I arrived at the Monterey Elks Club much later than I had hoped, but at least the parking lot wasn't real busy yet. The weather turned absolutely gorgeous...clear blue skies with no wind. The recent storms sure kicked up the surf though. The breakers along Asilomar Beach State Park were huge.
The storm had washed up some ugly monsters...
New Years Eve day, my old high school buddies and I got together and joined in on a tour of the Elkhorn Slough on a large pontoon boat. Elkhorn slough is located adjacent to the little fishing community of Moss Landing on the Monterey Bay. This is something I have wanted to do for ages in a kayak, but you have to time the paddling just right or you end up paddling against the wind and tide when returning, and the timing or weather has never been right. The pontoon method of transportation sounded a lot warmer for this time of year. The tour left about 9:00 and took about two hours. The day was absolutely perfect with clear blue skies and no wind..although a bit cool. I was amazed at the amount of wildlife I saw. (Here is a link to more on the Elkhorn Slough http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elkhorn_Slough)
Below are my old friends Jennifer and Wayne in front and Kitty and Denny in the back. Kitty and I have know each since we were four years old. Jennifer was my maid of honor in my wedding so we go way, way back. Nell, Kitty, Jennifer, Wayne and I all went to the same high school and have remained dear friends and have kept in touch all these years. They are more like family.
Below is a very rare sighting of a raft of sea otters. Sea otters frequent the slough. They have been on the endangered species list for a long time but are making a come back. The lay on their back with their paws in the air because their paws are not covered with insulating fur like the rest of their bodies, so they keep their paws warm by sticking them out of the water. When they find shell fish to eat (like clams or abalone) they lay on their backs and use their paws and a tool, like a rock or some other object, to pry open the shell. Very clever. We saw over 75 otter on our tour.
This guy found something else to pry his meal open with. (actually this was a copy of a picture)
The slough and harbor is also full of sea lions and harbor seals. They were really enjoying the beautiful sunny weather. Let's see...how many seals can we get on the boat ramp.....
This blue heron is all puffed up trying to keep warm. It was a little chilly out side.
This otter decided he was going to follow the Kayakers
Happy New Year to everyone, and may the coming New Year bring many new and exciting adventures to everyone.