More on the Sorta Closed Russian River Estuary

Thursday September 25, 2014 Jenner CA.

It looked like it rained during the night as I headed on out to kayak for the day. The weatherman said still some showers possible today, but I was hoping if there were some showers, they would be light.

It was overcast at Jenner when I arrived with the wind down and fairly warm out too. I headed on up the river.

This was my view as I passed the upper end of Penny Island, looking good.view


I passed these birds sitting on some redwood logs. Birds seem to like this spot.birds


I paddled up to eagle’s landing and then crossed over the river to the north side to see what the bovinosarous were doing. I stopped fairly close to them as they continued to munch the grasses.

They fed right by me as I sat there watching and didn’t charge. :O)bovine


I decided to head down to the river’s mouth to see what had happened last night during the storm.

The tunnel

As I was passing the little café, the tunnel that goes under highway one  caught my attention. With the mouth closed and the river up, one can paddle right into the tunnel, so I did. Usually, there is a bunch of trees blocking the other side, but today, someone had removed most of the blockages and I was able to paddle up the creek for a 100 feet or so.

This was my view from the creek, once I got turned around and started back out.jennercreek


Inside the tunnel looks like this. It’s always nice to do some whistling in there to hear the noise, which I also did.tunnel


I got caught in the rain

It was starting to shower lightly as I exited the tunnel and I was thinking that would be a good place to wait out any rain showers, but it was so light I kept going.

When I was out in the middle of the river, too far to come back the rain increased to hard for a couple minutes and I pulled up my hood and tightened up my wind breaker which is also a rain coat. It was raining so hard, I pulled my pack over my legs so I wouldn’t get those all wet. Lucky, it slowed down and stopped after a couple minutes and I didn’t get too wet.

Headed to the mouth area to check it out

I continued on down towards the river’s mouth area, where I saw these birds resting on the shore. Brown pelicans, cormorants, seagulls.pelicans


Sorta open river’s mouth

Just past those birds, the mouth area looked like this. It was just coming off high tide and there was quite a bit of water flowing into the river. I’m sure any fish wanting to come into the river to spawn today, could make it fairly easy as a lot of the time, there was a continuous stream flowing into the river during the high tide.rivermouth


So, even though the river’s mouth is closed, it’s sorta open too, at least at high tide and even more if the ocean is rough too at the same time as high tide.

The mouth acts like a one way valve

Lots of times, the river’s mouth acts like a one way valve. It lets the salty ocean water in, but it can’t get back out.

This can also happen even with the river’s mouth open as the cold heavier salt water dives under the fresh warmer river water as soon as it enters the river and when the tide changes, the deeper ocean water is blocked by the sand in the bottom of the river’s mouth and just the top river water flows out.
Today, the ocean waters could be seen diving under the river water as I watched, right in front of me. That’s what most of the foam is about. the ocean water can dive under the river water, but the foamy bubbles can not, so they pile up.

I sat there and watched as this foam and debree floated on in, in front of me from the river to my right.ocean


Best to pay attention

I was taking pictures and not paying attention to things when I banged into this log,  which spooked me a bit, but no damage.mouth


Big waves wash the sand around

The storm had lowered the sand that dammed the river in the middle last night, but now it was piling the sand up from the left side as the water spilled over the jetty.mouth3


As the big waves hit the jetty to the left and spill over it, it washes the sandy beach on the left side back into the river as you can see the white water coming into the river from the left in this picture.russianriver


Another picture from the same spot showing the sand it’s washing in as it washes out the beach and moves more sand into the closed river mouth.spray


The sand moves around a lot in at the river’s mouth area, especially during storms.

The jetty is slowly breaking up

The end of the jetty has been falling apart. In this picture, the cement is breaking up. During the storm last night, the big piece of cement in the middle dislodged and is laying there in the middle. I expect the ocean to take out all these broken up blocks this winter. We’ll see?jetty


The ocean was backing off high tide by now and some harbor seals wanted to head back out to the ocean , so they are working their way through the little bit of water still flowing into the river from the ocean. That’s the cement jetty behind them.seals


I headed on in and passed this pelican taking a bath.pelican


The estuary is rising

At the visitor center in Jenner I checked the water level. It read about five and a quarter feet, up from four and a half feet yesterday. Some of the water is coming down from the dams they are taking out, but most of it likely came into the river from the ocean during the storm last night. gage

I went on home for the day and didn’t do much. Worked on Marty’s computer some more, but that win8.1 just doesn’t want to download and install, no matter what I do.

Nice day

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