School Kids and Cadaver Hunters While Paddling Around in the Russian River Estuary

Thursday June 2, 2016 Jenner CA.

A belt for the tractor

I headed out to kayak Jenner this morning. On the way, I stopped at the Napa parts place to see about getting a new right sized fan belt for the Ford tractor I’ve been working on.

Unfortunately they were remodeling the store so their computer was down, so we measured the old belt and I told him to order one two inches shorter when he can and I’d check back in, in a couple days, to pick it up.

School kids science classes

I continued on down to Jenner where I found a bunch of school kids getting science lessons. It appears the Sonoma County Water Agency biologists are working with the school kids giving them classes.

A teacher had the kids move to one side so I could safely back my car down to unload my boat so again things went smoothly and I put my boat in the water and this was what it looked like, looking back as I pushed off. The biologist lady is showing them how to drag the sample net to get samples. There is a name for that net which she used, but I already forgot what it was. Anyway, they where getting samples and looking what they got in a little aquarium she had.biokids

 

I left them at it, also noting that the water was a little higher on the boat ramp than yesterday. Could the river’s mouth be closed?

I think the river’s mouth is closed

I crossed over to the little channel on the upper end of Penny island where I also noticed the water was a bit higher. I sat in my boat here for a bit.channelup

 

A guy and his dog in a boat

When I continued on up the river on this real nice day, I spotted a guy in his boat going in circles in the island back channel. I couldn’t see any reason for him to be doing this unless he was studying something. He also had a dog with him, so I went over to see what he was about. The dog kept barking as if it wanted to say hi to me, so I asked if it was ok to let his dog say hi, which amounts to me offering my down turned hand for him to stiff and if accepted he gets a bit of petting and  we are buds from then on. That worked out well, although Eric thought his dog might jump into my kayak, so I said stay before giving him my hand and it all worked out well. After that the dog sat down and listened to us shoot the bull.

Looking for cadavers

I thought he said he was training with his dog to find dead people in the water and they were looking for a scent on a sample or something like that. His name was Eric and they do volunteer work this way. He said he was here because he’d found out about this place from being up at Willow Creek last weekend when everyone was looking for a kidnaped girl that they thought might be in the river, but I still thought he was just training.

I went up the river a bit taking it easy when he came by again and I talked with him about the river for a bit. Here’s me talking with Eric.eric

 

Sure is nice on the river

I went up the river to this lovely spot and I’m not sure where they went.estuary

 

I need to check on the vulture nest

As I passed this rock, I was thinking it would be a good idea to go to shore and see if the Turkey Vultures were nesting there or not this year.rock

 

Last year they lost one of the chicks  to river otters, mostly because there is an otter nesting site just below where the vulture’s nest is. Maybe I’ll do that on the way back.

I pulled into this place for a bit which I call the grotto.grotto

 

But it was one of those days I didn’t need  to be taking cover by the shore, out of the wind as it was just about as nice out in the river.

I continued on up the river to this highway one bridge and then crossed over under it to the other side.bridge

 

I went under these swallow nests which are made of mud and look like they do sometimes fall down. I skirted around them a bit to avoid any possible droppings as they were very active up there.swallownests

 

Going ashore at Muskrat

I paddled down along the shoreline then crossed back over the river and put ashore at Muskrat nest beach which is just under the rock I want to hike to to check on the vulture nest. With spring time being what it is, the trail was really overgrown, especially with nettles about six feet high. I had to step on them to force them down so I could avoid getting stung by them. There’s too much poison oak in this area to avoid it all, but I don’t catch it but I thought I should warn you about it. :O)

Anyway, I was walking on the sorta trail up to the rock which goes down below the rock. I noted the river otters have been active in their nesting area, so it would be just as well if the vultures weren’t using this nest.

I made it to the top of the rock with this view looking down  river towards the town of Jenner.jenner

 

The nest doesn’t look active

From the top of the rock I could look down and see if the nest was active as things would be a bit trampled as far as vegetation by the nest, but it wasn’t. I could also see Eric with his dog down there moving around with his dog barking a lot.buzrock

 

I hung by the rock for a bit, then worked my way back down using another trail and made it back to my boat only getting stung once on my hand by a nettle. I had to go through a thick patch of them all about six feet high and healthy.

The mouth sure seems to be closed

When I got in my boat I noticed the water level was still high and hadn’t dropped when the ocean tide just went to low, so that meant the mouth was likely closed.

More Eric and his dog

I put my boat back in the water and was heading across the river to paddy’s rock. I could see and hear Eric and his dog across the river motoring up and down slowly just below the rock I’d been on.rock2

 

Here they are doing their work. Apparently the dog has been trained to smell a cadaver’s scent and barks when he does. The problem Eric says is the scent can be spread around a lot, so it’s still real hard to pin point where a body may be, especially if it’s under water and giving off scent.dog

 

Turns out Eric is really looking for a cadaver

So I talked with Eric some more and it turns out they have been checking the river for that girl that disappeared last weekend. For some reason, from reading her abductors emails they thought she might be here in the river, that’s why they were searching here last weekend for her. Eric said his dog had been picking up a lot of scent along here, but didn’t find anything and advised me to keep  my eyes open as he thought because of the actions of his dog there was likely something dead in the river. I’ve watched what happens to a dead seal around here. They slide under the water and disappear pretty fast as everything is eat and be eaten down in the water.

I left Eric as he headed in and I crossed over to Paddy’s rock where a guy in a green kayak come up and asks if I’m Bob. I confess I am. Turns out it’s a blog reader by the name of Chuck, if I remember correctly. We shoot the bull for a bit and he went up stream and I continued down along here.cows

 

I glided up along these napping mallard ducks before they knew I was there and then I was too close for them to move, so they sat still as I passed.ducks

 

I pulled my boat out and went on home for the day.

Needed a strawberry fix

I was thinking I hadn’t had any strawberries for awhile so I headed on over to my brother’s garden area which looks like this right now. The strawberries seem to be not putting out many berries right now, but I found enough to eat.garden

 

Piggy piggy

I could hear the pigs making some noise. My brother told me our neighbor had gotten some pigs just recently, so I went over to have a look as it was on the way home from the garden. They look like they are doing well.piggys

 

That was pretty much my day for a nice one.

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