2011Closer 2 Home travel blog

Bodega Harbor at low tide - that's Doran Beach in the distance

view from our campsite at Westside Park

not a lot of sailboats on these waters

kayaker and a passing cormorant

looking across the harbor (and the fault) to the little community of...

we sometimes wonder if there are any Canada geese left in Canada?

my bike and a view of the Westside Park campground

iceplant provides color







Tides restaurant, store, bar and inn - looks a lot different than...

best campsite in the park - and the best partner to share...

crab season is winding down



beach buzzard

so ugly on the ground - but so graceful in the air


these guys never shut up!

the jetty that surrounds Spud Point Marina

Tony B is a Monterey boat - a classic craft pointed at...

a design that made it good in a following sea

some sailboats and pleasure boats tucked in between the working vessels

trollers and trawlers

this one down from Eureka for crab season


that red flag is a 'small craft warning' - something too many...

working boats

come in many shapes and styles

a rugged looking sailboat

few things more corrosive than salt air

unless it's salt water

have you ever wondered why crab is so expensive?



every jetty has an end

passing egret

California sea lion

took a dive and came up munching on a crab

the Odd Couple

some of my favorite boats - and I've sketched and painted a...




the Davis Marine Lab's research boat

named for the point around the corner


the Tommy Lift at Mason's Marina

with crab pots


each crab fisherman has his own color code

I've painted the Nancy before

Spud Point Boat Yard

can you smell those crab?


the salt air takes it's toll on everything

a good place to eat

the small craft warning flag is still up

and these guys are smart enough to pay attention to it

the sandpipers must have found something good there


they also take time to play a little

woo hoo - watch where you stick that bill!

well look what we have here!


yikes! it's still alive!

in the parking lot tents are going up for the festival tomorrow

and the campground is filling fast

Late April and we returned to Bodega Bay - this time to Westside Park for the Fisherman's Festival.

Fisherman's Festival is an annual party that celebrates the opening of salmon season - the commercial season that is. The sport-fishing season begins earlier in the year. Fisherman's Festival is also a fund-raising event, for many of the community's charities and services.

It begins on Saturday and activities include wooden boat races, public safety and rescue demonstrations, live music and a collection of craft vendors and food booths. Sunday the main event is a parade of fishing boats, decked out and decorated for the 'blessing of the fleet'.

It's been five years since we've been home in April to attend the festival, and we were looking forward to it. Campgrounds fill with reservations a year ahead, but the county maintains a few campsites available on a 'first come - first served' basis. That's one advantage of living nearby - we scored a great site right on the water!

Arriving a day early we had the chance to wander Spud Point Marina and look over the tough little fleet that fishes these waters - 'these waters' stretching sometimes all the way to Alaska. The commercial salmon season has been closed for several years, and fishermen are looking forward to it's opening again. In recent years this once hardy fleet has been decimated by confusing and often inept regulation, poor seasons, low prices and the high cost of fuel. To survive many captains have had to pool their licenses and limits and operate out of one boat, with the result that a lot of boats are up for sale. The proliferation of boats for sale has driven down the prices, and more and more boats are sold for scrap and are being demolished.

The Cordell Banks offshore are a rich habitat, but rock cod populations are so depleted that Fish and Game closed some fisheries for as long as 80 years! Adding to the problem are real estate prices, which are so inflated that fishermen cannot afford to live here anymore. Some travel 100 miles or more from their homes to their boats.

Something to think about next time we order 'the catch of the day'.

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