South Slough Estuarine Reserve

September 11, 1994

What a wonderful sunny day! Our group of four canoes (one solo) and one kayak met Tom Gaskill, Education Director at the Reserve information center, at 2 p.m. for an introduction. The trip was designed to make use of the incoming tide and wind. Both wind and tide pushed us south from the Charleston Bridge into the Winchester Arm past Crown Point, Collver Point, Brown’s Cove, Valino Island where we stopped for snacks, ending our trip at the south end of the estuary at 6:00. What a ride! It was a relief to spend the last mile in a calm channel fed by Winchester Creek, the fresh water part of the estuarine mix. For almost the whole 3½ hours, Tom told us about the scientific aspects of the estuary, the wild life, logging history and Native American history of the area. We watched eight white egrets sitting like statues in trees which they shared with Great Blue Herons near their rookery. Two harbor seals greeted us as we launched our canoes. Having a guided tour of the area enhanced the trip many times over and kept us from entering the wrong currents. The tidal currents can get a novice in trouble — even stuck in the mud until the next change in tides. We were pleased to have Cascade Canoe Club members fill out the trip — Laura Bixby and Jarvis Thompson (myself, MB, also a member), guest Janet Smith and Obsidians David Becker, Leona Devine, Van McKay and leaders Mary Battin and Corinne Hunt.

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