Moss Landing and Elkhorn Slough

I am just back from my first visit to Elkhorn Slough and Moss Landing. There was much to see. I was most impressed by the sea lions. Seen from the cockpit of my small recreational kayak, they seem large and powerful, especially the males.

Sea lions far outnumbered the people yesterday in the Moss Landing harbor area. As I paddled my kayak (I was the only kayak in the harbor then) I saw more sea lions than I could count (maybe 100?).

Most were in the water, either swimming to and fro, or floating in groups with fins held in the air.

Others had hauled themselves out on the jetties.

And a few of them were trying to make themselves home in the marina.

This rather large male gave me a look to let me know that it was his intention to stay right where he was. He turned towards me as if to say, “If you get any closer to me then I’m going to swim at you and make you wish you hadn’t.” Maybe that was mostly in my head, but I didn’t want to find out by coming any closer.





Others found the swim decks of boats on which to sun themselves.





This one hauled out on a boat called Easy Rider. Somehow, I don’t think that the owner of the boat had a sea lion in mind when naming the boat.



There was lots more to see in the harbor and in the slough. I’ll add more on another post.

6 thoughts on “Moss Landing and Elkhorn Slough

  1. Hi Dan,
    Good Post. You should know that the level gauge at the visitor center has nothing to do with the actual tide, as far as sea level goes. It just marks when the visitor center floods at ten feet. I wish it was set with the tide level but it is not. However the biologists use it to gauge most everything in the estuary. It’s off about two and a half feet or so.

  2. As long as I’m on my soap box, Here’s another one. There are people that are supposedly protecting the seals down at the mouth of the Russian river. They put up signs and ropes and have seal watch people on weekends. The signs and ropes get loose and litter the estuary. John who lives in Jenner and picks up a lot of trash is tired of picking up their lost signs and worst is trying to get their lost ropes out of the debrie on the beach. These long ropes can tangle up wild life. I talked with John today on the boat ramp when I pulled out about this very topic. He says they are a bitch to get them out. They put this stuff out and never try to pick it up. On weekends they have people out on the beach trying to keep people away from the harbor seals. They wave their arms and shout and sometimes use whistles to warm people away from the seals. One guy who lives down there uses a bullhorn to shout at people. Doesn’t he realize he is just as bad or worse than the people? They mean well, but their very presence keeps the seals on edge as the watch people are very uppity, which in itself scares the seals and in fact is harassing other people that are trying to enjoy the beach. I find that the seals are very capable of taking care of themselves despite what other’s may think.
    Off the box for now. :O) Just some thoughts.

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