Estero Tops Its Banks

Today the waters of the Estero Americano are above the banks of the channel and have flooded the adjacent pasturelands. It’s a seasonal inland lagoon. With more rain in tomorrow’s forecast, today’s sunny weather made for ideal conditions for a patrol of the Estero.

At the start, just under the bridge

Flooded pastures. Cows walk;humans paddle.

In flood stage, paddling conditions improve in three ways. Instead of having the follow the looping, sinuous channel, a paddler can beeline from pond to pond, thus trimming the trip out to the coast by more than a mile.

The views from a seated kayaker’s cockpit are better, too. Instead of putting up with hemmed in views of the channel walls, a paddler can see out across the flooded pastures to hills in the distance.

Near Buckeye Bend

Its much easier to launch a kayak from the Marsh Road launch spot because instead of having to negotiate a steep channel wall, you can simply step into your boat as it floats in a few inches of water above the pasture grass.

As is often the case, I am the only paddler on the Estero.

Just me and the

Buffleheads Duck



And the shorebirds at the beach.

I missed seeing my owlish friends again today.

A map of my outing:



5 thoughts on “Estero Tops Its Banks

  1. Congratulations. In an effort to document your personal trips, you have opened up a quiet local treasure to many more people. This gem of of nature, with it’s unimpressive start through the cow fields is now exposed as a must see adventure for those with social media access. Does everything need to be exploited, catalogued, shared, documented, explained, charted and revealed. The charm of the estero was it’s hidden beauty for those willing to explore, and weather the elements and experience the joy of solitude and the relatively undisturbed flora and fauna.
    Well done Dan, perhaps you can lead tours. Snark is intentional.

  2. Hi, Solitary Man. Thank you for commenting.

    You vastly overestimate the reach of this little blog. Most of the tiny Estuarian readership already knows about the Estero Americano and has paddled on it.

    If opening the Estero to the masses were Estuarian’s goal, I’d be failing miserably. My intention isn’t to publicize the Estero to a wide audience. (Spreading the word about the Estero, and opening it to the masses, and leading tours on it, by the way, is work that others are doing. That’s a whole ‘nuther topic.)

    My intention in Estuarian posts about EA, and other posts about other estuaries, is to update current conditions those who already know about them and encourage/inspire people to pay a visit, preferably a solitary one, to keep eyes on these, yes, treasures along the California coast.

    I feel many people can benefit, as I do, from some solitary nature therapy. Even Nature herself.

    As you already know, very few people paddle on the Estero Americano. I’m almost always all alone out there. That’s how I like it too, Solitary Man.

    And don’t worry, I have no plans to lead a tour.

  3. Thanks for replying. In a a heavily documented world, the chance to explore and push into the relatively unknown is rare, yet an integral part of who we are.The readers of this blog will miss that opportunity if they have never paddled the estero. For those familiar with the estero,, perhaps your reports are welcome.

  4. Two things stand out in your blogs Dan – solitude and the wildlife – great antidotes to lifes madness and complexity – always a good read.

  5. Thank you, Alden! I need a little extra nature-therapy in these days of worrisome saber rattling and fear-mongering coming out of my nation’s capital. Outdoor solitude does much to soothe and settle my mind. Being alone outdoors also makes it much easier to see the wildlife that tends to take cover when it hears garrulous humans approaching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.