Due to weather and sea conditions predicted for this Saturday, the whale watch paddle is postponed until January 28. Not only will there be rain this Saturday morning, but winds of 20-28 mph and swells of 15-19 feet will make the paddle dangerous. Even without the wind and rain, we are advised to not kayak out the entrance of Mission Bay on days where the swells and waves are 7 ft and higher.
According to the graph above, the third weekend in January is historically the best time when grey whales are sighted off San Diego going south, so let’s go try our luck. Whales traveling north in March tend to travel further off the coast, which is why the January-February period is the best time to see them. On three separate paddles in the past, we have seen whales swim right under our kayaks, and have seen whales 5 out of 7 past paddles!
This is an open ocean paddle for intermediate and beyond kayakers so life jackets must be worn by all attending.
DATE: January 21
LAUNCH TIME: 8:30 (be there at 8 am please)
PLACE: Aqua Adventures dock (best place to launch, without going through the surf)
BOAT RENTALS: Available at Aqua Adventures. Call ahead to reserve your equipment (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 hours. Our average moving speed will be about 2 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 200 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
EQUIPMENT: All safety equipment is required. If you have one, carry a VHF and GPS, with batteries fully charged. And, always wear your life jacket (required). Remember to bring your water, food, hat, sunglasses, sun block, and camera. Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this post.
IN CASE OF RAIN, HIGH WINDS, OR HIGH SURF: Check your email Friday night after 6 pm. We will give an update and let you know if the paddle is still on.
Hope you can join us.
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.