2018 June Lake Trip Report

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-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

The annual Fall Colors Trip in the Sierras this year had great weather and new experiences, as nine of us paddled Silver Lake, then did some exploring up the Lundy Lake canyon. Eric from the Napa area joined us on the paddle, and brought his Swing EX inflatable kayak, making five of those boats on the water (the boat we will be taking to Sitka, Alaska next June). Those paddling the Swing EX were impressed with the speed and maneuverability of these kayaks. Going up the feeder creek into Silver Lake, they made the sharp turns without any problems. I left off installing my skeg to see how the boat would track, and it did surprisingly well. Pumped up to 3 psi, these boats are rigid and have similar “skin” as Zodiacs, making them very durable. The portability of inflatable kayaks was demonstrated on this trip, as we had only one hard shell boat in our group. I did not miss looking through the tie-down ropes on the drive up and back, nor the hassle of car-topping my Legend.   

 

(A big thanks to Kate, Debbie, Bob and Eric for these photos)

The nice thing about the June Lake trip is the village right adjacent to the campground. Some of us camped, while others stayed in motels. We went to two restaurants, and have gone to the local brewery there also in the past. There is great hiking among the Aspens, and lots to explore and do with good friends. Every year the colors have been slightly different, and this year the trees had not yet “peaked” in color, but there were some, especially in Lundy Canyon that were deep gold. The crisp fall air, the campfire, and enjoying friendships in a beautiful setting is always a rewarding experience. Come join us next year!

 

   

San Diego River Clean Up

Opportunity for Kayakers! The San Diego River Park Foundation has received special permission to enter the San Diego River Estuary in kayaks to remove trash out of the River on November 10!

If you can provide your own kayak, this is a great opportunity for a unique experience in your own backyard!

If you don’t have a kayak, but would still like to help out, they will be hosting a cleanup on shore from 9am-Noon.

RSVP is required and kayaker space is limited. To RSVP or ask a question, please email volunteer@sandiegoriver.org or call (619) 297-7380.

5th Annual TRR Fund Raiser

Saturday, September 15 at the Mission Bay Yacht Club, many people, including several SDKC members showed up to support the work TRR does for our veterans. This location will hopefully be the future site of the “Pints and Paddles for a Cause” events because it is ideal, having a private beach and good facilities for a fun day raising money. This year there was great music, plenty of tables, several donated items for the raffle, good food and beer…and lots of laughter.

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The day started with a Social Paddle around Sail Bay, with several participants, then the “Khaotic Kayak Races” happened with great fun of several “Heats”. After those races, the “SUP Pandemonium” races took place.

During all this the BBQ and Ninkasi Beer were supplying food and drink to those who watched the races, or just had a chance to catch up with old friends. If you missed the event, but still want to donate to TRR’s work, here is the website:

https://www.teamriverrunner.org/Donate

Be sure to select San Diego as the “Target” for your contribution. And for TRR, thank you for that. Also, a big shout-out to Craig and Ashleigh at Aqua Adventures for being a huge supporter of TRR for this event, and for helping in many ways throughout the year.

   

Kayaking around Coronado island

Call for support paddlers! The 3rd SEAL Memorial Swim is looking for some support paddlers for this event. They start just north of the rocks in front of Hotel Del and go all the way around and exit at Boy Scout landing by Glorietta Bay park.

The event is Saturday, September 15th The swim will start at 0700 and check in for the event starts at 0600.  They are looking for 2 paddlers. One to be the safety paddler to trail the group and the other to be the support paddler.

Most swimmers will be on relays and swimming for 20 minutes at a time and supported by relay boats. There will be a few solo swimmers who will all need their own kayak for safety and support.

It’s a great event and if anyone would like to help we will be having a luncheon afterward on a nice yacht right in the bay and they would be invited to participate.

If you can help out, contact Jeff Utsch <jsutsch@wrsf.com>

Alaska Trip Report

Many in our group contributed to these photos

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

Nine of us (Mary, Lois, Kirk, Gary, Debbie, Miki, Mark, Sheri, and I) ventured to Alaska in June of 2018, and Kayaked Blackstone Bay in the Prince William Sound for four days. Alaska Sea Kayakers was the outfitter, and our guides Victor and Cornelius were great. Victor is a very good cook, and really spoiled us. This bay has 7 glaciers, steep walls, and several waterfalls, making it one of the most popular places to kayak in Alaska. We were awe-struck by the beauty.

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In Alaska, the rain does not stop most activities. Only high winds can do that. We had both on our first day, so we were shuttled in by boat. When the wind died down, we kayaked toward the head of the bay and saw four glaciers, waterfalls, and many small icebergs, called “Growlers”, which are not more than 3 feet high from the sea surface.

 

On our 17 mile paddle back to Whittier on days 3 and 4, we saw several Bald Eagles up close, paddled next to many water falls, and even saw some blue sky and sunshine. At our last campsite a humpback whale was swimming close by for hours, an unexpected “gift” to us from Alaska’s bounty. The following day, as we approached the end of our paddle, we were already wishing it would last longer. That is the magic and wonder of Alaska.

  

From Whittier, we drove back through the narrow tunnel that is open to vehicle traffic and trains by a tight schedule that allows both to travel safely in each direction. You are actually driving on the train track, with the nagging thought “did they get the schedule right?” We then drove up to Talkeetna, the embarkation point for climbing Denali, the highest peak in North America at 20,310 feet. Our cabins were out in the woods near a 70 sled-dog kennel, with an occasional howling of the dogs sounding like wolfs. That was haunting, but very cool!

The next day we boarded a DeHavilland Turbine Otter and flew along the south side of Denali, landing on a glacier just under the cloud cover. That was one of the most thrilling experiences for all who took the flight, and one we will never forget. Our Alaska trip was amazing, with wonderful experiences (like seeing a moose up close), and we became good friends with lasting shared memories of a real adventure.

 

Robin Kedward – In Remembrance

Click on Photos to Enlarge

-by Jay Murdock, SDKC Safety Editor

A memorial paddle and service was held on May 26th at the Aqua Adventures site to honor a great friend and teacher to many of us through the years. Robin was also a great guy to paddle with, always optimistic and fun-loving. He often had a good joke to tell on a day or overnight paddle, and looked at the bright side of events that could have discouraged someone else. A diving co-worker told a story at the service which summed that up, of them surfacing a quarter mile from their boat, with some students in tow. Robin simply said “It is lovely day for a swim”, and that was the essence of how he approached life.

Robin’s struggle with the cancer that eventually took him on May 8 was a lesson in courage to us. The last time I saw him, he looked frail and tired, but just finished an ocean paddle that would have been a challenge to many of us. He did not complain a bit about the disease that was consuming his body, and only talked about us planning some new paddles for the club.

Robin graduated from the Royal School of Military Engineering and went on to serve with the British Royal Marines, leading expeditions to North Africa, the Middle East and to Eastern Europe. He also spent some time Salvage Diving in the North Sea. Immigrating to America, he and his family lived on their 45 ft sailboat and were able to take several trips down the Baja. After receiving his Captain’s License, he operated a number of craft including a private yacht and several Dive Charter boats. He loved Baja, and spent a lot of his time kayaking, hiking and camping there. He was also a good musician, playing the guitar and singing, or just listening to Italian Opera.

  

I spoke with Robin’s wife at the service, and told her how he loved to entertain us on our paddles with his many jokes, and that on one occasion heading to the Midway, the two of us were discussing the strange behavior of a certain bird, which suddenly struck us as extremely funny. We laughed so hard that we almost capsized, and that was why it was special to know him: he knew a great deal about a lot of technical things, from navigation to astronomy, and would gladly teach you what he knew. And the next minute he was telling a great joke in a clear and unbroken way with his Royal Marine swagger and dramatic presentation that made the moment very entertaining. The telling of jokes around a campfire transported him back to his military days that he loved, and which we were able to witness. I have since forgotten many of his jokes, but will forever have vivid memories of the way in which he told them. Like Herb, he was a man’s man. Those of us who were privileged to spend time with Robin will miss him, and are thankful that we were blessed to know him.  

 

 

Skills Practice Session

Paddlers!  Come play with us.

We’ll use the usual format – buddy up and work on whatever suits you.

Generally, the veterans join in to help coach, so novice paddlers are welcome to get wet with us and be prepared for plenty of laughs.

DATE:                            Saturday, May 19

RALLY TIME:                  9:30 am

LAUNCH TIME:              10:00 am

DURATION:                   1 – 2 hours

LAUNCH SITE:               Aqua Adventures Dock

VENUE:                          Mariner’s Cove, where there is a nice beach and bathrooms

OPTIONAL:                    Getting wet, or not

RECOMMENDED:          Warm paddling clothes with a splash jacket or a dry top/dry suit

 

PLEASE NOTE:

These paddles are not sanctioned San Diego Kayak Club or Aqua Adventures events. 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 in small surf

Aids to Navigation

Aids to Navigation can provide a boater with information similar to that which drivers get from street signs, stop signals, road barriers, detours, and traffic lights. This booklet will give you, the recreational boater, the basic information you need about the U.S. Aids to Navigation System (USATONS). This information will help you recognize, understand, and navigate by the colors, shapes, numbers, and lights you will encounter on the water. It will also give you the basic tools you need to read a nautical chart. In addition, you will find information on safety, the proper way to interact with other vessels, tips on boating at night, and how to handle special situations you might encounter, like bridges and locks

http://www.uscgboating.org/images/486.PDF

Baja Kayak Fest


This is a rough water event for experienced sea kayakers.  You don’t have to be a superstar, but you should be comfortable paddling 10-15 miles in a day and are well-practiced at capsize recovery techniques. You should be comfortable in small surf and bumpy water.  Our location is a rocky peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean and provides the perfect playground for kayakers!  We will offer day trips for pure fun and rock-garden play, as well as skills development courses. Top coaches from the Pacific coast will mentor groups of 4-6 paddlers at a time!

You’ll find costs detailed on the registration form.  3 days of courses (including most meals) costs $525 (limited scholarships are available for professional guides who live and work in Mexico – ask us!).  Follow links for “accommodation” and “meals” for more cost information.  Round trip transportation from San Diego is available for $70 or we can help arrange to carpool with other participants.  Look around the site – you should find most of the answers to your questions!

http://www.bajakayakfest.com/

Bahia Point Paddle and Appreciation Day

Saturday. March 10th – 9am

Come out and show your appreciation for all that Bahia Point has to offer.

If you don’t know, there are plans underway for the Bahia Hotel to expand their footprint, taking away all the parking access on Gleason Road and around Bahia Point. Come show the city and the media that this land is much too popular and valuable for the Bahia to take away from the public.

For more information: http://www.keepmissionbaypublic.org/