Author Archives: ChrisGriffith

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



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

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!

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:

Yukon Paddle (Aka Whale Watching)

John O’Hagan, Kirk Rozelle, and Dave Beckman are going to lead a paddle out to the Yukon wreak, with a possibility of sighting a whale along the way. According to two sources, apparently the whales like to migrate at depths between 100 ft and 165 ft, but whales have been spotted a mile west of the Mission Bay jetties in the past. That means we may be able to see some on this paddle. The Lat/Lon for your GPS of the Yukon on the map below is N 32 46.786, W 117 16.981, which is at the 105 ft bathymetry line. (The whale site on the map is just where we have paddled to in the past, and the red buoy is no longer there).

LAUNCH TIME: 9 AM  (be there at 8:30 to set up)                                                  

LOCATION: Aqua Adventures dock 

DETAILSPaddle out to the Yukon and back – about an 8 mile paddle. Open to all types of craft (kayaks, surf skis , SUP, etc..) as long as you can self-rescue. AA has a few rentals, so call them in advance to check that out: 619 523-9577

WHAT TO BRINGSuggested: Camera, sun glasses, hat, snacks, GPS, sun screen.  We will have people with VHF radios. If you have one, bring it.  

Required: We do want you to have a life jacket, compass, water, whistle, bilge pump, and paddle float as minimal equipment.  

WEATHERAccording to the Magic Seaweed surf report, and NWS forecast, the weather and water conditions look very good for this paddle. A 4 to 5 mph head wind on the way out, and an 8 mph wind at our backs going in, and very little swell.  

Bahia Point Access!

Bahia Point is a terrific launch spot and is used by many of us.  There is a proposal to eliminate the parking along the Point which would shut down access to this portion of the Bay.  Please take the time to show up at this critical meeting. 

Following is a summation by Alan Chalom of a proposal to remove all of the parking spots used by paddlers at Bahia Point. Here is the location and time of the meeting where the proposal will be discussed:

Paddlers! This next Tuesday night (02 Jan 2018) will be a very important meeting of the Mission Bay Park Committee affecting all of us who use Bahia Point to launch boats, hang out and enjoy our access to the water.

The Bahia Hotel wants to expand their footprint and take away all public parking along the shoreline where we now park. Over 250 public parking spaces are to be eliminated along the water and relocated far from the shoreline! This proposal has been in the works for many years but is now active and up for approval. The hotel owner, Bill Evans is very politically connected and will succeed unless there is an overwhelming public outcry over this proposal.

Your involvement is required!! The Mission Bay Park Committee is an advisory committee to the Park and Recreation Department, the Park and Rec Board and the San Diego City Council. Their opinion counts and we have to persuade them that this proposal is extremely detrimental to our way of life! We need everyone to show up and be prepared to say something about how this would affect your access to the water and how important this access is to all of us! You don’t have to make a speech, but your concern/outrage needs to be made clear to the committee.

 If you want to appear and speak at the meeting, you will need to fill out a speaker slip, even if you only want to make a short statement. If you want to attend but don’t want to speak, that’s OK too because I have a longer statement prepared but I need others to cede their time to me so I can talk for longer than the usual one minute allowed to speakers.

 Please spread the word to anyone and everyone you know who uses and values the parking along the water at Bahia Point! That includes SUP paddlers, OC1, surf ski, swimmers, paddleboarders, families who just want to BBQ, and anyone else who finds this idea offensive.

 I can’t stress enough that this is a real threat and our overwhelming active involvement is the only thing that will save our access to the water at the Bahia!

New Year’s Day Paddle & Festivities – OC Edition

Meet at the Coast Guard Beach in Newport Beach at 9 AM. Be prepared to launch at 9:30 sharp. We will paddle close to the surf line and the rocks down past Big Arch Rock at an exploratory pace (slow) with an optional landing through the surf at Toxic Beach if conditions permit. Please wear a helmet if you intend to land in the surf and or do a little rock gardening. If conditions are not suitable we’ll keep a safe distance from the rocks and surf.

This paddle is for paddlers comfortable paddling on the open ocean, close to rocks and capable of performing self-rescue. We look out for each other but none of us are paddling as instructors or guides.

Lunch and musical festivities afterward (noonish) at ‘Fireside’ (Bison and MacArthur outdoor food court by Chipotle). If you are unable to make the paddle you are more than welcome to join us for food, song and laughter. Featured tunes for the day, “Scream Like A Littler girl”, “Linked By Water” “Deep trouble”, “Roll Up or Drown (Out of OC)” 

San Diego River Clean Up

Once a year, the San Diego River Park Foundation gets special permission to enter the San Diego River Estuary on kayaks and pull trash out of the water in this sensitive habitat. This is a unique opportunity to see the San Diego River from a new angle while helping out!

The San Diego River Estuary is a critically important 330-acre wildlife area with habitat for many sensitive species, including endangered birds that nest in the estuary, like the Ridgway’s Rail and the California Least Tern. Over 100 different species of birds use this area as a rest area along the Pacific Flyway during their yearly migrations between Alaska and Mexico.

Thanks to the support from Aqua Adventures, we will have kayaks available for volunteers to borrow, but you are welcome to bring your own. Kayaks will be sent out in two shifts: 9a-10:30a and 10:30a-12p.

While boats are in the water, shore volunteers will remove trash along the banks of the estuary and the adjacent San Diego River Trail.

Limited volunteer spots available. To sign-up for the interest list and receive full details, please email

Valley Wide Kayak Club Fundraiser Kayak Paddle at Lake Hemet

On Saturday, October 21st, 2017 the Valley Wide Kayak Club will hold its “14th Annual Charity Paddle and Barbecue to benefit Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times” – our non-profit neighbor that provides cost-free programs and services to children with cancer and their families. Sign up details at:

The Campsite is located just across the road from Lake Hemet where the Charity Paddle event is held. We cherish organizing this fun, active event each year in honor of Camp Good Times which serves over 1,600 campers in need each year. 

Come camp with the Valley Wide Kayak Group from Friday through Sunday at Lake Hemet Campground! Call Lake Hemet Campground at (951) 659-2680 to register your space in campground 2A. Upon calling, please mention you’re with the Valley Wide Kayak Club for the event Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. Register ASAP as these spaces will fill up quickly!