Kayaking with Otters and Whales

Davenport to Santa Cruz

Author: John Kern

It was a great day, with calm air, smooth water, good companions, and dramatic displays of spray and noise as the powerful swells hit the exposed rocky coast.

We saw our first spouts as we carried kayaks to the beach at Davenport Landing. A group of about three whales were steaming North. The rest of the whales were elusive. The spout dead ahead indicated an animal we never saw again, despite turning around to look behind us. Dick saw a back briefly exposed but it submerged and did not reappear. Priscilla saw a spout none of the rest of us saw.

Otters were numerous and caused us to change course a few times.

The star of the show was the dramatic meeting of surging sea and rugged land at places called Cement Plant, Laguna, Sand Hill, Four-Mile, Three-Mile, Wilder Ranch, Long Marine Lab, Natural Bridges.

As promised, we loitered a few minutes to watch the action as the Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival held some of its final heats. We saw stand-up paddleboarders riding waves and a group of proper surf kayaks on deck, so to speak.

After a great deal of driving back and forth to Davenport, we were all sorted out and on our respective ways home. I'm not sure this qualified as an official WSK event since there was no beer and no food consumed after the paddle. Our lunch at Mitchell Cove, just a couple of miles short of the harbor, kept us well satisfied, as did the whole splendid day.