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Fall Kayak on San Leandro Bay

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A calm, clear October morning greeted our small group of paddlers. Plopping our colorful kayaks into the water, we made our way from the channel onto San Leandro Bay. The hush of the morning enveloped us, the dipping of our paddles punctuated by the occasional squawk and chatter of shorebirds, heron, and pelicans. As I paddled, the swirling water ahead mesmerized me, filling me with peace. I felt fully present in each passing moment, each paddle stroke slicing my boat along the surface of the salty water.

Wonders revealed themselves as we rounded bends along the shoreline. Pelicans and cormorants along with long-legged stilts clustered on small docks. A group of pier pilings were decorated with resting brown pelicans resting atop each pole. Groups of shorebirds skittered along the muddy waters edge as the receding tide exposed their breakfast. A group of birds in the distance looked like small penguins, but with binoculars focused into graceful pinstripe ducks perching at the edge of…