Ray and I Check Out the Closed Russian River Estuary Paddling Around Jenner

Friday October 17, 2014 Jenner CA.

It wasn’t raining when I got up this morning but some showers were expected later in the day, so I dressed for it and headed down to Jenner to kayak for the day.

When I arrived at Jenner, Ray’s truck was in the parking lot, so I knew he was out there somewhere.

I put my boat in the water and headed on over to Penny Island. As I was paddling across, I spied Ray down along the island’s north shore, so I headed on down that way, catching up with him down near the river’s closed mouth.

More Grebe show up

We ran into these grebe just after I ran into him. These guys show up around this time of year and some of them stay the winter. These are larger ones than the little ones that were already here.  There were one or two of the little ones mixed in with this group.grebes



It started to shower lightly on and off a bit, so Ray put on his rain coat. I already was prepared for it. It didn’t last long and spit on us just a little a couple times during the day.

The mouth is still closed

This is what the closed river’s mouth looked like as we approached. Seagulls and some brown pelicans were resting on the sand there.sandy


Looking around a bit, one could tell more ocean water has been coming over the sand into the estuary on higher tides. The sand has built up to about six feet above the estuary water level which is at about eight feet right now.

The sand is about six feet above the water shown in this picture. If it was to storm and the river rise up, that would put the river about fourteen feet, which would flood parts of Jenner and close highway one.

Birds doing their thing on the closed mouth.rivermouth


Breaching the mouth

The Sonoma County Water Agency will be thinking of breaching the sand at the mouth soon, likely around the nine foot level, as it gets into the visitor center floor around ten feet. They are doing things differently now, so I’m not sure when they will open it up, but I know they will do it before it floods the visitor center.

Pelicans and seagulls were preening on the beach.birds


Down to the river’s end

We hung around in front of the closed mouth for quite a spell then worked our way down to the end of the river to this area where we hung out some more.riverend


We spooked this great blue heron out of the area as we entered it.heron


These two ravens were finding things to eat on the shore line right next to us, not paying us much attention.ravens


Harbor seals

Eventually, we worked our way back to the closed mouth area. As we were approaching, these two harbor seals swam up to the closed mouth and looked. It seemed like they were checking it out to see about crossing the sand bar, which is a lot of work for a seal that belongs in the water.seals


But no, the one looking the most turned and said, no way, lets get outa here and they disappeared back into the river.seals2


Penny Island is partly flooded

We decided to head on over to the flooded Penny Island and passed by these pelicans. I think the one on the left is an immature one as it is mostly black and doesn’t look much like a pelican from this angle.pelican


We paddled on over to the island and into the flooded part and spent some time poking around in the area. Ray was looking for pieces of drift wood he could make something artsy with, but didn’t find anything.

We are on Penny Island in this picture, started to head on out of it.island


I’m following Ray out of the island in this picture heading for the back channel which we paddled up.island2


We took our time going up the back channel checking things out as we paddled along the shoreline.

At the east end of Penny Island we entered the little channel there and sat for a bit, before heading on in for the day.

I checked the water level gauge at the visitor center and it read about eight feet, which is just below the lowest deck at the center, so they might already be thinking about breaching the mouth?gauge


Yard work

I came on home for a nap, then went out in the yard and moved some more of the rotten log that is in  my way for my new well. I moved about three wheel barrels to the blue berry patch.

My brother left his tractor near by, so I’ll use that to move the solid part of the log which is too big for me to deal with without breaking my back.

That’s it for another nice day.

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