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Two ways to explore the waters of Morro Bay.

The boat known as the "clam taxi" or "sand spit shuttle" for some 30 years chugged to a halt in 1987, when the Coast Guard stiffened its licensing requirements for skippers of commercial small craft. The 18-foot skiff, run by Morro Bay Marina, is now back in service, carrying hikers, picnickers, and bird-watchers to the 4-mile-long spit separating this central California costal inlet ftom the ocean.

From the marina dock (699 Embarcadero, at the foot of Pacific Street) to the spit, the trip takes about 10 minutes; keep your eyes peeled for sea otters along the way. Six passengers can ride in the life jacket stocked boat. The shuttle runs on demand between 9 and 4:30. A round trip costs $3. Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History uses the shuttle for guided trips to the spit; call (805) 772-2694 for its outing schedule.

Also cruising the bay is a 26-foot African Queen look-alike. Since last summer, operators have used the shallow-draft boat for 40-minute tours into the south part of Morro Bay, where no commercial boats have run before. Here you may see oyster beds, herons, and sea lions. Tides determine when tours run; call (805) 772-8085 a few days ahead to set a time. Cost is $3 a person.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jan 1, 1989
Words:213
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