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Where the spirit leads the feet will follow.
Down distant paths for unmapped miles.
Heads forget but hearts remember:
The art of living knows no bounds.

<-- --!>

"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost

Sunday, August 28, 2011

* Tomales Bay Bioluminescence Paddle

August 28, 2011

I joined my friends from the Sacramento Paddle Pushers at Tomales Bay last night for a great paddle in the dark to experience the bioluminescence. To say the least, a surreal experience! And no, the homemade brownies we had before we launched were not "special" brownies, for if they were, I might still be there.

Waiting for the wind to die down, we launched from the Southwest corner of Tomales Bay at Inverness a short while after sunset. Under a continuous thickening ceiling of fog, we paddle North up the shoreline a few miles looking and waiting for the Biolum to reveal itself. There was no wind, no moon, or star light. The only light pollution was coming from homes along the shoreline, moored vessels and the lumens we used for navigation. At some point we darkened all the beacons and glow sticks we were using as identifiers to keep the small group together and found ourselves in the middle of this natural phenomenon.

For me and others, the best way to describe this is “sparkles”. Imagine a small light placed under you kayak. When you sweep or stir your paddle, or create a bow wake, the light would illuminate the air bubbles in the water, but there is no light and what you are seeing are not bubbles! The “sparkles” one see’s are chemical reactions which originate from single-cell algae (dinoflagellates) which often number in the many hundreds per liter.

If one sits, and lets the water calm around them, looking into the depths you see what appears to be the reflection of a clear starry night overhead with stars twinkling off and on in a 3D image. At times my mind was finding it hard to comprehend. The fog was so low that when taking pictures with a flash, the camera would focus on only the fog, making it look like it was snowing. There was no light hitting the water yet it looked like the reflection of a clear starry night overhead.

A fantastic experience and we are lucky to have the Tomales Bay bioluminescence as an ongoing occurrence in our backyard. Thank you to Lynn and the Sacramento Paddle Pusher for letting me participate.

Bioluminescence Link


At the launch waiting for the wind to subside.

Hot chocolate and gear check.

Launch sequence.

Finally OTW at dusk.

Water particles, not snow.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

* Russian River Paddle - Healdsburg to Forestville

August 21
Healdsburg Memorial Beach to Steelhead Beach at Forestville.

Myself and three other North Bay Kayakers made this fun run. There was some rough water right at the start, but the rest of the way was smooth sailing (paddling) which was nice in our longer boats.

We met at Steelhead Beach and loaded boat onto two trucks and headed up to Healdsburg. When we got back to Steelhead, we loaded the boat on the two truck we left and headed back to Healdsburg to retrieve the other two autos.

Total time was about 5 hours, which included a lengthy lunch break.

Phil, Sebastian and Carl below Healdsburg.


Phils enjoys the lush river side vegetation.

Carl leads the way.

Phil and Sebastain cruising.

Easy rapids.

Still water as we near Windsor.


Stream side lunch. Enjoying the sun and air show (we caught a few of the war birds flying by) while waiting for the charcoal to heat up.

Phil takes a swim while waiting for lunch.

Putting on the sausage.

Sausage and fresh fruit salad.

Sam paddling around.


Sebastian working on his maneuvering skilz.

Coming up on the Wohler Bridge.

The guys under Wohler Bridge.

Sebastian nears the Wohler Dam.

Putting back in after the Wohler Bridge portage.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

* Lassen Camp & Climb

August 12 - 14
I hooked up with a group from the Chico/Orville area for a weekend of camping, climbing and hiking.

Sunday, August 7, 2011