Whale Watch Paddle out of Mission Bay-Postponed!

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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.

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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!

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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.

 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.

Featured Kayaker of 2017: Stan Rohrer

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I have known Stan for several years, but never had the chance to spend much time with him on the water. In January of 2014 I lead a paddle out of Coronado Cays where Stan showed up on crutches and missing one leg. I was impressed at how he dealt with the challenge of getting his boat off his vehicle with determination and the help of his wife Barbara (in the first photo with him below). Later that year he lost his other leg, also to a blood clot. I thought that would slow Stan down, but that is not the case. On our Wednesday night paddle last December 7th, Stan showed up in his truck with his trailer and two kayaks. He turned off the ignition, reached to his left and grabbed a rope fastened to a pulley, lowed his wheel chair to the ground, then slid down out of the cab and proceeded to get his boat ready. I stood there amazed at this 86 year old man, fully in charge of his life. He is now 87, and not looking back.

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Click on photos to enlarge

Stan graduated from Purdue and went into the Air Force as a communications officer, working in Korea. He then taught high school physics for several years, took up hiking and kayaking, studied pictographs in the desert, worked with Cal State Long Beach Rec program on the Kern, and built 4 kayaks and 1 canoe.

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One of Stan’s passions over the years is amateur radio. He maintained a repeater site tower on Mt Palomar for 17 years while installing more than 20 antennas. He has also canoed the Colorado River from Mexico to Separation Point in the Grand Canyon, and has hiked and backpacked in several areas in the Sierras and our deserts. You can still find Stan on the tennis court, in a kayak, exploring the desert in his wheel chair, and just enjoying life. He is an inspiration to all of us. The next time you think you can’t do something, just think of Stan.

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TRR Fundraiser for 2016 a Success

The Team River Runner 2016 “Pints & Paddles For a Cause” fundraiser on Mission Bay featured the “Chaotic Kayak Races”. Eight teams with three in each team – two paddlers and one using a water blaster aiming at the other boats – took part, and the event lived up to the name. What fun that was.

Click on photos to enlarge

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The San Diego Kayak Club had eight safety paddlers show up to help in the Recreation Paddle, and eleven other club members took part in that event. My thanks to Heidi for taking pictures during the races. And thanks to all the club members who came out and showed support for this worthy cause.

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Next year TRR will repeat the “Chaotic Kayak Races”, so consider having your business or employer sponsor you and two other people, and form your own team. The team names were really fun, so use your imagination on that. Come on out and support TRR and how they help our wounded veterans.

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June Lake Fall Colors Trip Report

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Although we experienced some wind on this trip, everyone had a great time. We hiked through the Tufas on Mono Lake, kayaked on Silver Lake and up the stream feeding it, and did a nice morning hike above the valley to see a beautiful waterfall. Click on photos to enlarge.

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On the afternoon paddle over Silver Lake to the stream, we “hugged the shore” because of the wind, which at times had some good gusts. By doing that, we stayed within an acceptable “margin of safety” under those conditions (see article “Tragic Kayaking Death in Chile…” by scrolling down this page, then click on “older posts”).

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This trip we had two kids joining us, and those girls really added to, and made it a fun time. Next year, come join us, and bring your kids. The hikes are easy, and we will do a safe paddle on the small Gull Lake, which has kayak rentals for adults and kids (conditions permitting).

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20161014_141223The wind we had this time is relatively rare, and the only time out of the last four trips we’ve had wind. It presented a challenge for fly fishing the upper Owens, and this is our excuse for not catching fish! The fall colors are wonderful, the camp fire warm, and we experienced a new great place to eat our last-night dinner there. So set the middle of October dates aside next year for a great experience.

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Skills Session This Saturday!

Let’s take advantage of the warm water with one more skills practice.

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, October 22
RALLY TIME: 8:30 am
LAUNCH TIME: 9 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
RSVP: Please let Jane Hardy know if you plan to attend

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.

11th Annual Kayak Batiquitos Lagoon Cleanup

The Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation (BLF) is pleased to announce it’s 11th Annual Kayak Batiquitos Lagoon Clean-up event, the only time of the year when kayaks are allowed on the lagoon! This annual event is sponsored by REI Outdoor School and their Encinitas store, 1590 Leucadia Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024 ((760) 944-9020). We also thank California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for being a partner with us in this very important clean-up event of Batiquitos Lagoon Ecological Reserve and helping to maintain its health.

You can sign up here:  www.batiquitosfoundation.org

Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6, 2016

Kayak launch times from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm

Meet at La Costa Park and Ride (I-5 and LaCosta Avenue)

$60 per person for two hours which includes registration, water safety instruction and time on the lagoon (tax-deductible!)

You can bring your own kayak or use one provided by REI. (Please note the minimum age for participating in kayaking on the lagoon is 12). Bring your appetite because the Dos Bandidos Baja food truck will be on site from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m
Plan to spend a few hours at this great family event!

You will find important information about the event, including a registration link to eventbrite.com, at www.batiquitosfoundation.org

Tall Ships 2016 Paddle & Picnic

Several kayakers showed up for the September 3rd paddle at Liberty Station. Jane Hardy led this paddle, and one on the previous day going out to see the Tall Ships under sail, assisted by our intrepid Robin Kedward and Chris Griffith. Steve Wilson sang some songs at the picnic, and all went home with good memories. The following photos were provided by Kirk Rozelle and Diane Boss. Click on photos to enlarge.

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La Jolla Cove Swim Lane & Ecological Reserve Area

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The Lat/Lon of the NE end of the swim lane is approximately N 32 51’20” / W 117 15’57”. This waypoint was taken from Google Earth, which uses the WGS-84 Datum. If your GPS is set to NAD-83 Datum, you will need to change it to WGS-84. If you paddle out from the LJ Shores launch point at the end of Avenida De La Playa at a 275 degree magnetic bearing, you should see the marker buoy on your left that is the NE end of the swim lane.

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This map shows the lower east-west boundary line of the Reserve 5 mph speed zone that is also the northern line of the swim lane. Kayaks are allowed in all areas of the Reserve, except the swim lane, the swimming-only areas of the beach, and the area between the caves and the cove, which is marked by a neon buoy.

My thanks to John Sandmeyer, Marine Safety Lieutenant, City of San Diego Fire Rescue Department for supplying these maps.

This post will be later moved to the Safety Articles Group.

Skills Practice

Let’s tune up our skills while we have such warm water temperatures.

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, August 27
RALLY TIME: 8:30 am
LAUNCH TIME: 9 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.