Paddling on the Russian River Down to Casini’s Ranch and back to Monte Rio

Sunday November 23, 2014 Monte Rio CA.

One of my brothers said he’d be over with another brother to do some work on the bridge that goes into our family property, so I went over to see what he was doing. We talked and made plans to do some work on the bridge as soon as he got some new boards for it. We need to install runners on it too.

I left them at it and went on down to Monte Rio to kayak for the day. I’d planned to go up the river, but when I put my boat in the water, I changed my mind and decided to paddle down river to Casini’s and back.

This was my view as I started down the river just below Monte Rio.russianriver

 

I passed this great blue heron fishing along the way as well as several other great blues fishing at different spots.heron

 

I spied this seagull sitting on the water which can indicate a seal has a big fish, but no, it was just taking it easy.seagull

 

Just above Moscow hole, I went by this cormorant getting some sun.cormorant

 

I made it down to Casini’s Ranch and sat in my usual place just above the riffle and spent an hour or so there just taking it easy.casinis

 

When I got tired of taking it easy, I started back up the river and was going along in this area at Moscow hole, when a bunch of white stuff rained down from the sky about ten feet in front of me. Yuck.moscow

 

I almost got hit by what I believe to be the most dangerous thing on the river. Cormorants dump just before they get ready to fly. Just before flying off, they get nervous and let loose. Paddling under them when they are in a big tree is enough to make them nervous.

I looked up thankful it’d missed me and steered around it, just in case.pooper

 

Now, when these birds dump, white stuff really rains down. If I was to get hit by it, I’d likely have to stop and get into some water, which wouldn’t be very pleasant in the winter time. So far, I’ve only gotten hit by one of these things, just a tiny bit and that was enough for me to be very weary of them.

I’m paddling up just below Monte Rio in this picture, late in the day and the sun was on the other side of the mountain.villa

 

As I approached the Monte Rio area, I was able to get close to two king fishers making a lot of noise in the trees along the shoreline.king

 

It’s rare to get a picture this close to a king fisher. And this close to two of them would be unheard of, they like to fly off just as you pick your camera up. Big teases.fisher

 

The reflections in the stilled water were really vibrant today as I approached Monte Rio.monterio

 

There was a guy fishing by the bridge that all of a sudden I could see had caught a fish, about sixteen inches long. Maybe a sucker? fisherman

 

With the mouth of the river closed, the river is like a lake all the way up past Monte Rio, up to the summer Vacation beach dam.

Windy days like the one I experienced the other day, make these non wind days seem even richer.

Had a nice day paddling on the Russian River.

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No Rain, But Windy Instead, Paddling Around the Estuary

Saturday November 22, 2014 Jenner CA.

A pretty darn good day

I heard the rain again this morning before I got up. But when I got up, it had about stopped. When I looked out the window, I could see tree leaves blowing around in the wind.

The weatherman said most of the rain would be south of here by noon, so I headed on down to Jenner for the day. I would deal  with the wind.

Yes, the wind was up a little when I got there, but it wasn’t raining. I put my rain pants on  just in case and put my boat in the water and headed across to Penny Island. With the wind, there weren’t many other people down here. I did see three others, but watching them, I didn’t think they’d last long before going back in for the day.

Here is what it looked like as I crossed over to Penny Island looking up the river.russianriver

 

I met the three people in kayaks at the, out of the wind channel, on the east end of the island. They headed down river into the strong wind and I headed on up the river where I hoped the wind would be less and it was.

I cruised up along the south side of the river, taking my time and stopping often in the trees.windup

 

I noticed this little grebe was staying just ahead of me fishing as I went. It stayed with me for about a half mile.grebe

 

Muskrat beach

I was headed up to Muskrat beach, which is a spot that is mostly out of the wind and the sun shines a lot. I’ve used this spot to sit and watch for a long time before I discovered the Muskrats like it too.

This is the the spot at Muskrat where I sat for a good deal of time, mostly out of the wind.jenner

 

Is the mouth closed?

The water level was looking like the mouth was closed, but it was also high tide, so I couldn’t be sure. I was thinking I’d have to go down to the river’s mouth to find out for sure.

I crossed over the river to the north side to see what birds were in the area.

I could see a big flock of coots with some other ducks mixed in by Paddy’s rock.coots

 

And some cormorants on Paddy’s rock.cormorants

 

By now, the wind was up around twenty miles an hour and I was headed into it, so I had to work a bit harder, but I stay along the shoreline as I travel where the wind is a bit less.

Back channel of Penny Island

I cross back over the river and head down the back channel of Penny Island. As I neared the west end of Penny Island, I pulled in behind this big redwood stump where I was undecided whether to go down to the mouth in this wind or not.stump

 

Go for it

I was undecided so I paddled over to the very end of Penny Island and sat in this grass until I made up my mind to go for it. It’s good exercise and not really that bad. I find the wind is mostly a mind thing. Sure it’s nice when it’s calm, but the wind can be nice too if you set your mind to it and don’t let it bother you. Just have fun and enjoy it for what it is.island

 

Birds in the water

I passed by these seagulls and brown pelicans in the water as I went. By now, the waves were making it hard to take pictures, as nothing would stay still and I had to watch my paddle carefully for the wind trying to take it away from me and maybe knock the camera out of my hands too.birds

 

River’s mouth is closed

The wind was a little less down by the mouth as I approached it. The ocean waves have closed it up again. Only higher high tides and or a rough ocean can get over it now. The sand behind the harbor seals was all pushed back into the opened mouth during the last rain storm by the ocean.mouth

 

The harbor seals look nice and lazy today.harborseals

 

End of the river

I paddled past the closed mouth to the very end of the river and sat for awhile. This was my view from the very end of the river looking back up the river.riverend

 

When I left that spot, I got back into the wind, but it was now blowing in the direction I was traveling, so all I had to do was keep my boat straight.

Brown Pelicans

I passed by these brown pelicans which were resting on the sandy shore.pelicans

 

A couple kids spooked the pelicans into the air.pelfly

 

I headed on in for the day, took my boat out and went on home for a nap.

Pretty darn good

I enjoyed the day, even with the wind. I always think what everyone else must be doing in the  world right now, which always makes me think I have it pretty darn good.

Nice day.

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