Rained On and Stuck On a Big Rock Paddling Around the Russian River Estuary

Saturday January 9, 2016 Jenner CA.


It was raining again as I got it going this morning. Checking with the weather guys, they said it would mostly stop soon, so I got my stuff together and headed down to Jenner driving in the rain.

It was still raining lightly as I drove into Jenner so I decided to drive down to the overlook at the river’s mouth to give the rain time to stop.

The mouth was open wide with lots of muddy river water running out of it into the ocean.mouth


I could see lots of birds and some harbor seals down on the beach. Here’s some of the harbor seals.seals2


Putting the boat in

It looked like the rain was stopping so I drove back to the boat ramp and put my boat in the water forgetting to put my rain pants on.

There was a light wind coming down the river as I paddled across to Penny Island and it was a bit cold, so I pulled into this little channel on the upper end of the island and sat for a spell, letting the day warm up a bit and maybe the wind would calm down too.island


Caught in a rain shower

Instead of the wind dyeing down, it picked up a bit and it started to rain. That’s when I remembered I’d forgotten to put my rain pants on, but I had my rain jacket on as that’s what I use for a wind breaker and have it on most days.

I pulled in close to shore under some trees that only helped a bit. To keep my legs a bit dryer, I pulled my pack over the cockpit and waited for the rain to stop. It finally did after about a half hour, so I left the cover of the trees and continued on up the river, mostly on the dry side.

This is the spot I waited out the rain under some trees that didn’t have many leaves on them.rain


And the wind dies down

Once the rain stopped, the wind pretty much died too as I continued on up along the south shore of the river and stopped at this spot, the muskrat area, looking down the river.jenner


After sitting there a spell, I paddled on up the river to this spot, just below the highway one bridge.bridge


I pulled into this spot and sat and warmed up a bit, before starting back down the river.rockspot


Solidly stuck on a rock

When I was ready to leave, I went around this rock and cut it too close as there was another big rock just in front of it just under the water.stuck

The big rock was sharp and shaped like a wedge, so my boat rode way up on it where my boat was a bit shaky and could tip over. I tried to wedge the paddle onto the rock and push the boat back, but I couldn’t budge it as the boat was stuck on the wedge of the rock. Usually when I get on a rock like this, I turn the boat around the rock in a 360 degree circle until it falls off the rock, but with the rock ledge there, that wasn’t possible., although I tried.

The tide was also going out so the longer I waited, the higher out of the water my boat would climb on the rock, making tip over more of a problem.

I was thinking it’s too soon to dump my new camera. I was able to get close to the rock ledge and put my pack up there which also lightened my load a bit.

I spun around on that rock, but couldn’t get off it. Finally I gave it the back body slam, which is what I’d call it. That’s when you throw your whole body back against the back of the seat repeatedly causing the kayak to back up inch by inch, and getting off that sharp rock.

I retrieved my pack and crossed over to the other side of the river by Paddy’s rock. There were some ducks and grebe in the water. They all slowly paddled out of my way as I went on through headed towards the town of Jenner.ducks


Eagle’s Landing

I looked across the river and thought this area looked real nice. It’s the area I call Eagle’s landing.trees


I paddled down along the shoreline looking for birds and critters.

Not too many here today, I bet those eagles were around earlier which causes a lot of the birds to vacate the area.

I did run into this great white egret fishing along the shore.egret


I crossed back over to Penny Island where I saw this great blue heron fishing. It has a tiny fish in it’s beak.heronfishes


Turkey Vultures dining

I was cruising along the north side of Penny Island going down the river when I spotted several turkey vultures on the shore eating something. I paddled a bit closer to get this photo, but couldn’t tell what they were eating. This one is standing on what they were eating. My guess is a big fish.vulture


Mouth area

I paddled across the river to the mouth area and looked around for a bit. I saw these golden eyed ducks swimming by the seals with a cormorant mixed in there too.goldeneyes

The ocean was still pretty rough and was pounding away at the shore and the waves were breaking on rocks which has been the norm lately.

I headed on in for the day and went on home.

That was my day.

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2 Responses to Rained On and Stuck On a Big Rock Paddling Around the Russian River Estuary

  1. dangurney51 says:

    I’m glad you got off the rock without getting wet. The same thing has happened to me a couple of times and I’ve always managed to get away unscathed. So far. But I suppose the day will come….

    Just a thought: I always keep my camera in a dry bag except when I’m actively taking pictures. Before entering or exiting my kayak, my camera is safe inside the bag.

    In a situation like getting stuck on a rock, I’d roll my camera in the bag and roll the top shut. That way, if things get bad, the camera will stay dry and float in case of a capsize. Yeah, they cost maybe $40 for a good one, but the first time they save a camera, they’ve more than paid for themselves. Here’s a link to one similalr to the one I use:


    I’m sure you can find one less expensive if you shop around.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Bob. Great pictures! How are you?

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