With a high tide of 6.2 feet much of the marsh on Elkhorn Slough is underwater. We found ourselves paddling over fences and right up to the railroad tracks. I wonder if the train engineers pay attention to the tide tables.
We launched from Moss Landing, assembling on the beach near Monterey Bay Kayaks. We were on the water at 9:30 a.m. Being a large group, about two dozen people, we formed several pods of kayakers. We paddled along mid-channel watching the sea otters. There were more sea otters than I recall from previous trips, and they seemed quite playful. Then we paddled over the marsh and up an inlet, passing through a fence.
Having explored the north side, we made our way to the south side of the slough where the water was lapping at the rails of the train tracks. Paddling on along the tracks we waited for an approaching freight train. The train was moving quite slowly, out of caution for the high water I would imagine.
It was 11:30 a.m. when we landed at Kirby Park, with the boat ramp completely under water. The current was just starting to ebb, which was a disincentive to paddling the remaining 1.5 miles to the railroad bridge.
After lunch we gathered for a group photo and then made our way back down the estuary, riding a growing ebb current. We were back at our launch site at 1:45 p.m. having logged 9 miles round trip. Along the way we saw plenty of bird life including terns, seagulls, herons, egrets, and a variety of other shorebirds, as well as sea otters and a few harbor seals.
We did have one kayaker capsize under the highway bridge on the return. The current apparently pushed her boat up against the bridge pylons and she flipped over. Fortunately, a couple of experienced kayakers were close at hand and managed to get her back in her boat.
More photos are available in an online gallery.