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February 2, 2002
The rental shop recommended a morning tour of the bay since the winds tend to pick up in the afternoon and can make paddling a challenge when heading back to the beach. Taking their advice, I was up early and on the water before 8AM, which was easy since the outfitter was literally steps from my hotel. At that time of the day, I had the Bay to myself; actually, while I was the only person on the water, I was anything but alone. Sea lions basked on rocks all along the shore, gulls drifted lazily on the morning breezes and rested on the water, and sea otters hunted for abilone for breakfast.
I paddled along the bay toward the open water and past Cannery Row and the aquarium. The sea lions were waking up now and several slid into the water to hunt breakfast as well. Every now and then one would appear near my boat, curious, maybe to say good morning. Regardless of their intent, they made my morning.
Since the primary reason for a marine sanctuary is to protect the life in it, kayakers are prohibited from getting too close to the animals. But no rules prevent curious animals from coming up to kayaks for a closer look. As I paddled toward the breakwater that is home to hundreds of sea lions and harbor seals, a group of five or six decided they wanted to have a little fun. They swam towards me and then submerged, only to surface moments later all around me. I only counted four and was wondering where the others were just as they answered my question by leaping out of the water right off the bow of my kayak and startling me out of my wits.
After several hours on the water with my new friends, I decided to head back to shore tired, hungry and thrilled with my morning's adventure.
From journal Activities Galore
November 13, 2001
There are plenty of stopping places and viewpoints. Look for otters in the kelp beds. Lots of tide pools, crashing waves, scenic views, and on and on. Just a memorable place.
Ocean View Boulevard turns into Sunset Drive at Point Pinos. In that area, take the free tour of the lighthouse (831-648-3116 for hours). Between the lighthouse and Asilomar, the road is a little more narrow so use more caution. The Rocky Shores area is a great place to stop and play in the tidepools. Continue along Ocean Drive to the Asilomar beach area. The road then turns away from the ocean and uphill. At this point Ocean Drive becomes highway 68.
You can enter Pebble Beach on 17 Mile Drive (to the right).
Once upon a time, bicyclists could enter 17 Mile Drive for free on weekends. I have heard that this is no longer true. Check before embarking on your ride.
You can also turn left on 17 Mile Drive and head back to where you started. Then turn left on Lighthouse Avenue or Jewel Avenue. Or if you want more hilly action, keep on 68 after Asilomar and don't turn onto 17 Mile Drive. Stay on 68 past PG High School, then take Forest Avenue or David Avenue back down to the bay. Forest goes to Lover's Point and David to the Aquarium.
Oh, yeah, you can also rent a surrey for riding along the recreation trail, say from Cannery Row to Lover's Point. The surreys are like canopy covered golf carts, powered by people. Kind of fun.
From journal Ex-Local's Guide to Pacific Grove