Drakes Estero

Click on the words “Drakes Estero” above to see this post as it was meant to be seen.

Today I had hoped to record some video of life on the estero.

The wind and the chop said otherwise.

I did get a heck of a workout. Picked up a little trash too.

Saw the largest bat ray I have ever seen, nearly four feet from tip to tip.

Only one shark.

Many loons.

What follows are some scenes from the day.


Oyster racks with eel grass

Oyster racks with eel grass






Hmmmm, this is not food, only oyster spacers and discarded plastic water bottles.

Hmmmm, this is not food, only oyster spacers and discarded plastic water bottles.



Gray sky, gray whales

Click on the title of this post to read it and see a related header image.

This morning at 7, following a tip heard by me during restless sleep last night I made my way to McClures Beach.

My wipers slapped the condensed gray of the sky off my windshield as I drove north to see what was meant for me.

Crawling indelicately across the mussel and algae covered rocks protecting the north end of the cove between Elephant Rock and McClures Beach, oystercatchers announced my ungainly presence to the pelicans diving for breakfast and the cormorants filing past in long lines.

Not 150 feet offshore, two mottled gray, scar-covered backs broke the surface, one large, one small, attached at their waists it seemed, loud gasps announced their meeting the surface. Effortlessly they slid beneath the swell-less sea.

Again and again for 45 minutes I watched as they rose and dove in search of breakfast. I imagine a dozen or more, some far out, at least three, a cow-calf pair and a third made it to within 100 feet of me as I sat on the rocks enjoying this treat playing out before me.

Not once did I see any wrappers, cups or plastic bits usher forth as they devoured their morning meal.

I thought I heard one say to the other as they eyed me onshore, “See, there’s one of them. They think they’re so clever.”

These animals have more sense in one fluke than do 6 billion humans and all the smart-phones to ever be built.

Not me, I know I’m as dumb as a very big bag of plastic bottles.