An Otterly great morning on the Slough

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I went kayaking for the first time Sunday morning in Elkhorn Slough which is in the Monterey Peninsula in a sleepy little coastal hamlet called Moss Landing here in California.
This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was out here on a Pontoon boat with a Photography group last year.  My friend Dali and I both signed up for the Basics Course at Kayak Connection which is located right on the Slough .The red kayak behind the blue  one was mine for morning. She’s sleek, quick, and her number is KC58. I had the good fortune of having a great instructor who got me through the basics in just 3 hours.

While we were practicing how to go straight, and proper paddle position  I got close to Dali  so I stopped , and thought to pull out my camera for a quick photo of him gliding through the water in his yellow kayak.

After learning how to paddle straight, turn, stop, and go backwards, and learning to quickly steer clear of obstacles with a maneuver called the “J move” it was time to venture further into the slough.  We rowed out toward the mouth of the harbor when two male otters came to play. They were so close to me. One swam under my kayak and started knocking his clam on the underside of my kayak to crack it open. It was so exciting! Just look how close this one was to me.

Our guide Courtland  told us this Otter’s red tail tag meant he’d been released from the Monterey Bay Aquarium for being too familiar with humans. Evidently he’s still quite fond of humans. He showed no fear of us at all. He was swimming right up to our kayaks and looking in, and all around them for food I think. This is what I wanted to experience while kayaking.

It was an exciting day! Dali and I are both stoked and looking forward to getting out on the water again!

Canon Powershot SD750, SanDisk Digital Film

Working out the kinks

Working out the kinks by dmzajac2004 at Garmin Connect – Details.

I needed to get up and move so went over  to the hills nearby and hiked all 3 Peaks today.

Click on the link above for my hiking stats and a map of my route.

Here are a few photos I took along the route.  I didn’t take my big camera today. No, instead I went armed only with an iPhone. I did miss my big camera when a Hawk came soaring over my head.

The hike was lovely. The hills around my valley are still green and lush. The peak across the valley with the trail leading to the top is Hunter’s Point. I hiked up to it last today.

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

There were quite a few wildflowers in bloom throughout the park like this Yarrow. There were oodles of Monkey Flower,  and there was clover, Nightshade, Lupine, and oh so many Crimson Columbine! I’ve never seen so many before. I

took 3 photos and all came out blurry. It was breezy. I hope to get back again before it’s all faded. On the back slopes of Hunter’s Point there were a few Poppies, and lot’s of Spring Vetch. It’s a good time to go looking for wildflowers.

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

There were young girls on horseback talking with their trainer about upcoming competitions, and the sound of the horses hooves clip-clop was lovely. One horse even said “hello” to me.

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

Little Cairns dotted the trails to let me know someone had been this way before…

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

…and lastly the view from Maisie’s Peak looking east across Santa Clara Valley to the Diablo Range beyond it.

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

A good 4.80 mile hike this afternoon.

No editing was done to these photos and they are all hand-held. I need to practice with more I think.