A Much Needed Paddle On the Russian River Estuary

Monday August 31, 2020 Guerneville CA.

Paddle day yeah

After checking the wind prediction and the tides I was off to paddle Jenner today after taking care of  my chickens.

Road block

There was a police road block just down the road a bit so I thought it was a good idea to stop and talk to them about getting back in to my  house when I returned. They were some San Francisco cops and were very nice and said no problem if they were on duty when I returned.

Scenic road along the river

I have to travel down along the river to the ocean. It’s a scenic classed road so is a nice ride of about 15 miles for me and I was glad to be doing it.

There weren’t any other boats I could see as I unloaded my boat and parked the car.

Up or down

Most of the time I’m  not sure which way I want to go up river or down river so I paddle across the river to Penny Island and sit a bit until one way suits my fancy.

This is the spot I sit to make that decision in front of the Jenner boat ramp with the town of Jenner in front of me. There were a few brown pelican’s hunting around. High fog was in the air with a slight smell of smoke.jenner1


Down river

I sat there until eventually down the river I went mostly because it was high tide and it’s a good time to be at the mouth as water is coming in and you don’t have to be concerned about the river water pulling you out into the ocean.

Down the river paddling along the edge of Penny Island.foggy2


Buddy birds

I usually pull in once or twice more along the island’s edge and this is one of my spots. Note what I call Buddy birds on the shore right next to me. If you sit still these little birds sometimes come right up to you like they are in this picture. They are feeding along the shoreline.buddybirds3


I paddled across the river headed to the open mouth area up ahead. Some brown pelicans are flying around down there.mouth5



I was looking at the birds on the sand up ahead and noticed the foam on the water.birds6


Just because you see something doesn’t mean it’s bad

When people see this foam they go ugh, pollution, yucky.foam7


What you see isn’t always what you think you see

But what you see isn’t always what you think you see. That foam comes off the ocean and to my knowledge is made up of dead plankton.  I guess you might say that’s pollution, but the ocean has been doing this for millions of years and it’s a natural thing of the ocean.

So what’s the foam doing in the river eh?

The foam flows into the river with the ocean water that comes into the river on high tide. The heavy salty cold sea water sinks under the no salt river water, partly because the salt makes the ocean water heavier than the sea water and the fact the sea water is much colder than the river water, creating a salty ocean layer under the fresh water from the river. This layering goes up the river about 3 miles.

The foam can’t sink when the ocean water sinks so it concentrates for us to see.

So if you see this foam it indicates it’s sea water and salty and mostly dead plankton.

Critters don’t like smoke

I was looking out the mouth while sitting in this spot. There were very few birds and seals here today. Maybe they don’t’ like the forest fire smoke.ocean8


There’s usually a couple hundred seals or more on the shore but these were the only ones today.seals10


Sitting at the open mouth

I sat around here watching and doing some thinking for about an hour, then turned and started back up the river.moth11


I paddled on by these pelicans resting on the shoreline.pels12


Mating plumage

They were doing some preening. I see the males are getting their matting plumage. You can see the males are getting white necks which  means they are mature males ready to mate.pelicans13


I took my time and paddled up the island’s back channel and stopped in one of my spots by these old submerged logs to sit for a bit and watch. A few brown pelican’s flew by looking for some fish to dive on but they didn’t seem to be finding much today.river14


I paddled up the river stopping at my usual spots along here.riverr15


To the bridge and back

I decided to paddle up the river a bit further today as it looked so nice. I think I’ll make it up to the bridge and turn around there.river16


This egret was sitting on these old lumber mill boards and took off as I approached.egret17


Looking for birds along the shore

On the way back down the river I crossed over to the other side to look for birds on the shoreline. I went by these pelicans and a couple merganser ducks.cormorants18


A bit further down and I went by this small group of cormorants and merganser ducks.cors19



These brown pelicans were flying around hunting but not doing good at all.jenner20


But they did make a nice picture in the sky.sky21


I made it back to the Jenner boat ramp and put my boat on the car and headed for home.

Road block ahead

Now all I have to do is get through that roadblock to get home.

I pulled up to it, the cop looked me over and waved me though without even showing my ID., great. It was the same guy I’d talked with this morning so stopping on the way out paid off.

Nice day paddling

That was a much needed real nice day paddling on the Russian river.

Had to laugh

I was sitting in my yard listening to the forest fire equipment going up and down the hill at my neighbors and I had to laugh.

I was thinking that dirt road goes right by his house and there are these huge machines going by his house all day long and night too, up and down the hill making a lot of noise pulling the hill.

I just heard a big dozer grade the road down to his house and turn around and go back up, roaring away.

I’m glad it’s not my house, but it’s a small price to pay to have had your house saved. Never the less I laughed a bit thankful it wasn’t my place.

Chicken lighting pays off

Last night I put a timed light on the roosting chickens and turned it on to add a couple more hours to the day as the amount of daylight triggers a chicken’s egg laying . Not enough light and they slow down their laying a lot.

I was getting 5 eggs from about 25 chickens and after the light it went about back to the normal 15 eggs I’ve been getting which is good as I eat around 10 eggs a day to survive my corn allergy thing.

The evening was real nice so I chair hopped and enjoyed my yard and life in general.

Nice day.

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3 Responses to A Much Needed Paddle On the Russian River Estuary

  1. Nancy K says:

    I can’t tell you how lucky you are to be able to paddle that estuary. I’ve always wanted to get a kayak, but have no waterways close by. VERY cool! I guess I’m weird, as I love the sound of a cat working. Hopefully there won’t be any more fires soon, but if there is, all that work will have been a good thing.

  2. Mary says:

    After almost two weeks of helping to control the fire damage you deserved a nice day! Since so much was done to more easily control fires hopefully there won’t be a similar situation near your home in the future.

  3. Patsy Irene says:

    What a wonderful day! A well deserved peaceful yak ride.
    Two things I noticed in particular, although all your pictures are great, the huge wave out in the ocean and your egret picture.
    Wave are not my thing, I’m not a fan of ‘big’ water and especially not big waves. Nice to look at but not to get caught in.
    The egret picture looks well planned, the way his wings are feathered. NICE!

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