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Photographing and kayaking in the South Bay

Fellow photographer, Alain Gillot, gets a photo of the guide and me paddling in the wetlands.
Fellow photographer, Alain Gillot, gets a photo of the guide and me paddling in the wetlands.
Alain Gillot

I wrote an earlier blog about “San Diego’s Hidden Jewel” The Living Coast Discovery Center, once known as The Chula Vista Nature Interpretive Center. And, it’s still pretty much a hidden jewel, especially now with its special “Splash of Color” seasonal exhibit that runs through Labor Day. But, if you can find Chula Vista, the Center offers rookie photographers and armchair naturalists opportunities to interact with birds and marine animals from several different habitats.

As a bonus, if you are a seasoned nature photographer, or the more adventurous type of naturalist, the South Bay has, yet, another unrecognized treasure! For about $15-20 (less with group discounts) Chula Vista Kayak will guide you on a paddle through a restored saltwater wetlands that is filled with birds, jumping mullets, and unbelievable scenery!

While it’s true that paddling your own kayak can be strenuous, it’s well worth the effort. Once within the preserve, silently gliding along the hidden channels lined with Pickle weed and Cord grass reminded me of being on the Everglades, but without the alligators!

If you just want to go and enjoy this hidden world, the outfitter will provide everything you need but your drinking water, hat, and sunscreen! If you’re going to take photos, I suggest you leave your water-phobic DSLR at home and put your ‘point-and-shoot’ camera in a water-tight container like Tupperware. And, you might wish to reserve a tandem kayak so one of you can take photos while the other steers.

I wore myself out paddling, but I survived. And, I didn’t tip over! I’m going back soon; maybe I’ll see you out on the water?

Smile, Rick!

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