Watching the Waves Break Over the Closed River Mouth and Looking for a Place to Boat Onto Penny Island

Monday October 20, 2014 Jenner CA.

I woke to light showers that were tapering off as I drove down to Jenner to kayak for the day. The showers had stopped at Jenner a bit earlier and it was a real nice day now with a bit of overcast, and the wind was down to a light breeze which is always nice.

The ocean is rough

I could hear the ocean waves crashing on the sand bar between the river and the ocean, so I decided to head down that way to watch for awhile.

An eagle fly’s overhead

Just as I cleared the west end of Penny Island  a big bird flew overhead with a white tail that caught my attention. A bold headed eagle was flying over while being harassed by another bird. It landed in that tree. I hadn’t seen any eagles for quite some time. A couple days ago someone reported to me that they’d seen an eagle around. This one looked like it was just getting it’s white bald head and white tail feathers.eagle

 

Closed river mouth area

As I approached the closed river mouth area, some cormorants where fishing for something?cormorants

 

I also passed some of these larger grebe swimming around.grebe

 

The Pacific ocean was fairly rough as I approached. Waves were breaking over the sand at the jetty and to the right of it, where there is no jetty.waves

 

Harbor seals not hunting means no big fish

Lots of ocean water breaking over into the river. I didn’t see any big fish come over, but I’m only down in the area for a short time. If any big fish were coming over, the harbor seals would have been there to indicate that, but they were all taking it easy on the sand.waveaction

 

Jetty prevents big waves from breaking over

One of the problems with the jetty being there is that it prevents a lot of ocean waves from breaking over the sand, thus, possible impeding the migration of the spawning fish that want to come into the river and with the river’s mouth being closed, that’s the only way they can get into the river right now.

This picture shows the part of the beach to the left of the end of the jetty. Waves do sometimes break over this part when the ocean is rough enough and the tide is high enough, but a lot of the time, the waves don’t make it. That’s goat rock in the background.goatrock

 

The harbor seals are taking it easy, which indicates there are no big fish coming into the river, or they’d be right on them. Note waves have been breaking over the sand a lot in this area to the right of the closed river’s mouth.seals

 

Fishing heron

This great blue heron was fishing by me. The picture is deceiving as to where it is?heronwave

 

The heron is in this picture showing were it was standing when the big wave came over the sand and washed around it. I’m in the river and the Pacific ocean is out by the big rock as the big waves wash over the sand from the ocean. It’s hard to imagine just how rough it is on the other side of the sandy beach in the ocean, from this calm spot in the river.heronwaves

 

I sat around for about an hour or so in this spot in front of the closed river mouth.waves2

 

John shows up

As  was sitting there, John the Jenner trash picker upper came up behind me and joined me as we shot the bull a bit.

I told John about two tires with rims across from the visitor center on Penny island he could pick up if he wanted, so he followed me in that direction.

We passed by these two biologists getting the data from the sensors at the buoy.biologists

 

John takes the tires to the trash cans

John filled his boat with trash as we went and had a load before we got to the tires. I helped him hook up a rope to the two tires and left him at it, as he paddled them back to the trash can at the visitor center.john

 

Exploring the weeds that were still above water

I paddled on over to the east end of Penny Island and started looking around in the weeds and grasses and bushes that were still above water to see what I could find.

I found some snails up on the grasses and also this spotted orb weaver spider. I think these spiders are supposed to resemble flowers to attract their prey. The snails and the spider were high enough above the water to be safe from drowning, but maybe not from predators?spicer

 

Looking for an entrance

I wanted to go onto Penny island to see how flooded it was and to see if I could find a place to paddle into the center of the island when it’s flooded as it is now.

Most of my landing spots where gone with the higher water, but I was able to get my boat into this spot and I didn’t have to get my feet wet.kayak

 

This is the highest end of the island and that’s why the house and barns are on this part as it usually stays above the water level.

Checking out the ditch

I wanted to check out a little creek like place on the island or maybe you could call this spot a ditch. I was thinking if I could get through the brush and into this ditch with my boat, I could make it to the center of the island, but I was wrong. There is water in the ditch, but no way to get across the land to the middle with my boat.

This picture shows my view of the ditch full of water on the island as I walked looking around.  Pretty brushy.ditch

 

Oh, Oh, it’s starting to shower

It started to shower on  me and I left all my rain gear back at the boat and I didn’t have a place to keep my camera dry, so I beat a hasty retreat to my boat, which I quickly got into and pulled under the big trees in the little channel on the east end of the island

Here’s where I sat and waited for the light shower to stop which is did shortly.rain

 

I checked another possible spot to enter the island

Since I couldn’t get my boat into the island in the ditch spot, I thought I might get it into the island on the north side at this spot. A trail enters the brush here that looked promising. I entered this spot with my boat, ducking under branches. I only got about twenty feet into the island before my boat bottomed out in the water, so this isn’t a good spot to enter either, unless the water gets a bit higher.trail

 

I’ll keep looking, but for now, I’m beat and headed on in for the day.

The gauge at the visitor center reads eight and a half feet today, only another six inches to flood the deck.gaage

 

I had a nice day kayaking and exploring around the island.

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Prepping My New Water Well Site

Sunday October 19, 2014 Guerneville CA.

My plan for the day was to do some work on the well site in my yard.

I needed to move this heavy gate out of the way. It’s a spare gate and not used for anything, but I keep it around because it costs a lot and I may someday find a use for it, but for now it was just in the way and needed to be stored in a good place so I won’t have to move it again.gate

 

My brother left his tractor in my yard so I did have some help with that.gatemover

 

I hauled it over here and set it up against an old fence. That should do it.gatestoreage

 

Than I tackled the big old log with the tractor. The tractor made quick work out of that project. I just pushed it over to the left out of the way, out of the picture.log

 

Next, I had a tree whose limbs were going to get in the way of the drill trucks boom so I had to trim the branches. Some of the branches were a bit high, so I used the tractors bucket to get a bit higher with the tree pole saw which I used to cut the limbs.treetriming

 

Of course, that meant I had a bunch of tree limbs to pick up and get out of the way, so I took care of that.

After cleaning things up on the site, I gathered some pepperwood leaves nearby and spread them out on the site to make it look better.

I finished up and this is what the site looks like now.wellsite

I still need to trim some of the bamboo back that may interfere with the drill trucks boom, but that can wait for another day. The biggest part of the job is done.

It might be awhile before the driller comes, as there is a drought going on in our area and there’s a bunch of people before us.

My house is on spring water and I have plenty of that, but  my brother grows vegetables for the farmers market and he could sure use some more of the precious stuff.

When it rains this winter, the drill guy will get his truck out of the backcountry, where he would get the truck stuck and then will only be able to do wells that are easily accessible, such as this one, so we hope to jump up near the head of the line when it rains.

All that exercise wore me out and the rest of the day was spent on the couch.

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