Recent Trip Highlights
Post rain storm and super high tide going into a super low tide, made for a great day on the bay! Lots of wonderful bird life spotted - peregrine falcon and osprey both feeding very near one another. White pelicans, ducks of all kinds. Plus harbor seals to the left and right of us in the channels. Nice day on the water!
We enjoyed a fantastic evening on the bay for our Dinner on the Dunes trip! Perfect, warm weather, beautiful sunset and the tiniest of crescent moons setting into the ocean. Wonderful!
What a day on Morro Bay! After the recent rains, we've had a string of perfect kayaking days - calm, warm weather and lots of great wildlife sightings, from sea otters to peregrine falcons.
Lots of calm water after all the rain and wind we've had recently. We got very close to an osprey on one of our trips and very close to two feeding peregrine falcons eating a bird on a log on the other kayak trip. Tons of Brant geese and hundreds of ducks, shorebirds and pelagic birds!
We just beat the rain this morning and had a really nice paddle on the bay. Saw a beautiful male common goldeneye! Lots of the other "usual suspects" on the bay we've been seeing all weekend as well. The harbor seals were putting on quite a show for us also - lots of activity back in the channels.
It was a spectacular, calm and glassy morning for the last day of the winter bird festival. Some of the highlights amongst the birds was a snoozing sea otter who floated very near to the boats and lots of harbor seals in the estuary. Notable bird sighting were two peregrine falcons chasing shorebirds in the estuary, an osprey carrying a very large fish for our viewing pleasure and a large flock of American white pelicans. We saw hundreds of mixed shorebirds as well as a few American avocets. A great way to finish up the annual Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival birding trips!
It was a calm, clear, cold morning on the bay today. A perfect way to start the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival trips. And we had some great sightings. American avocets, five snow geese, a merlin eating a songbird right next to an osprey munching on a fish. Plus, hundreds of Brandt geese, shorebirds of all kinds - godwits, curlews, willets, black bellied plovers. Some Caspian and Forsters terns in there, a white pelican, northern pintails, northern shovelers. A wow day on the bay!
All of the recent rains in the area of pushed the creeks to overflowing in Lime Kiln State Park. The waterfall is roaring!
Beautiful day in Big Sur today. A little light rain fell occasionally, making the redwood forest especially lovely. We have a couple of extreme California condor close ups at Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP. Two birds were perched just feet from the trail - amazing!
Gorgeous, calm day on the bay. We saw our juvenile bald eagle again today, sitting in a tree not too far from the kayak docks. Right after he flew off an osprey took his spot. After that all the usual awesome birdlife sighting familiar on a winter's day, plus lots and lots of harbor seals.
Perfect winter weather - light winds, clear and warm. Headed back into the back bay and there was much wildlife to be seen - thousands of birds and lots of harbor seals!
Chilly, but sunny and beautiful winter riding in Paso Robles today. It's a whole different feeling when the grapevines are dormant and the shadows are long. Fantastic to enjoy virtually traffic free roads at this time of year as well!
Lots and lots of wildlife on the bay these days. Tons of birds and today, very friendly young harbor seals.
Beautiful day on the bay - cold and clear. Very high tide with lots of birdlife. Clouds of sandpipers surrounded the boats with their magical display of flashing white underbellies. Just spectacular. American kestrel sightings as well!
Beautiful morning on Morro Bay! We saw an immature bald eagle right in the marina before we started the tour. The family on the tour brought their dogs (we allow dogs if you book a private tour) and the dogs enjoyed the tour as well. :)
Big Sur Ecotour highlights today included spotting several pods of migrating gray whales on their way south to Baja Mexico. The recent rains also changed the way we cross streams at Lime Kiln State Park so we ended up shimmying across the stream on a bog log that we had never used before. Lotsa fun!
A very chilly winter sunset paddle, but clear and gorgeous on the bay. Lots of winter bird life, still waters and no one around, so peaceful and quiet on the bay.
Really high tide during the tour today, so we paddled over the salt marsh in the back bay. There were many harbor seals about and some approached quite close to the kayaks. Lots of brant geese. We saw several osprey, kingfishers and white pelicans as well.
Chilly, but crystal clear late fall evening on the bay. Lots of wildlife floating around back in Chorro inlet. Beautiful sunset!
Perfect warm weather and clear. Calm morning on the bay. Tons of bird life out there as well as multiple harbor seals!
Beautiful, clear, crisp and sunny in Paso Robles this morning. Great day for biking through the changing colors of the grapevines!
Great trip on the bay this morning. Lots of harbor seals hanging out and many winter birds accumulating. Saw multiple buffleheads and grebes!
Chilly, but crystal clear and beautiful day in Big Sur. The redwood forest is fresh with new fern growth after recent rains. Lost of crawdads in the creeks!
Super high tides of over 6 feet created an amazing concentration of seabirds and shorebirds in the back of the bay. Plus multiple osprey sightings.
Fantastic full moon rising on our sunset paddle this evening. The supermoon was SUPER!
What a beautiful calm and sunny fall morning. We enjoyed the extreme high tide and were able to paddle over the salt marsh in the estuary. Lots of shorebirds out there, some gaggling Brant geese, three otters spotted and a couple of osprey spottings. Truly a great day!
Beautiful fall day of cycling through the Edna Valley. Warm and clear and the views out over the vineyards was spectacular with the grapevine fall colors.
We watched a pair of peregrine falcons feeding on a kill in the back delta!
Beautiful morning on Morro Bay. Saw a sea otter in the marina before we launched. Some of the people on the tour today decided to come after their whale watching trip canceled due to high swell conditions on the open ocean. We could hear the waves crashing on the beach throughout the whole tour!
What a day on the north coast of SLO County. Indian summer, with Santa Lucia winds. The ocean was just sparkling. Lots of wildlife spotted on our ride - a whale breaching just off the kelp beds at San Simeon Cove, elk, zebras, elephant seal! A great day for riding and stopping to check out the sights.
What a morning on the bay today! Not only calm and clear, but lots of wildlife action. Saw the first Brant geese of the year as well as tons of other wildlife. Highlights included great, close up views of two peregrine falcons perched next to an osprey at Fairbank Pt; a sea otter eating what looked like a giant flat fish of some kind; at least 50 harbor seals hauled out and in the water; plus we were able to get way back in with the high tide and explore the channels where we saw thousands of varied shorebird species, a surf scoter (strangely) and lots of white and brown pelicans. A great way to start out the week!
Gorgeous day in Big Sur! At last all trails are open and we were able to access all corners of Lime Kiln and enjoy sunny days under the redwoods and along the coast.
Great day hiking on the Estero Bluffs. Warm Lucia winds throughout the hike were really nice. Saw a sea otter in the waves and he was getting lots of good stuff to eat! Harbor seals, ruddy turnstones, kildeer, brown pelicans, pelagic cormorants, terns (although a little too far to identify specifically). A beautiful day!
Another warm and breezy day on the bay. Saw all the usual suspects - harbor seals, lots and lots of varied shorebirds, osprey, diving brown pelicans, white pelicans. A great wildlife day. Also watched a sea otter for a while and saw thousands of live sand dollars on the intertidal mudflats. First two common loons of the season as well!
Wow, what a morning on the bay! Beautiful, calm and warm. Just a little windy for a bit, so we got our exercise, but the wind laid down at the end. Tons of great wildlife today - multiple osprey sightings, both brown and white pelicans, thousands of shorebirds in the channel, including willets, godwits and curlews. Terns wheeling overhead, turkey vultures, eared grebes and first season sightings of a common loon and two surf scoters. We also saw several harbor seals and a sea otter! Great day!
Wonderful five day guided bike trip down the coast for two couples traveling together. They took a more relaxed pace and went about 25 miles per day from Monterey to Cambria. This allowed time for things like hikes along the Big Sur coast and a visit to Hearst Castle. We missed the rains that had come in a few days prior and the weather was stunning for the tour. We spotted a condor in the town of Big Sur and saw humpback whales at Ragged point. What a great trip!
Beautiful post rain storm morning. Calm waters, clearing skies. We had a very full bay to explore, paddling over the salt marsh, visiting the harbor seals in the channels and going back to see the shorebirds waiting for the water to subside so they could start feeding in the pickleweed. Thousands of shorebirds, including sandpipers, American avocets, curlews, willets, black bellied plovers. Some brown pelicans still hanging about and several osprey sightings as well. A very nice morning!
Beautiful fall day in Big Sur today. Blue whales spotted off the coast! Over 100 zebras at the north Hearst Ranch boundary as well.
Completely still morning on the bay, with a mid-level incoming tide. Plenty of harbor seal sightings, both in the water and hauled out in the channels. We spotted a nice group of dolphins in the surf off of the sandspit!
The tide was low enough on the tour today to spot thousands of living sand dollars on the tidal mud flats. Brown pelicans and terns diving everywhere and also a nice white pelican sighting. Very calm morning on the bay.
Another warm day on the bay today! Beautiful calm waters as well. We are transitioning from summer wildlife to some of our winter visitors and the mix is wonderful! Hundreds of brown pelicans are on the bay now, as are a few white pelicans. We saw three osprey today in different locations, some of them feeding on fish. A few eared grebes are popping up here and there and even a couple of ducks, which we couldn't see close enough to identify the species. Turkey vultures feeding on carrion, great blue herons, terns, and lots and lots of harbor seals.
We are enjoying warm winds from the northeast this week and it's treating us right on the bay! Beautiful weather, lots of bird life at the moment.
Wow, we saw a four foot leopard shark in the bay today! Exciting. Also, a major cloudy bubble snail stampede in the mud flats near the oyster farm.
Lots of wildlife on, above and under the bay today. Haebor seals and California sea lions, great blue herons, egrets, cormorants and both white and brown pelicans; cloudy bubble snails!
Spotted a beautiful osprey at Fairbank Pt and an otter off of shell beach near the harbor. Lots of harbor seals hauled out, even with the really high tide!
Great morning on the bay! Saw lots of harbor seals, an osprey and even had a fly by of two peregrine falcons while we were hanging out in the channels!
Exceptional morning for wildlife on the bay. We had harbor seals popping up and checking us out throughout the trip and white pelicans glide by, dipping their beaks in the water fishing for breakfast.
We did some alternate hiking in Big Sur, along with our hike through the redwoods at Limekiln State Park, hiking in Sand Dollar Beach State Park and exploring the very cool sea caves there!
Saw a nice close up view of a peregrine falcon perched up at the heron reserve. Followed a nice big group of brown pelicans feeding all the way over to the dunes.
Beautiful evening on the bay. Lots of laughter and wine and cheese! In the wildlife world, we saw lots of harbor seals hauled out, egrets, sanderlings, great blue herons, an osprey and both brown and white pelicans. A great way to end the day!
Beautiful day on the bay! Started with high fog, glassy waters and finished with sunny and warm and gentle waters. Cloudy bubble snails by the hundreds, crabs, chiton, limpets; above the water - brown and white pelicans, harbor seals, terns, godwits, willets, curlews, and turkey vultures. A great day out there!
Beautiful morning to begin our kayaking trips - low tide and calm, lots of harbor seals and amazing bird displays soaring overhead (including a peregrine falcon hunting over the sandspit on one of our trips). The wind picked up at the end of the trip, making for a whole different experience!
There were many, many harbor seals hauled out in the back channels this morning. Still lots of flocks of terns, pelicans and the usual suspects out there. Plus, one sleep sea otter in the marina.
We started off Labor Day weekend well! Although it was a little breezy on our morning kayak tours, it was manageable. Saw lots of great wildlife as well - harbor seals, sea lions and sea otters in the marine mammal world. In the bird world - a couple of peregrine falcons and an osprey, plus, great blue herons, snowy and great white egrets, terns, belted kingfisher, turkey vulture, long billed curlews, marbled godwits. Plus some cool stuff under the water - leopard sharks, balloon snails, navanax.
Exciting sights to be seen in Big Sur today - blue whales swimming of the coast!! We also saw California condors. Now that's a good day of wildlife!
A bit breezy this morning, but the breeze has pushed the fog out, so a sunny day! A few seals hanging out in the channels, a sea otter spotted hunting in the ocean off the sandspit. The elegant terns are still hanging around making lots of noise!
A deliciously high tide allowed us to get right up next to the marsh and get a good look at the birds. We saw both great and snowy egrets, great blue herons, and many more! After enjoying wine on the dunes with a fantastic sunset, we had a flock of terns fly just inches in front of our kayaks on our way back to the docks.
Gorgeous day in Big Sur, which is really nice to see after the recent fires. Back to hiking at Partington Cove and Julia Pfeiffer Burns! Bonus of the day, saw a sea otter and California condors!
Beautiful day in the Edna Valley today. Lots of fun had at multiple wineries on a "Tutu trip" - bachelorette party good times!
Saw a peregrine falcon at the heron rookery this morning. Lots of harbor seals and white pelicans. Saw a sea otter too!
Spotted not one, not two, but three sea otters at Fairbank Pt.! They were putting on quite a show, twirling, diving, cracking food and generally being very entertaining. Lots and lots of harbor seals at the channel haulout.
Still seeing lots of elegant terns out there. Plus dolphins in the surf out on the sandspit! Brown and white pelicans feeding in the bay.
Beautiful paddle on the bay this morning. Saw all kinds of wildlife - tons of harbor seals lolling about the channels, one lone sea lion; watched a pair of ospreys soaring over the sand spit, while we were atop the dunes. Lots of brown and white pelicans, thousands of Forsters and elegant terns, shorebirds galore - all and all a fine morning on the water.
Another red sunset due to smoke from fires in the state. The soundtrack of the bay these days is a cacophony of elegant and forsters terns!
Lots of cool stuff to be seen above and below the water today. Lots of shorebirds, including curlews and willets, plus great blue herons, great and snowy egrets and double crested cormorants. Below the water we saw a very cool bat ray and some navanax!
The sunset was visible this evening and very red from the fires up north. Saw what is becoming a familiar sight - the march of the sea snails. One was as big as a hand!
Fiery red sunset this evening due to the fires in Big Sur and Lake Nacimiento.
Started out in the fog for our morning ride, but it cleared up late morning. Very light traffic on the roads and great views out over the ocean.
Saw the usual suspects on the bay this morning - great blue herons, harbor seal, snowy and great egrets, plus a sea otter who followed the boats for awhile, so we got a good close up. In the waters, navanax and sea hare were spotted as well.
Saw lots of fun stuff on our evening paddle, including a sea otter near the museum, lots of white pelicans and several brown pelicans, great blue heron, curlew and a peregrine falcon to top things off!
Beautiful day in the Edna Valley. Perfect weather! Saw a red shouldered hawk catch his lunch!
Foggy, but calm morning on the bay today. The elegant terns kept up the soundtrack to the tours today. Lots of white pelicans back in the estuary, a few curious harbor seals hauled out and in the water as well. We also got a nice view of a sea otter!
We saw a bat ray near Fairbanks Pt today!
Grassy Bar Oyster company was busy pulling up their oyster bags and harvesting oysters for shipping today! A whole army of sea snails in the back bay mudflats, all heading in the same direction - where are they all going?!
Watched a peregrine falcon trying to hunt a curlew (unsuccessfully) while we were paddling down the channels!
Lots of harbor seals, brown and white pelicans and, still, thousands of terns making a cacophony of sound out there!
Amazing time on the bay today! Super low tide and clear waters revealed lots of snails and sea slugs on the mud below. Large pod of harbor seals and thousands of elegant and forsters terns on the bay.
Saw dolphins in the ocean while walking on the sandspit!
Really beautiful weather today and hundreds of terns in the estuary. Sea otters and harbor seals spotted as well. Our UK clients enjoyed their first visit to Morro Bay!
Saw a belted kingfisher at Fairbank Pt and an osprey with a fish in its talons!
A pair of otters were spotted in the marina at the start of the tour and visiting the creek yielded a lot of excitement! Not only did we see lots of seals, but we also saw large flocks of terns soaring all around us and even a peregrine falcon was seen hunting. Fun day on the bay!
We took a lovely float down the main creek and saw dozens of seals this evening. Some terns were also flying right over our boats on our way to the sand dunes for refreshments.
Birds birds birds! We saw blue heron, great and snowy egrets, brown and white pelicans, cormorants and even an osprey. A variety of invertebrates, such as navanax, sea hare and moon snails, were found as well. But the highlight was a big bat ray swimming nearby!
The water was very clear and we saw lots of harbor seals out sunbathing today.
A tour that started off foggy quickly turned sunny. We even got to see a ray the size of a hula hoop swimming around and under our boats while exploring Fairbanks Point!
Started off seeing a shovel-nosed ray right from the launch dock! The rest of the tour did not disappoint; lots of birds, seals and a variety of invertebrates too.
Great evening on the bay - saw tons of elegant terns, harbor seals and both white and brown pelicans.
Harbor seals swimming, pelicans gliding, and terns diving all within feet of our boats this morning!
Beautiful day to bike through Avila! Saw an otter floating under the pier and enjoyed a pleasant lunch.
Saw Navanax, sea snails, double crested cormorants, both brown and white pelicans, harbor seals, bat rays, snowy and great egreats, crabs, sea anenomes - what a great day!
Tour saw a sea otter and osprey both enjoying Fairbanks Point. Lots of harbor seals and terns as well!
Nice paddle this morning. Spotted sea otters an osprey and hundreds of Caspian and Forsters terns!
Amazing calm morning on the bay. Fog came and went in a beautiful display and the wildlife was amazing! Very close up sighting of a sea otter, tons of harbor seals, hundreds of Caspian and Forsters terns, brown and white pelicans, herons, egrets, cormorants, lots of shorebirds. Really clear water. Just spectacular!
Nice day on the water. Started out foggy and ended with sunshine. Tons of birds in the estuary channels - great blue herons, snowy and great white egrets, willets, Caspian terns, brown and white pelicans, double crested cormorants. Saw a cool big sea anemone, crabs and a sea otter near grassy island.
Lots of feeding frenzies on the bay this afternoon - brown pelicans and double crested cormorants galore! We also saw small bubble snails near Fairbank Pt., which was really cool. Harbor seals hauled out in the bay estuary channels.
Had a nice close up view of a sea otter on our evening paddle. Some harbor seals, lots and lots of Caspian terns. It was a beautiful evening - it started out warm and clear and ended with the fog drifting in. Super calm waters for our return paddle after sunset.
Lots and lots of harbor seals hauled out in the back channels of the estuary. We watched a juvenile sea otter feeding in the eel grass off of the marina as well.
Started off with a nice close up view of a sea otter near the marina, followed by a quick hello from a harbor seal. While walking along the beach we spotted an osprey hunting and lots of beautiful Heermann's gulls.
Sea otters continue to entertain us near the marina. Really fun to see them so close up and so active!
Beautiful, clear morning on the bay. We had some awesome close up view of sea otters, harbor seals and beautiful Caspian terns, amongst other things.
Beautiful evening, even though the sunset didn't appear through the fog. Sea otter came by the dock and there were harbor seals by the rookery. Lots and lots of brown pelicans!
Gorgeous weather in Morro Bay! Sea otters galore! Seemed like everywhere we went on the bay today, there were sea otters very close up and very active. Also lots of harbor seals hanging around. Many shorebirds are coming back as well - godwits, curlews, willets and sandpipers on the mudflats in the estuary.
Watched a male sea otter doing what could only be described as "the torpedo," a high speed spinning and forward motion all at the same time. Awesome!
Although it was a foggy morning on the bay, the atmosphere was really cool - and very calm out there. Saw two black skimmers very close up in the back channels, which was a real treat!! Lots of other wildlife as well - an extremely close up view of a sea otter, harbor seals, baby double crested cormorants, white pelicans, brown pelicans, Caspian terns. Great morning out there!
Lots of great sea otter viewing today! They are very active in the back bay at the moment. Also saw a unique sighting of two black skimmers in the estuary channels!
Wonderful morning out on the bay. Saw lots of shorebirds feasting on the mudflats and many harbor seals hauled out. We've been spotting a couple of otters near the marina regularly and they didn't fail us today!
A couple of sea otters were engaged with one another near the kayak docks. Saw a few smaller feeding frenzies with lots of feeding brown pelicans and double crested cormorants.
Lovely sunset this evening! Got a good close up view of an osprey perched on the oyster farm dock. Lots of bird life and marine mammals in the bay as well!
Beautiful weather on the bay today! We saw two sea otters right off the bat - very active and very close to the boats. Lots of Caspian terns, brown pelicans. Several double crested cormorant babies on the rocks at Fairbank Pt. practicing their hunting techniques. Fun to watch! Lots and lots of harbor seals hanging out in the back bay.
Beautiful, breezy afternoon on the bay today. Not so breezy that we couldn't enjoy lots of wildlife spottings, though! Highlight today was a mother and (big) baby otter together right off the marina. They were very actively hunting together and the baby didn't let the mother get very far away before scurrying after her. Also saw an osprey, white and brown pelicans and lots of harbor seals! Great day!
The morning kayak trip started in the heavy fog, but it eventually lifted and turned into a beautiful day on the water. One of the highlights of the trip was a sea otter popping up very close to the boats!
Incredible weather on the bay this morning! On one of our tours we saw a good sized leopard shark as well as bat rays!
Awesome trip on the bay this morning - tons of harbor seals everywhere, brown pelicans, white pelicans and lots of bat rays. Fun!
Gorgeous, clear evening on the bay. We had a baby harbor seal surface several times just inches from the kayaks. The moon rose during the trip - big and full!
Great evening on the bay - clear and beautiful. Lots of black crowned night herons about, great blue herons, harbor seals. Perfect evening.
Beautiful foggy, yet mild evening, with nice views out over the ocean. Saw lots of harbor seals, snowy and great egrets and bay rays! Terns, willets. No actual sunset seen, but a lovely evening none-the-less.
Saw two close up sea otters near the 20 foot buoy in Morro Bay and tons of white pelicans on the sandspit. Beautiful morning.
The water was so clear today on the morning kayak trip that we could easily see the large bed of living sand dollars at Fairbank Pt. Very neat! Adult black crowned night herons were busy fishing during the day (probably to keep up with hungry babies!). Snowy egrets doing their shakey shakey dance to catch food in the shallows. Lots of fun stuff to watch today.
We've had foggy conditions the last couple of days, making the atmosphere on the bay very dynamic and cool. Watching all of the familiar landmarks appear in the fog is neat and the wildlife spottings still just as good!
The foggy evening turned into a beautiful one, with mild wind. Saw an osprey at the oyster farm and lots and lots of bubble snails in the shallow mud near Fairbank Pt.
Large pod of harbor seals were hauled out at the oyster farm today and multiple white pelicans were seen throughout the morning as well. There are large flocks of sandpipers hanging out in the back back as well.
Amazing peregrine falcon displayed over the oyster farm today. Two peregrines chasing a sandpiper that was using all of its skills to evade capture. Incredible!
Sea otters and a couple of california condors spotted at Partington Cove!
It was a snail and sea slug jamboree in the shallows near our pullout spot on the sunset paddle. Beautiful coral colored snails - too cool!
Saw a Mola Mola in the back bay - wow! That is a very unusual sighting.
Lots of birds of all species and harbor seals seem to be hanging out around Fairbank Pt these days!
Great day on the bay - watched two peregrine falcons hunting over grassy island. No luck catching anything, but beautiful to watch!
Extreme high tide tonight on the Sunset Paddle that glassed off right at sunset, making for a beautiful paddle. Saw lots and lots of bat rays in the shallows and a herd of about 15 harbor seals feeding at Fairbank Pt. Just a beautiful, clear evening and sunset!
Sea otters swam right up to us on our short paddle this morning!
What a spectacular evening on the bay - clear and beautiful with a ton of activity. Lots of harbor seals, herons, egrets, pelicans. All in all a fantastic evening on the bay!
Nice high tide tours this morning. One our half day classic we saw 5 harbor seals hanging around the marina right off the bat. Lots of wildlife seen around the bay - pelicans, terns, herons, egrets, cormorants.
Typical summer day on the bay - sunny, foggy, breezy and sunny again! Beautiful. Lots of pelicans - brown and white - a sea otter feeding near the marina, herons, harbor seals, egrets. Lots of fun wildlife on the bay.
Saw all kinds of wildlife on the bay this morning - osprey hunting, two different sea otter sightings, lots of white pelicans, navanax, cormorants and living sand dollars near grassy island. Lots of juvenile harbor seals hanging out near Fairbank Pt. as well!
Foggy, calm morning on the bay. Spotted lots and lots of harbor seals in the water as well as white pelicans and harbor seals back in Chorro inlet. Watched an osprey hunting for quite awhile near the oyster farm.
Very high tide tour this evening. A sea otter and several harbor seals were feeding near Fairbank Pt. Despite the fog coming up from the south, we had a fog free sunset!
Great day on the bay! We watched an osprey dive down into the open ocean and fly away with a fish. Very cool.
We were completely surrounded by a large group of harbor seals in the inlets. It was very cool to watch them all swim towards us and surround the boats. Lots of white pelicans feeding in the eel grass.
Juvenile sea otter came upon us at Fairbanks Pt and was feeding on crabs. The white pelican flock was feeding in the grassy island shallows as well. Lots of sea hares hunkered down in the mud! Gorgeous day.
Tons of white pelicans on the back bay - spectacular sight!
We spotted an osprey perched on the oyster farm dock on this beautiful clear evening on the bay. Also a great sea otter spotting near the museum!
The fog was doing its magical in and out thing, making the morning a beautiful one. The harbor seals were hauled out in the estuary and the white pelicans on grassy island stood out brilliantly in the fog.
Beautiful osprey and sea otter sightings right off the bat this morning! Lots of sea lion feedings happening as well. Great paddle!
Clear evening, perfect for the sunset paddle. Saw lots of black crowned night herons while lingering at the heron rookery. Spotted sandpiper cruising along the shoreline and two red shouldered hawks flying above, along with all the grunting sounds of nesting double crested cormorants. Gorgeous!
Perfect weather on Morro Bay today. We saw a few smaller feeding frenzies with sea lions leaping out of the water and cormorants floating on the surface above. Spectacular! Lots of Caspian terns diving as well.
Fantastic clear evening on the bay, with a beautiful sunset to finish it off and a full moon rising. Great way to start off the first evening of summer! Tons and tons of sea lions and harbor seals swam circles around the boats. Too many brown pelicans to count - traveling like a squadron.
Starting to warm up considerably in the Paso Robles area. Summer is here! Vines are starting to show tiny grapes, beautiful views out over the vineyards and lots of yummy tastings happening at J. Lohr, Le Vigne (with cheese and chocolate!) and San Antonio wineries.
Great trip this morning on Morro Bay. We watched a sea otter floating along for quite awhile and sea lions hunting and leaping out of the water during a feeding frenzy.
Lovely evening paddle with a nice clear sunset and lots of wildlife. We finished off with seals and pelicans feeding near the docks in the twilight.
Fantastic night for wildlife and for a spectacular sunset. Bait balls coming into the bay brought lots of activity - sea lions, harbor seals, pelicans galore. We had a unique sighting of black skimmers as well!
The tidepooling today was great! Lots of cool critters in there. We also saw a California condor flying near Partington Cove.
Spotted an osprey right at the entrance to the marina and tons of harbor seals back in the estuary.
Fantastic evening and beautiful sunset this evening from the dunes on our Sunset Paddle. We saw a bat ray right off the bat to start things off on the right foot, lots of sea lions feeding around Fairbank Pt. and we finished things off with a sea otter on our way back to the docks.
Lots of harbor seals out and about in the bay. The brown pelicans are arriving in greater numbers every day and we got to see lots of diving action going on. White pelicans were also out hunting from the water - a beautiful sight to see.
Great day on the bay! Started out breezy, but calmed down into a beautiful trip. Lots of harbor seals, cormorants and turkey vultures at Fairbank Pt. Navanax by the oyster farm, as well as great blue herons, great and snowy egrets, chitons, limpets - all in all lots of low tide things to see.
The harbor seals gave us a show right off the bat this morning, hunting fish around the boats for about 20 minutes. Lots of them beached back in the channels as well. Beautiful sunset tonight!
A cool and breezy morning today. Lots of double crested cormorants still actively building nests in the heron rookery. Plus, many with babies being fed in the nest. Navanax mating in amongst the oyster bags at the oyster farm as well.
Another beautiful morning on the bay with not much wind, but lots of wildlife spotted throughout the trip!
What started out to be a breezy morning turned into a beautiful one instead. Extra low tide, so lots of fun stuff to see in the low tide channels. Tons of harbor seals south of the oyster farm!
A cool and overcast day on the Big Sur coast today. Lots of spring flowers still in bloom and the creeks are still flowing well from winter rains.
Super clear morning on the bay and lots of wildlife was spotted. We saw a lot of great blue herons, a peregrine falcon and a lot of great egrets. The double crested cormorant nesting action is still in high gear, which is fun to watch!
We've been seeing quite a bit of wildlife on our Morro Bay kayak tours recently. As we merge into the summer months, the baitfish populations in the bay peak and lots of different critters like to feast on the fish. On last night's sunset tour we saw harbor seals, sea lions, sea otters and many many birds - all actively feeding.
Lots and lots of harbor seals on the bay today and an enormous double crested cormorant flyby as well.
Massive feeding frenzies on the bay this foggy evening. Lots of gulls, cormorants and brown pelicans diving on the bait balls and sea lions everywhere!
Despite the foggy evening on our Sunset Paddle, the wildlife viewing was amazing and the waters were glassy and calm. Very peaceful evening on the water. Several feeding frenzies were spotted, as well as a mother and older baby sea otter.
Tons of very active wildlife on the bay this morning, including tons of harbor seals, a group of about 10 white pelicans actively feeding together, two sea otters and one sea lion!
Saw an osprey on a post out on the water very near to a bunch of harbor seals. Picked up a beautiful, colorful navanax sea slug and passed that around to check out.
Foggy but nice hike today along the coast north of Cayucos. Multiple sightings of sea otters in the ocean. Very low tide, so we had fun exploring all the exposed tide pools. Saw several endangered snowy plovers as well.
Picture perfect day for bike riding in the Paso Robles wine country. Gentle breezes, golden hillsides and lush green grape vines against a sunny sky. A little wine and cheese pairing at Le Vigne winery. Doesn't get much better!
Lots of great blue herons and egrets feasting on the mud flats this morning. There were a few brown pelicans out and about and a ton of beautiful navanax sea slugs by the oyster farm in very clear waters.
We saw 2 black skimmers hunting in the back bay this morning - a pretty awesome and unusual sighting. They are the coolest birds!!
Took a lovely family of four out for our Avila Beach See Canyon bike tour today. Because it was Memorial Day weekend it seems like there was live music just about everywhere we went. It was really nice to be on bikes and not have to find a parking space for a car anywhere! The peacocks at Kelsey See Canyon winery put on quite a show for us as well.
Lots of white pelicans on the bay this morning!
Lovely morning on Morro Bay. It was a very low tide and we saw several white pelicans actively feeding. Lots of navanax (a very colorful predatory sea slug) in the shallow areas as well. Quite a bit of activity at the heron preserve with babies calling for food and adults flying in and out with food and nesting material.
Lots of nest making is happening around the heron rookery today. Mostly double crested cormorants. Spotted a few harbor seals also.
Beautiful sunny ride down the PCH this morning! Thousands of elephant seals north of San Simeon and we spotted the large herd of zebras on the Hearst Ranch.
Lots of sea slugs in the mud at the dunes and great and snowy egrets feeding at the water's edge. Good harbor seal sightings as well.
Nice harbor seal spottings this foggy morning. Cormorants, Caspian terns, white pelicans, snow and white egrets, great blue herons. Nice wildlife!
Started out cold and foggy on the bay, but turned into a gorgeous morning, with fog and sun and lots of great wildlife spottings, including harbor seals, brown and white pelicans, nesting double crested cormorants, snowy egrets and great blue herons. We even saw a couple of winter holdovers - two eared grebes and a red throated loon!
Despite the fog it was a lovely evening on the bay. Still and glassy waters. Saw harbor seals hauled out on the dunes this evening.
It was a foggy day in Big Sur, but lovely no matter. Saw a nesting pair of peregrine falcons near Julia Pfeiffer. They were busy chasing off a couple of turkey vultures. Water still flowing nicely down the falls at Lime Kiln SP.
Quite a few harbor seals hauled out and swimming in the channels around the boats this morning, including a very young pup.
Spectacular sunset from the dunes this evening!
Low tide tour with great wildlife sightings today!
Fantastic wildlife day in Big Sur - saw four whales and SIX sea otters, plus a sea lion feeding frenzy. Low tide, so we explored the tide pools at Partington Cove.
Very calm on the bay this morning. We didn't spot any harbor seals, but did see a leopard shark!
Spectacular morning in Paso Robles. Vines are lush and the weather was perfection.
Beautiful calm evening, with super low tide. Saw harbor seals and a bat ray! Nice sunset!
Beautiful day - California condor and a few whales spotted!
Lots of sea lions and an up close sea otter viewing at the pier in Avila today.
Great harbor seal sightings today - high tide, mild winds.
Lots of nudibranchs on this low low tide trip!
Six little harbor seal pups spotted at Chorro inlet today!
Watched two California condors soaring near overhead for quite a long time! Also, two sea otters diving and hunting at Partington Cove. Beautiful, warm day in Big Sur.
Three harbor seal pups in the water today and a nice spotting of a larger group of white pelicans. Also, millions of baby spider silks were seen floating through the air!
John escorted a father and son combo down the coast from SF to Santa Barbara on a six day tour. Longer days - about 65-75 miles per day. The son is a bike racer and graciously allowed dad to draft. Much fun had by all. Perhaps their favorite part was Ballard Canyon Road near Solvang.
Calm morning on the bay before late morning winds picked up. Lots of harbor seals in the estuary popping their heads up. Nesting of double crested cormorants is definitely cranking up! Saw three red throated loons and some Caspian terns.
Extreme low tide tour today, so lots of different things to see. Saw the leopard shark again! Also tons of Navanax out at the sand spit. We watched a great blue heron eat a rather large one! Horned grebes in full breeding plumage, common loon in full breeding plumage and lots of nesting activity at the heron rookery by the double crested cormorants. Love seeing their crazy double crests at this time of year.
Lovely day for cycling out in the Paso Robles area!
Second day in a row spotting a leopard shark in the bay!
Perfect weather on the bay today - very exciting sighting of a leopard shark!
Beautiful "calm before the storm" morning on the bay. Glassy waters and lots of bird and seal activity.
Beautiful evening on the bay - warm! Saw lots of bat rays, even one that nearly ran into the kayak!
Tons of birds out today, plus, some mother and baby harbor seals. Beautiful, warm, sunny day with offshore winds keeping things clear.
Tons of different bird species on the bay today, plus a baby harbor seal and a sea otter lazing around the back bay.
Saw a bat ray on this evening's dinner trip!
Tons of living sand dollars seen during the extreme low tide today. Lots of baby seals near the oyster farm as well as many navanax between the oyster bags.
Saw an otter right off the docks this evening!
Watched two sea otters mating for about half an hour on this morning's trip!
Beautiful weather - sunny and calm! Spotted a baby harbor seal.
Perfect weather on the bay today, glassy. Seals hauled out and saw one brand new baby.
Saw CA condors and sea otters on our Big Sur Hiking trip today!
Lots of baby harbor seals in the estuary today!
Two bald eagles spotted just hanging out on the sandspit!! Huge Brant goose flyby, lots of harbor seals and sea otter spotting.
Beautiful, calm and foggy morning on the bay today. Saw lots of wildlife including harbor seals and a large flock of mixed white egrets and great blue herons at the heron rookery. Plenty of other birdlife on the bay as well - surf scoters, buffleheads, horned, eared and pied billed grebes, brown pelicans, snowy egrets and double crested cormorants. Even a solitary common loon!
Beautiful day in Big Sur today! Not only was there water flowing everywhere from the big rains last week, but we also saw three California condors and lots of gray whales beginning their migration north. The falls at Lime Kiln were roaring!
Nice low tide tour today. Great blue herons at the rookery are busy building nests while being watched over by an osprey. There are still a good number of Brant geese on the bay. Passed by the harbor seal haul out area but did not see nay baby seals today. Now is the time of year we usually start seeing newborn baby seals.
We had a flock of about 20 great blue herons fly overhead on our tour this morning!
Week long bike and camp trip from Monterey to San Luis Obispo for a group of students and their teachers. The group was from Fountain Valley High School in Colorado. Good thing they are used to less than perfect weather because we did have a fair amount of rain the first few days. Luckily most of it came at night and not while we were cycling. The group also spent a very enjoyable layover day in San Simeon, exploring Cambria and Hearst State Beach.
Stunning beautiful day on the northern SLO County coast. Today we had a couple that was celebrating a birthday! All kinds of wildlife was out - from zebras and elk at Hearst Ranch to elephant seals at the rookery. Most of the elephant seal pups have been weaned by their mothers and are on the beaches, as well as some of the dominant males and a few females.
Spectacular evening on the bay! Beautiful sunset, combined with a warm evening made it extra special. Plus we spotted the first baby harbor seal pup of the season. This is very early, so we've got our fingers crossed that the pup is healthy!
Beautiful, warm and sunny morning on the bay today. Saw a sea otter right away hanging around near the marina, very busily grooming herself. Lots of harbor seals in the back bay as well as several white pelicans. Lots of ducks on the bay - buffleheads, scaups and scoters.
Wonderful tour in the Paso Robles wine country today. A group of three couples were all celebrating the 50th birthday of one of the husbands. It was warm and clear and the group enjoyed tasting at J. Lohr and Le Vigne wineries. We even saw a rare ferruginous hawk over a vineyard on Estrella Road.
Beautiful morning on the bay. We're having a nice warm spell between rain storms and the weather was sunny and calm. Lots of great birds on the bay - herons, egrets, loons, grebes, American avocets, brown and white pelicans, curlews, willets, godwits, common goldeneye - both the male and female, and plenty more!
Osprey spotted at the heron rookery as well as several great blue herons all together beginning their pairing up ritual for nesting season.
Beautiful morning on the bay. Lots of wildlife out an about, including a couple of osprey eating fish, harbor seals, lots of winter birds. Lots of Brant geese out today!
Watched a bald eagle fly overhead and grab a big fish out of the water near our boats!
For all you birders out there, here's a list of what was seen on the bay over the past four days of birding trips. Not too shabby a list!
Bald eagles, peregrine falcons, pectoral sandpipers, a black skimmer, common goldeneyes, lesser yellowlegs, brants, pelagic and double crested cormorants, northern pintails, Brant geese, sanderlings, marbled godwits, long billed curlews, surf scoters, buffleheads, pied billed, eared, horned and western grebes, Forster's and caspian terns, brown and white pelicans, red throated, common and pacific loons, Canada goose, belted kingfishers, spotted, semi-palmated and western sandpipers, ruddy ducks, northern shoveler, scaups, great blue herons, great white and snowy egrets, turkey vultures, willets, black bellied plovers, american avocets, ospreys, dark eyed junco, american crows, rock pigeons. Not to mention, a sea otter and a ton of harbor seals.
This morning's kayak trip started in a bit of a drizzle, but cleared quickly into a day of beautiful clouds, covering and uncovering Morro Rock. Spotted an osprey at Fairbanks Pt.
Nine California condors spotted at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park today!
Beautiful pre-storm kayak trip this morning. Lots of harbor seals, a few Caspian terns, double crested cormorants, snowy egrets, scaups, buffleheads and two common goldeneyes!
Two couples traveling together did a mostly self guided trip through the local wine country areas over three days. They explored both the Paso Robles wine country area as well as the Edna Valley wine country just south of San Luis Obispo. On the moving day they took advantage of a shuttle we offered and did some great coastal riding near Ragged Point, Hearst Castle and Cambria.
Spectacular evening on the bay. Cold, crystal clear sunset, with a green flash. Lots of harbor seals, herons, egrets and ducks on the bay.
Awesome day on the bay. Turkey vultures, osprey, harbor seals and sand dollars!
Gray whale spouts along the Big Sur coast today and a sea otter spotted at Partington Cove!
Beautiful, chilly day on the Big Sur coast with lots of wildlife spottings. Gray whales were spotted at almost every stop - spouts, flukes and backs visible easily with the naked eye. Two condors spotted near Partington Cove. Feeding frenzy of dolphins, sea lions and pelicans near Lime Kiln SP.
Harbor seals were a big hit on today's kayak trip! Saw lots of winter birds - buffleheads, horned and eared grebes, common loons, terns and an American kestrel out on the sandspit. We also saw coyote tracks on the sand dunes.
Lovely day on the bay with only a touch of wind. Two harbor seals came up within 10 feet of our kayaks and hung out for almost a full minute near Fairbanks Pt.
A young couple living in Mexico did a Monterey to SLO self guided bike tour with us. Even though El Nino conditions are in existence this winter (which usually means more rain) they had a relatively dry trip and enjoyed the amazing coastal scenery.
Tons of winter birds on the bay - buffleheads, ruddy ducks, horned grebes, western grebes, eared grebes. Plus, an osprey, cormorants, herons, egrets, kingfisher, willets, sandpipers.
Great condor sightings, with several condors feeding on a carcass down in a creek bed. Beautiful, crisp late fall day in Big Sur.
Started out with some blustery off shore winds, but ended with nice calm waters. Lots of winter birds out on the bay - red breasted mergansers, western grebes, buffleheads, eared grebes, horned grebes, pied billed grebes, common loons, brant geese. Some other regulars hanging about as well - brown pelicans, belted kingfishers, osprey, red tail hawk, curlews, double crested cormorants, turkey vultures, white and snowy egrets and great blue herons.
Beautiful day in Big Sur. Some condor sightings at Partington Cove, but pretty high up!
Spectacular day on the bay with tons of winter migratory bird species to be seen.
Very high tide with lots of winter birds back in the estuary.
Extremely high tide. Saw an osprey hunting at both Fairbanks Pt. and back in the salt marsh. Wonderfully calm day. Watched a small tern feeding frenzy.
Beautiful weather on the bay today - warm with no wind.
Osprey hunting at Fairbanks Pt. Delightfully calm for the afternoon!
Beautiful day on the bay with a nice high tide. We were able to paddle over the pickleweed to see the harbor seals. Lots of winter birds arriving, including the first brant geese of the season!
We watched an otter hunting for food in the channels near the harbor seals this evening. Also saw an osprey in the northern part of the bay.
Great wildlife day on the water. Saw a peregrine falcon with his prey in his talons over the mud flats, as well as an osprey with a fish in his talons. Sea otter was foraging near the marina also!
Beautiful fall day in Big Sur today. No crowds, but plenty of condors at Partington Cove!
Beautiful rainy day in Big Sur today. Magical hiking underneath the redwoods in the mist and very quiet on the trails!
The last several days on Morro Bay have featured extremely high tides in the morning when our kayak tours have been out. On extreme high tides like this, the entire salt marsh area is covered with water and we can actually kayak on top of the salt marsh, getting to parts of the bay that are normally inaccessible to kayaks. Furthermore, most of the wildlife on the bay is bunched up at the far margins of the bay due to the high tides as well. But we cab access the far margins due to the high tides. Makes for GREAT wildlife viewing. Harbor seals, white pelicans, great blue herons and osprey all spotted in the last few days.
Great morning on the bay. Watched an otter in the back bay, plus brown and white pelicans, harbor seals, California sea lions, great blue herons, snowy and white egrets. Lots of shorebirds of all kinds!
Nice, high tide, so we kayaked over the top of the salt marsh and paid a long visit with the harbor seals.
Wonderfully calm conditions. Spent a lot of time with hunting white pelicans with an otter drifting by as well.
A sea otter came to visit right in the marina as we started the tour this morning. S/he got quite close to us multiple times as we headed toward Fairbanks Pt. Beautiful calm morning, fog came and went, very warm.
Fantastic visit with a sea otter today near the heron preserve. The otter was close to shore and kept going down and bringing up crabs to eat. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Then down again for another crab. The otter kept re-surfacing right by our kayaks. Observing good wildlife viewing etiquette we stopped paddling and did not move our kayaks once we initially saw the otter. The otter did not seem to mind our presence at all.
Very high tide on the bay today. Seeing more and more winter migrants on the bay, especially eared grebes. Also large flocks of sandpipers everywhere. It was also a big day for white pelicans, both on grassy island and back in the channels. The harbor seals were all hauled out in the back channels as well. Beautiful day.
Great day on the bay. Saw and osprey and two peregrine falcons at Fairbanks Pt. Nice little seabird feeding frenzy on the way to the sandspit.
John and Craig escorted a group of Chinese cyclists down the coast from the Monterey area to Santa Barbara. The trip was organized by Ctrip, a Chinese company that does international adventure travel. None of the cyclists spoke English, so a Chinese interpreter accompanied us. The cyclists also could read printed directions, maps or street signs in English, so we had to ride as a group together for most of the trip with either Craig or john on bike leading the group. They had such a good time that Ctrip has already begun plans for the next tour!
Extremely high tide this morning, so we were able to cruise over the pickle weed and check out the harbor seals doing their "yoga" poses. Noses and tails in the air and bellies on the mud. Seeing some winter migrants coming in also - eared grebes, red breasted mergansers. Lots of brown and white pelicans on the bay today. Saw an osprey at the heron rookery as well as about 25 turkey vultures enjoying the sunshine with their wings out. Beautiful day.
Although it was the evening of the lunar eclipse, too many clouds in the sky obscured it. They did, however, make for a fantastic sunset! We also watched three peregrine falcons flying together over the heron rookery. An unusual sight!
Beautiful evening on the this evening. Full moon rising, gorgeous sunset and warm windless evening. Lots of birds out on the bay, harbor seals. Wonderful.
Watched an osprey fishing at both the rookery and sandspit.
Sea otter right off Fairbanks Pt. Awesome and beautiful evening!
Warm evening with lots of feeding brown and white pelicans. Beautiful in the back bay where the extreme high tide was very cool!
Beautiful morning on the bay - saw an awesome feeding frenzy out there with tons of pelicans, terns, gulls and cormorants feeding. Watched a sea otter eating a crab.
Phenomenal feeding frenzy right at the start of the trip - hundreds of diving brown pelicans and terns, with the white pelicans joining in en masse to see what the fuss was all about. Amazing! Great resting sea otter spotting. Tons of harbor seals in the back channel!
Beautiful, warm evening on the bay. Lots of bird and seal activity.
Spectacular weather and a beautiful evening on our sunset paddle. Tons of birds all over the place!
Massive feeding frenzy on the bay today - hundreds of brown pelicans diving. Very warm day with offshore winds blowing.
We watched two peregrine falcons over the sandspit chasing another unidentified hawk. Very cool.
Saw a sea otter floating along at Fairbanks Pt. today.
Great morning on the bay - peregrine falcon pair hunting shorebirds together in the estuary and two ospreys were spotted at the rookery.
Spectacular morning on the bay. The bird life has been extraordinary lately. Hundreds of brown and white pelicans, mixed in with cormorants, egrets, herons and shorebirds of all types line the channels in the back estuary. The water was super clear and very calm. Lots of terns out there feeding still too.
Fastastic wildlife day on the bay this morning - brown and white pelicans, cormorants, willets, snowy plovers (on the dunes), navanax at the sandspit, harbor seals, sea lions, long billed curlews, terns, turkey vultures, crabs and limpets. A wide variety of creatures seen out there!
Gorgeous evening on the bay. Glassy waters, amazing sunset. Tons of harbor seals and white pelicans everywhere. We even had a sea otter pop up between all of our boats.
Saw a 3 foot long leopard shark at the creek! Very cool.
Amazing day in Big Sur. Beautiful weather and a never ending stream of humpback whales were a highlight.
Saw many humpbacks feeding and a pod of dolphins at Partington Cove. Deer at Lime Kiln State Park!
Kayaked through an awesome feeding frenzy on our way back to visit the harbor seals. Fun!
Beautiful morning on the bay - perfect weather and we even saw dolphins!
Amazing day of whales, California condors, seals, sea lions and fantastic weather to top it all off.
Lots of whales seen along the coast today. California condors also!
Tons of whales in the cove north of McWay Falls today. Countless sightings all day!
Amazing day on the water. Calm, warm, sunny, incredibly clear water. Massive numbers of brown pelicans, cormorants and white pelicans back in channels. Mixed in were lots of snowy egrets as well. Saw several bat rays and an osprey with a fish in his talon. Hundreds of elegant terns were out by the sand spit.
Elegant terns at the dunes were amazing today.
Amazing feeding frenzy at the start of the kayak trip this evening. Hundreds of brown pelicans and cormorants. Very magical. The frenzy followed the boats all the way to Fairbank Pt.
Great weather on the bay and tons of bird action - white pelicans, elegant terns, brown pelicans and lots of shorebirds.
Two peregrines hanging out at the heron rookery today!
We saw humpback whales at just about every stop we made today on the Big Sur Ecotour. Many of the whales were actually inside the kelp line and easily visible from shore! We even saw whales at San Simeon Cove in the drive up.
Beautiful day on the bay, despite the foggy beginning. Waters were calm and we saw some great animals - peregrine falcon, osprey and sea otters, along with all the usual suspects.
The water was super clear today and we saw lots of jellyfish!
Great day on the bay - litle wind and lots and lots of bird activity.
HUGE bait ball in the bay attracting brown and white pelicans, elegant terns, gills and cormorants. Lots of shorebirds flying through the area also - willets, godwits and curlews.
Lots of massive feeding frenzies happening on he bay these days - big bait balls attracting huge numbers of birds - brown and white pelicans, cormorants, elegant terns all joining in the fun.
Incredible evening and sunset on the bay. The estuary is full of birds right now and we find ourselves in the midst of many a feeding frenzy.
Lots of jellies in the bay these days. TONS of birds as well - mostly elegant terns, but also hundreds of cormorants as well as egrets, sandpipers, brown and white pelicans, herons and more terns. Great day for birds.
Beautiful morning on the bay with lots of bird activity. The white pelicans were especially cooperative!
Lots and lots harbor seals out today!
Calm water, low winds and sunny skies marked the day today. Lots of birds on the bay and feeding frenzies happening.
Nice warm and windless day on the bay today. Massive tern feeding frenzy.
Watched a gull chasing an elegant tern and begging for food. Harbor seals were putting on a good show today along with a couple of white pelicans feeding in the channels of Chorro Creek.
Saw royal terns fishing for the entire tour!
Awesome warm and lightly breezy day on the bay. Saw thousands of terns, plus harbor seals, herons, egrets, crabs, cormorants.
Seems to be tern season as there are tons of royals and elegant terns on the bay feeding.
Whales, otters and seals, oh my! There was a huge pod of humpback whales between Gorda and San Simeon. Very cool!
Nice little feeding frenzy of terns and pelicans at the start of the trip today. A little breezy out on the bay toward the end of the tour.
Beautiful warm evening on the bay this evening. Tank top weather!
Saw whales on our Big Sur hiking trip today!
Amazing day for birds! Started off with feeding frenzy and ended with peregrine falcons hunting over the mud flats.
Saw a mother deer with her babies on Fairbank Pt. today. Long billed curlews, terns, egrets and harbor seals seen on the bay. The whale is still out on the sandspit slowly decomposing.
Otter spotted near Fairbanks point and lots of fun harbor seal viewing today.
Watched an otter cracking open a shell with a rock. He was joined by a couple of curious harbor seals as well. Magical, smooth, calm bay this morning. Lots of herons, egrets, cormorants and fish jumping around. Also saw a beautiful sandpiper murmuration!
Lovely bike trip in the Santa Ynez Valley with a family of four. It was the father's birthday and he wanted to ride with his family. The family didn't want to ride as many miles as dad, so with creative use of van shuttling, we made sure everyone got the miles they were looking for.
More plentiful wildlife today on the kayak tour today. On our walk out on the dunes we spotted dolphins, harbor seals and sea otters in the ocean (we don't actually kayak in the ocean). Back on the bay the highlight was watching a peregrine falcon hunting shorebirds.
Lots of wildlife today on Morro Bay on the Short paddle. Lots of birds, sea nettle (a type of jelly fish) and bat rays.
One couple on the sunset paddle tonight was celebrating their 19th anniversary!
Picture perfect day on Morro bay today! Plentiful wildlife sightings.
Absolutely beautiful evening on the bay. Lots of birds, including terns, feeding in the back bay.
Lots of terns on the bay. Our youngest kayaker today, Gavin, enjoyed our granola bars almost as much as the tour!
Foggier tonight, but great looks a harbor seals. The evening was still and quiet.
Lots of white pelicans feeding out on Morro Bay today!
Amazing tropical-like weather tonight. Many terns spotted as well.
Lots of shorebirds around the bay today, as well as tons of egrets - both snowy and white.
Beautiful evening on the bay! Lots of lion mane jellies, black crowned night herons, white pelicans everywhere and a beautiful sunset to top it off.
Amazing feeding frenzy of pelicans and cormorants surrounded the boats this morning while at the heron rookery. Harbor seals were also putting on quite a show for us!
California condor spotted at Partington Cove this morning along with all kinds of neat tidepool organisms.
Snowy plovers spotted along the beach today at Estero Bluffs.
Spotted a sea otter on the bay today!
Harbor seals hauled out on the mud flats today. Watched a double crested cormorant feeding its baby directly over head today!
Saw lots of navanax today and a family of deer feeding at the heron rookery.
Lots of white pelicans in the shallows near Fairbanks Pt. Saw snowy plovers on our way to check out the whale skeleton.
Fantastic sunset this evening!! One of the most beautiful of the summer combined with a nice warm evening.
Beautiful and glassy on the bay today. Brown pelicans were diving all around the boats.
Lots of Navanax in the shallows near Grassy island!
While we had our kayaks nosed up at Fairbanks Pt. a great blue heron flew up and landed about 10 feet from the boats. You could see every detail on his beautiful feathered body! A harbor seal tailed the boats very closely and quietly right by the mouth of the marina. Very special encounters.
Humpback whales, sea otters, California condors - a great day in Big Sur!
The National Estuary Program was out surveying the eel grass beds today. We were able to talk to them about what's going on with the dwindling eel grass beds. It was a very low tide, so the eel grass was well exposed. Lots of shorebirds feeding in the mud flats.
Lots of bird activity on the bay today, but especially white pelicans.
Saw whales today at McWay Falls! sea otters and California condors at Partington Cove!
Beautiful foggy fourth of July evening. Could see the fireworks in Cayucos and Cambria from the estuary.
Large marine mammal skeleton on the sandspit on the estuary side.
4 Brant geese hanging out near the harbor seals today!
Lots of egrets in the trees at the rookery. Quite a sight!
Saw bat rays and sea otters and a beautiful sunset.
Lots of sea otters on the hiking trip today. California condors at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park! Clients got a special life list bird sighting! Belted kingfisher in Lime Kiln State Park. That's a first!
Beautiful glassy morning on the bay. The heron rookery is going off these days with herons, egrets and cormorants.
The evening started out foggy, but ended with a clear sky and full moon. Beautiful, calm evening on the bay.
Lots of wildlife today - 3 sea otters at Partington Cove, breaching humpback whale, dolphins!
Incredible sunset and warm weather this evening!!
Harbor seals followed the kayaks around this morning. Lots of great blue herons in the rookery and a red tail hawk calling in the marina. The dead whale carcass continues to fascinate folks on the sandspit.
Many Novanax, harbor seals, cormorants, great blue herons, egrets, both white and brown pelicans.
White pelicans, tons of harbor seals.
Cormorants, egrets and herons galore! Harbor seals on the mud flats.
Lots of egrets on the bay today. A beautiful morning that started foggy and glassy, then the fog lifted and it was a sunny morning. Very low tide tour, so fun to see all the oyster bags on the bottom of the bay around Grassy Bar Oyster Farm.
42 foot whale carcass decomposing on the sandspit.
Beautiful morning on the bay - tons of birdlife.
Blustery out there this morning!
Cormorants, egrets, a lingering loon and a Canada goose! A lot of tidal organisms at Fairbanks Pt. on this low tide trip. Beached decomposing baleen whale on the sandspit.
Decomposing baleen whale (unknown species) on the ocean side of the sandspit.
Otters at Partington Cove!
Great day on the bay - sea otters, osprey and harbor seals.
Sea otters and harbor seals today on the bay!
Amazing California condor day on our Big Sur hiking trip. Multiple sightings near Partington Cove, including a very close fly over that was really exciting! Dolphins spotted feeding offshore as well!
White pelicans on grassy island. Skeleton of a sea lion (?) on the sandspit.
Nice day on the bay. Harbor seals and tons of birds all over the place.
A harbor seal was spotted eating a bay ray this morning on Morro Bay estuary!
Bat rays and hawks were highlights of today's kayak trip!
Multiple up close California condor sightings today near the Waterfall House at Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP. Also saw snakes climbing the waterfall at Lime Kiln SP! Many baby California ground squirrels crisscrossing the roads all day.
Lots of white pelicans feeding in groups on the bay this morning.
Navanax and egg mass by the oyster bags. Harbor seals hauled out near the oyster farm at low tide on our half day kayak trip today.
Saw 6 tern eggs on the sandspit! Lots of harbor seals and pelicans on the bay this evening for our sunset paddle.
Breezy and foggy on the bay to start out, but as the morning went on, the sun popped out. Lots of nesting activity at the heron rookery. Many harbor seals hauled out in the back channel. Saw a gigantic decorator crab scuttling along the mud in the shallows.
Amazing condor day in Big Sur today! Multiple close sightings of birds soaring, perched on rocks and a mated couple in a tree - #51 and #22, a 20-year old pair with a 2-month baby born and being raised in the wild. Also spotted a sea otter foraging at Lime Kiln State Park and some gray whales heading north!
Saw a very slow moving rattlesnake on today's Rattlesnake Flats hike!
Saw a great blue heron unsuccessfully attempting to eat a baby double crested cormorant at the heron rookery.
Caspian tern nesting on the sandspit near where we hauled our boats out. Two terns aggressively protecting the nest when anyone approaches. Looks like there may two to three eggs (when viewed through binoculars!)
Saw several harbor seals in the inlet; plus a bat ray! Great blue herons, egrets, terns, pelicans. At the end of the tour a sea lion pup jumped up onto the kayak docks and The Marine Mammal Center was called. The pup was ailing and was taken by TMMC to be nursed back to health.
Great day for birding on the bay today - Great blue herons, double crested cormorants nesting, brown pelicans diving, snowy and white egrets, merganser, common loon in full summer breeding plumage, terns, a solitary western grebe and four Canada geese!
Stunning, clear and calm evening on the bay for our Full Moon Paddle. We watched the sunset into behind the sandspit into the ocean and the moon rise over Hollister Peak from the east. Lots of nesting activity at the heron rookery, diving brown pelicans, sea lion and harbor seals. Paddling on the bay in the moonlight is truly a wonderful experience.
The wildlife of Big Sur continues to WOW! Today we were thrilled with a very up close encounter with two California condors - close enough to see their numbers - #52, a 3-4 year old and #97, a 1-2 year old, both captive bred and released into the wild. Both condors were enjoying the views from a pullout on the road, hanging out on the rocks. Multiple sea otter sightings today also, as well as humpback and gray whales.
Beautiful clear evening for the Sunset Paddle. The almost full moon was rising as we returned to the kayak docks. We were also buzzed by an osprey with a large fish in his talons.
Another banner wildlife day on the Big Sur Ecotour. Today we had a group of co-workers from Merrell, the shoe and outdoor apparel company. They were on a company sponsored field trip as part of product development (John has been wearing Merrell shoes since the mid 1980s!). On the tour we saw condors very close up at Partington Canyon, as well as otters in the kelp at Lime Kiln State Park. Gray whales are still in the area and we saw a mom and baby calf almost in the surf near Lime Kiln State Park. Although we have never seen rattlesnakes on the trails we hike, we did see a very sleepy one today at a pullout where we stopped to check out a potential condor sighting. All in all, a great day!
Beautiful, hot day in Paso Robles today. We saw a barn owl sitting up in a tree. Quiet roads and lush vineyards.
Able to see a sandy bar full of live sand dollars, just inches under the water today on our tour!
Spotted California condors today at Partington Cove!
Banner wildlife day on the Hiking: Big Sur Ecotour today. We saw multiple condors, including some near Lime Kiln State Park. We also saw sea otters at McWay Cove. But perhaps the best experience was seeing a mom and baby grey whale so close to the shore it looked almost like they were surfing. At the same place we saw the grey whales a humpback whale breached about one mile off the coast and multiple pods of dolphins where extremely close to the grey whales as well. WOW!
Highlight of the day today was watching two otters mating! They were seen together later on the trip as well, both taking a nap.
Great wildlife on the bay today - a sea otter spend a good deal of time right off the kayak docks, diving, rolling and being generally entertaining. Red throated loon, baby harbor seals, Brant geese, Caspian terns and lost of double crested cormorant nesting activity at the heron preserve.
Lots of baby seals today and more than one sea otter at Fairbanks Pt.! A cool, foggy morning.
Our guide Paul noticed several bat stars (a type of sea star or star fish) at Fairbank Point on the short paddle today. This is encouraging news as a particularly virulent disease has been devastating sea star populations on the West Coast with some areas having nearly 100% mortality. Paul also noticed several mossy chitons there. Also a very full day of birding on the bay, with many winter migrants still lingering on the bay.
Saw a snowy plover on the sandspit beach today!
Mom and calf gray whale at McWay Cove! Low tide so great tidepool viewing at Partington Cove - urchins, mussels, gooseneck barnacles, sea anemones, limpets and a person skinny dipping!
Lots of baby harbor seals, some crying for mom. Live sand dollar bar seen off the main channel - very low tide.
Super low tide so we got to see some fringed chitons and bat stars at Fairbank Pt.! Red breasted mergansers, double crested cormorants and pelagic! A few buffleheads still on the bay, snowy and great egrets, harbor seal moms and pups.
Nudibranches and bat rays spotted today!
Lots of baby and mother sea otters! Western snowy plovers spotted on the northern end of Estero Bluffs. Beautiful day out there.
Many baby harbor seals in the salt marsh, western grebes, red breasted merganser, lots and lots of double crested cormorants, plus both white and brown pelicans. Windy out there today.
Saw peregrine in the heron rookery today as well as a sea otter right in the marina. Still a lot of baby harbor seals!
Major tailwind pushing our cyclists down the road today on our Pacific Coast full day trip!
Great day - sea otters, harbor seals with babies, peregrine falcon spotting and red tail hawks! Lots of wildlife on Morro Bay today and not too windy.
Very windy today on the Big Sur coast, which can make it more difficult to spot whales, but we did see a few whales in the morning before the winds really started to blow. We also saw a large raft of sea otters (about 12) in the kelp near Alder Creek slide. No condors today, but we did see zebra near San Simeon on the drive up. Although it was windy, it was still clear, warm and absolutely beautiful on the Big Sur coast today.
Beautiful morning on the bay, with lots of neat wildlife spottings - osprey with a big fish in its talons, 7 or 8 mother and baby harbor seals hauled out at Chorro Inlet, common loons with summer breeding plumage, double crested cormorants really kicking into nesting season at the rookery, a mother sea otter with a tiny baby on her chest! White pelicans, western grebes, terns, lots of action at Grassy Bar Oyster Farm. A full morning!
Came across a young harbor seal calling for its mom and eventually it found its way home. Dead shovelnose guitarfish on the sandspit. Lots of birds!
Lots of baby seals at Chorro Inlet. One looked like it was born today! A gull was pestering for the afterbirth. Over 10 new babies spotted! Brown pelicans starting arrive and diving on the bay and cormorants are just kicking in to nest building. Saw a sand bar full of live sand dollars in about 2 inches of water.
Very foggy in Big Sur today, but still beautiful. Spotted otters and condors!
Gray whale breaching a couple hundred yards offshore and multiple sea otters spotted near Gorda! Multiple condor spottings at Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP.
Beautiful morning on the water, calm and warm at the start and then the wind picked up. Lots of very neat wildlife - still some winter birds: mergansers, common loon, who was getting his beautiful summer plumage, western grebes and quite a large flock of brant geese. Also saw an osprey hunting and several up close sightings of a sea otter munching on a crab.
Saw a sea otter at Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP and several pods of migrating gray whales.
Lots of harbor seal pups in the estuary!
Lots of mama harbor seals and babies! White pelicans on the bay and lots of working going on around the oyster farm today.
Four baby harbor seals spotted at Chorro inlet, no more than a couple of weeks old. Lots of sandpiper flocks. No cormorant nest building yet at Fairbanks Pt. rookery.
Very low tide tour. Spotted a sand bar off the main channel with thousands of live sand dollars! Passed by a sleeping sea otter. Saw a bat star and the herons are starting to nest at the rookery.
Lots of harbor seal pups hauled out on the mud flats with their mothers! First of the season. We had a high enough tide that we were able to paddle over the pickle weed. Still many winter bird species - common loons, eared and western grebes, bufflehead; plus double crested cormorants and three pelagic cormorants! Brown pelicans and many gulls. A little breezy on the water today, but a beautiful, sunny, warm day.
Clear and breezy day today for the bike trip along the coast. The elephant seal colony at Piedras Blancas was full of weaned pups just born within the last few months. There were also a few younger pups still nursing from their mothers. As a result here are also still some adult breeding males hanging about, waiting to mate with the females who are still on the beach.
Saw two sea otters at Partington Cove, but it was too windy offshore to see any gray whale spouts. Beautiful wildflowers right now and a good amount of water in the falls at Limekiln and Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP.
Sanderlings, pelicans and cormorants, oh my! The double crested cormorants haven't starting nesting in the rookery yet. Spotted two sea otters mating! A sunny, warm day on the bay with a light breeze and glassy conditions.
Warm and clear along the Big Sur coast today. Had a group of 6 work mates today on an extended work and fun trip. We saw several pods of California grey whales working their way north, some within a few hundred yards of the coast. We also saw 7 condors (wow!) at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
Amazing day on the water today - warm, glassy and tons of wildlife.
Beautiful evening! Saw several loons, lots of harbor seals (no pups quite yet).
Stellar day on the Big Sur coast today. We saw many grey whales, which have already started their migration back north. We were treated to some unusual grey whale behavior as well - namely flippers being waved at us! Two sea otters were spotted at Partington Cove, as well a quick glimpse of a condor. Weather was warm and clear.
Picture perfect morning on the bay this morning. Saw many lingering winter bird species, including a fairly large flock of brant geese. Fantastic numbers of harbor seals and a quite up close view of a sea otter who popped up right next to the boats.
Absolutely lovely evening on Morro Bay for the sunset paddle. Full moon was rising as the sun was setting! Many of our winter migratory birds are starting to leave. we saw a small group of Brant geese. Activity at the heron rookery is starting to pick up. We saw several great blue herons there as well as a beautiful great egret. A peregrine falcon flew in as we were leaving, causing a bit of a ruckus.
We had the pleasure of taking out a boy scout troop and lots of adult chaperones on Morro Bay today. The group was about 40 people, so we split into 3 smaller groups (each with 2 guides) on the water. It was cloudy with some fog today, but the water was beautiful and glassy smooth. We saw a sea otter again. Lots of birds (of course) and the boys really enjoyed the walk on the dunes.
Very high tide for the morning kayak tour today. This meant we could kayak over the top of the slat marsh and and explore parts of the bay rarely accessible to kayaks. We were treated to lots of winter migratory birds, including American avocets and Brant geese in the far corners of the bay. We also saw a sea otter in the main channel.
Beautiful morning kayak tour on Morro Bay for a couple of people who got caught by holiday traffic and couldn't make the sunset paddle last night. It's been a BUSY weekend here. All of the winter migratory birds are still here. Lots of harbor seals in the back bay.
It was a gorgeous Valentines Day bike ride down the coast of northern SLO County. The elephant seal colony near Piedras Blancas lighthouse was the scene of much activity. Most of the baby seals have been born and many have already been weaned by their mothers. This means the females are ready to mate with the nearest dominant male. This does not prevent other males from trying to sneak in an mate with the females, which of course spurs the dominant males to chase the others away and fight if necessary. Lots going on!
A beautiful almost full moon and glassy conditions combined with a very low tide made for a very dramatic sunset paddle today. Spotted a peregrine falcon sitting on a post on the mud flats, making the shore birds nervous. We were also treated to several groups of white pelicans feeding rather leisurely in the shallows.
We saw a peregrine falcon eating a kill out on the sandspit today. Wow! After a while it backed off and turkey vultures moved in.
Stunning sunset tonight. It was very clear and warm with offshore breezes.
Late afternoon extreme low tide paddle today - the bare bones of the bay. All of the bird life was concentrated in the channels, so we got a great close up view of multiple duck, grebe, heron/egret species, as well as a kingfisher and osprey! Beautiful calm afternoon on the water.
Wonderful weekend of kayaking and bird watching for the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival. We saw an average of 35 species on each trip and a total of 48 species over the course of the week. There were some beautiful displays of large flocks of peeps, American avocets, marbled godwits and long-billed curlews. Here is a complete list of species seen (not including harbor seal and sea otter spottings!): Brant geese, cinnamon teal, northern shoveler, northern pintail, green-winged teal, lesser scaup, surf scoter, bufflehead, common goldeneye, red-breasted merganser, ruddy duck, red-throated loon, common loon, pied-billed grebe, horned grebe, eared grebe, western grebe, Brandt's cormorant, double-crested cormorant, pelagic cormorant, American white pelican, brown pelican, great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, turkey vulture, osprey, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, American coot, American avocet, black-bellied plover, spotted sandpiper, greater yellowlegs, willet, long-billed curlew, marbled godwit, sanderling, least sandpiper, western sandpiper, ring-billed gull, western gull, California gull, Caspian tern, Forster's tern, royal tern, rock pigeon, belted kingfisher.
Lots of great birds spotted on the eve of the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival, including, semi palmated plover, red throated loon and common golden eye.
We are still seeing gray whales on the Big Sur coast, but the numbers are less compared to a few weeks ago as the bulk of the migration has passed. Today we did see two whales in close at McWay Falls and they treated us to great views of their tail flukes!
Crystal clear warm day on the Big Sur coast. We are still seeing LOTS of gray whales on their southward migration. One shy otter at Partington Cove and multiple sightings of condors at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
Crystal clear evening with a beautiful full moon!
Amazing morning on the bay! Highlight was a peregrine falcon diving into a flock of western sandpipers and capturing one in mid air. Close enough that we could see the falcon fly off with the sandpiper with the naked eye. Also saw Barrows Goldeneyes! Crystal clear and cold on the bay! Red throated and common loons, multiple species of shorebirds, mergansers, grebes of all types.
Spectacular day in Big Sur. The rain has turned the hills green. Gray whale migration has begun. We spotted over 10 separate pods of whales migrating south!
Perfect day for bicycling the coast today. Crystal clear skies and cool weather. Saw at least 20 new elephant seal pups today, one no more than 2 hours old, with many pregnant females ready to give birth at any moment. Lots of big males on the beach.
Beautiful day on the water! Tons of wildlife.
Phenomenal day on the bay again today - tons of bird life - grebes of all types, common loons, sea otter!
Beautiful winter day, multiple winter bird species along with a few brown pelicans and white pelicans. Sea otter right off the kayak docks.
Another spectacular winter day on the bay!
Amazing, sunny, beautiful weather. A few brown pelicans still lingering along with all of the winter birds. Very high tide!
Two peregrine falcons in the heron rookery, loads of grebes, brown pelicans diving all around the boats. Spectacular day on the water.
Two sea otters spotted together again today. Watched a grebe catch and eat a pipefish. Lots of over wintering common loons.
Unreal day out there today - two peregrine falcons hunting, osprey and untold numbers of winter birds species. Plus, two sea otters!
Lots of birds on the bay again today. Offshore winds, so very warm and clear. Bufflheads, white and brown pelicans, eared and western grebes, turkey vultures, and a sea otter in the back bay!
Beautiful late fall sunset - clear, cool evening, beautiful pink sky and tons of bird life on the bay.
Spotted two wild game cameras mounted on t-posts at the entrance to Chorro inlet.
Lots of winter birds on the bay - pied billed, western and eared grebes, common loons, red-breasted mergansers, plus white and brown pelicans and a lone California sea lion.
Beautiful wintery feeling day on the bay with lots of winter bird wildlife. Multiple harbor seals and sea lion spotted. Nice close ups of an osprey and belted kingfisher at the heron rookery. The brant geese could be heard in the distance. Beautiful flock of white pelicans and lots of shorebirds, grebes (pied billed, western and earred), plus a couple of red breasted mergansers.
The tidal currents were stronger than normal today due to the extremely tide that occurred during the last part of the tour. It was fun being swept out with the outgoing tide, and when it was time to come back we had these completely still waters. What a magical evening it was with otters, harbor seals, pelican's fishing, tons of shore birds and some light fog.
The brant geese have arrived! A flock of several dozen was spotted on the kayak tour today as well as some American avocets. There are also common loons back on the bay as well as every type of grebe species we see here in the winter. Most of the winter migratory birds have arrived. We were also treated to a pair of peregrine falcons hunting in the back bay.
Very low tide this evening, thousands of small birds flying, feeding and peregrine falcon swooping over the flocks. Warm and beautiful evening.
Lots of winter bird species arriving on the bay. Saw Western and eared grebes and a couple of northern shovelers off in the distance. Beautiful evening. Also saw the usual suspects out there - white and brown pelicans, terns, godwits, curlews, willits and double crested cormorants. Tons of harbor seals back in the channel.
Lots of birds on the bay, including some early winter migrants - eared and western grebes. Bat ray!
Beautiful, calm evening on the bay, despite fog obscuring the moon. Saw a white pelican feeding display with multiple pelicans involved.
Spotted two otters and tons of birdlife.
Great day on the bay! No wind, three osprey spotted and a sea otter.
Excellent day with lots of wildlife, including another beautiful osprey.
Tons of feeding birds on the bay. Elegant, caspian and royal terns all spotted. Grebes are back - pied billed grebes and western grebes. Osprey! Belted kingfisher! White and brown pelicans.
Calm and glassy on the bay in the morning, tons and tons of pelicans and seals. Breezier afternoon.
Lots of pelicans. Perfect weather!
Humpbacks spotted today along with condors over Partington Cove and Julia Pfeiffer Burns.
Otters, dolphins and harbor seals. Three osprey and tons and tons of pelicans. What a great day!
Two golden eagles spotted on the morning ride in Paso Robles today!
Great weather, hundreds of brown and white pelicans at Chorro Inlet, on the shore of the sandspit and on grassy island. Sea otter spotting!
Excellent wildlife sightings today - otters, harbor seals, an osprey flying overhead with a fish in his talons. All good stuff!
Incredible number of birds at the harbor seal haul out area. Unreal weather - gorgeous! Foggy and wet in the morning, followed by beautiful cloud formations. Warm and amazing.
Lots of hummingbirds along the coast today!
Super foggy morning, but hundreds of birds out on the bay!
Major humpback whale feeding event just south of Limekiln State Park. Pretty amazing!
Beautiful evening on the bay! Gorgeous sunset, huge orange full moon rising, lots of humpback spouts off of the sandspit and birds galore.
Elegant tern feeding frenzy. Also, not only an osprey at the heron rookery, but also a peregrine falcon!
Lots of humpback whales off the sandspit today! Grassy island was amazing - full of croaking cormorants, brown and white pelicans and a sea otter floating by. More harbor seals hauled out in the estuary today than usual. Low tide trip!
Saw a humpback whale off the sandspit and one lone otter in the back bay.
Elegant terns are back in large numbers.
The sea otter made a reappearance today, this time munching on a crab so close you could hear the crunching. Lots of harbor seals around today. Glassy waters on the bay.
Awesome day full of all kinds of wildlife!
Sea otter bathed in the pink lighting of sunset, lots and lots of cormorants and several white egrets this evening. Beautiful evening!
Almost every bike or hike trip along the coast in the past few weeks has seen LOTS OF HUMPBACK WHALES in the ocean. This summer has been one of the best summers in recent memory for watching whales off the coast here. The humpbacks usually stay in our are well into the fall as well.
Whales, dolphins and condors at Partington Cove today!
Lots of noisy harbor seals today.
Came within 15 feet of a sea otter who popped up next to the boats with a crab!
Dolphins off the sandspit!
Grandpa otter in the back bay and an osprey feeding at the shell beach!
Mass stranding of velella vellella (By the Wind Sailors) on the beach.
Beautiful sunset, super moon rise. Peregrine falcon and hundreds of terns!
Two peregrine falcons sightings over the estuary today! The two of them stirred up plenty if trouble amongst the shorebirds!
Beautiful conditions for our sunset paddle on Morro Bay this evening. Warm temperatures, little to no wind, out of this world sunset to the west and double rainbow to the east. Plenty of wildlife sighting as well - harbor seals, black crowned night herons and more.
Fantastic wildlife day in Big Sur! Humpback whales, huge numbers of dolphins, three sea otters and condors at Julia Pfeiffer Burns alone!
Whale-a-palooza, along with fantastic up close dolphin sightings on today's hiking trips in Big sur. Humpbacks whales are here! Amazing day out there!
Saw a flock of about 40 white pelicans today near Grassy Island on Morro bay. The lone Brandt goose was spotted again. Lots of harbor seals hauled out as well.
Lots of colts out on the ranches in between the wineries on our Paso Robles bike trip today.
California condors sighted at Partington Cove today on our Big Sur tour.
Great evening for our full moon paddle on Morro Bay. Very calm waters and very clear sky for watching the moon come up.
Today the weather was amazing - glassy water. We saw a feeding frenzy and there are lots of cormorant babies at the heron preserve. One lone Brandt goose was seen on the mudflats as well. Usually Brandt geese are only seen here in the winter.
The summer feeding frenzies with cormorants and pelicans have started. Often we'll see large groups of these birds diving and catching fish, sometimes very near the kayaks.
The Peterson family from Iowa went on a four day bicycle trip north of San Francisco with John. We started by cycling through the redwoods in the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park. The rest of the trip was down Highway One along the coast from Leggett to Bodega Bay. Absolutely beautiful!
The heron preserve is in full swing on Morro Bay. Herons have been on the nests for a while. Great Egrets are in and showing off their special mating plumage. Double crested cormorants have started hatching their young. Very busy!
Our Big Sur hiking tour has been very popular so far this year. Almost every trip we see California condors. We've also been seeing lots of grey whales during the northward spring migration. Mostly really nice weather this spring with lots of clear days.
Toady we supported a large century bicycle ride down the Big Sur coast from Carmel to San Simeon.
Beautiful day on Morro Bay today. Started out a little breezy like many spring days, but never overwhelming. Great wildlife - peregrine falcon and sea otter among other sightings. Lots of mom and baby harbor seals in the back bay. The heron preserve is in full swing with the most prominent activity being the cormorants nest building.
Lots of wildlife on Morro Bay today! Sea stars, harbor seals ans sea otters.
Amazing wildlife day today in Big Sur! Sea otter at Partington Cove so close, you could almost count the whiskers on his face. And, 15 condors at Julia Pfeiffer Burns! This is certainly a record.
We've been seeing baby harbor seals over the last few kayak tours! The back bay area of Morro Bay is a pupping area for harbor seals. The seals are usually born here in from the middle part of March through into April.
Beautiful spring day on the Central Coast! Saw lots of wildlife on our Avila See Canyon bike ride today. The rain seems to have brought out the birds and the trees are all in bud and bloom. Saw a coyote loping down the road, multiple sea lions, a common loon in full summer plumage, pigeon guillemots and the peacocks strutting their stuff at Kelsey See Canyon Winery.
Saw a pod of gray whales today!
Great sunset tour on Morro Bay tonight. Saw the sea otter by Windy Cove again. Harbor seals seemed to have changed their preferred haul out spot from the old Chorro Creek channel to just south of Grassy Bar Oyster Company and another location about 1/2 mile further south. This happened last year about this time. I think it may be due to the fact that the pregnant females are close to giving birth and are seeking quieter haul out areas.
Saw another sea otter by Windy Cove on the kayak tour today!
Mesa Grande Academy joined us on Morro Bay today for a kayak tour. The weather cooperated and we saw lots of birds, as well as a sea otter near Windy Cove. On a stop at the Grassy Bat Oyster Company work barge in the back bay, George (the owner) told us he is experimenting with raising mussels in addition to oysters.
Today's kayak tour was the last of the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival tours. Altogether we ran 5 of these tours over Martin Luther King Weekend. In addition to the birds listed on the 1/17/14 entry, we have seen black bellied plovers, American avocets, osprey, American widgeon and common goldeneye. The weather has been spectacular and we are looking forward to doing these tours again next year.
Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival kayak tour today. Beautiful conditions on the bay - very warm, no wind and very clear water. Saw 30 different species of birds today, including western grebe, pied billed grebe, eared grebe, horned grebe, common loon, Brandt's cormorant, northern shoveler, northern pintail, bufflehead, ruddy duck, spotted sandpiper, Forster's tern and belted kingfisher, among others. We also ran into a pod of feeding sea lions and saw many harbor seals.
Great day on the water! We saw all three three types of marine mammals that live in Morro Bay - sea otters, sea lions and harbor seals! The winter migratory birds are all here and we also had great looks at common loons.
Fantastic weather and wonderful wildlife spottings on our two Big Sur hiking trips today! Multiple gray whales migrating south, three California condors and several dolphins at Partington Cove. All around great time of year in Big Sur!
A real "wildlife soup" day on the kayak tour on Morro Bay today. All of our winter migratory birds are here and we saw Brandt geese, black bellied plovers, as well as hundreds of other shorebirds. We haven't seen many sea otters ion the back bay this year, but two playful ones floated by us today. But the highlight of the day was definitely the numerous groups of sea lions that herded us along all morning. All in all, a wonderful day on the bay.
Rain was predicted for this morning, but it stopped raining around dawn and we were able to get in a beautiful morning of cycling down Highway One in the northern part of SLO County today. We stopped at the Piedras Blancas elephant seal colony to see what was going on. The large males have stared arriving at the beaches and are sparring with each other over territory and the right to breed with the females when they start arriving later in December. A large male elephant seal of breeding age can weigh about 5000 pounds and be up to 15-18 feet long!
Fantastic morning on Morro Bay today. The weather was stunning - very warm and clear. There are still pods of sea lions in the back bay hunting, which is unusual for this late in the year. The harbor seals are quite plentiful in the back bay and often pop their heads up very close to the kayaks. Virtually all our winter migrant birds are here. We've seen American avocets and loons on the bay, as well as black bellied plovers on the mudflats.
Very high tide on today's kayak tour on Morro Bay. The workers at Grassy Bar Oyster Company treated us to an impromptu oyster tasting right at the their barge in the middle of the bay! Many of our winter migrant birds have arrived. We saw osprey and pied billed grebes in addition to American white pelicans, a belted kingfisher and sea lions.
Quite a show on Morro Bay today for the kayak tour. Belted kingfisher and osprey were spotted. Several groups of sea lions were frolicking in the marina and farther out on the bay. We were also surrounded by inquisitive harbor seals near their haul out area by the Morro Bay Oyster Company barge.
Th weather in Morro Bay has been spectacular lately. Warm clear days and not much wind. Today we had a large student group out kayaking and they enjoyed harbor seals popping their inquisitive heads up by the kayaks as well as a large bat ray sighting.
October often brings wonderful weather to the Central Coast and today was no exception. The day started a little cool and foggy, but quickly cleared up to be a warm day on the water with little to no wind. Ospreys are back on Morro Bay and we saw lots of sea lions feeding as well as harbor seals cruising through the bay.
Lots of white pelicans in the back bay today. The Morro Bay Oyster Company barge was active today - they are gearing up for the upcoming Central Coast Oyster Festival on October 19.
Crystal clear beautiful day on the Big Sur Ecotour today. Our group of 8 saw a very large heard of elk on Hearst Ranch land just south of Ragged Point. We also had great sightings of California condors at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
Great wildlife day on Morro Bay today. On the short kayak tour we saw lots of adult brown pelicans, as well as two huge groups of American white pelicans, the second largest bird in North America. Several dozen harbor seals were hauled out near the Morro Bay Oyster Company barge, doing what we call "seal yoga." This is when the animals arch their flippers out of the colder shallow water into the warmer air to help them stay warm. We also saw a peregrine falcon perched on a bush out on the sand dunes.
Among other sights, tonight we enjoyed a dusk paddle by Grassy Island with white pelicans serenely gliding across the water in a line.
Today the kayak tour on Morro Bay saw bat rays out near Grassy island and had multiple sightings of sea lions throughout the bay.
Labor Day weekend was absolutely beautiful on Morro Bay. Very little fog, sunny and not too windy. September and October usually have the best weather of the year on this stretch of CA coast.
Lots of wildlife on Morro Bay today! WE SAW DOLPHINS! This is very rare in Morro Bay. We also saw a peregrine falcon stalking a flock of very nervous terns, as well as lots of harbor seals, egrets, cormorants and herons. Although we didn't see them on this trip, several of our Morro Bay kayak trips have seen humpback whales in the ocean while from our walk on the dunes. Very cool!
Very calm weather on Morro bay today and LOTS of wildlife. Cormorants, great blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets, huge flocks of terns, and brown and white pelicans. Lots of harbor seals hauled out in the back bay. Many invertebrates spotted as well - orange sponges, acorn barnacles feeding, nudibranchs, feather duster tube worms and striped shore crabs.
Lots of cormorant fledgling behavior at the heron preserve. Cool orange bat stars at Fairbanks Point and huge numbers of rock crab and mole crab molts on the beach.
Great day up in Big Sur! Two related families came with us today. We saw a beautiful adult condor at Partington Cove as well as a sea otter lolling in the kelp beds, as well as a sea lion. The fog came and went through the day, lending a dramatic backdrop to the landscape.
Honeymooners today on the lunch paddle today! Great sightings of harbor seals and a sea otter as well! Lots of terns on the bay.
Highest tide of the year (6.9 feet) on Morro Bay tonight on the full moon paddle! We had fun paddling over the top of the salt marsh, which was completely covered up, and visiting the while pelicans at Grassy Island.
On the lunch kayak tour today had some very inquisitive young harbor seals approach the kayaks. There were TONS of birds on the bay - egrets, heron, pelicans, etc.
Today on the Big Sur tour we saw condor fledglings at Partington Cove and one lone sea otter there as well. We also saw humpback whales breaching at Ragged point on the drive back south after the tour!
More and more of our shorebirds (i.e. sandpipers) are returning from breeding areas to feed and fly over the mudflats.
Low tide tour. Great seal sightings, black crowned night herons and an osprey!
It was a beautiful afternoon on Morro Bay. The herons and egrets at the heron preserve seem to have fledged most of their young ones and are not as active there. The cormorants, on the other hand, still have lots of babies there are are very active. We also saw perhaps 25-30 harbor seals hauled out on the mud flats near the Morro Bay Oyster Company barge in the back bay.
Lots of wildlife on the dinner paddle tonight! We saw harbor seals and a sea otter in Windy Cove as well as a cormorant and pelican feeding feeding frenzy. The night was clear and we saw Venus in the sky just at sunset.
Great sunset tonight! Three harbor seals swam with the group for quite some time. Copious amounts of pelicans tonight!
Incredible close up fly overs of condors at both Partington Cove and the main parking area in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
Two dolphins spotted in the bay itself tonight!
Dozens of white pelicans on the bay this morning.
Although we didn't see any on the tour today, one of our guides who lives on a boat on the bay called today to say she SAW DOLPHINS frolicking in the bay. Wow! This is a pretty rare occurrence, but we did see several dolphins in Morro Bay at about this same time last year.
Beautiful sunny day with a nice breeze. We started off the trip heading toward the heron preserve only to be interrupted by a feeding frenzy. On Morro Bay in the summer we often see large groups of cormorants and pelicans diving into groups of bait fish. We call these events feeding frenzies.
A wonderful kayak trip today with the Road Scholar group. This was a trip for grand parents and their grand kids. It was warm and sunny and George at the Grassy Bar Oyster Company barge on the bay treated some of us to an impromptu educational lecture on oyster cultivation in Morro Bay.
We are starting to see more and more brown pelicans on Morro Bay as June progresses.
Sea otters, sea lions and condors were all spotted today at Partington Cove!
Hardly anyone on the water today. It felt like we had the bay to ourselves! Lots of activity at the heron preserve still. We saw a skate right outside the marina, as well as several endangered western snowy plovers on the sand dunes. When we stopped to visit the Grassy Bar oyster farm, George told us he has about 1.8 million very small oysters in his nursery right now. Wow!
More otters at Partington Cove on the Big Sur Ecotour today!
Beautiful Day of Kayaking and Hiking! We saw many double crested cormorants at the Heron Rookery. The property at the Heron Rookery sounds like a busy playground this time of year. On our hike in Cayucos we spotted 12 or more brant geese, a few harbor seals, sea otter, a few black oyster catchers and killdeer.
Lovely trip up in Big Sur today. We saw a sea otter in the dense kelp beds at Partington Cove, as well as five California condors above the main parking area at Julia Pfeiffer-Burns State Park. Water flows are relatively low in the creeks for this time of year due to much lower than average rainfall this year. The Prius logged an impressive 53 mpg on the trip today!
We hosted the 8th grade class from the German International School of the Silicon Valley for three days in a row, starting with today. They camped at Morro Bay State Park Campground in the group site and had marvelous weather. We did a bike trip, a kayak trip and a hike trip for the kids and they leaned a lot! The bike trip was along the Bob Jones bike trail to Avila Beach and featured a tour of the Avila Beach Sea Life Center.
Never let a handicap hold you back! We had some sight impaired people on the full moon tour tonight. They really enjoyed all the sounds on the bay at night, especially all the cormorants calling to each other at the heron preserve!
Beautiful evening tonight. The Sunset was picture perfect!
A beautiful day in the Edna Valley today. The grape vines are starting to leaf out quite nicely, creating a carpet of green through most of the valley.
Most of our winter migratory birds are gone, but we did spot a couple of male eared grebes on the bay tonight. A large bat ray was also spotted right next to our docks. But perhaps the most interesting event was the BIO-LUMINESCENCE seen by our guide Mandy after the tour as she was paddling back to her boat. Bio-luminescence is a glowing effect in the water produced when certain micro-organisms are disturbed. It is relatively rare in Morro Bay and can be quite dramatic when one paddles as the paddle blade in the water looks like it has a odd green fire coming from it!
What a great paddle today! Although the central coast has been experiencing some rain showers, we had a clear morning. On our paddle we spotted an osprey hunting in the back bay and then a red-tailed hawk was spotted on our dunes hike. The Double-crested cormorants are still very busy building their nests at the Heron Rookery, flying overhead with twigs and ribbon-like leaves of eel grass in their beaks.
Gorgeous weather, good ride, happy campers.
We have been supporting this century ride each year since 2006. It starts in Carmel, rides down the Big Sur coast and ends in San Simeon. It is coordinated by our dear friend Jack McGlynn and he and his friends have actually been dong the ride for over 30 years. It has grown large enough that he needs buses and vans with trailers for luggage and bike transport. It is always a LOT of fun and this year was no exception. The weather was warm and it wasn't windy. Looking forward to 2014!
Great day on the bay with patchy fog and light winds. Spotted a bright orange sea star on the rocks at Fairbank Point as well as many great blue herons. They seem to be very active at the heron preserve now.
Great group. Lots of birds. Fun, Fun, Fun!
Sea lions and baby harbor seals - saw some jumping from the water.
The executive director of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) was on this tour with wife and friends. John Flaherty, owner of Central Coast Outdoors, took a NOLS course back in college (Kayaking Prince William Sound in Alaska) and credits his NOLS trip with changing his life! Small world!
Beautiful clear night!
Beautiful night out! There were two couples on the trip. One couple was celebrating their honeymoon and the other couple was celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to all!
Tonight's Dinner on the Dunes paddle was very pleasant. The wind remained at a low breeze. A very Happy Birthday was had by Allison. She was greeted by a pair of harbor seals as she began her paddle.
Very windy today, but the people on the trip had a great time regardless!
Sea otter and spotted sandpiper observed at Estero Bluffs during the hike.
Beautiful evening. Lots of harbor seals. We paddled next to a bat ray for a while.
The fog and marine layer persisted through the morning, but winds were light and we were treated to a great wildlife show on Morro Bay today. The heron rookery is very active now, with nesting behavior by all three species (double crested cormorants, great egrets and great blue herons) observed. We also saw lots of sea lions feeding off of Fairbank Point and two different bat rays basking along the surface. And, of course, the baby harbor seals back by the oyster farm area were as cute as ever. - JFF
It was a beautiful spring day in Paso Robles, full of sunshine, birds singing and country roads.
Some of the interesting wildlife seen today on Morro Bay - ruddy ducks, baby harbor seals, sea lions, Brandt geese and eared grebes. The eared grebes are getting their dramatic breeding plumage in.
Today was ideal weather on Morro Bay: mid 70s, sunny and glassy water for most of the trip with a light on shore breeze. Back by the harbor seal haul out area we saw lots of baby seals with egrets and white pelicans. The group today had some GPS coordinates for a geo-cache on the dunes, so we had fun looking for that. Along the way we found a GIANT dead crab and also saw lots of live sand dollars in the water.
We enjoyed the peaceful winding roads around the vineyards with wildflowers popping up all around on the bike trip today. At one point we were accompanied by a red-tailed hawk that was doubtlessly eyeing California ground squirrels scurrying near the road. We saw baby horses and baby sheep as well. Tasted wine at J. Lohr, Le Vigne and finished at San Antonio Winery for lunch. One of the clients on the trip today said that the bikes "are so easy to ride I feel like I am going downhill even when I am going up!"
Lots of baby/mom harbor seal pairs today. We also saw some of the older pups farther north in the bay, near Fairbank Point. Cormorants were observed pulling up eel grass by the roots for nesting material.
We enjoyed seeing more baby harbor seals with their mothers today. The common loons are getting their sleek black and white speckled breeding plumage, just in time for their migration away from Morro Bay! The cormorants in the heron preserve have been quite vocal as well. The male cormorants are busy flying to and fro carrying strands of kelp and eel grass in their bills for nesting materials. Later in the day we had lovely spring winds which kicked up small following waves on the way back to the marina.
One of the participants on this trip has this to say about the fog coming and going and their experience on the sand spit: "The sun and mist danced and created an unforgettable landscape for us. Japan made an impromptu visit in the form of a glass ball, usually attached to fishing nets in the far eastern country. A beach treasure washed up on the California coast. Yes, we are not alone, although for an hour or so we felt like Robinson Crusoe on the sandspit..."
A light rain the previous day brought out the banana slugs at Lime Kiln State park. Colin counted 122 banana slugs on the hike!
This was a special hike trip to a different part of Big Sur for a family that had done our regular Big Sur Ecotour a couple of years ago. We explored Andrew Molera State Park and forded the Big Sur River four times. Saw some Brandt geese in the surf at the beach as well as lots of red tail hawks.
Dozens of double crested cormorants are in full nesting mode at Fairbanks Point. It was low tide during the tour, so we also saw lots of sea stars at Fairbanks Point. Three avocets were spotted by the oyster farm, swishing through the water with their long curved bills and orange heads. The highlight of the tour was perhaps a sea hare that was spotted out near the dunes. A sea hare is a rather colorful marine invertebrate that looks a bit like a large psychedelic slug.
Some of the winter migratory birds are still hanging around the bay. We saw red-throated loons and one common loon as well as western grebes, horned grebes and eared grebes. We also saw one lonely looking Brandt goose. The kids on the tour enjoyed watching brown pelicans dive for fish and we applauded when the pelicans were successful. It was a very low tide, so we saw all kinds of sea stars and sea anemones at Fairbanks Point on the rocks.
Gorgeous evening and lots of baby harbor seals.
Foggy today, but the wildlife put on quite a show for us. No sea otters, but we saw sea lions and brown pelicans all feeding on schools of bait fish on a rising tide. The heron preserve has a lot of activity now with great blue herons on the nests and double crested cormorants building nests. We saw several baby harbor seals in the harbor seal haul out area by the oyster farm. We also visited with George (the owner) at the Grassy Bar Oyster Company barge on the bay. He showed us seed oysters that he has kept in special baskets under the barge until they are large enough to go in the plastic mesh bags he normally raises the oysters in.
Really nice trip with a family of 4 from Pennsylvania. We had a 9 year old on a kids bike and a 4 year on a tagalong bike trailer. We rode the Bob Jones Bike Trail to Avila beach and back. Saw lots of sea lions at Harford Pier at Avila Beach, as well as a great close up of a sea otter feeding.
Among other things, we saw red breasted mergansers, baby harbor seals and white pelicans in flight today.
Nice conditions on Morro Bay for the kayak trip today. Foggy at first, but then cleared. Not much breeze. SAW 5 BABY HARBOR SEALS!
Nice couple from Simi Valley o the bike tour today. A little foggy at first, but nice views for most of the day. The highlight of many of our Pacific Coast Day and Half Day bike tours is a stop at the elephant seal colony north of Hearst Castle. Today there were a lot of weaners on the beaches. Weaners are elephant seals that were born this year and have recently been weaned by their mothers. The mothers have left the beach and the weaners will soon get into the water themselves. There were also some young males and females on the beach undergoing their molt. Always lots to see at the elephant seal colony.
Windy Start to this trip, then the wind died down to reveal calm waters on Morro Bay. We spotted two sea otters on the trip today. We floated in our kayaks and watched one of the otters feed by the kayak shack. As it was crunching on a crab we were able to enjoy the sunshine and calm waters a little longer.
Gorgeous evening on Morro Bay!
Tons of wildlife on the Big Sur Ecotour today. Dolphins, whales and sea otters were all spotted in the water. Lots of birds as well, but no condors. We often see condors on this trip, but not all the time. The bridge project between Lucia and Lime Kiln has progressed to the point where we actually drove on it!
Private Morro Bay kayak trip for Westridge School for Girls - 7th and 8th graders. The big highlight today was OUR FIRST HARBOR SEAL PUP sighting of the year. The harbor seals on Morro Bay give birth from mid March into April. They tend to haul out on the mudflats in the oyster farm area, and this is where we saw this mother and baby. The baby looked like it was possibly a few days old. We look forward to more mother and baby seal sightings in the next few months.
Another great day on the water on Morro Bay. Today we had Boy Scout 309 on a private tour. This tour explored a different part of the bay due to low tide conditions and explored an area with lots of sand dollars.
Beautiful day on the Pacific Coast Highway. The rough chip seal on the highway did not seem to dampen the mood of the cyclists on the trip today.