Can’t get Enough of those Lumens

Went down to Jenner twice today.

Yes, I got down there the first time around elven in the morning. I paddled down to the mouth area to check it out. It was high tide and things were different on the river than before. The ocean was real rough causing a lot of foam to form in the river mouth. It was a bit foggy, buy nice. As I was kayaking around, I thought I should come back tonight to check for the lumens as I wasn’t able to check out the mouth area last night and in front of Penny Islands west end, where there are usually a lot of lumens to see. I was off the water by 2PM. My plan was to putter around the yard a bit, rest up, eat and get back down to Jenner at six or seven for the incoming high tide which was around seven PM. It was  5.6 foot tide. The moon was a little over half, but with the fog, it was mostly blocked, although, it made the high fog lighter. Sun was down a little after seven PM so I didn’t have too long to wait for dark.


The ocean was rough at the mouth today and also during my night trip.

This is to the right of the mouth of the river looking out toward the ocean. The ocean is breaking over the sand bar, which is between the river and the ocean. The mouth and jetter is just to the left, just out of the picture.



The rough ocean is causing all this foam and debris to come into the river mouth. A lot of broken sea weed pieces from the rough ocean. During my night trip, the foam was even thicker.



While I was sitting around down there in my boat I noticed this sea weed floating around in the water next to me. Looked like a nice salad, so I picked up a piece and tried it out. Nice texture and taste. I’ve been watching some Japanese stuff lately and they eat most of the sea weeds.



This is the piece I took a bite out of, see my teeth marks on the right. Now where did this piece come from?



If you can make it out, it’s from a piece of kelp. You know the big whip kind you find on the beaches with the float ball. Most people seem to think the ball part is the root part, but no, the ball is full of air and has the sea weed leaves attached. The ball is full of air, which floats so the plant top can float in the water. The root is on the other end, of course.




Siting in the foam waiting for the dark.

When I returned to Jenner just after six PM, the river was different than I’d seen it before. It was just going on high tide, but there was a layer of foam all the way up the river past the visitors center, about a hundred feet wide and a couple inches thick. Looked like the high tide was already coming in. I put in and went down to the mouth area where the ocean was still very rough. I wanted to stay in the mouth area until it got very dark, but it wasn’t easy. Well it was until it started to get dark, then I kept starting to head in, but had to stop myself  and turn back around again to the mouth. I did this about ten times, it just seemed like as it was getting dark, one should be heading in, it was almost automatic. Of course, it might have also been something to do with the ocean roaring as it hit the beach just out of my vision in the dark, it was a lot noise. The waves that were coming in the mouth and were hitting the shore line arouind me, so I was bobbing around a lot, but was relaxed.

It finally got dark enough.

One of the things I noted right away is there wasn’t much lumens in the water coming in the mouth from the ocean. It seemed like the phyto plankton was decreasing, maybe it was getting to the end of it’s cycle? From the mouth area, I paddled up and across the river looking for lumens. I found some near the shore on the other side. I can tell where the lumens are by my paddle. The paddle splash glows when you get into it. I paddled up to the tree area in front of the island, near where the gray house is over there which is usually a good lumens area. There where lumens in the area, but they seemed a bit weak. The interesting thing is there were almost no fish to be seen this night, that I don’t understand, maybe the ocean was too rough? Or maybe the krill cycle had ceased? I don’t’ really know that one. To be sure I didn’t miss anything, I headed back to the mouth to check one more time for lumens and fish in the area, just wanted to be sure I wasn’t wrong about no fish in the area that night. No, I did hit some lumens here and there, but no fish, well, except when I went by Eleanor’s house, something big dropped away from some floating sea weed, but I couldn’t quite make it out. Gave me a start. From there, I paddled back across the river again, found some lumens, no fish. I paddled around in front of Penny Island for awhile, which had some lumens, but hardly a fish. The water had gone flat, the air was still and the fog lifted a bit and I sat around enjoying the water for awhile waiting for it to get even darker.Eventually, I had to move on, as the tide was starting to change, so I had to get in to check in front of the launch area before it was too late. I saw lumens on and off on the island side all the way back. I checked the area just above the visitors center, along the highway for lumens and fish, but I must have been too late for the lumens and I didn’t see any fish until I grounded on the Jenner creek gravel bar by accident. I saw some little three inches take off of gravel bar as I hit. I  saw a lot of little types like this in the weeds as I put into the right side of the visitors center, this is where I saw the most fish tonight.

Maybe the lumens are ending, but what happened to the fish?

Even if the lumens are on there way out, I should have seen more fish. I usually at least, see some along the shore lines in certain places, but no, not tonight. I don’t understand that? Where do they go. Do they not come in from the ocean and didn’t because It was sure rough? Are they up river and just don’t come down this far? I certainly saw a lot more fish the night before, up river. Is the krill population down? Lots of unanswered questions.

One other thing that I noticed using my trusty temperature and salt checker, my left index finger. If I put my finger in the water, I can gauge the temperature of the water, mostly using the fifty two ish ocean water as a reference. I also use the ocean water as my main reference for salt content too, putting my finger in my mouth to check salt content. It’s accurate enough to tell fresh warm river water, and cold salty ocean water and can tell somewhat the temperature and salt contend between the two extremes.

I noticed the water was more mixed this night out. I think it had to do with the rough oceam, but even more that foam layer that was a couple inches thick and layer all the way up the river past the visitors center. I’m not sure how far it went, but it went at least as far as I could see past the visitors center. I think this foam layer somehow may have caused the waters of river and ocean to mix more, maybe the foam on top of the river causes another temperature layer? Or something else?

This is a good place to also note that I observed the fresh water floating on top of the ocean water many times during this lumens cycle. Sometimes it was only an inch or two deep, sometimes six or som inches and sometimes more. I can tell this by the paddle. When I put the paddle in the water, sometimes there is no glow, until I put the paddle deeper in the water, then I get a glow.

I’ve also witnessed the colder ocean water diving under the warmer river water several times duging this cycle. Sometime you can see two to three foot wide ripples where this happens.Or if you look carefully, you’ll see foam on the surface of the water in a long streek, with an edge to it and sometimes a ripple too, if it is calm enough. What happens is the foam comes in from the ocean. The foam floats and can’t sink like the ocean water, so it builds up on the surface where the ocean water dives below the river water.

Part of reading the river is knowing what to watch for. A lot of this stuff is right in front of ones eyes, but if you don’t know what you are seeing, you only see stuff like the foam, not what the foam is indicating.

Certainly was a great night out, I almost fell asleep on the way back in, which isn’t a good idea, because when you first wake up, there are a few seconds where the boat rocks and you realize where you are.

Of course all these questions mean I need to go out again tomorrow night, so I need to get to bed so I can do it again.

This is what the visitors center looked like as I headed back to the take out.


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