How we slew the Slough

Trip Start Apr 08, 2009
Trip End Jun 19, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Monterey Bay area is famous for its sea life, so we went to see it for ourselves.  The hamlet of Moss Landing is on the Bay and boasts a tiny harbour, a giant gas power station and a sort of river, called Elkhorn Slough (pronounced “slew”).  The waters are teeming with wildlife.  It may be that the power station discharges warm water into the Slough, making a pleasant environment for sea life. 

After checking in at the RV park, we headed down to the beach for a bit of castle construction and noted that the sand was covered with bits of crustacean shell.  The local pelicans are a bit like the Luftwaffe, divebombing the fish with considerable success.  For extra charm, a sea-lion was fishing off the beach and popping its head up for a look at us from time to time.

There are lots of sea-lions at Moss Landing.  One jetty has been completely taken over by sea-lions and there are a handful of others invading the marina.  Big eyes and long whiskers belie a vicious personality ready to defend their territory.  Then there is the smell.  Sea-lions and other seals eat lots of fish and their fishy aroma is less than pleasant….

Elkhorn Slough also has resident sea otters.  Not the cute little otters you get at the zoo, these sea otters are as big as a mid-sized dog.  They dig up shellfish from the bottom then float on their backs while cracking open their snack with a stone they use as a tool. 

We hired a couple of kayaks for a paddle up Elkhorn Slough to get a better view of the wildlife.  But in the afternoon the wind got a bit wilder than the wildlife and we found the paddle back to be a 4 mile ordeal against wind and wave.  Abandoning chivalry and spouse, Richard, Mel and Jasmine paddled ahead, leaving Karen and Hannah to battle the gusts, until after more than 2 hours of paddling and then a rest on a muddy bank, a motor boat kindly towed them back to Moss Landing, along with 2 other kayaks.  

To celebrate a hard day’s paddle, we bought a gallon of otter food - clams, mussels, crabs, and prawns in a tasty Italian sauce from the local fish shop for our dinner and concluded that sea otters have it pretty good.
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Where I stayed
Moss Landing RV Park
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