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Big Sur Seals,Tidepools & Morro Bay By Kayak:

Women's Winter Getaway

January 2017 $250


New born seal Piedras Blancas, photo by Jenna Slovis                                   Our kayaking destination in Morro Bay

Dear Women:

We are so please to announce a very special naturalist-led weekend for women. Our destination is Piedras Blancas along the Big Sur Coast and Morro Bay State Park with beach front hotel accommodations on Saturday in the historic coastal town of Cambria.

Pierdas Blancas offers an outstanding vantage point to view one of the worlds largest colonies of northern elephant seals. Virtually right below Highway One, 1000s of elephant seals gather every winter during their breeding and birthing season. We expect to see male elephant seals negotiating their territory with other males, nursing pups, devoted mother seals and possibly even a birth! Our plan is meet on saturday to witness this extraordinary phenomenon and then overnight together in the quaint coastal town of Cambria. Back at our hotel, we will offer a tide pooling excursion with access to some tidepools directly in front of our hotel (double occupancy rooms included).

On Sunday, we will travel a short distance from our hotel in Cambria to Morro Bay Estuary where we  plan to kayak through this incredible wetlands. Over 250 species of birds have been recorded in this vast estuary which we are visiting during the height of winter bird migration. Harbor seals, sea otters and sea lions may join us as we paddle along with views of  Morro Rock, a 578 foot boulder and registered historical landmark.

Male, female and pups, Pierdas Blancas overlook

Cost: $250
What's included: overnight accommodations at the Sea Otter Inn  on Saturday night (each room has 2 queen size beds,a fireplace and is just steps away from beach access, boardwalk and coastal trails); naturalist-led interpretive walk to view elephant seals; a naturalist-led kayaking excursion; interpretive hike to explore tidepools; breakfast/lunch on Sunday. As always, a great group of adventurous women will be joining us! We plan to dine out together on Saturday night (dinner is on your own).

Registration and Cancellation Policy

To register for this program, please send a non-refundable deposit of $50 to: BWV, 127 Mason Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. The balance of $200 is due by December 1st.  Full refunds (minus $50 deposit) will be given with at least 4 weeks notice prior to trip date. Rain does not cancel our program (see explanation below). Since we are reserving hotel rooms, no exceptions can be made to our cancellation policy so please consider trip insurance. Many of our clients have been very happy with CSA Travel Insurance.

You may pay using a credit card via Pay Pal by visiting our secure online Payment Center (please note that there is a 3% service charge on multiple day trips so your online deposit is $52 and final payment is $206 or a total of $258 ).

But what if it rains?

Some of the best viewing of elephant seal behavior occurs before, during or after a downpour!  We plan to hike rain or shine so please come prepared. On Sunday, we will kayak unless conditions are unsafe. If we decide not to kayak, we will offer a hike along one of the outstanding coastal trails. You will receive a kayaking "rain check" certificate that can be used for any upcoming kayaking  day trip in the Monterey Bay Area.


Tidepooling at sunset across from our hotel on Moonstone Beach, Cambria



How To Dress:
Please be prepared for warm sunny days, cool foggy conditions or rain. Dress in layers with an outer shell such as a windbreaker or rain jacket. Be sure to have sunscreen. Cameras and binoculars packed in a day pack with a garbage bag inside  to protect from rain or a dry bag is recommended.  Hiking shoes or a sturdy tennis shoe are needed. You will need shoes that can get wet (no flip flops) for kayaking.

Timing Of Weekend

Saturday's Schedule

11:00am: Meet at our beachfront hotel in Cambria for introductions and overview of program. Meet at room #112 to the left of the pool

12:00pm: Caravan  and car pool to Piedras Blancas for picnic lunch before elephant seal viewing. We'll spend the afternoon discussing the ecology

                 of elephant seals, hiking and photographing these incredible animals (be sure to bring your own lunch and water)

 4:00pm:  Return to hotel and check in. Your afternoon is free to explore Cambria, walk the beach, stroll the coastal boardwalk or relax by our heated pool and jacuzzi.  Winter sunsets can be spectacular!        

 7:00pm:   Group gathers for dinner at a nearby restaurant

Sunday's Schedule

8:00am:    Continental Style Breakfast at hotel or at your leisure,

9:00am     Guided tidepool exploration and morning birding at tidepool access across from our hotel

10:30am:  Depart for Morro Bay State Park 

11:30am:  Introduction to kayaking event; picnic lunch included as we explore Morro Bay

 4:00pm:    Return to launch area and depart for home

Extending Your Stay In Cambria!
If you would like to spend another night at our quaint hotel, please contact the hotel manager at (805) 927-5888 to extend your stay. Be sure to mention that you are with the Blue Water Ventures/Kim Powell group and our group reservation number is 77995, group reservations for Saturday night only. Since weekends are busy, we suggest that you make your reservations for either Friday or Sunday night early on!

On Monday morning, you may want to sleep in or take a leisurely return back home.  Suggestions of places to explore on your return:  Hearst Castle;  Wine tasting in Paso Robles;  whale watching at Point Lobos; looking for California Condors or exploring the art galleries along the Big Sur Coast. A continental style breakfast is offered at our hotel.


Directions To The Sea Otter Inn

From the Golden Gate Bridge, you can expect a 4 hour drive.  Take Highway 101 south through Paso Robles. Take Highway 46 W, exit 228 towards Cambria/Hearst Castle. Upon reaching Highway 1, take a right (north).  In about 4 miles, you will pass the exits for Cambria. At Windsor Blvd turn left  and then the next right onto Moonstone Beach Drive which parallels the ocean. The Sea Otter Inn is located at 6656 Moonstone Beach Drive, CA 93428-1812.  You may check in with us at our room which is #112 towards the back left of the hotel near the pool.

If you choose to take Highway 1 South along the incredibly scenic Big Sur Coast, plan on approximately 3 1/2 hours from Santa Cruz or 5 1/2 hours from the Golden Gate Bridge. You will pass through San Simeon. Before reaching Cambria, take a right onto Moonstone Beach Drive (.9 miles past Lone Palm Drive).

For current road conditions call: 1-800.427.7623 or online here: Big Sur Road Conditions

As far as things to bring, here are a few suggestions for Kayaking and Hiking

- Dress in layers: fleece, capilene, silk or wool are good insulators; bring a warm top that can be put on if cool weather (fog) approaches;

                               bring something warm for both saturday and  sunday -- several layers are recommended for each day  
- Long pants: sweat pants that can be rolled up work well when kayaking, an outer shell of nylon material dries quickly,

                        but jeans get soggy and are not recommended; fleece pants keep you warm  even when damp
- Raingear: pants and top; no flimsy ponchos; proper rain gear is essential for your safety and comfort while viewing the elephant seals

- Windbreaker or paddling jacket
- Footgear: for kayaking- tennis shoes; Teva-type sandals or wet suit booties - any style is fine; they will get wet as you wade in to launch your  boat;

                    sturdy tennis or hiking shoe  for saturday's hike
- Hat with visor for sun protection and/or a rain hat
- Water bottle
- Lunch for saturday's picnic: extra snacks for the weekend ; we provide lunch on sunday
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Sunglasses (or prescription glasses) attached with a leash
- Binoculars and camera in waterproof bag ( use at your own risk); disposable cameras work well.
- Small, compact day pack lined on the inside with a garbage bag
- Casual Clothing for our dinner out together

- Bathing suit if you plan on using the pool or jucuzzi

- Small bills to settle our dinner on Saturday night or you may order a pizza delivered to your room

- Your favorite adult beverage, and coffee mug (optional) Your room comes equipped with a coffee maker so feel free to bring yoru own special brew

We are looking forward to our adventure together to the Big Sur Coast and beyond!

Very Sincerely,

Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator and Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
phone & fax: 831-459-8548
127 Mason St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060