Headed up to the Willow Creek area.
I met Raymond at Jenner, ca. around eleven AM. It was to be his second time out in this area in a kayak. He had boated in this area in his younger years and knew some of the stuff in the area. But the kayak offers a different way to see things.
Our plan was to yak up to the Willow Creek area and back around Penny Island to the mouth and back to the visitors center. It was fairly foggy when we put in, but still very nice. Only seemed to be one or two other boats n the water. We paddled across to the upper head of Penny Island and up along the south side of the river stopping to rest here and there, along the way. Lots of ducks and geese and other birds on the river. I think we saw a seal once or twice up that way.
Willow Creek, high tide.
The tide was high when we entered the willow creek area, which is helpful because if it gets too low, your boat will not get into the creek as it’s too shallow. With the water high we cruised right in there. Going under the bridge I like to whistle and make noise because it has a nice echo. Of course, that let’s anything in the creek know we are there. It was rather nice back there, so nice, I didn’t get any pictures. So nice, in fact, Raymond commented how nice it was kayaking in Jenner. Don’t tell anyone. :O)
We spent a half hour or so sitting on the water and headed leisurely back down the river, going down the back side of the island, again taking breaks along the way. Nothing real exciting, but there were a lot of birds and the Canadian geese were on the west end of the island in the shallow water. I think they are headed south, but some of them do stick around in the area.
A big Surprise when we got to the mouth of the Russian River.
Yes, it sure was, I didn’t expect the mouth of the river to be closed, or at least mostly closed. The ocean had been real rough the last few days and pushed sand up behind the jetty. This was especially a surprise, because I reasoned it might have been closed on my night checking out the lumens two nights ago. At that time I noted there didn’t seem to be much lumens in the water and that there was a lot of fresh higher temp river water on most of the rivers surface, and this could explain why. So, I’m not sure if there are still lumens creating critters still out in the ocean or not. I think I’ve checked out he lumens fairly well this year and more investigation will likely have to wait until next year.
Raymond says, the seals have a fish.
On the way back in, Raymond says, the seals have a fish, a big splash, not too far from us and a couple seagulls sitting on the water. More splashes and I get the camera out.
It’s not easy to get good pictures of seals eating fish as they move around a lot and go under water a lot, so you just have to shoot when you can. Seagulls are a good indicator that a seal has a big fish. They tend to follow the
action to pick up on some fish pieces. It’s like the crab thing. A lot of pieces of fish fall off while the seals eat the big fish and the seagulls make good use of this fact. So, when you see seagulls in the water hanging around a seal or two, there might be a big fish involved too. Part of seeing stuff happen down there is being able to recognize what goes on during eating, by the different critters. It’s also notable that this fish was caught with the mouth closed which means big fish are milling around inside the river estuary. The seals tend to push them out of there and up river where they are headed anyway to do there business and lay eggs. Of course the salmon die after this process, but later the steelhead will start. They don’t die after the egg laying thing and try to return to the ocean, if they can make it.
They sure dispatched that fish fast, only a couple of minutes. He’s pretty ripped up in this picture.
We had a great day kayaking the river, as usual.