Saturday October 11, 2014 Jenner CA.
Being Saturday and all, I puttered around the yard and then went on down to Jenner to kayak for the day around two PM. That’s to try to avoid all the people on the boat ramp as much as possible as most people go early and leave early.
I didn’t avoid them all, it was a busy day on the water. I headed on down to the west end of Penny Island and went over to see if I could find the spotted orb weaver spider that was stuck on some grass about sixteen inches above the water. I couldn’t find that spider, hope it got away ok.
However, in it’s place I found this big red and black caterpillar, which looked like it had just been in the water as it was all wet. After I took it’s picture, I placed it on some higher grass by some bushes so it might have a better chance of survival.
I could hear the rough ocean pounding on the beach and see it too as it wasn’t far away.
Here, I am heading down to the closed river’s mouth while watching this big wave break over the jetty.
I went past these birds taking a bath. Some brown pelicans and some seagulls.
I pulled into the area where the river’s mouth usually is and watched for quite some time.
Big waves were breaking over the jetty as I watched.
You can see a big wave breaking over the jetty in this picture, as a person hurries across the beach trying to stay ahead of the water.
The wave breaks over the jetty and ocean water comes into the estuary. It’s possible for spawning fish to get into the river this way, especially during a storm, which we have coming up this next week.
I watched the action down there for quite a bit before returning to Penny Island, where I paddled into the flooded island for a nice quiet break.
It was real calm once I paddled into the island. Here, I’m looking across the island to the town of Jenner. The reflection is on the water on the island, not on the river, which you can’t see because of the grass on the island.
I took a bit of a nap while in there, while these two female mallard ducks fed nearby. There was something they really liked in that one spot, as they kept working on it.
On the way out of the island, I spotted this little hawk of some kind on a big old redwood stump.
This is what it looked like as I was heading off the island looking down toward the ocean.
There were about twenty cormorants in the water with some on a log just as I left the island.
And as I was heading in for the day, I passed these two grebe, which seemed to be taking it easy.
I went in for the day and went on home.
At home, I did some more work on my new well site, I had to move a big cyclone type gate out of the way. Read that as real heavy gate. I was barely able to move it. I had to put some blocks under it so it would slide easier, but it was still hard work, maybe better suited for a tractor, but I got it moved and now we’ll see how my back feels later?
That was my day, seems like it went fast.
I just found you web site/blog and I like it!! Unfortunately life has a way of diverting you away from where you really want to be :( I love the river and miss spending my spare time exploring all it has to offer.
When was the last time the mouth of the river was open? How many days was it open for?
What is the the river level in Jenner when the river is about to breach the sand bar?
Hope to hear from you and I am glad that you get to explore the river on a regular basis.
I’m afraid your questions are mostly impossible to give good answers to, because the river’s mouth and the sand bar at Jenner are so dynamic.
The river’s mouth has been open since sometime early last winter and just closed a few weeks ago from a rough ocean piling up the sand. The sand bar varies in height, so it doesn’t have any certain height it opens or closes.
They used to breach the sand bar when the water level gauge at the visitor center reached seven feet, but now have changed that to about nine and a half feet, just before it floods the floor of the visitor center. Saying that, the mouth may open or close at any level of the sand bar, just depending on how much water is flowing down the river and how high the high tides of the ocean are and how rough the ocean is. Even though, the mouth is closed to river water going out, it is really not closed as high, high tides with a rough ocean lets the water break over the sand bar and spawning fish may still get into the river. It’s also possible for this same action to open up the closed river’s mouth, by washing enough water and sand back into the river, creating a channel to the ocean again.
Right now, I don’t expect the mouth to open, until the winter rains come as it tends to reach an equilibrium state around seven feet where it is now.
The best answer is keep reading the blog and learn how the river’s mouth really works, as only time can tell. The mouth is not predictable because it is tied to the weather.