Sunday, August 9, 2009

Moss Landing / Elkhorn Slough

It was a short Saturday morning sail (15 miles in 3 hours) from Santa Cruz over to Moss Landing, where we pulled into the guest dock of the Elkhorn Yacht Club. The club has a great facility (the original building was made from an old barge) and very hospitable people.

Here at dock we feel like we have a front-row seat for a National Geographic program. There’s a colony of about 8 otters that live just opposite our dock. One in particular floats back and forth with a baby on her chest – just a little ball of fur. Our dock neighbor told us how she (“Jill”) had lost a baby last season, and then started caring for a dead sea bird – he was pleased when she had a new baby this year, and thinks this baby will survive. He lets them sleep on the swim platform of his boat because they feel safer there. A hundred feet away on the shore is where all the harbor seals haul out, sunning themselves all day long on the beach – slowly moving up the beach as the tide comes in.

Kayakers leave from here to paddle up into Elkhorn Slough to view the wildlife including otters, seals, terns, grebes, pelicans, jellyfish. We took the dinghy to the commercial harbor (on the south end of the harbor here, while the yacht club is on the north end), and then east under the highway 1 bridge into Elkhorn Slough. Surrounded by kayakers and nature, we felt guilty with the outboard, so we rowed most of the time. There are a couple of kayak rental facilities here, with naturalist guides to go with groups if desired – would be a great outing to come down here from the Bay Area for the day.

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