Hunting for the Big Old Redwood Board

Wednesday November 4, 2015 Jenner CA.

Today,  I wanted to accomplish a few things. I needed to go do some shopping at Freeman’s for the rest of the stuff I need to finish the main water line creek crossing I’m repairing and I needed to go down to Jenner to paddle around some. I also needed to get some instant noodles at the Asian store on Guerneville road and I was also thinking I should swing by Gardener’s aid to order a carburetor for my chain saw that I’ve needed for over a year now.

Paddling first

I decided to start off with the paddling, so drove down to Jenner and put in my boat.

Mission

I had a mission today to find the big redwood board that floated out from under the visitor center, which Ray said he saw down by the lower end of Penny Island the other day. I brought along a line to drag it in if I found it.

I put my boat in the water and paddled across the river to Penny Island and went along it’s shoreline looking for the big board. At the end of the island, after not seeing the board, I paddled off and crossed over to John’s house where I saw him getting some trash out of the estuary by his house. I asked how his pace maker was doing and he said it had settled down. He says he gets a bit rattled when the pace maker fires off for what he calls, no good reason. I could see how that might bother one a bit. I asked if he’d seen the big board and no he hadn’t.

I sat in this spot while I talked with him. You can see the estuary water level is up a bit hitting his fence. The mouth is off to my left, or actually right in front of me.johns

 

Failed breech

From that spot I could see across the river to the mouth breech that failed the other day and didn’t open the river up to the ocean.

The spot where the two people are walking is sand that the ocean waves have piled up closing off the ditch they dug the other day. The estuary is about nine and a quarter feet right now, so I think they might try to open it tomorrow, if the waves tame down a bit. We’ll see.mouth

 

I left John trying to pull a big piece of plywood out of the water and doing a bit of cussing. :O) He’s not as young as he used to be, my age, sixty eight.

I really had no idea where the board might be as the wind could blow it anywhere depending on which way it was blowing. I though it might still be on the flooded island somewhere, but as long as I was paddling down this way, I might as well check for the board, just in case.

I worked my  way on down the river looking and pulled my boat into this spot by the grasses there which holds my boat to keep me from drifting away.spot

 

I’m at the end of the river

Eventually, I made it all the way down to the end of the river and sat here for a bit just watching, looking back up t;he river.  When you sit and watch, it gives the wild life a chance to go back to doing whatever it was they were dong before you entered the picture. Not that they will, but it gives them a chance to.endriver

 

I wanted to see what the closed mouth looked like, so I started paddling over to it.

There were a bunch of birds resting on the shoreline, cormorants and seagulls mostly. I paddled to the right into the channel slot, just out of the picture.birds

 

It’s closed all right

Here I am, paddled right up to the fresh sand the ocean waves piled up to close the channel. About two feet above the river’s water level, which means it needs to be opened up again. The waves were still breaking over the rocks pretty good as I watched and it was low tide.mouthsand

 

I sat in the slot for a spell, then paddled out, still looking for that big board. I passed by these cormorants, some seem to be squawking at some seagulls that got too close.cormorants

 

Hidden swamp

I continued on along the shoreline looking for the board and eventually made it to what  I call the slot, which is the outlet for a not well known freshwater swamp down here, back in the weeds. With the water this high, maybe I could paddle back into it and check it out, so I gave it a try. I got back in there a ways, then got stuck a bit in the reeds trying to turn around. The reeds where just too thick and got in the way of paddling.

I’m headed back out of the reeds, back to the river.slot2

 

Still looking for the big board

When I got back to the river, I went up along the south shoreline looking for the board, before crossing back over to the flooded island where Ray said he’d seen the board a few days ago. I paddled on into the flooded Penny Island looking through  a lot of wood and finally found the board, or a board, not sure.

I found a big redwood board

Anyway, here’s the board where I found it. It was three inches thick and at least twelve inches wide by twenty feet long. Interesting, when I saw it before I thought it was longer, but with older age, who knows? :O) It may be that the longer board is still under the visitor center,…………………….but not really likely.board

 

I also found that this big redwood board had more rot and was more beat up then the one I thought I saw the other day, but I only saw that board briefly. I ran into the board right in front of the boat ramp and immediately pushed it back under the center’s deck, almost instantly realizing that now I can’t get it and that wasn’t a very good idea, but it was too late now and we’d just have to wait.

Tied the board up here

Anyway, I hooked a small rope to it and dragged it off down along the side of the island and tied it up here in a good spot to cross over to the center with it tomorrow. There’s a little board on top of the big old redwood board, at this spot where I tied it up to a bush.tiedboard

 

I tied it up because I didn’t want to deal with it today as I needed to quit early to go do some shopping. I looked at my watch and it said two forty five as I paddled off up along Penny island.

Smelly vines

Those are mattress vines or wire vines off to the right. They give off a sweet herbal smell which smells up the river when paddling by them. They are a stringy vine which I would think the Indians may have used to make baskets and twine and rope too as it’s tough stuff.wirevine

 

As I made it up to the upper end of Penny island and pulled in and stopped,  realized the day light savings thing got me again. I hadn’t reset my watch so gained an hour which was good for the shopping part, as earlier is better than later as far as traffic goes. So that mistake was a win.

Sitting in the bushes

Anyway, I’m sitting in the bushes looking out at some buffleheads diving away feeding when I noticed this great blue heron just off to my left, just standing there close.heron

 

The heron was close enough for a good close up of it’s head. It also looks like it might be a little pissed off that I’ve pulled into it’s spot.heronmad

 

Here’s the buffleheads I was watching feed out front. They would spread out in a long line and dive down for about twenty feed before surfacing again. If the first ducks in the line missed something, the next ducks in the line had a good chance to get it. If you watch some birds close enough, you can see some pretty developed hunting techniques.buffleheads

 

I left that spot and headed on over to the boat ramp. I can see they have all the old roof off the visitor center and are doing some more prep work, I can see them replacing the boards on the overhang on the right.center

 

Gage

I check the water level gage at the visitor center. About nine and a quarter feet. Nine feet they usually try to open the mouth, maybe tomorrow?gage

 

The shopping part

I pull my boat out and and head on over to Santa Rosa, stopping at Fisch Bro. Drilling and talk with Sylvia about signing a new contract and then head for the hardware store to get pipe supplies, which I get.

By now traffic is starting to pick up. I head over to Gardener’s Aid and talk with Bill about ordering a carb for my chain saw. He needs a couple more numbers and he said he’d try to get one for me once I sent him the numbers.

I still wanted to go to the Asian market on Guerneville road, so found my way over to that through some slow traffic where they were doing some work.

I mostly wanted to get some instant noodles. This store is loaded with all kinds of stuff so I spent about an hour or so just reading labels and ingredients and filled up my basket to overflowing.

I went on home from there and put my stuff away and that was my day.

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2 Responses to Hunting for the Big Old Redwood Board

  1. Dan says:

    I am with Patti—that heron’s portrait is good, and he does look like he’s glaring at you. The water is really high. I’d be out there today, too, if I could.

    It’s fun to have a mission for a paddle sometimes. Glad you were able to find the board.

    Dan

  2. Patti Godwin says:

    Great heron close up. I might check out the mouth tomorrow.

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