A Windy Wintry Day Paddling Around the Russian River Estuary

Monday February 1, 2016, Jenner CA.

The wind was up alright

The weather guys said it was going to be a bit windy today and they were right. The wind was up just a little as I pulled into the Jenner parking lot this morning. I saw Steve’s car in the lot so I knew he was out there somewhere in his kayak.

I was putting my boat in the water when I saw a guy walking his dog, so I said hi and we had a long conversation after that. Turned out he was retired and sailed a lot. He told me he saw the two young bald headed eagles being fed by a mature one down by the mouth, which was interesting.

I finally got the boat in the water and headed across the river to Penny island and decided to head down towards the open river’s mouth, so paddled down along here taking my time.russianriver

 

I was checking out some turkey vultures and ravens eating something on the shore that I never made out when Steve paddled up from the mouth area. The vulture is telling the raven to keep back, which it did.birds

 

Steve and I sat around the lower end of the island shooting the bull and checking things out. These golden eye ducks were feeding out in front of us.goldens

 

Winds picking up

The wind was picking up some, so we decided to let it carry us up the river, so we headed that way, up this way, back along the island.jenner

 

Just above the upper end of Penny Island I could see some turkey vultures eating something along the shoreline, by Swamp rock Trailhead. I got a bit closer to have a look. It looked like they were finishing off a bird the eagles had dined on earlier. This is a spot the eagles like to use to devour their bird kills it seems. A seagull I once checked out after an eagle ate it showed the eagle only ate both breasts and not any of the other parts of the bird, so there’s always some left for other scavengers.vultures

 

I call this the graveyard

Steve and I continued up to what I call the Graveyard as it’s a bunch of old redwood bones laying in the water, as in redwood tree skeletons. :O) We stopped and hung out here for a while as the wind picked up some more.logs

 

When we left that area and continued on up along the south shoreline I spotted this scrub jay  foraging by the waters edge.scrubjay

 

We paddled on up the river a ways when Steve wanted to go over to Paddy’s rock, so I said I’d catch up with him and continued on up along the shoreline.

Eventually, I crossed over to Paddy’s rock through some wind driven waves. I saw this pair of bufflehead ducks near Paddy’s rock as I approached.buffles

 

Paddy’s rock

I pulled into this downwind side of Paddy’s rock and sat watching things, before Steve came from the other side and we crossed back over the river.rock

 

We were paddling up along here headed for the muskrat area just up ahead a bit.river

 

Windy at Muskrat too

There’s usually sunshine and not too much wind at Muskrat, but today the wind was blowing into the shore and the sun was already behind the hill, so it was a bit chilly there, so we didn’t stay long.

By now the wind was blowing pretty good and it was a chilly one blowing in off the ocean and most everyplace we pulled in to try and get out of it, didn’t work out as the wind seemed to be blowing into the shore. Oh well, that kept us moving.

We tried the spot at the graveyard again, but it was windy so we didn’t stay long.log

 

We paddled on down and pulled in behind this big redwood log jam, but the wind was blowing in there too although it did provide some cover.jenner2

 

Waves can be fun

Well, ok then, we were both chilled by now, or at least I was, so we paddled against the wind heading down to the boat ramp through the wind blown waves, just for the fun of it. It’s easier to go along the edge of the river to get less wind, but sometimes it’s just fun to paddle against it for fun, pounding through the windblown waves, making sure no waves come over the sides of the boat.waves

 

We pulled into the boat ramp area and pulled our boats out of the water. Here’s my car loaded with my kayak and ready to roll on home.ramp

 

Smoked steelhead fish

On the way home I decided to stop and do some grocery shopping, so I did, then went by John’s to get some smoked steelhead fish he’d smoked for me in appreciation of  my help installing the new turn signal switch in his trunk. Good stuff, Thanks John.

By the time I got home, the day was almost over and the sun was behind the mountain to my west, so that was pretty much my day.

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