Lots of Critters Paddling Up to Seal Haven

Wednesday September 3, 2014 Jenner CA.

I was putting my boat in the water at Jenner this morning when I looked up and saw Ray’s truck backing down the ramp. I said, lets paddle on up to seal haven today and he said he was thinking the same thing. We headed out on up the river taking our time, but not stopping as often, so as to make it to seal haven. It’s about two and a half miles up the river or so.

Fish trackers

As we passed by the east end of Penny Island we saw the fish tracker biologists doing their thing. I went on over to chat with them a bit, then caught back up with Ray who had continued on up the river.trackers

 

We paddled over to Paddy’s rock and on up under the highway one bridge, were we passed this great blue heron fishing. We spooked it as we passed and it jumped into the air with lots of  prehistoric squawking noises.heron

 

Seal haven

We paddled on up to seal haven where there are a bunch of big redwood logs stuck in the gravel where some of the harbor seals like to rest. It’s hard to tell if the seals are on the logs,  as they blend in and look just like the logs.

Up pops a seal

We were approaching the logs and could see a seal or two when this one popped up about twenty feet in front of us, checking us out. I just got it’s picture and there was a splash and it was gone.seal

 

As it was, there were five seals here today. Here are three of them checking us out as we passed.seals

 

A rear view of one of the harbor seals watching us as we paddled by.sealwhite

 

Just above seal haven is ship wreck island where the white pelicans were resting.

This was the view as we approached.upview

 

There were a dozen white pelicans resting there on the gravel.pelicans

 

We passed fairly close by these pelicans. Some of them preening.pelicans2

 

Mallard ducks too

There were a lot of mallard ducks on the other end of ship wreck island. There are usually a lot of birds on this island I call ship wreck island, so I may have to change the name to bird island, I’m thinking about that, bird island may be more appropriate?

Ray and I paddled up this way, past the mallard ducks on the island to the right, just below Markham hole.ducks

 

Markham hole

Here we are just entering Markham hole, one of the deepest holes in the river at around fifty feet. It’s out of the wind and a nice place to take a break in the water, just around the corner from where we are now.markham

 

We rested at Markham hole for a bit, then started back down the river.

Checking out a new spot

Just below Markham hole, Ray wanted to go ashore and check out this spot we’d never checked out before, which is just in front of Ray in this picture, in the sticks. We stopped and went ashore and poked around a bit.ray

 

That turned out to be an interesting spot, we’ll have to come back sometime and do some more exploring. We put our boats back in the water and headed on down the river.

Here is Ray as we neared the Seal Haven area again, with the white pelicans off to the left.downview

 

A friendly harbor seal

This chocolate harbor seal was one of the seals still at this spot. I think this is one that has been in this area using seal haven for a long time now, as I think this is the one I’ve seen here often. It’s was fairly relaxed as we passed by it pretty close.cocoseal

 

A clam die off

Just below that, Ray says, I’ve never seen so many dead clams. There sure were a bunch of them. I’d say they died because the lower estuary has been fairly salty this year and these fresh water clams got too much salt water to survive. I’ve seen this dead clam  thing in other places in the estuary this year. It’s just part of the cycle of things down here.clams

 

Skunk

We crossed under the highway one bridge and were paddling along the shoreline, just above Paddy’s rock , when Ray says, skunk. Sure enough, there was  a skunk doing something just above us on the bank. I took this picture, then it moved to cover and we moved on.skumk

 

That’s the first skunk I’ve seen in the estuary so far, but there are likely more of them around here.

Osprey

Just as we neared Paddy’s rock an osprey flew by and went over across the river from us and landed. We headed on over that way and it took off before we got there, but landed down river at eagle’s landing, where we caught up to it.osprey

 

Wow, we saw a lot of things today. And the wind stayed down for a real nice day out on the Russian River Estuary.

We went on home, but first I had to go back to the auto parts place to get another headlamp to replace the one that got broken yesterday, which I did.

Home for a nap, then I installed the headlamp and it all works properly now.

After another break, I finished installing the van heater hoses. I had to route them very carefully so as not to let them rub on any sharp edges. I did what was necessary to get the requited results. I saved the refilling of he radiator for another time and spent the rest of the evening puttering around the yard.

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