One of the simple pleasures in life is kayaking on saltwater in the wilderness. Fortunately, just a couple miles south of the Steamboat Island exit, is just such a place. Mud Bay can be seen from Highway 101 and the Mud Bay Bridge.
I am often distracted by the wildlife when I am driving. It is safer to just stop, take your binoculars, and go for a walk near Buzz’s Tavern.
The best way to see the wildlife is to get on the water in a kayak. One can park the car and put the boat in the water at the Park and Ride, which is one block north of the Tavern.
I prefer to park on the side of the road near the Mud Bay Bridge. Then I put my ten-year-old $69 inflatable kayak in the water under the bridge. Put your boat in during the incoming tide. Be sure to get out of the mud flat before the water gets too low. People have died in other mud flats when they got stuck in the mud.
One of the perks of going into Mud Bay on a flood tide is that the water is warmed by the hot mud on a sunny day. The water temperature is great for swimming.
In the fall you can see salmon trying to get to Mclane Creek, and eagles plucking them from the sea. I saw a bear here five years ago! I have also seen raccoons and foxes working the shorelines along with numerous deer. It is like an episode of National Geographic except that it is all real time reality.
by James Nugent.
A recent book, Kayak at Dawn, is available from Amazon.com as a paperback and for the Kindle.