Kayaked the Noyo Harbor Today

Thursday, June, 27, 2013, Fort Bragg, CA.

But first I started out with some exploring with my van

I was up fairly early today, around seven AM. Lot’s of blue sky out, which is good when one is near the ocean. I headed down to the town of Mendocino  to the headlands there. Since I didn’t feel up to the cooking of my steak the night before I cooked it and it was good. That required a nap to digest, mostly because I was up real early for me.

After awhile I headed over to Big River, but…………… Darn, signs at the entrance said, Exam in progress, and they had the entrance blocked. Now, what the heck does, exam in progress mean, I mean, give me a break, huh? That meant I wasn’t going to kayak Big River today, as planned. What to do?

I decided to do some exploring of back roads with my van to see what things looked like in the area and to see if I could find a better camp area than I had. I took several roads and it was all about the same. They’d gone to great lengths to block all camping access in most of the forest. I did find a few not so good places, where old forest roads used to be open, but where now gated. These usually had small places one could turn off the main road and could park, but they were mostly right next to the main road, so not so desirable, except in a pinch.

Around noon, I found a place to pull over and make a pot of coffee for my thermos and contemplated what to do the rest of the day. I thought I’d go down and kayak the Noyo Harbor again and watch what the workers were doing down there as this is more a working fishing harbor more than a tourist place. Ok, that’s what I will do around five PM.

For now, I will do some more van exploring to the east of here, until about five. Nothing much of interest exploring with the van, so I was at the south boat launch area of the Noyo at 4:30 PM. In with the boat and I headed down toward the main harbor entrance area. Not much wind at all and the sun was out.

The below picture was taken from the north road at the jetty earlier before I put my kayak in the water. It’s what the harbor looks like if you’d just come in the jetty in your boat. That’s the 101 highway bridge, with the Noyo harbor behind it.harbor entrance


Once I put my boat in the water, I headed down river toward the main harbor and the jetty where the river meets the ocean. Earlier, there was no fog and there where a lot of boats just out there a bit fishing away, but now the fog is coming in and a lot of fishermen are headed in for the day.

This picture is looking out the jetty toward the ocean. A fishing boat is coming in. That’s a big pier of the 101 bridge you are looking at.jetty


These two boats are some working fishing boats. The one of the left is just coming in from the ocean. Note the fancy restaurant behind it. My mouth was watering looking up at all the people at the tables behind the windows.



How about this boat? A fishing boat? Hummmmmmmmmmm, I don’t think so. It wasn’t marked, but I did see a fish and game pick up truck parked above it, so I think it’s a fish and game boat. Definitely fast and made for boarding.



I sat around opposite the restaurant for an hour or so, just watching. A Kingfisher flew into the tree behind me, so I did my best to capture a shot of it, as these guys are hard to get good pics of, as they mostly always fly off just as you get the camera up.kingfisher


While there, a party boat came in and went by me. It sounds like fishing has been good, lessoning to what they shouted to some people they passed.



I noticed some action going on above these two dive boats, so I checked it out. They were unloading sea urchins from the two boats. urchins


Here is a little closer shot of the sea urchins and the hoist operator.urchins2


Moving on, these two guys were working on something. The one on the left was shoveling ice. Since yesterday, I found out they used shaved ice, not crushed ice as I reported.



This gull landed near me.seagull


While heading back I passed a fish unloading place. A couple worker guys were up there on the dock and were eying me as I approached in my kayak. They were real friendly, so we shot the bull for a bit. One guy had all his front teeth missing when he smiled. :O) They reported lots of salmon and other rock fish were being caught and brought in, keeping them real busy.

I said my good byes and headed back up the river to the launch ramp, where I took my boat out. It was about six thirty PM and I was hungry and I still had one steak left, so I pulled off to the back of the parking lot and got my grill out and started cooking it.

While the steak was cooking, the turkey vulture landed on the fence next to me. I said, no way, this is my steak and it’s not old and rotten enough for your liking. :O) It flew away just after I took the photo.vulture


Meanwhile,  back at the grill, my steak was done. Hummmm good. The grill is working out real well.steak1

I ate my steak and put things away and headed down the road toward home, a little over two and a half hours of driving. traffic was light so it was a pleasant drive home.

Oh, about that Exam in Progress thing. I found out it was a state exam for equipment operators, that wanted to work for the state, or something like that? I saw a grader down there. At least the Big River parking area would get graded too.

Had a good trip.

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