Whale Watch Paddle out of Mission Bay



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


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


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.

Long Exposure Photos Show the Elegant Hidden Patterns in Sports

A long-exposure shot reveals a kayaker's movement through space. STEPHEN ORLANDO

A long-exposure shot reveals a kayaker’s movement through space. STEPHEN ORLANDO

Canadian photographer Stephen Orlando has a far simpler approach: He visualizes the action using a strip of LED lights. Orlando’s long exposure photographs reveal the invisible patterns in activities like kayaking and canoeing. They won’t upend our understanding of these activities, but they certainly invite us to look at them in new ways.


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!


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.


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.


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.

Team River Runner Kayaking Fundraiser


Last Thanksgiving we hosted a paddle and picnic for Team River Runner of San Diego (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). Here is a link to their web site: http://www.teamriverrunner.org/

 Instead of repeating that this year, we have been invited to their paddle and fundraiser at Mission Bay on November 15th. The launch site is the beach next to the Marina (which is in front of the Barefoot Bar on Paradise Point. Registration donation for the paddle is $5 if you have your own boat, and Aqua Adventures is bringing some kayaks that can be rented for $15. If you want to stay for the party and auction, bring money for that.

 NOTE: If you have a “slightly used” kayak, or equipment, and want to donate that to the auction, take it to the patio area in front of the Barefoot Bar before 10 am, and see Brooke Sullivan. Be sure to clean up the item first please.

 If you have your own kayak, and want to take part in the paddle, party and auction, you may want to launch at Bahia Point, orAqua Adventures, and paddle to the Paradise Pt Marina for the 10 am start of their paddle. I think there is a cost to park at Paradise Point, and access to the beach may not be close from your vehicle.

Register here: http://www.paradisepoint.com/barefoot-bar-grill-specials.php#Paddle  The donation is $15.  If you bring your own kayak – it’s free!  If you don’t want to paddle, come on down to the party at 11!

Catalina Swimmer – Kayak Support

Via email:

I am coaching a swimmer who is swimming Catalina Channel in 5th June, I am looking for two experienced sea kayakers to accompany him. We had one but she unfortunately had to drop out.

Please could you contact me urgently with any details of anyone who would be interested from your club and I will pass them on the Chris to contact. He lives in Seattle. His name is Chris Lugo.

Thanks for your help!