Friday, August 7, 2009

"We are out on the Water"

If you stopped by our Fort Bragg location at Dolphin Isle this week, you are likely to see "We are out on the Water" posted on our gate.

WOW!!! We have been having the best stretch of weather and some of the nicest people to share it with . Sunshine, new birds, lots of active wildlife, glassy waters . . . makes kayaking on the Mendocino Coast all the sweeter.

Birds as usual are on my brain as I admire the gull chicks growing big on "First Rock" in Noyo Bay, the black turnstones on the shoreline, common loons swimming about with their heads tucked under the surface. The osprey have probably been a highlight for many of our guests. We watch and as they hover and then dive for a fish. After bringing it up, they shake their feathers out and circle before heading to their perch or nest.

My highlight has been seeing oystercatcher chicks. These guys are so well camouflaged that we rarely see them. Can you see the chick in this photo? If so, sign in and leave us a comment.

Kelp forests and kelp horns, jelly fish, sea urchins, sea stars, and sea caves have dazzled us all on our coastal paddles. Yes, we are back to our antics of making kelp horns. I share my french horn lessons from elementary school with the recipients of my kelp horns . . . make a tight embouchure to produce a clear sound.

Jeff and I have enjoyed sharing kayak adventures with families and friends from near and far. Jeff enjoyed a super fun tour of Caspar Bay with Michael who lives in Caspar and wanted to kayak in Caspar Bay for his 65th Birthday. We have had numerous local friends kayaking with us as well as some passing through. Some whitewater paddling friends from San Diego joined us for a rock gardening session this week that was definitely on the WILD side.

If you are perusing our blog, I hope that you are enjoying our posts and having as amazing a summer as we are. Leave us a comment if you can see the oystercatcher chick.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ducks in a Row

August is an exciting and busy month for us on the Mendocino Coast and beyond. We have lots of adventures planned to share our passion for kayaking and the natural world. In Fort Bragg, we are continuing to make improvements to our Dolphin Isle Location. Check out my wildlife fact photo cards on the deck.

And Eric's gate.

We have some exciting custom adventures planned this month. Saturday, we had an all day coastal exploration of the Fort Bragg Coastline. The group explored sea caves in tandem sea kayaks and meandered among the rocky channels leading up to Glass Beach. Of course a lunch break at Glass Beach was in store with beachcombing for shells and sea glass.

We are also excited about guiding a special wet and wild kayaking birthday celebration for some friends in Caspar.

Beyond the Mendocino Coast, we are preparing to present at the Bay Area Sea Kayakers' August general meeting, and Jeff is preparing for a week of kayaking instruction and fun at the Lower Columbia Kayak Round-up.

As we get our ducks in a row for a busy month, our mother ducks on the Noyo River continue to line up their little ones. The number of ducklings on the Noyo River has been amazing this year with many late hatchlings. Today we saw another brand new set of mallard ducklings. They are sooo fuzzy and cute. It is neat to see them in all stages of their development. This is the proud new mamma getting all of her little ducks in a row.

In my last blog, I mentioned the shyness of our river otters. Ha! - they beg to differ with that comment and have been quite present lately. The kits have been playing around quite a bit - but definitely not in a row. I actually got a few photos of them.