October 31, 2020 Skills Session

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

Jane Hardy has been leading weekly skills sessions, with consistently good turn-out. Fourteen paddlers showed up for this one, and the weather and water temp were nice. Thank you Jane for your contribution and leadership in this effort.

Jane on a roll / past photo

Our website contains considerable information on kayaking skills, presented in step-by-step procedures. Click on the Skills tab at the top of this page to view that.

Debbie, Dave and I took a few minutes to discuss some up-coming paddles for the club, and we’ll let you know about those in the future. In the meantime, Dave is still leading the Wednesday evening paddles out of AA, and you are welcome to join in. They launch at 6pm, and you can rent a boat from AA in advance if needed.

Debbie and Dave

Kayak Cleanup

Once a year, the San Diego River Park Foundation gets special permission to enter the San Diego River Estuary on kayaks and pull trash out of the water in this sensitive habitat. Join us on Saturday, January 11th for this unique opportunity to see the San Diego River from a new angle while helping out! 

The San Diego River Estuary is a critically important 330-acre wildlife area with habitat for many sensitive species, including endangered birds that nest in the estuary, like the Ridgway’s Rail and the California Least Tern. Over 100 different species of birds use this area as a rest area along the Pacific Flyway during their yearly migrations between Alaska and Mexico.  

We will have kayaks available for volunteers to borrow, but you are welcome to bring your own. 

While boats are in the water, shore volunteers will remove trash along the banks of the estuary and the adjacent San Diego River Trail. 

Kayaks will be sent out in two shifts: 7:00 am-8:45 am and 9:00 am-10:45 am. 

Please indicate which shift you would prefer when you RSVP.

Details:

  • This event is open to volunteers ages 13+, but volunteers under the age of 16 must come with an adult.
  • No experience necessary.
  • Closed-toed shoes are required.
  • Sun protection, water, and a snack are highly recommended.
  • Community service hours can be verified.

RSVP REQUIRED.  Limited volunteer spots are available. To sign-up for the interest list and receive full details, please email volunteer@sandiegoriver.org or call (619) 297-7380.

2019 June Lake Trip Report

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

We had mostly great weather this year in the Sierras while watching the Aspens turn color (they were green at the campground when we arrived, and yellow when we left).

We paddled Silver Lake and Gull Lakes, and hiked to Parker Lake.

Jennifer’s parents and daughter joined us, and they entertained us with songs from the Sound of Music as we hiked. Each night we went to different restaurants for dinner and had good conversations. It was a relaxing, beautiful trip, and time well spent. Hope you can join us in the future.

Sitka Trip Report

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

In June of 2019 fifteen of us ventured to Alaska, this time to a very special place with a Russian name. We had several paddles on the bay, and at a lake nearby that we were flown to in a float plane with an amazing pilot. The Swing EX inflatable boats performed well, and we are already planning our next trip in 2020 to Austria.

Kevin’s modified Cessna 185 that he has mastered the art of flight in
Mary getting ready to paddle Redoubt Lake

We were able to launch at the dock in front of our hotel, which was very convenient. After our paddles we would walk around town to the shops and museums, go on hikes, and gather at several restaurants to dine. Sitka is a very cool place to visit and a wonderful place to paddle. The water is clear and calm, protected by the many islands that dot the bay. We could see starfish 20 feet down, and got up close to several bald eagles. Everyone had a fun and memorable time.

First day getting our boats ready to launch.
Taking a lunch break on “Friendly Island”…
Janet and David looking at an eagle

We had four main sponsors for this trip. Innova Kayaks gave us a good discount on the boats, the Totem Square Hotel gave us discounts, Kevin Mulligan of Baranautica Air Service gave us special treatment and hats when flying us to the lake, and West Marine gave us cool water repellent hats and gear discounts. We also received help in letting us launch from the dock from Wayne and Joel of FishBaranof.

Thom showing he can paddle…without a paddle.
Jennifer looking good in her boat
Our hotel is just right of center. Thanks to Eric Emerson for taking this and two other photos here.
Mark took this photo after 10 pm. The fishing never stops in summer with 20 hours of daylight.

Beginner’s Class Report

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

The Club hat-sales-proceeds free class for beginners held on 4/27/19 was conducted under ideal weather/temperature conditions at Aqua Adventures.

The class covered introductory basics of getting in and out of a kayak at a dock, holding the paddle, the low brace, and the forward, back, sweep, J, and scull strokes.

We then practiced the power forward stroke, using the legs and torso, and discussed some safety issues like hugging the shore, crossing a busy channel, and the signal light.

We also discussed having some second level introductory classes, which are now being planned. Those classes will be called “Basic Safety Instruction”, and will cover the wet exit, self-rescue using the paddle float, assisted re-entry using the heel-hook, T-rescue, quick tow rescue, dealing with extreme temperature, lightning, fog and wind, hugging the shoreline, using a VHF or phone, crossing a busy channel, the buddy system, group travel, using a signal mirror and/or flag, filing a Float Plan, and the signal light. These classes are open to those who have already taken the Beginner’s Class, or have evidence they know those basic skills.  

Many thanks to AA, and to Gary Billick and Jesse Nodora for assisting in the instruction.

A great day on the water…

South Bay Paddle Report

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

Ten people paddled on Saturday, March 30th to see the National Wildlife Refuge in the south part of San Diego Bay.

The elusive turtles did not come to the surface where we paddled, and are rarely seen (they come up for a quick breath, then are gone). We did see fish jumping, and several birds, including a pair of Ospreys in a nest provided by the Refuge (below).

The weather was beautiful, and a slight head-wind on the way back gave us a mild challenge. We ended the paddle with some sightseeing in the Coronado Cays, then had lunch in the park where we launched. It was a good day on the water.

THE “TURTLE PADDLE” AND PICNIC

We are going to paddle the south bay and check out the giant Green Turtles and many birds there. We will meet at the small park at the east end of Grand Caribe, in the Coronado Cays.  If you have a bird identification chart, bring it. Please note the disclaimer below.

This paddle is ideal for bringing kids. They must wear life jackets, and paddle/stay close to a parent or other designated adult at all times. 

DATE: March 30

LOCATION:Coronado Cays (see map below)

LAUNCH TIME:  Be there by 8:30 to get your boat to the beach. We will launch at 9 am. The sandy beach has a gentle slope for easy launching.

ALL BOAT TYPES AND PADDLE BOARDS WELCOME

This is a calm water, easy paddle for beginners on those, or any boat type, so come join in the fun. We will be moving at a slow 2 to 2.5 knots.

BOAT RENTALS AVAILABLE AT AQUA ADVENTURES:

Reserve your boat and pick it up the day before the paddle: (619) 523-9577  

PICNIC AFTER THE PADDLE:

Bring your own food and drink. This is not a potluck.

WHAT TO BRING:

A life jacket (required, and must be worn), hat, boat and paddle, map and compass, GPS if you have one, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, water and towel to clean your boat, drinking water, snack, VHF radio if you have one, sack lunch and chair for the picnic after the paddle.

DIRECTIONS

Turn in to the Cays off of Silver Strand Blvd. Look for the sign, and then the guard house, but you do not need to stop for the guard. Turn right just past that guardhouse, and go until you see Grand Caribe Causeway. There is a public restroom at the Coronado Cays Park to the west of the Causeway.

This is not a sanctioned San Diego Kayak Club or Aqua Adventures event. The announcer of this event is not the leader of such, merely a “coordinator”.  

Disclaimer: We will have experienced paddlers on this trip, but they will not be responsible for telling you what is or is not safe for you to do. We watch out for one another and assist one another, but all individuals are responsible for, and manage their own safety. This responsibility includes assessing your gear, skill level, and physical conditioning relative to conditions and location, as well as making decisions about what you will or will not do. Participants acknowledge that kayaking on the open sea or bay is inherently dangerous and can lead to physical injury including death as well as property damage. Participants, on their behalf and on behalf of their heirs and assignees, agree to hold the announcers and other participants blameless in the event of such injury, damage or death. Please join us if you want to mildly stretch your capabilities, but please stay home if you would be wildly stretching them. Participants should have bracing skills, be able to self-

Whale Watch Paddle a Success

Twelve paddlers ventured out on Sunday, January 27 from Aqua Adventures on a calm ocean and perfect weather. Debbie Van Martin and Dave Beckmann led the paddle, and our thanks to them for doing that.

Three whales were spotted in the distance to the west. A few paddlers tried to catch up to them, and were able to get a little closer, but those whales were in a hurry to go south.

Our thanks to Catherine Kimball and Debbie Van Martin for these photos.

The next club paddle will be in April, launching out of the Coronado Cays to see the wildlife of the south bay. Come join us to experience the quiet openness of that area, and calm waters. There will be a picnic after the paddle. Beginners, youth 12 and up, and all boat types are welcome on this paddle.

WHALE WATCH PADDLE OUT OF MISSION BAY

joe_fluke_2
Joe looking at a fluke

The third weekend in January is historically when the highest number of grey whales are sighted off San Diego, so let’s go try our luck. This is an open ocean paddle for intermediate and beyond kayakers.  Because of safety reasons (staying together as a group), decked kayaks and fast SOTS (able to paddle 2.5 knots/hr) only please. Here are the details:

DATE: January 27, 2015

LAUNCH TIME: 8:30 (be there at 8 am please)

PLACE: Aqua Adventures dock (best place to launch, without going through the surf)

ALL BOAT TYPES ARE WELCOME: SOT’s, Decked Kayaks, Inflatables (if rigid skin, fabric reinforced)

BOAT RENTALS AVAILABLE:  If you have open ocean paddling experience, you can rent a boat at the launch site. Call Aqua Adventures in advance to reserve equipment.  You must have prior experience in a decked kayak, or check with them if they have a fast SOT. Their number is 619 523-9577.

OUR PLAN: The round trip is approx 8 statute miles (unless we decide to also paddle further south along the kelp), and will take 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Our average moving speed will be about 2.5 knots/hr. The whales move down the coast along the kelp beds, so if you are anywhere near the 164 ft depth line (give or take 40 ft of depth), you may see them to the west or east, possibly within 500 ft of you. We have found that it is more likely to see whales near the kelp beds for some reason, and this is why the paddle out of AA has a good probability of a sighting. The Lat/Lon of the “Whale 1” waypoint on the map is:  N32 44.445  W117 17.390

map

EQUIPMENT: All safety equipment is required. If you have them, carry a VHF and GPS, with batteries fully charged. And, always wear your life jacket (required).  Remember to bring your water, food, hat, sunglasses, and camera. Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this email message.

IN CASE OF BAD WEATHER: Check your email Friday night after 6 pm if the weather looks bad. We will give an update if the paddle is still on.

Hope you can join us.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a sanctioned San Diego Kayak Club or Aqua Adventures event. The announcer of this event is not the leader of such, merely a “coordinator”.

Disclaimer: We will have experienced paddlers on this trip, but they will not be responsible for telling you what is or is not safe for you to do. We watch out for one another and assist one another, but all individuals are responsible for, and manage their own safety. This responsibility includes assessing your gear, skill level, and physical conditioning relative to conditions and location, as well as making decisions about what you will or will not do. Participants acknowledge that kayaking on the open sea or bay is inherently dangerous and can lead to physical injury including death as well as property damage. Participants, on their behalf and on behalf of their heirs and assignees, agree to hold the announcers and other participants blameless in the event of such injury, damage or death. Please join us if you want to mildly stretch your capabilities, but please stay home if you would be wildly stretching them. Participants should have bracing skills, be able to self-rescue and assist in the rescue of others. They should be able to launch and/or land along the rocky bay front.