Drakes Estero – Nov. 11 & 13, 2010

Veteran’s Day with Joanne. We had the Estero to ourselves! Hard to believe. Perfect conditions. Outgoing tide in the am, incoming on the return; mild winds; brisk, but pleasant. Lots of harbor seals on the shore and on sand shoals. Piles of white pelicans at the mouth. Wild surf on Drake’s Beach and choppy at the opening. We saw many hawks – ospreys, a gorgeous rough-legged hawk, and several ferruginous hawks. We saw two red-shouldered hawks hopping around and flying after one another on a hillside – clearly courtship behavior. Gorgeous sea nettles drifting through the eel grass and washed up on the beach. The densest aggregations of cormorants, godwits, dunlins and shorebirds that I’ve ever (see photos). At one point the godwits and dunlins and sandpipers flew in separate surging ovals that flashed different colors as they changed direction. It was like pink, gray and white daytime fireworks! We even saw a barn owl perched and then flying to his cliffside burrow. As wonderful a paddle as I’ve had in CA!


Well C. Larry and I launched at 10 am unto some smooth, glassy type water. The weather was beautiful the water was excellant and the marine life was awesome! Everything Lyrinda saw and took pictures of for her outing Thursday, we saw and heard. We did slow paddle but still had time to go out to mouth where some peligans were hanging out. We saw scores of seals (sea lions) basking on a shallow area in middle of the estero on way back. Arrived back around 2 pm for 4 hour paddle as desired.  We loaded our kayaks and said our goodbyes and then I bought some oysters and BBQ those beauties for the end of a great day. Thanks for the company Larry……

Don H.

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