There’s a lot more to see at Elkhorn Slough than Sea Lions. While I was paddling there I saw a lot of Harbor Seals, Brown Pelicans, and Sea Otters. Getting close to these animals was easy to do, especially in the Moss Landing Harbor area where they seem to have gotten quite used to people nearby.
I am usually quite careful to keep my distance from wildlife so as not to disturb them. Here at Moss Landing I (and many others) got within a few feet of them. Here’s a photo—taken with my waterproof camera at very close range—of a whole bunch of seals who didn’t seem at all bothered by the fact that I was so near to them.
There were gulls and Brown Pelicans sunning and resting on the same sandbar which was quite close to the launching area maintained by the Moss Landing Harbor District near Kayak Connection and Moss Landing Yacht Club on Highway One.
Sea Otters and Cormorants were shyer than the Sea Lions, Pelicans and Harbor Seals. For them, I had to pull out my point-and-shoot with a telephoto lens.
If, like me, all you knew about Elkhorn Slough is what you might know from driving by on California Highway 1, you might think it’s pretty unspectacular. I mean there is a large two-stack power plant placed prominently at the end of the slough. Accompanied by the transmission towers leading away from it, Moss Landing looks pretty industrial. Not much of a place for nature lovers, you’d think.
But take a few minutes to paddle east, under the busy Highway 1 bridge and soon you’ll find yourself in a fairly large estuary a quarter of a mile wide in places and stretching back five miles or so into an oak grassland savanna. It can be quite easy on the eyes.
And you’ll have the company of seals, pelicans, cormorants, and sea otters as you paddle.
And not too many people. That’s the way I like it.