Field Notes #4: Kayaking Mission Bay

Adventure: Kayaking
Location: Mission Bay, San Diego
Date: January 29, 2017
Adventurers: Ryan Woldt, Bob Swoboda

The Bay was flat as a pancake when our tires crunched in over the dirt, u-turned and backed up to the sand. Not even a ripple as we unloaded the kayaks and dragged them to the water’s edge. It was a bluebird morning & already warm. Hard to believe it is still January.

With the first dip of the paddle we pushed just north towards the Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve. A corner of the bay given back to the natural marshland over the past several years, the Reserve has been a safe haven for winged friends including Blue Herons, Osprey, traveling Mallards, Egrets, Clappers and the the Northern Bufflehead, just to name a few. The Reserve has pushed it’s natural marsh well out into the bay and we paddled along it’s edge. Despite already being well after 9am there was nary another boat manual or motored to be seen.

Wintering duck parents were teaching hundreds of their combined offspring the fine art of water take-offs and landings. As we pushed closer into their midst hundreds of young birds would start flapping their wings. Whappita-whappita-whap-whap-whap, the sound of hundreds of young birds furiously slapping their webbed feet on the surface. Picking up speed, most took off and followed their parents in a loop over our heads before coming in hot and splashing down around us. Some weren’t quite there yet and would complete their sprint across the Bay by simply settling wherever they were and waiting for the next go-round.

Past the Reserve the first warm burn in our shoulders and pecs set in as we set our sites on the creek past the campground. Ashore kids were building sandcastles and a slight breeze kept us cool as the sun rose ever higher. We turned further north up Rose Canyon Creek. Until the recent storms floating up the creek would have been an unlikely endeavor but the seemingly never-ending storms have filled it to the brim.

We paddled as far up the creek as we could passing under the main road and bike path before turning around and looping back around the Bay. It was about as leisure of an adventure as one could have but it got us out into the world exploring for the day. A post paddle nap on the roof of the Adventure Lab made it just about perfect. Another day. Another adventure. Get outside and explore.

Learn more about the Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve Project here.