It was in May that the pandemic “Shelter in Place” order was lifted in California. So we hopped on the I-280 to Capitola, 4 miles east of Santa Cruz. The little creek that runs through Capitola is called “Soquel,” an Ohlone word. It empties into Soquel Cove, part of the Monteray Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The waterfront dining district was bustling. We were lucky to find a parking spot in an ally close to the creek. We launched from a tiny park at the tail end of a string private residences, many of which had vacation unit rental signs prominently displayed.
To launch, we had to drop the kayak over a rail. Thankfully we’re both tall and don’t mind getting a little dirty, because, although the kayak is pretty light, we had to stretch our bodies out, anchoring our knees, legs and feet in the dusty ground in a funky yoga pose, to clear the gap between the platform and the rail to drop the kayak in the water.
The kayakable part of the creek is only a half mile long, but very scenic and very peaceful.
There were a few kayakers and paddle boaters from the residences along the creek–polite youngsters and parents with small children.
But we had the cove to ourselves, excepting some gulls.
We portaged over a sandbank. The water was a bit icky from bird droppings.
Diving in the kelp forests is still on our to-do list. The residents of the kelp forests kept to themselves this day: we saw a few sea lions, but no sea otters.
It was very quiet. The only other people on the water were a swimmer and a fisher in a small motor boat.
The appearance of crowds on Capitola beach, though sparse, seemed to emphasize the quietness of the water.