Author Archives: Jay Murdock

June Lake Trip Report

Click photos to enlarge

Click photos to enlarge

Thirteen of us went up to the June Lakes Loop north of Mammoth on Oct 14-18 for the 3rd Annual Fall Colors Paddle and Hike trip.

GULL LK PADDLE PARKER LK RETURN PARKER LAKE HIKE

Cool temperatures and some rain gave us that great fall experience. We paddled Mono Lake, Silver Lake and up the inlet, and Gull Lake.

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The two day-hikes took us up to Parker Lake, and around Gull Lake.

DES RESCUE HIKE TO PARKER LK PARKER LK HIKE

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Some of us drove up to Conner Summit to see the Aspens in deep red, orange, and yellow colors. Everyone who went said they had a great time, and we hope you join us next year.

FALL COLORS2 GULL LK PADDLE2 HIKE AROUND GULL LK

Photos: Dale Osborn, Kirk Rozelle, Jay Murdock

Skills Practice Session Report

September 12th was an ideal day for refreshing our kayaking skills, with warm air and water temperatures. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

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Learning and practicing “Safety Skills” is very important for any level of paddler. Some practiced the “Roll”, while others concentrated on Self-Rescue and Assisted Re-Entry.

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Two basic skills to learn and practice are the “T-Rescue” and the “Heel-Hook Re-Entry“. Both are easy to understand, and not that difficult to execute. The Heel-Hook is great for using with a paddle float self-rescue, and with the assisted re-entry. If you are a beginner, you need to learn them. Take the basic skills class from Aqua Adventures, and “up” your level of being a safer kayaker. Then come practice those skills with us.

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Jane demonstrated her flexibility when she practiced the Balance Brace and then attempted standing up…good exercises for developing your balancing skill. Gilbert helped several people with pointers, and did a few nice rolls.

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John appeared out of nowhere on his SUP looking dapper (but missing something?), and everyone had a good morning of practice. It was time well spent.

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This article will be soon be posted as one of the Safety Articles, and expanded on. The local Coast Guard Auxiliary Liaison Officer has read several of these articles, and has given them a “thumbs up“. There is a lot of information there that will help you in becoming a safer paddler, which is why practice sessions are so vital. Come join us next time we have one of these. They are fun and not intimidating.  We simply pair up and work on whatever you need to. The higher your skill level, the more you will enjoy this wonderful sport.

Tall Ships Paddle A Big Success

Click on photos to enlarge

Click on photos to enlarge

Thirty five paddlers joined together to see the collection of tall ships at the embarcadero on September 5th. People came from not only the SDKC, but several from Valley-Wide, the San Diego Meet-Up Group, TRR, and CKF paddled with us. Chris Griffith took point, while Joe Morin brought up the rear as safety.

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We had ideal weather and mostly calm waters throughout the 8 mile paddle, and more people joined us for the picnic. Even though Steve Wilson had an injured hand, he still managed to give us one very nice song, and we thank him for that. Many brought group food items, which turned out to be a great time of visiting with old friends, while meeting several new ones. We were even joined by a kayaker from Maine who discovered our website, and has become a fan. She even bought one of our hats, making the state of Maine now the most distant place from San Diego to have our hats worn! How cool is that?

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Not only were there several beautiful square riggers, schooners, and yawls on display, but a very interesting outrigger canoe reproduction was of special interest to us, which is based on the original sailing canoes in the Mariana Islands. The person on board the canoe said an augmented version of that design holds the world speed record for vessels under sail.  For more information of all the vessels on display, click on this link, then the participating ships box:

http://sdmaritime.org/visit/public-events/festival-of-sail/

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The replica of the San Salvador was also on display, which was recently launched by the Maritime Museum. Everyone who paddled up close was impressed by the craftsmanship of this wood vessel. We not only were viewing the Tall Ships event, we became part of it, as the Union Tribune included a photo they took of us in their write-up. Click on this link to see it:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/sep/05/festival-of-sail-san-salvador-2015/

To everyone who participated in this fun paddle and picnic, the San Diego Kayak Club thanks you, and we hope to see all of you next year for this wonderful chance to paddle with friends from throughout southern California…and those visiting us from other parts of the country.

 

Tall Ships Club Paddle and Picnic

Kayaking affords a special view

Kayaking affords a special view

The “First Annual SDKC Tall Ships Paddle and Picnic” will coincide with the “Tall Ships” event on the “Big Bay” this year. The Liberty Station launch ramp is the ideal place for us to gather, launch our boats, and have a  picnic afterwards. There is plenty of parking, and restrooms are close by, just to the south in the park. The “Tall Ships” will be tied up at the embarcadero area of downtown, and there will be “Gun Fights” on the bay throughout the day for us to view as we paddle.

Date: Saturday, September 5th

Launch Time:  9:00 am

Launch Location: Liberty Station launch ramp (see map below)

Who is Invited: SDKC members, CKF members, Night Herons, Valley-Wide Kayak Club, TRR people, Thursday Night and Meet-Up Paddle Groups, and any guests you want to invite. SOT’s & SUP’s are encouraged to join in on the fun.

Rentals of Boats & Stand-Up Paddle Boards Available:  Aqua Adventures is offering special “overnight rental rates” for boats, paddle boards, and foam car top carriers. You must pick yours up at AA on Sept 4th. Give them a call to reserve yours at (619) 523-9577.

Raffles to help raise money for the SDKC: To raise funds for ongoing expenses of web site fees, Skill Sessions subsidies, and promotion costs, there will be several raffles:

-Club hats ($15 value each)    -Special Kayaking Items from AA   -Two Jen Kleck Instructed SDKC Group Skills Sessions ($20 value each)  -One Jen Kleck Instructed Private 2 Hour Skill Lesson ($150 value)  -A few of Steve Wilson’s Hull Cracker music cd’s ($18 value each)

Picnic Following the Paddle: Around 1 pm…or when we return from the paddle. 

Music: Steve Wilson of “Hull Cracker” fame  will be there to sing some of his great songs, and will bring a few of his albums to the event.

Club Hats: We will have a few hats at the picnic to purchase for $15 (which includes tax).

Duration of the Paddle:  We will be on the water for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours, checking out the Tall Ships and gun battles out on the bay.

SAFETY NOTICE: This is a intermediate-level paddle of at least 7 miles, not intended for beginners. Please read the “Disclaimer” at the end of this announcement.

There will be a lot of power boats, personal watercraft, and sail boats on the bay during this event, so we need to stay close to shore at all times. When we cross the open water between Harbor Island and the B Street Pier, we need to stay in large groups, in order to be more visible to other boaters.

CAUTION: The ramp at our Liberty Station launch site can be very slippery, so be careful when you walk down that concrete ramp.

Our Plotted Course is in Yellow

Our Plotted Course is in Yellow

What to Bring: All safety gear (life jackets must be worn by all paddlers), VHF radio, camera, zinc sunscreen for skin and lips, sun glasses, water and snacks for the paddle, hat (a few of our new club hats will be available to purchase for $15), food and drinks for the picnic (everyone brings their own, and no glass bottles please), and a blanket to sit on. There is a grassy area next to the ramp for cleaning off your boat, so bring water for that.

Directions to Liberty Station Launch Ramp:

From I-5 south and I-8 west, take the Rosecrans exit (which is Hwy 209 on the map). Take Rosecrans to Lytton Street (at the Sail Ho golf course) and turn left. Take the first right, into Liberty Station. Follow the one way street to Sims Road and turn left. Turn left on Historic Decatur, a one-way street which takes you back toward the entrance. You will immediately see another street named Perry on your left. Turn into the parking lot on your right at that juncture. The ramp is at the east end of that lot (LS Launch on the map). There are restrooms just south in the park (follow the sidewalk along the canal/park).

Liberty Station Launch Site

Liberty Station Launch Site

PLEASE NOTE: 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.

 

 

 

Hats Now Available For Purchase

 

Colors: Chrome, Black, Kaki

Colors: Chrome, Black, Kaki

Club hats are now ready for a special initial order at a great price. These are good quality, low profile, 100% cotton washed twill, with hook and loop closures (one size fits all). The colors are chrome with navy blue embroidery, black with grey embroidery, and kaki with black embroidery (that paddle length will be the same as on the other two hats).

Jen at Aqua Adventures will be selling these hats starting later this summer, but we are having an initial “Roll-Out” special-priced offer for prepaid orders starting now for only $12 each, which includes tax. Embroidered hats of this quality typically sell in stores for over $20 + tax. After this initial order, the price will be higher at AA, so now is the time to get a great looking hat at a good price.

Quote from Jen: “I love them!  Yes, please!  I want to sell them.  I think visiting kayakers will like them and maybe some locals who don’t know about the club will find out about it”.

Not a club member? Simply sign up on the website, at no cost to join. But you don’t have to be a club member to buy a hat.

Deadline for placing your order: July 15

Distributing the hats to you: I will bring them to some paddles in August and September (like the San Salvador and SDKC/Tall Ships paddles). In case that does not work out for you, yours can be picked up at AA, but that should be a last resort please.

How to order:  Simply reply to the email sent to the club on 6/26/15 (or the one which will be sent on July 8) , and tell me the color you want. I will then give you an address to send your check to, which must be received by July 15 to get the special price…and, at this price you should consider getting two, or all three colors!

So, get a hat. They not only look cool, but are great advertising for our club and this fun sport!

UCSD / Kaiser Medical Appreciation Paddle

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(Click on photos to enlarge)

To thank those in the medical community for their good help in treating skin cancer (see Safety article on “Protecting Yourself from Overexposure to Sunlight“), we took some paddling on Saturday, May 30th. Jen at Aqua Adventures really stepped up to help on this, and contributed boats and her time for the paddle. Her new helper, Ben, also paddled with us, having just arrived from back east.

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Jim Alsup and Joe Morin helped out as safety boats. My thanks to them and Jen for a good morning on the water, while treating medical care-givers to a fun experience of kayaking.

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-Contributed by Jay Murdock

SDKC Business Cards Now at Aqua Adventures

 

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There have been several occasions that I wanted a club business card to give out to someone interested in what we do, so here they are. Jen has agreed to display them on her counter at Aqua Adventures, and that is a great place for anyone in the club to stop by and pick some up. Take as many as you can use, and let’s get the word out about our paddles and this great sport. And while you’re in Aqua Adventures, check out the new items Jen has, and take home something…like a new kayak!

San Salvador Launch Paddle – Postponed Again

 

San Salvador

San Salvador

THE LAUNCH DATE HAS BEEN POSTPONED BY THE MARITIME MUSEUM

Due to technical difficulties in moving the San Salvador from Spanish Landing to the B Street Pier, the date of April 19 is no longer the “Launch Date”. Please check back on this site each week, and as soon as we know something, we will give a new launch date, and email that info out also.

All the info below (except the date) will hopefully apply to our paddle, once we have a new date.

Here are the safety instructions issued by the Maritime Museum to all boaters for the event. We will paddle to the location just off the “B” Street Pier, approximately where the “Spectator Viewing Lane” arrow is pointing. The full details of our paddle, including a Safety Notice and maps of where we launch and our plotted course can be found below. If you are an experienced paddler, we hope you can join us.

San Salvador Instructions

THIS WILL BE A 7 MILE INTERMEDIATE-LEVEL PADDLE

The replica of Cabrillo’s flagship has been under construction near the airport, and will be launched with great celebration (TV coverage, a parade of boats, speeches, etc). We are going to have a paddle to coincide with that event. This is a good opportunity to see the launch from the water, while possibly getting some free club publicity, given the news media coverage. We will meet at the Liberty Station launch ramp, paddle down the canal, then along Harbor Island and over to the launch site of the San Salvador at the Broadway Pier. That is a distance of about 3.5 miles, so this will now be an intermediate level paddle of at least 7 miles total. We should arrive at the pier around 10 am, when they will be lifting the SS off the pier. From there they will tow it over to Coronado and back to the museum pier where she will be berthed, with several boats sailing along with it. We can paddle down to the Midway, then back to the Maritime Museum pier location to see the parade arrive there. It should be an exciting day.

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BOAT RENTALS AVAILABLE

Aqua Adventures has kayaks for rent, but you must pick them up at the store. If you want a rental, you will need to call and pay in advance to reserve your boat. Their phone number is 619 523-9577.

For more info on the San Salvador project, click on these links:

http://www.sdmaritime.org/san-salvador-build/

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-san-salvador-ship-20140915-story.html

http://www.sdnews.com/view/full_story/25829651/article-Replica-of-Cabrillo-s-ship–San-Salvador–nearly-ready-to-sail?instance=update1

LAUNCH DATE AND TIME: 

The exact date WILL BE ANNOUNCED.  When we know the date, we will give it here, and via an email to the members of the SDKC (so sign up to get on our mailing list, with no cost to join).

DURATION OF THE PADDLE: 

We will be on the water for about 3 hours, checking out the San Salvador and the boat parade.

SAFETY NOTICE:

This is a intermediate-level paddle of at least 7 miles, not intended for beginners.

There will be a lot of power boats, personal watercraft, and sail boats on the bay during this event, so we need to stay close to shore and the end of the B Street Pier (where we can watch the SS launch).  When we go down to the Midway, we need to stay close to the piers also. When we cross the open water between Harbor Island and the B Street Pier, we need to stay in groups of 3 or more, in order to be more visible to other boaters.

Caution: The ramp at our Liberty Station launch site can be very slippery, so be careful when you walk down that concrete ramp.

WHAT TO BRING:

Bring your hat, sunglasses, camera, water and snacks for the paddle. There is a grassy area to clean off your boat, so bring water for that. Bring all safety gear and a VHF if you have one. Life jackets are mandatory, and must be worn. Please read the Disclaimer at the end of this post. 

OUR PLOTTED COURSE TO THE B STREET PIER IS IN YELLOW:

San Salvador Paddle

 

DIRECTIONS TO LIBERTY STATION LAUNCH RAMP:

From I-5 south and I-8 west, take the Rosecrans exit (which is Hwy 209 on the map). Take Rosecrans to Lytton Street (at the Sail Ho golf course) and turn left. Take the first right, into Liberty Station. Follow the one way street to Sims Road and turn left. Turn left on Historic Decatur, a one-way street which takes you back toward the entrance. You will immediately see another street named Perry on your left. Turn into the parking lot on your right at that juncture. The ramp is at the east end of that lot (LS Launch on the map). There are restrooms at the golf course and the park.

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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 along the rocky bay front.

Lower Colorado River Paddle Announcement

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This coed camping trip is open to age 18 on up, and will be in the Lake Martinez area just north of Yuma, Arizona. The date will be the weekend of March 20-22. There are now 13 signed up to go, and we want you to join us. The photos show what the area is like: the winding Colorado and small lakes, backed up by the Imperial Dam, with many narrow canals through the reeds. A great place for kayaks to explore. The weather that time of year is ideal, with mild breezes, and temps in the mid 70’s during the day, and around 55 at night (at 4am).  This date is also past the rainy season there, and is still relatively quiet of boat traffic. We plan to launch at Squaw Lake, and go up river to camp at “Hidden Lake Island” (click on photos to enlarge).  Since we are paddling against a one knot current, decked kayaks are better suited (but if you are a strong paddler in a SOT, it can be done, so join us).

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It is a 3 hour drive to the launch site, so we can drive there on Friday morning, and have time to paddle up river and set camp by mid afternoon. We’ll explore the river all day Saturday, then head back to San Diego on Sunday sometime early afternoon.

If you are interested in going, and are not yet a club member, sign up on our email list. I’ll be sending more email notices to the club on this trip, and you can then reply with questions, or sign up. Details of the trip (what to bring, etc) will be sent out at a later date to those who are going. I hope you can join in. The desert that time of year is wonderful, and this open area affords a big night sky to enjoy while we sit around a campfire.

Whale Watch Paddle Report

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Sixteen paddlers ventured out on Saturday, January 17 to check out the whales. We had the good fortune of seeing two whales, one of which surfaced within 100 yards of us while we were just southwest of the “Whale 1” waypoint on the 177 ft depth bathymetry line.  That whale then went right under us, and surfaced again just to the south, where we heard the spout. The Whale 1 waypoint is: N32 44.445  W117 17.390. The second whale was spotted on the way in, and was inside the kelp, which is a somewhat rare place to see them. Several people had cameras, but no one was able to catch the whale fluke or back. But for those who were there, it is an image we will remember for years to come. Being that close to something so large in the water is an awesome experience. (Note: click on a photo to enlarge it).

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The paddle lasted about 3 hours, and covered 7.47 nautical miles with an average speed of 2.3 knots. Tiffini joined us from Ensenada, and paddled a SOT. Our moving speed and calm water allowed for everyone to make this paddle in a comfortable manner, so next year we will include slower boats.  Several people rented a boat, and this is a great way for more paddlers to see the whales.

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If you want to see the whales, and do not want to surf launch, going out of the Aqua Adventures location to the Whale 1 waypoint has now proven to be the best and shortest paddle to see them in the San Diego area. We have now done this paddle 4 times, and have seen whales on two of them. That is pretty good odds. The key is to stay on that location (we paddled just past the waypoint, then drifted south on the current), while looking north where the land ends off La Jolla. In this case, we saw two whale watching boats slowly approach us, and suspected they were following whales, which they were. Otherwise you need to quietly listen and look for the spouts. It was a beautiful morning, and a good paddle. Come join us next year.