate the surface, a group on horse back passed by on the trail. I also saw a number of large egrets and several great blue herons, and was reminded why they call them great while watching them stretch to their full height while I passed. A lone pelican flew past right next to me and only a few feet off the water. Generally, they will give wide berth to paddlers, usually staying outside of a 20-30 foot cushion. Love those dinosaurs. On the return paddle, the wind picked up and the catamarans and wind surfers started to put in. Perfect timing and a perfect day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Museum of Natural History

Today I paddled solo from Pasadena Point in Baywood at the lowest afternoon tide (just over 2 feet). I headed north toward Morro Bay and paddled past the museum and up to the Morro Bay Inn before turning back for Baywood. I was on the water for only 75 minutes or so, but saw several dozen seals and a few diving pelicans. Photos are of the Museum with Black Hill in the background and of the State Park Marina with Hollister Peak in the background.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shark Inlet 8/8/11

I paddled from the Baywood Pier on a rising tide, planning to paddle around the point and into the estuary, but the wind and waves were coming pretty solid from the northwest, so I headed into them and out over to the sand spit, then south along the spit into Shark Inlet. Once in the inlet (and out of the wind), I paddled slowly and watched as numerous little silver fish ran out ahead of my boat. Before long, a leopard shark hit hard and fast on the edge of the water over the pickle weed. It was the only one I saw. With the tide over 4 feet and rising quickly, I paddled back as far as I could, into the 3 foot wide channels that fill only on higher tides. I settled against some pickle weed and just sat for a while, amazed at the flow of the tide into the channels. When the place where I sat became totally submerged, I headed back into Baywood with the wind on my aft quarter, making good time.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sand spit paddle with Emily

Emily and I had a nice paddle from Pasadena Point over to the sand spit, with a stop there to hike up to the top to enjoy the view of the spit, the ocean and the bay. It was a bit windy paddling over, but not a problem. A gorgeous day and certainly a fine one to share with my daughter, who has not been paddling for several years.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Harmony Headlands

View Harmony Headlands Trail in a larger map
My Dad and I drove up the coast on Hwy. 1 north of Cayucos and went to hike the Harmony Headlands trail. The trailhead begins on the west side of the highway just south of the little town of Harmony. It's about 2.5 miles from the trailhead to the beach, and the walk is easy along an old dirt road that was part of a cattle ranch. Along the way there are restrooms available at a spot where an old ranch hand house exists. There are some interesting features, including a pond; fairly rare around these parts. There are some trails along the bluffs on the beach side, and several benches for resting and gazing at points along the trail. A great way to spend a few hours, especially if you have my Dad with you!

Baywood Boatzart Concert

My Dad and I paddled from Pasadena Point over to Cuesta Inlet, then back into the cove at Baywood to join a few hundred others who were enjoying the Boatzart concert at the pier. The band on this fine Sunday (July 31) was the Gilley Wheesels, a Scottish band with pipes. Great sounds, a fine day, and a nice paddle.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jellyfish and Chablis

The tide was very high and cresting around 6:30 PM, and my  friend Ron Saul and his band The Dentures were playing for a friend's 60th Birthday Party on the tour boat Chablis in Morro Bay. What to do? Easy. I paddled out from Pasadena Point just after 5 PM and humped it into the wind across to the sand spit, heading north from there on a leisurely pace to the dock where the Chablis Cruises docks. Along the way, I noticed quite a few orange jellyfish, and attempted to take some pictures. I arrived dockside next to the Chablis just at 6, when a surprised birthday boy arrived. I listened to the Dentures play (they are terrific!) and paddled along with the Chablis for a while on its southern trek through the bay. Wherever I paddled, I passed jellyfish. Eventually, I paddled back to Los Osos and got out of the water around 8, with some sore shoulders from paddling hard for much of the way.
Though I usually don't mention endeavors other than paddling on this blog, it is worth mentioning the hike that Ron and Lorelei and I took along the bluffs trail in Montana de Oro if only to have a place to publish this photo taken of a rattle snake that was next to the trail (one of four we spotted without really trying). Stay on the trails, people, and watch where you step.

Morro Bay July 8, 2011

I arrived in town at about 5:15 PM, and noticed the high tide in the estuary as I drove by.  I quickly unloaded the truck and then loaded my kayak and gear, hitting the water at Pasadena Point at 5:38. I paddled across the back bay to the sand spit, and then south along the spit for a bit before heading back. I was back on shore just after 7 PM. During my time on the water, I did not see one other boat. Too bad, as it was a beautiful time to be out, the breeze was not too strong, and the flowers blooming on the sand spit.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Morro Bay June 25, 2011

With the tide already low (and receding), friends Jim and Linda and I paddled from the pier at Tidelands Park in Morro Bay. We headed into the tide, and paddled south past the museum, and then crossed over to the sand spit for a walk and a look at the ocean side. Reversed the path for the return trip, and saw a group of white pelicans feeding in the shallows. Everyone enjoyed the paddle, and all entries/exits were dry! Thanks to Linda for the pic.

San Simeon June 24

No pictures from this day, which was spent on my sit on top. I was in full wet suit, hoping to do some snorkeling, but never did. Originally, this was to be a two kayak outing, but turned out to be just mine. For some odd reason, I rarely manage a clean, dry entry at San Simeon, and this day was no exception. My second attempt was the clean and dry one. Nice to get the wet suit wet. Did a bit of cave and nook exploring along the north side, and sat next to the cliff letting the spray from the blow holes get me. Fun. Did a bit of swimming off of the boat, but not much. Also practiced some landing/re-entries. Mary F spent the entire afternoon swimming the cove with her boogie board. I could not have lasted that long in the cold water (or swum that long). San Simeon is always nice.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Windy Day on the Bay

The weather folks called for big wind today (Saturday, May 28, 2011), and they were correct. No matter; this was my chance to paddle, so out I went from the marina in Morro Bay, and headed into a steady hard wind from the north. I got a break when I reached Coleman Beach, and stayed close to the sea wall to stay out of the wind as I made my way toward the harbor entrance out past Morro Rock. The swell was minimal inside, but much bigger outside, as is usual. I tried to get a decent picture of a wave blasting up on the end of the north jetty, but failed to get a good one. I played around for a while between the jetties, then beached for a stretch and a snack. The paddle back was fast and easy. Though the tide was going out, the wind was still very strong, and required no real effort to travel south in the bay.
After I got out, I stopped at Pedals and Paddles on Morro Bay Blvd., where I visited with owner Andreas Modl and took a test spin on one of his Public brand city style bikes, which was quite impressive.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back Bay May 14, 2011

Today our paddling group included Lorelei, Ron, Linda, and my son Bennett. We launched from the Baywood Pier at 10 AM on a receding tide, and paddled out to meet Linda, who had launched from the Cuesta inlet. We took a north-westerly route over to the sand spit and walked up to the highest point in that section, where we enjoyed views of the ocean and Morro Bay. We stayed on the dunes for as long as it took to consume all of the snacks we brought (sun chips, pecans, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds and 23 crumbs of kettle corn). The day was sunny and almost warm.
We paddled south along the sand spit for awhile, then headed back toward Baywood, by way of Cuesta. Spotted wild life included a couple of seals, a small group of white pelicans, a family of snowy egrets, and more than the usual number of cormorants.
We were treated to a fine mud bath upon our arrival back in Baywood, as the tide had receded enough to keep us from sandy shores. Bennett volunteered himself to upper-calf deep mud in order to pull the others up on the sandier beach, thus avoiding a leg coating of Baywood slime.  Thanks to Linda for the picture; giving me the opportunity to appear in this blog.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Awesome Birthday

How nice to have spent April 2, 2011 paddling with friends Linda, Jim and Mike. We paddled the back bay, hiked the dunes and were treated to a shape-transforming flock of Snowy Plovers that would alight from the beach and fly around the cove near King dune. The sound was like that of a rain stick percussion instrument.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another Perfect Day. I love the bay.... (we love it)

Did the bay circuit today, leaving Pasadena Point at 10 am and heading north into a pretty good wind. The wind waves were just short of white caps, but tightly spaced. Once I reached the area by the museum, it was better protected and easier paddling. I followed the east side up past Morro Bay and around the hook toward Morro rock and into the harbor entrance. I embarrassed myself near Target rock. I was keeping a respectable distance from the shoreline, watching out for casting fisherman and giving them plenty of space. I also kept my distance from the family of sea otters, and tried to stay just out of the channel, not wanting to be in the way of motor boats. What I didn't notice until I was nearly on top of it was a buoy marking divers below, and nearly passed right over it, getting a wake up call from a spotter on the shore who alerted me to it. Sorry guys. My bad.
In the harbor entrance area, the wind was blowing toward the ocean, the tide was going out, and the swells coming in. It was pretty dicey along the breakwater, where waves crashed over. Some guys were having trouble in a zodiac out near the end of the breakwater, and were getting pounded by incoming swells. I went over to see if they needed help, but as I neared, they freed a line that was tangled in the rocks and broke free of the area.  The paddle back to Baywood, although against the tide, was much easier due to the constant tail wind. Thanks.
During my paddle, I watched the crew of one of those Hawaiian-style outriggers doing their stuff. Took a pic but it is not too good. Also saw my neighbors, the Wishons, as they joined friends for a boat warming of  the sailing vessel Fair Wind.
Oh yeah, it was nice enough to be shirtless in February.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Back Bay with Mike

Mike and I paddled from the Baywood Pier in mid-morning, about an hour before high tide. The sun was out, with some clouds, but absolutely no wind. Just glass. We paddled to the Cuesta Inlet, then along the golf course area to Shark Inlet, where we saw no sharks. Continuing north along the sand spit, we checked out a catamaran that was beached up at the high tide mark, and back in some tules. We could not get in close enough to find any reg. numbers or a name. Most likely, the boat blew over from Cuesta. Further up, I spotted something orange just off the shoreline, floating above the pickleweed. Turned out to be a large (marine diesel?) Fram oil filter. Really? Who does that? I strapped it to my deck and disposed of it when we returned. We stopped to stretch our backs and walked up the dunes to a high point, trying to unravel the mysteries of numerous animal prints that crossed over each other in a helix. Best guess; a rabbit chased by a dog or coyote.
We spent some time at the top, enjoying the view (360 degrees) and some pistachios. The picture is from there. We cut back across to Baywood; a wonderful 2 1/2 hours on the bay, on a day that would make any non-Californian jealous.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Last Paddle of 2010

First, I'd like to mention how fortunate I am to have been able spend a good part of the last day of the year in a kayak. Love the Central Coast!
I paddled solo from the public launch at Tidelands Park in Morro Bay; getting into the water at around 11 am. The tide was rushing out, so I paddled into it and followed the channels up near Baywood, noticing lots of debris in the brown runoff water from the recent rains. When the tide began to slacken, I headed in the opposite direction and out to Morro Rock. There were plenty of birds on the water, including some white pelicans. A few otters were spotted, as well as the sea lions on a barge toward the end of the sand spit.
There were a number of paddle boarders in the area between the two jettys at Morro Rock, some  appeared to be taking lessons. I see more standup paddlers all the time. The water was fairly calm, the wind slight, so I decided to paddle out into the ocean, just to check the conditions. There was a fair sized swell, and I was solo, so I only went out far enough to catch the view up toward Cayucos and south to Montana de Oro. Three dolphin cruised by, one of them submerging just a couple of yards from my boat and swimming directly under me.
On the way back in from the harbor entrance, two small acrobatic planes flew past, on the "inside" of Morro Rock. They both flew quite close to the rock, and were only about 150 feet off the ground. Lots of laws broken there, but a cool sight to see.