The Estuary is Up Because the River’s Mouth is Closed

Saturday March 22, 2014 Jenner CA.

I was debating whether to go kayaking at Monte Rio or down to Jenner today? I finally decided on Jenner as my curiosity was up, as the river’s mouth seemed to be closing up yesterday and I wanted to see what was going to happen with it.

So, I headed off to Jenner and arrived there around noon today. There were a bunch of motorcycles parked all over the little parking lot and a lot of cars too, such is a weekend.

It’s just a little town and I couldn’t see where all the people were. They all must have been at the Jenner by the Sea Hotel having lunch, was the only thing I could figure out. I worked my way around the cycles and put my boat in the water and found a place to park my car.

Playing tug boat with some big logs

Off I went across the river to Penny Island and on up to it’s east end little channel.  Some big logs washed into this little channel this winter and was blocking boat access when the water level was down. With the water level up, I was able to push the big logs back out into the river where I hope they will float off.

Here is one of the big logs I pushed out of the channel. You just keep pushing and eventually it starts to move off slowly. There were two of them about this size.logpush


That took a lot of work, so I had to take a break for awhile, which I did.

The logs where over by the big trees and are now gone. This is my view looking back to the town of Jenner from my resting spot.jenner


I wouldn’t be surprised if the logs move back into this spot the next time I look as they tend to go to certain areas for some reason, that’s why they got there in the first place.

Headed on up the river a bit

After getting rested up, I headed on up the river along the south shore to Eagle’s landing and took another long break there just watching.

It was a nice day, the sun was out and there was very little wind.

I spent an hour or so there then started heading back down the river towards the river’s mouth area to check it out.

Checked out the flooded Penny Island

But before I got to the mouth area, I detoured to Penny Island and paddled onto the now flooded part of the island.

It’s always nice and calm and peaceful on the flooded part of the island. Out of the wind too, when there is wind, but not today.

My view from inside Penny Island looking out towards the ocean which you can’t see.island


While I was taking a sorta nap there I noticed a yellow flower all by itself in the water. It’s hard to say for sure how the flowers get there. Over the years things float down the river in high waters and get deposited on the island, so maybe that’s where it came from.

Here is the little flower I saw. I think it is some kind of yellow iris.flower


Headed to the closed river’s mouth area

Eventually I got it going again and headed out and down to the river’s mouth area, passing these two little ducks, golden eyes maybe?ducks


There were some geese and seagulls hanging around the mouth area as I entered.mouthbirds


Yesterday, the river was flowing out to the ocean right in front of me, but not today. Ken is in his white kayak right in front of me.mouth


This photo shows the sand just over a foot high which is creating a dam to the river, so the water can’t get to the ocean which you can see in the background.rivermouth


I think there is a good chance the water will break over the sand either tonight or sometime shortly. Of course the wind could come up and pile the sand even higher.

Ken was there in his kayak practicing

I went on down to the end and talked with Ken for awhile.

Ken  runs his kayak a little different than I do.ken


I always run my kayak right side up, but not Ken.ken2


Is he going to get the thing turned back right side up?ken3


Actually, there was no question about it. Ken’s kayak is one that rolls fairly easy and Ken knows how to roll it. He is dressed in a dry suit and is ready for the cold ocean water and goes out into the ocean when he can, but not today. Too much work to get through the sand dam.

Here he is just completing his roll. One has to practice the roll often to be able to do it when one needs to in the ocean, usually when something goes wrong.ken4


My kayak is what’s called a recreational kayak. It can roll, but it’s not designed to roll easy like Ken’s kayak and I don’t have a dry suit on. I just don’t roll, period. You don’t need to know how to roll to kayak. It’s handy if you are out in the middle of the ocean though, but I don’t go there, so no roll for me. If by some chance I tipped my kayak over in the river, I would just make it to shore and take care of things there. I’ve only dumped my kayak over once in this river in the eleven years I have been paddling it. Of course that took out my camera too as it’s not water proof. That requited a new upgraded camera, so I don’t like to do that too often. :O)

I shot the bull with Ken for awhile before he headed on in for the day. I hung around and watched the harbor seals doing their thing in the water around me.

Eventually, I got tired and started heading on in.

The Pride of Madera flowers were starting their bloom for the year. They have huge flowers and last a long time. Lots of them grow along the shoreline of the town of Jenner.

Here are some of the smaller ones. The big blooms seem to not be blooming just yet, but are on the way. These flowers are about a foot in length and this is about a six foot bush.bflowers


When I got back to the launch ramp, I took a photo of the water level gauge, which is about seven and a half feet. When the gauge hits seven feet, it triggers an alert to the Sonoma County Water Agency that the river’s mouth needs to be breached before the river does some flood damage. Since it is a weekend, they will do something on Monday, if it doesn’t go out by itself before that. The water at ten feet floods the visitor center and shortly after that it will flood across the highway and close it, which doesn’t happen very often.gauge


I loaded my boat and went on home with intentions of getting some yard work done. But I was too tired out and just walked around the yard and did some planning instead.

Another nice day at Jenner.

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