Northern California Camp/Dive/Eco Adventure: Fall 2019
There is a hidden gem on the Northern California coast that is very special to the members of Ocean Safari Dive Team (OSDT). We have been going there to camp, dive and hike for over 20 years. Our “secret” campsite is right on the edge of a river amongst some giant redwoods on private property owned by our good friend. For years we have blissfully enjoyed the bounty of the sea and the serene beauty of the river. Sadly, we have noticed some heartbreaking changes in the past years. Now, we go on this adventure not just enjoy the scenery and remoteness, but also to learn from nature and give back. The owner of the land has a mission to restore the riverbank and surrounding forests, helping nature reclaim her peace after 160 years of historical logging and human influence in the area. In recent years, the abundant kelp forest has diminished, and the once abundant abalone population is struggling to survive. In 2018 we adopted a little underwater habitat to help restore a healthy kelp garden. We welcome like-minded people on our trip, those who share our eco-consciousness, eager to learn about the area’s history and natural wonders, and want to help us take care of the river and surrounding environment.
During our adventure, we will have activities for divers and non-divers of all ages. Our planned activities include diving, snorkeling, hiking, tidepool exploration and river ecology tour. The eco-activities will be led by our naturalist who has studied the flora and fauna of this region during her undergraduate and graduate years. She can tell you all about the seaweed and forest vegetation as well as the unique ecology of the local area. We will take rides on the Zodiac along the beautiful coastline and the river. We will sit around the campfire, sharing stories while watching the stars. To top it all off, we will prepare delicious, gourmet camping meals featuring fish and seafood caught during the dives. This trip will be learning and service-oriented, and we are inviting you to join us for this very special experience. This will be a family-friendly event, welcoming divers and non-divers alike.
To relax, enjoy, and retreat into nature to set aside our chaotic city lives, learning about the local forest and underwater ecosystems with our professional naturalist and dive team. But rather than just taking what we want from nature, our goal is also to give back-- this is a service-oriented trip to help restore and preserve natural habitat.
Kelp Garden Project:
This coast used to be well known for the beautiful forest of bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) and the abundance of large red abalones (Haliotisrufescens). Now, in place of the luscious kelp forest with red abalones leisurely munching on the kelp, we find an urchin barren. The reef is covered with a carpet of purple sea urchins as far as we could see, and the ocean floor is littered with empty abalone shells. There are numerous factors that contributed to the die-off of bull kelp and abalone. One of the most significant factors was the persistent rise in the ocean water temperature in recent years. Bull kelp needs cold water to thrive, and the warm water event caused massive amount of the kelp to die off. Another key factor was the population explosion of purple sea urchin. Several years ago, the sea star wasting disease obliterated the sea star population, the main predator of purple sea urchin. Since these urchins are small and not commercially harvested, their population can easily get out of control in the absence of their natural predators. The purple sea urchins simply out-competed th red abalone for their main food source – the bull kelp. In recent years, the kelp forest has been vanishing, turning into urchin barrens, causing the abalone to die. The CA Fish and Wildlife has closed off recreational abalone hunting for an undetermined length of time. As divers, there are ways we can help. Ocean Safari adopted a nearby underwater habitat in 2018. Working with Noyo Center for Marine Science, we want to restore a healthy kelp forest starting with the area we adopted, and bring more awareness to the community about human impacts to our environment.
- Gourmet meals from Wednesday Dinner to Sunday Breakfast
- Drinking Water
- Tanks & Air fills for divers
- Campfire every day and night
- Campsite showers and toilets (quarters needed for showers)
- All professionally guided activities:
° Scuba and skin diving, spearfishing, stand up paddleboarding
° Guided river ecology & history tour
° Redwood forest hikes: Theme 1: Unique Plants of the Pacific Temperate Rainforest, Theme 2: Seasonal Edible and Nutritious Plants
° Tidepool adventure & seaweed foraging
° Gourmet camp cooking featuring fish, seafood, and seaweed caught during our dives.
° Habitat restoration and conservation around the campground and surrounding natural habitat.
- Snacks and Drinks on the road
- Quarters for taking showers
- Transportation and associated costs
PAYMENT DUE DATE
March 24, 2019
For credit card payment please add 3%
(trip insurance is available thru Ocean safari, please ask)
Before Mar 24, 2019, 1st deposit forfeited, no refund on first deposit.
After Mar 24, 2019, no refund (unless replacement can be found then 1st deposit forfeited).