We took a different kind of trip last week with momma’s friend Amy, who invited us to come do a paddle and overnight camp in Tomales Bay. She had done all the research and permit work so all we had to do was show up! Of course we were going to go!!
Momma was a bit of a mess packing for an overnight camping trip without a backpack since we were technically boat-in camping, so we showed up and just started piling stuff out of the car and into Amy’s big waterproof bags that got strapped onto her kayak. We then unloaded the big SUP – which momma was convinced was going to fly off the car around Napa – and got it into the water.
I wisely chose to stand on the back of the board over the cargo nets because that way Loki Lolo couldn’t bump into me and knock me into the water, which is what he tends to do when we both ride on the front together. He’s quite a bit more nervous about being on the SUP than I am. Although momma thinks it is nice that he doesn’t bark at boats like I do. I’m not sure why my barking at boats bothers her – at least they can see us when I’m barking my head off at them!
We started out and the water was beautiful and calm! It didn’t take long before momma and Amy were excited to see a seal in the water. Then we saw another seal behind us as we paddled towards two large islands in the middle of the bay. Out on the islands there were dozens of seals and even more birds all just hanging out in the sun. We stopped a long ways off shore just to watch the seals, which by now were popping up all around us!
Then a whole group of seals slid off their perch into the water. We watched as there were suddenly a lot more seals swimming around us.
And then, ALL the seals jumped into the water! It was a big splash and then there were seals allllllllll over the bay around us. That was when momma and Amy noticed that the seals had made a perfect circle around us and some of them were slapping the surface of the water.
Momma suddenly thought the seals were going to try and steal either myself or Loki Lolo off the SUP and eat us! So she took off paddling to get away from all those seals! Loki Lolo was very worried and was leaning up against momma while she paddled while I stayed calm and collected behind her, guarding our rear.
Momma got us through the circle of seals and Amy made it out safely too! A few seals continued to follow us while we paddled around the bay and played around on a beach before we picked our camping spot for the night.
There were lots of really crazy smells at the beach we camped at, including a LOT of coyote smells.
Loki Lolo and I had to work hard to keep those coyotes away from camp and we spent all of the afternoon and evening until bedtime running from one end of the beach to the other making sure they never came down near us. We also had to continue barking at all boats that were in the bay as fishermen were checking their pots. It was a LOT of work!
Needless to say we were exhausted when it was time to sleep and I slept SO HARD, even though the tent was filled with wet sand and stinky dog. Momma said Loki Lolo was up and alert to any noise the coyotes were making – which was a lot of howling and barking. We got up to potty around 3 in the morning and so it was a good chance to put our scent all over the beach again to make sure they wouldn’t come bother us!
It got very cold just before sunrise and I was shivering trying to cuddle up against momma’s legs and next to the opening to the tent lest any coyote decide he wanted to try to visit. We were happy when it was time to get up and we could once again run the beach to not only keep the coyotes away, but warm up!
The surprise for us was that the tide had come in, so the very edges of the cove where the rocks were we couldn’t get to anymore. It was very frustrating and annoying, but momma was glad we were unable to get back into the stinky muck of low tide that I accidentally got into quite a few times in the dark when we were working. It smelled SO BAD and I kept asking momma for help to get that stinky stuff off, but the best she could do was rub it with wet sand and have me try to rinse it in the ocean.
We had a bit of a windier paddle back to the car, but we did not have any scary seal encounters – thank goodness! We did see some leopard sharks and gigantic jellyfish, which made momma tell us to be even more careful not to fall in!
It was such a fun trip and we hope we will get to do it again with Amy’s dog, Lola, who is working on enjoying trips in the kayak! Thanks so much to Amy for taking us along, it was such a fun time, even if we were exhausted for the next two days from all that running after boats and doing coyote perimeter sweeps! We love doing different things and exploring new places and look forward to doing some more coastal California adventures this winter!!