Kayaking the Elkhorn Slough

I finally got to go kayak the Elkhorn Slough, after being rained out twice before in Stormageddon 1 and Stormageddon 2.  You can imagine my unbridled joy to wake up to a bright, sunny, calm day.  Perfect day to kayak.

Of course as a single, I had to get paired up with who ever else needed a partner, and so it was that I got paired up with Michael, a 13 year old boy who was kayaking with his family that day.

The thing about kayaking with a 13 year old boy is that they like to race a lot.  And they like to ram other boats a lot.  And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT.  It was a melee until I realized that sitting in the back of the boat gave me control of the steering and so I steered us away from the crowd where he couldn’t race or ram other kayaks.  Success!

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The Elkhorn Slough is is a 7-mile-long tidal slough and estuary on Monterey Bay.  The Elkhorn Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside of the San Francisco Bay and provides much-needed habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, including more than 340 species of birds.  But really, many people go there to see sea otters, who go to the sanctuary to pup.

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Within 5 minutes of taking off, we got to see up close a mother sea otter with her baby floating by us.  It was a breathtaking experience to see that little ball of fur rolling around on its mother’s belly.  Too cute for words.

Our guide took us aside and told us point blank that we’d just seen the most amazing sight that the Elkhorn Slough has to offer and pretty much everything else wouldn’t be able to measure up.  We continued on anyway.

We got to see lots of wildlife – a raft of sea otters, snowy egrets, sea lions, harbor seals (one popped up right next to our kayak, scaring the daylights out of me), cormorants, and brown pelicans.  Some pics are below.

I had a FANTASTIC time and highly recommend the venture, for those of you thinking about kayaking the Elkhorn Slough.

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