This will be a brief one... Friday was (likely) my last day of fieldwork at my job - I have 5 weeks left now, so things are starting to wrap up (or at least that's what I'm pretending). We are working (with a few other agencies/companies) on an oyster/eelgrass pilot restoration project off the coast of San Rafael (project website, recent article in the SF Gate). ESA (my company) is monitoring the physical processes like changes in topography, waves, and also water quality. On Friday we conducted a site-wide bathymetric survey that we will be comparing with a pre-project survey to see how the oyster beds may be affecting regional sediment processes.
We used a GPS/depth sounder system strapped on our sylishly-camo field kayak to do the survey. I haven't had a chance to calculate exactly how far we kayaked, but we paddled east and west and north and south across the site for about 4 hours. It was exhausting, but we finished just in time to return the equipment to the rental place. It was also just in time to head to San Francisco and meet up with Doug and his friends to watch the Giant's game from outside the stadium.
The perfect kayaking trip should start something like this: a cool foggy morning, bundled in your favorite sweatshirt, with 30 minutes of meditative/caffeinated (do those cancel each other out?) beach sitting: bare toes hidden inside the boat for warmth.
I reviewed my first blog post, in which I set some tangible paddling goals. I met the first two by the end of 2010 (paddle 100 miles and paddle on each of the Finger Lakes). The 3rd goal was postponed indefinitely (paddling the 40-mile length of Cayuga Lake in a day). The 4th goal (kayak in lots of places) is ongoing and a bit undefined, so let's call that a success: check!
In commemoration, here are some updated goals for the rest of 2014:
1. A couple months ago Alice and I set a goal to paddle together 15 times before I left for Europe. It's pretty ambitious since Alice is leaving for a month on Friday. So far we've done 7 in 2014 (Berkeley, Red Rock, Estero Americano, Out-the-Gate, Whiskeytown Lake, Lewiston Lake, Sea Glass Beach). We have some upcoming paddles but we'll definitely be cutting it close!
2. Paddle 100 miles before leaving on my roadtrip (described below). This will be easy since I'm already at 85...
3. Paddle in 10 new places in 2014, including at least once in the Netherlands.
4. Get involved in sea kayaking in the Netherlands.
Starting July 19th, I'm embarking on a 23-day road trip up the west coast to the San Juan Islands and then east through the Great Lakes to Boston. I won't put too many details here, but stay tuned for much more blogging later this summer! Here's a list of the places I'm hoping to paddle:
Last weekend Alice and I made an expedited road trip up towards Redding to dip our paddles in freshwater for a change. She'll be writing a post about our first day of paddling on Lewiston Lake, so stay tuned (Alice is a teacher and tomorrow is her last day of school!). Around 6:45am on Memorial Day we departed our lovely hill-side campsite at Lewiston Lake and headed back towards Whiskeytown Lake, stopping only for coffee/CheezIts/Ritz crackers at a gas station (surprisingly open at 7am on a holiday). Alice humored me as I cranked up the Whiskeytown (a country band that I discovered during my Friday Night Lights phase, and the real reason I wanted to go on this paddle). We launched from a little scarp adjacent to Oak Bottom Marina around 8:30am and began a relaxing morning paddle...
In September 2008, Nena and Terry met and moved into a little apartment in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Terry taught Nena how to dance like Justin Timberlake and Nena taught Terry how to recycle (ok, so both of those lessons failed). However, some of the cross-cultural exchanges stuck. For example, Terry developed an affinity for hiking and country music that grew long after the end of the Procter & Gamble internships. In May 2014, Terry visited Nena in California with one request: go on a California adventure.
Commence road trip to Morro Bay, in the first person...
At 8:20am on Easter morning, Alice and I simultaneously pulled into our favorite Park-N-Ride in San Rafael. We have a history of perfect timing - we're both 10 minutes early. We loaded White Lightning onto my car (next to Big Purple) and headed up the 101. Estero Americano flows into Bodega Bay, roughly 1.5 hrs north of the Bay Area. The launch site is at the end of a dirt road that spurs off the intersection of Marsh Road and Valley Ford Franklin School Road. Another kayaker arrived shortly after us, and spent 20 minutes urging Alice and I to join a kayak racing club in Berkeley.
This is a blog about exploring the outdoors (mostly by kayak), traveling, trip planning, and coastal engineering. It currently focuses on kayaking in the Netherlands and Belgium, but previous posts cover Upstate New York, California, and much more. See the Complete List of Blog Posts for a history of the site. Looking for something specific? Search the site here.
In addition to the blog, check out the Water Nerd section, where I write about coastal engineering and hydrology.
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Click the "Read More" link at the bottom of each summary for more photos, to see an interactive map of the route, and to read about the adventure.
Maps in each blog post: Click the icons to learn more about the launch site (amenities) and destinations. Click the square in the bottom-left corner to see an aerial photo behind the route.