Storefron for ABTS The morning fog had cleared and the sun was shining brightly overhead which made me even more eager to hit the open bay with Adventures by the Sea! I was extremely excited but a tad bit nervous about this excursion since I have never been kayaking before. Once I arrived at their friendly storefront on Cannery Row I was handed water resistant clothing and a lifejacket. After I was fully suited up I headed towards the beach with the rest of excited visitors. Friendly staff at ABTS Jan, our tour guide, gave us a quick paddling tutorial about steering and stopping with our oars. Once she felt we had a knack for it we were ready for launch. Each kayak went into the vivacious ocean one at a time with help from Brandon, who was the ABTS employee in charge of making sure we launch off the beach without falling into the ocean. Launching a kayak takes some serious strategic planning and wave watching! Saliboats on Monterey Bay At this point in time I was second guessing myself about going in a kayak solo and was trying to convince my coworker John David to be my wingman in a two-seater. John David chuckled at me because he could tell I was nervous but he convinced me that I would be fine on my own. Sailboat and Kayakers on Monterey Bay As the large waves continued to crash down on the beach my feet began to sink deeper into the wet sand, I mustarded up some courage and got into my kayak, alone. Before I knew it, Brandon was meticulously guiding my kayak into the sea. Luckily he timed the waves perfectly so that I didn’t get wet. With ease, I was on my own, bobbing with the swells and paddling out to catch up with the group. Tour Group on Monterey Bay Once everyone reunited in the water Jan started the tour. She discussed the surrounding habitat and the kelp that can be found in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. I knew there was kelp out in the bay, but I had no idea how dense it was! Not only is this stuff thick but it provides shelter for many sea creatures and otters who hold on to the plant while they sleep so they won’t drift away. It was challenging to paddle through the kelp and I am glad I did not get stuck in it! Beautiful Cannery Row in the background of kayakers As we cut through the water beneath Cannery Row’s restaurants, shops, and hotels it gave me a whole new perspective of this famous place. Before it turned into a hot spot for tourism Monterey was the “Sardine Capital of the World.” It is hard to imagine this mysterious yet beautiful place reeking of sardines and fish. Intercontinental The Clement Monterey Lounging Sea Lion

We stopped to admire the exquisite Intercontinental The Clement Monterey which is the newest addition to Cannery Row. As the tour continued on towards Monterey Bay Aquarium we saw sea lions lounging on the rocks and birds diving into the water committed to catching fish. Another kayaker said she saw a crab swimming through the kelp; I unfortunately missed this crustacean sighting! It was remarkable how close we were to wildlife! My favorite part of the trip was seeing all of the otters rolling and playing in the kelp. We were fortunate enough to see a mother otter and her two babies wrestling with each other. Truly adorable!

As the misty fog started to roll back into the bay our outing was down. We approached the beach one by one and waited for Brandon to coach us through our arrival on the shore. Again, Brandon carefully watched the waves and waited for the perfect moment to get me back on to land. John David was certain I was going to tip over but much to his surprise I made it to shore without getting wet.

This adventure has been one for the books and is a fantastic way to explore Monterey’s marine sanctuary, and to see Cannery Row from another angle. There is nothing better than viewing the Monterey coastline from a kayak on the bay!