A dozen Petaluma paddlers in eleven boats left from the Lakeville Marina this morning to paddle through the sloughs that wend their way to the Cabins in the Petaluma Marsh Wildlife Area.
Our group left the docks a little before 9:30 AM, about three and a half hours before the 1:00 7.2′ high tide predicted for the day. As we got going, Ray predicted, correctly, that we’d have plenty of water under our boats to navigate the sloughs. After about an hour’s paddling we arrived at the cabins.
These cabins have a storied past. Their most glorious days are behind them now. Many of yesteryear’s cabins have fallen into mouldering disrepair. Only a handful remain.
We were observant of the “NO TRESPASSING” signs prominently posted all over the Marshmellow cabin (yes, that’s how it’s spelled on the sign), the one kept in best repair. We paddled to a berm west of the cabins and beached our boats. A cold breeze made us all don our warmest clothes.
A short walk along the berm took us to the SMART train track right of way.
Standing on the railroad tracks we enjoyed views further west to a marshland dairy and wetlands with flock of birds: widgeons, mute swans, coots, buffleheads and golden eyes. The swans were farther away than they look in this photo.
The dairy would be a good place to be a cow, I think, with excellent views of the Petaluma Marsh.
After enjoying the views, we found a spot in the lee of the berm to get out of the chilly wind and spread out our picnic cloth. As always, lunch was an enjoyable potluck with plenty of good food and conviviality.
From our lunch spot looking west the sky was filled with dark gray clouds.
Looking east, by contrast, the sky was blue with fluffy white clouds. If you look closely at this view of Marshmellow cabin you can see evidence of Northbay kayakers meet up group who were out on the Petaluma Marsh today as well. There were six Northbay kayakers. I think they had lunch at the cabins.
We took a different route to get back to Lakeville Marina, passing Neil’s Island’s southern shore. Picturesque trees grow on it.
A tree on Neil’s Island.
We got back to Lakeville Marina after about paddling for about an hour. The one-lane bridge we passed beneath on our way out this morning was now so close to our heads that we had to duck.
Another fine day’s paddling with the Petaluma Paddling group.