Mendocino Trilogy – Sea, River,Surf

Mendocino County in California is one of those special places that holds kayaking fun for all types of boaters.  In the spring, there is the chance that we can sea kayak, whitewater river kayak, and surf kayak in one day.  Last week the stars aligned and we scored the Mendocino Trilogy of Whitewater Kayaking Fun.   We didn’t rush it and do it all in one day but savored and enjoyed a day of sea kayaking, a day of whitewater kayaking, and a day in the surf.  In the spirit of the Mendocino Trilogy, I decided to paddle my trio of Jackson Kayaks.

Low but runnable flow on the Eel River

Low but runnable flow on the Eel River

Day one, we journeyed inland to Mendocino County’s Eel River.  We had gotten just enough rain to bring the river up to a low but runnable level.  The typically class 3 stretch that we ran was more like class 2 with the low flow; however, it was fun with all the new eddies and features that opened up at the lower flow.  My Jackson Zen and I happily eddy hopped our way down the river.

Sunshine and Smiles on the Eel River

Sunshine and Smiles on the Eel River

Our friend Jaime Sharp was visiting and took Jeff’s new Zen out on the river for a spin.

Jaime Sharp tries out the new Zen.

Jaime Sharp tries out the new Zen.

Day two, the guys were planning a sea kayak coastal journey in the Karma RG’s.  They were excited to be exploring the coast, rock gardening, and checking out some of Mendocino’s infamous sea caves.  When I looked at NOAA buoy reports, I had a notion that one of my favorite surf breaks was going to be firing.  When I bailed from the sea kayaking adventure, Jeff gave me “THE LOOK” and questioned what my alternate plans were.  Two minutes later, Jaime joked that we were going surfing right?  He read my mind.

We headed to a local break with a truck full of high performance surf kayaks and my little Jackson Star.  The water was a beautiful turquoise blue and had lots of fun sized peeling waves.  The freestyle kayak was super fun.  Its playful pop had me grinning from ear to ear and surfing wave after wave.

Catching a little air.

Catching a little air.

Day three, we headed out in our Karma RG‘s for adventures on the sea – rock gardening, sea cave exploration, and more surfing.  The Mendocino Coast lived up to its reputation.  We found a little bit of everything on our journey.

Sea Kayaking near Mendocino

Sea kayaking near Mendocino

Whitewater ocean kayaking in Mendocino, California

Whitewater ocean kayaking in Mendocino, California

Jaime rides a pour-over through a slot into a sea cave.

Riding a pour-over through a slot into a sea cave.

Surfing the Karma RG

Surfing the Karma RG

I am a little bit sad that this might have been our last whitewater run on the Eel for the season and our last triffecta of Mendocino Whitewater Kayaking;  however, there never is a shortage of whitewater on the Mendocino Coast and more adventures await in the sea and the surf.

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