~Chorro Creek Bound

As I dipped my paddle into Morro Bay for the second time, winds were bellowing (20 mph) and the air temperature was climbing (84).  Typically I’m on the water by 9 – 9:30am.  My goal; get off the water before the winds get too bad.  Yes, I know, winds are pretty common each and every day, especially when you want to paddle.  They come up around noon on most days and are right there in your face as you make your way back to the take-out.  I will admit that I really don’t like the wind.

Our original destination was going to be Avila Beach, but the wind gods weren’t cooperating for that to happen.  And, you should always have a plan B.  Today’s plan B was to launch from Morro Bay State Park’s Kayak Launch.  Parking is free and they have a restroom.  And, The Bayside Cafe is nearby if you want a bite to eat or a great glass of wine from Wolff vineyards.

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Winds were expected to drop from 20mph to 11mph by 2pm.  The tide was high (5.5ft) at 1:30 and wasn’t dropping by more than 1.5 feet by 4pm.  So, I figured this was going to be our best opportunity to paddle.  By the time we launched, temperatures had soared to 93!!

Wait, aren’t we on the coast??  Well, I kicked off my flip flops and dipped my feet into the ice cold bay water.  Ahhhhh!

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As we paddled you can see the wooden boardwalk that follows the shoreline.  What you can’t see in this picture is how shallow the water is.  I looked at the map and see the word ‘mud flat’.  Christie pushes on in her Eddyline Equinox.

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A few pushed on with Christie and made it through the shallow water.  A few of us paddled a little farther from the shoreline in search of the channel that would take us up into Chorro Creek.

These Harbor Seals almost looked like pieces of wood dried out from the warm sunshine.  They didn’t pay us much attention.

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Beyond the wooden boardwalk is the Morro Bay State Park Campground.  This is really a nice campground with plenty of wind protection as well as hot showers.  The wind isn’t too evident in this picture of Nancy, but it was there.

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There are two protected areas here;  the Morro Estuary Preserve and the Morro Bay State Marine Reserve.  Chorro Creek cuts through the middle of the Estuary which covers 800 acres of wetland and the bird life here was quite abundant.

This Great American White Pelican looks to be giving some instruction to a few Snowy Egrets and several Cormorants.

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A few of the Cormorants decided to take flight as we paddled by.

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The farther inland we paddled, the more evident the channel was that would lead us into Chorro Creek.  The waterway begins to narrow slightly and we get a little protection from the wind.

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Off to my right I see a rocky crag popping up among the foothills.

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In front of me are one of the many volcanic ‘bumps’ that dot the entire area from Morro Bay to Edna Valley, which is about 45 minutes south.  Morro Rock just so happens to be one of the seven “Sisters”, which are part of these volcanic bumps.

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The creek continues to get narrower and we are fully protected from the wind by now.  The reflection of the naked trees in the water is always worth a photo.

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After we reach the end of the creek, that dead ends into Hwy 1, we turn around.  I know what’s going to happen now.  The wind will be at our back and we’ll get a nice push!

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As we wind our way back through the creek, find the channel that’s deep enough to paddle in, we are once again graced with the site of Morro Rock.  She sure is pretty.

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We’re a little wind blown and hot, but it’s been another great day on the water.  After loading up our kayaks and gear, we decide to stop in and get a bite to eat at The Bayside Cafe.  Their clam chowder was quite tasty as was their fried calamari.

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