Category Archives: Paddle

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.

 

Whale Watch Paddle out of Mission Bay

 

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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 17, 2015

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:  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

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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.

Skills Practice Paddle

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We haven’t brushed up on our rescue skills in a while. Come join us on Sunday, December 21

8:30 – rally at the Aqua Adventures dock

9 am – Launch and paddle over to Mariner’s Cove

All boats and all skill levels welcome. Everyone helps everyone in this adult sandbox. This is a terrific opportunity to test out new equipment, gear, clothing, a new boat, and test your own rescue and/or rolling skills. Get wet, or not.

Traditional New Year’s Morning Paddle

Mark your calendars, it’s that time.  Let’s continue the traditional paddle begun by Jeff Laxier some 10-12 years ago

DATE:                   January 1, 2015

TIME:                    8 am rally, 8:15 launch

PLACE:                  La Jolla Shores Boat Ramp or thereabouts (there may be road construction)

PADDLE:               North toward Torrey Pines

DISCLAIMER:        Each paddler is responsible for their own safety; must be able to self-rescue and be equipped with appropriate gear and clothing, and keep a 3-4 knot pace and is expected to stay with the group

TRR Fundraiser a Great Success!

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On Saturday, November 15th TRR had a “Paddle and Pints for a Cause” fundraiser on Paradise Point in Mission Bay. The San Diego Kayak Club helped spread the word, and several of our members turned out to support TRR and our vets. There were 75 paddlers who took part on the water, and several more showed up for the refreshments, silent auction, and raffle (of which Gilbert Siegel was one of the winners). There is already talk about having this event next year, so please consider taking part.

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There was a mix of kayaks, paddle boards, and specialized craft involved. Aqua Adventures supplied several kayaks and paddle boards, and Brooke Sullivan and Dale Osborn of TRR did a great job in organizing the event. There were a lot of smiles that day, and it was fun to be part of such a worthy cause.

Even though Mike is not a vet, he wanted to support the event, and came down from the LA area.

Even though Mike is not a vet, he wanted to support the event, and came down from the LA area.

Going around the island.

Going around the island.

Paradise Point Barefoot Bar

Paradise Point Barefoot Bar

The silent auction and raffle were fun, and thanks to Ninkasi Brewing for helping raise money. Also, one of our club members anonymously donated several kayak items to TRR for their paddles. Very cool.

Having a good time at the party after the paddle.

Having a good time at the party after the paddle.

Almost every boat in this photo ended up being paddled by someone. Many thanks to Jen and Aqua Adventures for supplying several kayaks and paddle boards.

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Team River Runner (TRR), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, gives active duty service members and veterans an opportunity to find health, healing, and new challenges through whitewater boating and other paddling sports).

If you would like more information on TRR, here is their website: http://www.teamriverrunner.org/

South San Diego Bay – a Good Paddle to see Wildlife

A Quiet Place with Few Power Boats

At the end of Grand Caribe in the Coronado Cays is a small park with a sandy beach, an ideal spot for launching kayaks. The Saturday Paddle Group has launched here on occasion at various times of the year. On every paddle we have spotted several kinds of birds nesting or diving for fish, with others poking in the sand for food, or Ospreys just sitting on perches looking back at us. In the fall we have observed large Green Sea Turtles surfacing while munching on Eel Grass, some within 20 ft of our boats. We often hear them breathe before we see them. And on most occasions there have been Mullets jumping out of the water, and Sea Rays swimming under our kayaks. We have sometimes had schools of Mullets under our boats, that surface, causing our craft to rock a little.

The diversity of both Littoral and Pelagic wildlife is abundant here, as the sounds of the city and traffic are distant and soft. There are nesting Least Turns on a land spit, Pelicans diving for fish, and Sand Pipers looking for a meal in the mud. Shearwaters, Egrets, Blue Herons, Cormorants, and Sea Gulls all frequent this environment.

We will be having more of these paddles in the south bay throughout the year, and will announce them through the Club. It is our hope you can join us next time.

Trip Report: South Bay Turtles

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Eight of us went looking for the very elusive Green Turtles yesterday, but they were not to be found. It is safe to say, after several paddles in the south bay looking for them, that they are harder to see than the grey whales.

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Some special people showed up for this paddle: It was good to see Stan Rohrer doing great.

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It was Mary Collier’s first paddle with us, and the first time in her new boat (5th photo). And the last photo was taken by Heather Larson (from Denver) a few years ago, who also joined us yesterday. She said that was the last time she has been able to photo the turtles.

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Besides having a relaxed morning, we got to see up close the Dorado Discovery research vessel that some of you may have seen on the Discovery or Nat Geo TV series. Very cool. The photo of some of us on the dock is at Bob’s house in the Cays.

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