Late September we headed to Jenner by the Sea, CA for some kayaking at the mouth of the Russian River.
The air had cleared (note the AQI is 5 in the photo below!) after the fires and we could finally breath deeply.
We stayed at the Cassini Ranch Family Campground, which is about 6 miles up the Russian River, and a great base camp for visiting the area. Note the wide sites. It can get wet from the fog so I covered our bikes with a tarp.
After checking tide charts, we set our kayak in the water early, about 8am, at the public river access ramp.
The morning was beautiful. You can see the mouth of the river in the distance.
This time of year, with the river low, you can safely get close to where the river meets the ocean. There are signs that warn to stay away when “the mouth is open”. No problem!
Our route would take us from Jenner to where the river meets the Pacific and then inland to the highway 1 bridge and back, about 4 miles or so.
The scenery changes as you head up the river.
Several seals would seek out a sand bar to rest on and get some sun. They lie kind of on their sides and raise their tail and one fin to the sky. Yes, I see that hand!
Here is the bridge over highway 1. South from here leads to Bodega Bay. We drove there one day for some chowder at Spud Point Chowder House, but otherwise stayed here.
Back to the launch point after a great paddle!
And time to reward ourselves with scones and cappuccinos at Cafe Aquatica, a great place to relax and watch other kayakers.
We enjoyed it so much we decided on a repeat the next day!
However, the next day was completely different as a fog rolled in and visibility was poor.
You couldn’t even see the rocks jutting up in the mouth of the river, but you could still hear the surf pounding.
At first it felt a bit eerie, but gradually we settled into the new vibe and enjoyed the trip. With low visibility, it seemed like you could hear nature even better — the sound of the birds calling each other or landing on the water, and the seals arguing on the beach or swimming by the kayak.
We ended up enjoying the foggy outing even more than the first day on the river.
This time, we brought a lunch and stopped the kayak on the island for a break.
On our trip back to Jenner, the fog started clearing, but I’m glad we decided to kayak in the fog that day.
We thoroughly enjoyed this RV trip to Jenner by the Sea, and the chance to kayak in the Russian River.
However, we were already looking forward to our next trip to Moss Landing, our last planned kayak trip for the year.
Al & Deb
P.s., this trip was all about kayaking, but earlier in the year when we visited we explored many other areas, including Goat Rock, a beautiful park on the coast.
Also, several years ago on only our 10th RV trip, we visited Wrights Beach, stopping by Korbel Champagne on the way there.
Nice! Can you tell us more about your kayaks? What kind? Where you got them? How you store and haul them with your rig? How you learned. What you like and don’t like about them. We are interested in maybe trying to get started. What other gear you use and wear with them. Thanks
Thanks for the question. We have the Sea Eagle Fastrack 385 which we bought from inflatableboats4less.com (https://inflatableboats4less.com/product/385ft-fasttrack/ ). They only sell the Sea Eagle brand. We love the stability of the kayak, and the tracking, durability, and portability. Since we have a motorhome, we wanted an inflatable that we could carry in our towed vehicle, a Honda CR-V. The Fasttrack works great for that. The drawback of an inflatable is that you have to inflate and deflate each time. I don’t mind this and have the process down to a few minutes. It has definitely made our RV trips more adventurous! They are also not cheap, but we wanted something we could use for years. We also bought the life jackets at the same time we bought the kayak. The only other accessory is a large pack to store all the accessories that come with the kayak….life jackets, seats, oars, etc.