The sun was shining when we met at Miller Park Boat Launch on Sunday to explore around the White Gulch area and enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach. When we launched the tide was still ebbing, so we rode the current north toward Walker Creek and the oyster beds. There was still just enough water to paddle through the area and soon we saw something thrashing in the water just ahead of us.
As we got closer we discovered dozens of leopard sharks, small bottom feeding sharks that eat critters living in the muddy bottom of Tomales Bay. They were everywhere, swimming over each other, breaking the surface of the water, and swimming beneath our kayaks. It was a wonderful spectacle to see so many of them up close. After floating in the area for awhile the sharks had disturbed so much of the bottom, we could no longer see through the murky water. The sharks were still darting about and would surprise us by surging away from our kayaks if we unknowingly got too close.
We continued north and then across the bay seeing hundreds of buffleheads and some grebes floating in rafts. On the sand bar at Hog Island dozens of cormorants sat with a lone Great Blue Heron. As we crossed the bay, a renegade wind from the southeast picked up. As the wind gained strength, so did our appetite. We found an unoccupied beach, tucked into the lee and enjoyed a nice lunch from a couple of local stops in Point Reyes Station. We were hoping the wind would die down as we feasted, but it seemed to be gaining strength. We made it back safely to our cars and not soon after the wind had died down completely, flattening out the bay as the tide started to flood back in.
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