Swamp Rock Hike Kayaking Jenner

Sunday December 8, 2013 Jenner CA.

Another cold one

It was cold at  my house when I got up this morning. 30 degrees F. Forget working on the van, that’ll keep.

Ok, the other choice is to go to Jenner and kayak, so that’s what I did. The sun was out and there was a light breeze that picked up a bit just after I put my boat in the water. It’s low tide so the river’s mouth is still open.

Looks like I have the place to myself again. I’m the only boater down there today, not even a biologist.

I paddled over to Penny Island and since the light wind was a bit on the cold side, I continued up past the east end of the island.

Penny Island deer cross the water

Two deer came out in the open and it looked like they might be thinking of crossing over the back channel to the main land on the south side of the river. I knew they did this, but have never caught them actually crossing over.

Here, the two deer are thinking of swimming across the river from Penny Island.deer


And here I am looking across the gravel on Penny Island at the two deer swimming across to the mainland shore.deercrossing


That must have been cold, even for them. I continued on up the south side of the river, looking for a place in the sun and out of the wind. Since the tide was low I couldn’t find a place and ended up at Eagle’s landing, which was out of the wind, but the hill there was blocking the sun, so I didn’t stay long.

I headed back down the river and pulled in at Otter’s log to go ashore.

Swamp Rock Hike

I was thinking I’d like to hike over to swamp rock if I could make it. That meant I’d have to find the rest of the trail I was exploring the other day, when I was going down poison oak alley trail.

Poison oak alley trail turns into swamp rock trail and yes swamp rock is still full of poison oak too.

Here’s were I pulled ashore and tied my boat up.kayak


Just as I started down the trail, I thought I heard a sea lion bark and went back to look, but I could see it, so continued back down the trail.

This is part of swamp rock trail I was exploring.trail


I was able to connect the two trails to the swamp where swamp rock is. I hadn’t been over this way in quite awhile and I remembered the way to get to swamp rock was to go by a big tree, but I forgot which one.

I thought it was the big green tree in the middle of this picture. When I got to just in front of it, there was water in a drainage ditch, so I thought, no swamp rock today and turned around to go back.grass


I passed by some ice in the trail which was up in the air a bit, which meant more water was in here not too long ago, and dropped, which meant this area is effected by the tides. High tide came into this spot just a bit, which was lucky for me it’s was low tide right now, or this would all have more water in it.ice


As I was retreating, I spied swamp rock up on the hill side. I had been wrong about where it was. Now I had another chance to climb up to it and take a break. I didn’t really want to go to the top of it, but there is a good sitting place near the smaller whitish rock in the front I was headed to.swamprock


I made it up there ok, and took this picture of Jenner from the spot.jenner


And this is the view looking up river from the spot.view


The only trouble with the rock spot today was the sun was behind the hill. I stayed up there for almost an hour, before the cold started to get too cold and was thinking I needed to head down to the west end of Penny Island where the sun was still shining so I headed back to my kayak and put it back in the water.

This is what Jenner looked like today from my kayak.view2



Following the sun

I had to keep moving to stay in the sun as it was sinking fairly fast. When I got almost to the west end of Penny Island I decide to pull into the slot which is out of the wind and usually has sun shining into it. Just as I was thinking of pulling in, an otter surfaced just to the right of that. Looking at the slot, the sun wasn’t in it, so I started to follow the otter. It surfaced one more time and then I lost it.

By now it was late in the day and there was a fairly crisp breeze blowing off the ocean, so I paddled around the west end of the island. Just as I cleared that, a sea lion surfaced not far from me and barked and dove. Eventually two more came by and also barked. I think they were warning that I was in the area as they didn’t come too close or stay on the surface for long.

Sea Lions are here for the big fish

They were hunting. Now sea lions don’t usually come into the estuary unless there are big fish to hunt. I didn’t see them get any though and it could be salmon or steelhead at this time of the year.

The temperature was dropping so I headed on in for the day and went home where I got the fire going and finished making some dough for some bread tonight. I’ll likely make some pull apart buns in a bit.

That’s it for another nice crispy day kayaking Jenner.

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