A Kayak Trip, An Outrigger Canoe Trip to the Farrallon Islands, The Drake's Bay Oyster Company, The Lunny Farm

Friday I took off early with my old kayak (a 12′ Scrambler sit-on-top) and drove up to Drake’s Bay Oyster Company, where I got ready to launch on a trip out to the mouth of Drake’s Estero. A big van pulled up with a couple of kayaks on top, and I started talking to the driver, Seth Harvey. Turns out Seth was taking out a couple of kayakers; he was also the chef of what sounds like a very fine restaurant in Forestville (California) — Backyard — that serves strictly local produce and meat…We started talking about paddling and he told me a guy named Chris Starbird has paddled a Huki super lightweight carbon fiber outrigger canoe from San Francisco out to the Farallon Islands and back in something like five hours. That’s a 64-mile round trip out in the open ocean!

    I set out in my little kayak heading for the ocean (about 5 miles), and it moved along surprisingly well, not being a super slick expensive ocean kayak. The wind was blowing a little. A beautiful place, this estero with with multiple nooks and crannies and inlets, birds and seals. As I got maybe half way out to the ocean, the wind started to pick up — it would be blowing against me on the way back — so for once I did the mature thing and turned back. I’ll do it again when the weather is calmer and make it all the way out.   When I got back in, I went up to the oyster company to get some oysters for dinner and started talking to Ginny Lundy, the manager, about the tragedy of the Park Service and the group of uber environmentalists shutting down this fine operation. I said to her, here you are producing organic healthy local food with no chemicals, no pesticides, no feeding and actually improving the purity of the water… so that it can be returned to a “wilderness” — which it never was in the first place (the California Indians managed the land before the Europeans showed up — sowing, tilling, pruning, weeding, burning, selective harvesting*). So when the oyster farm is gone, city people will be able to burn nonrenewable fossil fuels and drive out to observe the “wilderness.”


Ginny told me about the family farm, also in The Point Reyes National Seashore: her dad, age 83, runs the farm by himself and raises certified organic calves, doing a rotating cutting of natural grasses to feed his livestock, no feed trucked in from the Valley.

*See Tending the Wild by M. Kat Anderson, about “Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources.” You can order it from Larner Seeds here, cheaper than Amazon.

5 Responses to A Kayak Trip, An Outrigger Canoe Trip to the Farrallon Islands, The Drake's Bay Oyster Company, The Lunny Farm

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lloyd, good that you bring some of these things to light…myself, have to agree that some of the "uber environmentalists" seem misguided. myself, do wonder how much, if any, actual life experience they have in these situations, or if their "exuberance" is to gain notoriety.

    re your current trip, above, any pics for us? love to see them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Their "exuburance" is threefold – shut down small local producers of anything, ensuring that only giant multinationals can produce – whatever they want to; then to deny access to natural areas – go play a video game instead, or watch football; then to corral those who would be free into densely packed cities – with no escape.

    See Agenda 21 for the particulars.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous, sad to say, (right above), I believe you are correct. More and more I hear (whether they are aware of it or not), funding for these "uber environmentalists", comes from multinationals etc.. And it seems you are also sadly spot on about the rest. Some "one" has determined that jumping around in one's living room in front of a video game, or maybe going to a smelly gym, is good enough. NOT SO. nothing equals outside.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I agree with above posts EPA is owned by Big Brother.Their are people that care about the Environment not gov.Kelp Watch will track the Fukushima radiation.
    Calafornia Shools will track the radiation of our beautiful kelp forests.Why doesn't EPA or homeland track radiation?Because Big Brothers pals can't make $$$ off of it yet.
    Read full article at Natural News.

  5. bayrider says:

    We used to windsurf up from Limantour beach to the mouth of the Estero and ride the waves out front, a truly magical experience in a majestic place. Some of the best days of my life.

    Oddly enough I would usually be inclined to be skeptical of environmental organizations but in this case I am with them if I understand the story correctly. In the reports I read this family bought the oyster farm business in 2004 at a highly discounted price from the previous owners due to the fact that the Park Service had made it clear since 1976 that the 40 year lease would not be renewed after it expired and the land would revert to Point Reyes National Seashore. Therefore the current owners purchased the business for a low price in full knowledge that it would be terminated on a specific date. Fair enough and if it's true they cannot now argue that they are being unfairly treated. I would be supportive of them if they were the historic operators and were being removed arbitrarily but they are being disingenuous in trying to portray this as an unfair deal.

    All over the country private land is bought up by environmental groups and transferred in perpetuity into conservation trusts, this is a very valuable and free market tool that must be respected in law, a deal is a deal. In this case the land was always public and they were operating under a lease, I don't see how they can complain as they had complete knowledge of this situation from day 1.

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