That’s One Mean Sea Otter!

2 August 2023

Jim Curry at the Memorial Plaque in Monterey, CA.
This is the Site Where JD Crashed his Plane

A familiar looking couple came up to me after one of our recent shows to say hi.  It was Jerry and Sherry, and we hadn’t seen each other since 2014!   The last time we were together was at an event called “Blue Water Weekend” a memorial gathering of John Denver fans in Monterey Bay, California.  It was a busy and fun weekend, filled with music and activities.

One of the activities we chose to do that weekend was kayaking in Monterey Bay.  It was so much fun and very memorable – mostly because some of the resident sea otters kept trying to get in our kayaks with us!  Our guide was not very cool about this as there are laws restricting us from “harassing” the wildlife, (but…. I think the wildlife was harassing us!!)  Our guide kept yelling “paddle faster!” when she saw an otter trying to make it’s way towards us.  All in all, it turned out to be a little exhausting trying to out-paddle the otters.  They certainly had the advantage in the water!  At the time, I wondered what might happen if one succeeded in getting into our kayak. 

Now it turns out, after 10 years of practicing, there is at least one otter in that area that has become famous, not only in getting on surfboards, but stealing surfboards away from the humans!  I guess when the otter jumps on, the people bail out (that’s one way to avoid “harassing” the wildlife!)

I can’t blame the otter though, he has probably been rewarded for his efforts with stolen snacks or soda  – stuff humans carry around with them.  Maybe the best reward would be getting out of the water and resting in the sun on a stolen paddleboard or surfboard.  Second best reward would be watching the humans splash and flail around in the cold Pacific.  Don’t tell me otters don’t have a sense of humor!

I told Sherry that I would post our picture from the 2014 trip (see below) and I’m looking forward to a future opportunity to kayak in Monterey Bay again.  If I do get the chance to get back there, I would try not to lose my kayak to an angry otter. 

They do have pretty sharp-looking teeth, so my trip might end with a short swim in cold water!

Our Kayak Group! Back Row: Jerry, Sherry, Diane, Danny, Tom, John, Valerie. Front Row: Jim, Anne, Barbara, Mike and Bosco


  1. Posted by: Sue Bonnette

    What a great story I think I would love to be there and experience that. I did go to that area but it was much before the incident of John’s passing. If it’s some strange reason probably the music I listen to and how he saying about practicing on a lifeguard chair

  2. Posted by: Anne

    Hi Sue, I love when John said that he would sit on a lifeguard tower and “literally ache for someone to sing to.” He certainly achieved all that and more!

  3. Posted by: Suzanne Ward (Mrs. Ed Ward)

    I am looking forward to your gig at North Coast Rep in September. So glad you are doing a matinee, hard to drive in the dark. Never get old!!
    Best to you and Jim and safe travels,

  4. Posted by: Anne

    Hi Suzanne, too late! Haha! I am already there, and don’t like to drive in the dark. You are among the majority of our audience that prefers matinees – and we are happy to do them!! Looking forward to seeing you in Solana Beach!

  5. Posted by: Cheri Drudge

    Thanks to you sharing about it at one of your concerts at Cerritos , CA , I planned my July vacation around visiting the John Denver rock sanctuary in Aspen . What a beautiful memorial for him . It’s surprising how many people don’t know it exists . I didn’t know until you shared it . I played his music while I was there . I went back twice . Everyone who loves John Denver music needs to experience it . I also went to your Christmas concert in San Pedro, CA …. I wish you would come back . I’ve been trying to get the Elks Club to bring you for a concert at our San Pedro lodge .

  6. Posted by: Anne

    Hi Cheri! We will try to come back to Alvas in San Pedro – what a nice venue! I agree about Monterey – more should know about it.

  7. Posted by: Judy Therrien

    the Santa Cruz surfboard stealer, still hasn’t been caught as far as I know ! She sure is wicked!

    Wish you could come up our way once again ! Miss you tons ! I believe this October will be my very last visit to Aspen, and staying at the Mt. Chalet, Aspen. Love, Judy

  8. Posted by: Anne

    Happy to hear from you Judy! Hope all is well – keep a look-out for that wicked otter!! I don’t think we will see you in Aspen, but maybe sometime soon in Monterey!

  9. Posted by: Douglas Smith

    Thank you all so much for bringing John Denver to the OBX.
    It brought back great memories of seeing John in the 70’s.
    Your music was fantastic, loved hearing you and your group sing.
    Greatly appreciate it, your voice and mannerisms were exceptional.
    Doug Smith

  10. Posted by: Anne

    Thank you Doug! We enjoyed performing at the OBX – the audience was amazing….they were with us every minute, down to the very last song. We hope to see you again soon!

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