Paddling Around the Big River Estuary

Sunday May 18, 2014 Big River, Mendocino, CA.

I arrived at the Big River parking spot around nine in the morning. I came right over from my night camping area this morning right after I got up, so I got some coffee and something to eat in my van before putting my boat in the water. There was some wind when I arrived, so I waited for it to get stronger before putting my boat in the water. :O)

Around ten AM, I put my boat in the water and headed down stream towards the ocean. It was low tide, so a lot of sand was showing and I didn’t make it all the way to the ocean.

This is my view just as I left the boat launch area to the right side of the picture. That’s the 101 highway bridge I paddled down to, to the left side of the picture. You can see the wind is up a bit, but not too bad.ramp


There were some Fox Glove flowers on the hill side blooming nicely.foxgloves


I didn’t stay under the 101 bridge long before turning and heading up the river.

This is a view of the river, just past the boat launch area. heading on up.bigriver


The tide was just starting to come in and the seagulls were catching and eating these little Dungeness crabs.gullcrab


I slowly worked my way up the river looking around and taking it easy.

This is what it looked like going up the river today about a half mile up.upview


Cormorant Rookery

I knew of a cormorant rookery from previous trips to this river and they should be nesting right now, so I was looking for them.

Usually, when I’ve gotten near their nesting area, they start making all kinds of weird noises that only a cormorant can make, but today they seemed to be on the quiet side, maybe because of new chicks in the nests?

I wasn’t exactly sure where the nests were, so I did some whistling and eventually, I roused them to make some noises and I found them.

They were way up in the big fir trees as seen in this photo.nests


Most of the birds were in the nests, but I found these cormorants sitting and watching me way down there were I was.cormorants


Not kayak all the way up the river

I had decided earlier not to kayak all the way as far as I could go up the river, which is about six miles or so and back again. From previous trips, I know if I go past the big log ramps up the river, the river starts to narrow down and the wind is gone, so it’s hard to turn back if I pass that certain point in the river.

See the log thing on the right of this picture. I think the logs are for loading big logs on barges or something in the olden days. At one time there was also a train that came up the river to get the logs out.loader


I was temped but I turned around at this point and started heading on back down the river.

I passed these harbor seals with pups on the way.seals


I wasn’t in a hurry to get back so I took my time and spent a lot of time sitting under trees along the shore line.river


There are some water ways going through a marshy area near where I put the boat in so I went over to check the area out. Some geese where there keeping a watch on me as I passed.goose


I pulled my boat off the water around four PM and headed back to Boonville to Marty’s cabin where I spent the night.

Down with some trees

The next day, when we got it going, just before noon, we went up the hill by the cabin and I cut some trees down for Marty to cut up later for his fire wood for the cabin. That didn’t take too long and that’s all we had to do for the day.

The trees we cut down with the cabin in the background.trees


Around three PM, I loaded up my stuff and headed on home for the day.

Nice trip.

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