Elkhorn Slough, Carmel and Asilomar

Sea Lions at Moss Landing

Sea Otter in the Elkhorn Slough

Harbour Seals in the Elkhorn Slough

Black-Tailed Deer near Asilomar Beach

The Lone Cyprus, 17 Mile Drive

Today was one that we had really been looking forward to; a boat trip out in the Elkhorn Slough [pronounced “Slew”] to see wildlife, especially the sea otters. The boat is a small pontoon type so it can manage the shallow water.
Even before we left Moss Harbour sea lions could be heard barking; soon we saw why. A jetty was piled up to three deep in sea-lions, literally hundreds of them! I can’t imagine how the sea lions of the bottom breathe! Within several minutes we came across a raft of 42 sea otters, floating on their backs like hairy logs. Every few minutes for the whole cruise the captain or naturalist were pointing out loons, grebes, whimbrels, curlew, sandpipers, harbour seals. There was something new in every direction. I was kept busy scribbling down the names & trying not to miss anything. My job was to count the Great Blue Cranes & Rod the Sea Otters. It was a really interesting trip and definitely the best [& easiest] way to see the wildlife at close range.
Afterwards we drove around to the Visitors Centre in the Elkhorn Slough, pausing for a picnic before walking around the Marsh Loop. As well as lots of the same sea birds, we also saw two types of woodpeckers and two deer [who fled away extremely fast]. Part of the track was planted with eucalyptus trees and smelt like home.
We finished the afternoon with a drive through the very cute town of Carmel; some of the buildings were straight out of a English fairy tale, with moss covered shingles, towers and curved shapes. From there we entered the 17 mile drive to see the coastline and drive past landmarks such as the Lone Cyprus and Point Joe. At Asilomar Beach we were delighted to see six dainty Black-tailed deer cross the road and start grazing in the dunes.
Thanks to Kurt, we knew where to eat dinner; The Fishwife at Asilomar Beach. Fortunately, we had a booking, as there was a line of people waiting for a table! I had a Baja Fisherman’s Bowl of Shrimp, Scallops and Crab sauteed in Lobster sauce and served with rice, black beans, Caribbean cabbage, rock-melon & pineapple salsa and fried tortilla spears. It was so delicious I ate most of it, so shouldn’t need to eat for days! The waiter did his best to persuade us to order dessert, but no-body had room.
Tomorrow we return to San Francisco via the coast, so it should be an interesting scenic drive.

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2 Responses to Elkhorn Slough, Carmel and Asilomar

  1. Jill Harrison says:

    Just caught up with your past few days- you certainly have been seeing all sorts of wildlife. Yummy dinner!

  2. Cass says:

    I love all the wildlife you are seeing ! The scenery is amazing too and the food descriptions are making my mouth water ! It all sounds FANTASTIC. It appears you are having the perfect holiday 🙂

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