Friday, June 23, 2017

EPPIES TRAINING 2017

Eppie's Great Race is coming up fast. The event is presented by the Eppie’s Wellness Foundation is Saturday July 15, 2017. Since its debut, Eppie’s Great Race has been held every year in Sacramento becoming a Northern California summertime tradition for elite athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and their families. The race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.10-mile paddle held along the scenic American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento. Its designated beneficiary is Therapeutic Recreation Services, a Sacramento County program for people of all ages with special needs and developmental disabilities.

The river portion of the race makes it one of the largest paddling events in the United States, offering a different dynamic from other triathlons with a "no swim" competition.

However, most of participants come with running and biking skills but many have never paddled the river before or even sat in a kayak. Because of this, Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips has set up uniquely designed training sessions to help racers ensure success come race day with their Current Adventures Eppies Great Race programs. Expert instructors to help the participants build their confidence, paddling skills and river reading knowledge.

"With the high water this year on the Lower American times will be faster," said Current Adventure's owner Dan Crandall, "But, only if you understand how the lines and safety concerns are different in a year like this. Let us help you prepare for the high water conditions and race day success."

TRAINING DATES ARE JUNE 27, 29; JULY 6 10 12, 2017
Email us at Info@CurrentAdventures, com or Call 530-333-9115 to register for kayak rental and training options

To give you an idea of what it like to train with Current Adventures for Eppies Great Race paddling portion here is article that was originally published in Outside Adventure to the Max, July 8, 2016



The water glistens in the late afternoon sun. Across the way kids frolic in it ankle-deep, while father down fishermen dot the rocky shore of the stream and huddling below the bike bridge kayakers in PFDs and bike helmets lay out a rainbow of kayaks at the edge of the beach. Anticipation, elation and anxiety churn in each one like the river before them. Looking out over the quiet scene their thoughts of doubts and hesitation are instantaneously interrupted by the booming voice of Dan Crandall.
"Are you ready to paddle tonight? We gotta about a week left. I want hear something out of you otherwise were just going to give up...Go home. Watch TV. Eat popcorn. Peppermint Patties. Drink milkshakes. All that good stuff you want to do, that you can do the day after the race."

Crandall and his staff from Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips have been conducting intensive kayak workouts with racers for the past several weeks building up to Eppie’s Great Race. Known as “The World’s Oldest Triathlon” the race is one of the largest paddling event in the United States. Founded in 1974, the race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.35-mile paddle held along the scenic American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento. That 6.35 miles down the American River with all its ripples and one rapid requiring whitewater skills presents the most challenging and exciting part of the annual race. Participants are expected to transfer from bicycle to boat at the Jim Jones Bridge for the final leg of the race. While most of them come with running and biking skills many of them have never paddled the river.

"Kayaks steer from the back," Crandall tells the group in some beach instruction, "You have to learn to speak this boat's language. It's a combination of edging correctly so the kayak knows what your after and following your stroke through behind you, that matters."

Current Adventure's sessions have giving instruction on paddling technique, river reading and turning troublesome San Juan Rapids into a speed bump. However, this year the rapid has offer many challenges for the new paddlers. "Lean forward and smile, " said Crandall, " Show the river you are not afraid and keep a paddle in the water."

There are three ways to pass through San Juan Rapids. Being off to the right provides the best waves, in the middle for a fun drop and extended bubble wave or stay to the far left and avoid the rapid only to feel it's powerful eddy effect. Underneath the rapid the river flows back together smashing into the cliff creating a circular boil, before slowing down to gentle speed. The practicing racers are encouraged to run the rapid a couple of times to familiarize themselves with its nature.

Some paddlers have use these sessions to update their skills and get in a practice run for the event, while others are kayaking for the first time. The instructors helps each paddler with paddling fundamentals that will be handy come race day.

"You gotta stay in the current all the way till the outside of that corner." Crandall, calls out as the kayakers raft up together, So just think about that tonight. Start being very aware on the lines on the river. Use landmarks look ahead. Every time you come around a corner, set a new course to the next corner, don't just be staring at the bow or the deck of your boat. Looking ahead is what makes you faster and keeps you on better lines."

At the end of course tired paddlers pull their kayaks across the finish lines with an understanding of the river and what is hand for the great race.

Current Adventure Kayak School ant Trips
PHONE: 530-333-9115 or Toll-Free: 888-452-9254
FAX: 530-333-1291
USPS:Current Adventures, P.O. Box 828, Lotus, CA 95651
info@currentadventures.com
owner Dan Crandall dan@kayaking.com


Friday, June 16, 2017

LIKE DAD


 BY OUTSIDE ADVENTURE TO THE MAX GUEST BLOGGER TAYLOR CARLSON

My siblings and I continue to have the same argument. Who is the most like Mom or Dad? While I can see a lot of our mother in my sisters, by having a passion cooking and strong religious family values. I started to think, what makes me the most like my father? I agree that unlike my younger brother, Cole, I share more similar interests in pop-culture with my father.

From my enjoyment of old adventure movies like Indiana Jones to his taste in 70s folk music to even, yes, wearing the same out-of-style clothing I wore back in high school (apparently, Livestrong bracelets aren’t a thing anymore). Yes, as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more and more like my Dad. And while this may sound like a sigh of relief for my brother, there’s one thing that he, along with me and Dad, share a strong passion for: The Great Outdoors.

One of the first camping trips I remember sharing with Dad was during the week of Father’s Day in 2002. Dad and I, along with my Boy Scout troop, took part in a father-son fishing trip to the Paint Lake Provincial Park near Thompson, Manitoba, a small nickel mining town near the Hudson Bay. Prior to this trip, Dad could only attend small, weekend outings to nearby Minnesota lakes due to his busy schedule.

However, that was not the case with embarking on a 700-mile trip through the Canadian wilderness to spend one week in a wooden lodge, only eating nothing, but what we caught (or what the resort diner was serving across the lake).

At the time, I was at that age where I was not that impressed with being in the middle of nowhere. Instead, I just wanted to do teenager stuff like run around in the woods with my friends or simply stay inside my cabin and read some paperback book that I took along. But my father was excited and woke me up every morning at 4 AM to watch the sunrise as we cast our fishing poles off the dock. By the end of the week, I ended up catching the biggest walleye out of the troop.

Since that trip, every summer, to this day, I long for spending time in nature. The wide open lakes, the sound of the loons, the smell of a campfire, and sight of the northern lights. But nothing reminds me more of that than of the great state of Minnesota. In June 2006, as I was coming to end of my journey on the Boy Scout trail and advancing towards the lifetime rank of Eagle Scout, my father had this grand idea for me to continue my career in Scouting by encouraging me to apply for my first ever job as a camp counselor at Camp Wilderness, a Boy Scout camp in northern Minnesota.

His reasoning was he wanted me to have a “life experience” and not work the boring, in-town job at a local McDonald's like other teens. Despite being against the idea at first, in retrospect, the summer of 2006 was one of the best summers of my life due to my time spent as a counselor.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I continued going for seven more summers, even becoming a counselor at my sisters’ Camp Fire Girls summer camp. Dad and the family did visit me often on weekends. While Mother took us to cute nearby towns to enjoy an ice cream cone, Dad took me on even more camping trips like to Bemidji State Park or to Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi River.
> It was during these trips that I picked up another trait from my father: becoming that annoying know-it-all guy on a vacation who points out historical landmarks only to give a history lesson to those who listen. In repeated trips to Bemidji, I don’t know how many people I have told people that the local Dairy Queen is built on the sight of tribal huts of Chief Bemidji.

As me and my siblings became older, our days spent as counselors became numbered. Gone were the days of long summer camping trips with the Boy Scouts. Instead, the focus became on smaller, trips to go kayaking. It was time for us to spend as a family, reminiscing with stories around the campfire about previous camping trips. During the kayaking trips, Dad chose to go to places that we had never been before, mostly so that he could buy a new T-shirt from the gift shop.

On one Fourth of July trip, we were kayaking through the Old Broken Down Dam on the river as I calmly paddle down river, texting some girl on my phone, as Cole and Dad excitedly awaited upcoming rapids. Dad warned me to put away my phone as the current will become stronger and that I might drop it. While I insisted that he was wrong that I won’t drop my phone, I didn’t predict that I was going to fall out of my kayak and into the water.

While I survived just fine, my phone did not. I was upset, but Dad knew how to help… by taking us all to our traditional last stop: Pizza Ranch Buffet!  Looking back, out of all the camping trips I have taken part of with the Boy Scouts or as a counselor, nothing has been more fun than giving me lifelong memories attending these trips with my father.

Happy Father's Day
Taylor Carlson
June 2017

Taylor Carlson is oldest son of Outside Adventure to Max blogger Nick Carlson. He grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and spent many summers in camping, hiking and boating in Minnesota. He now resides in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

SOLSTICE SOLITUDE


Thus situated, many hundred miles from our families in the howling wilderness, I believe few would have equally enjoyed the happiness we experienced...You see how little nature requires to be satisfied. Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; And I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatever state he is. This consists in a full resignation to the will of Providence; and a resigned soul finds pleasure in a path strewed with briars and thorns. ---Daniel Boone

Legendary early American trailblazer and famous woodsmen Daniel Boone was constantly exposed to daily dangers and perils of frontier life. Survival meant living of the land and evading Indian attacks. He would often disappear into the forest for weeks and even months on long extended hunts before returning home to his family. According to author Robert Morgan, "Boone sought oneness with the wilderness as a mystic seeks union with the creator or a lover yearns to merge with the beloved."

There is a story about how a hunting party heard an odd sound coming from the woods. Upon investigating, they came across Boone, lying on his back in a little clearing singing to the clouds, trees, and passing birds. Singing for joy. Singing for nature. For Boone, life in the wilderness was a sublime combination of fear and delight mostly experienced by traveling alone.

My solo kayak trips have bestowed that same familiarity for me. In the far off distant land of Minnesota, I use to strap my kayak on to the roof of an old Chevy van packed up my camping gear, some freeze-dried food along with a notebook and pen, then escape for an overnight, maybe a weekend or if I was lucky enough an extended trip lasting several days. Of course the dangers were minimal, outside on falling off the roof of my van while unloading my boat.

I would slip off into some corner of the wilderness just around the bend from the boat ramp. Like at Lake Bronson State Park in the northwest Minnesota for my first solo trip to a boat in camping site on an island. Paddling on the lake that first trip I had a great feeling of exhilaration, followed by terror coursing through my body. The dreaming and planning, finally turned into a reality outside of my so called comfort zone. Still it wasn't long before I was feeling those mystic powers of the lake exercising my self doubts.

"There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace," wrote canoe guru Sigrud Olson, "The way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness and of a freedom almost forgotten. It is an antidote to insecurity, the open door to waterways of ages past and a way of life with profound and abiding satisfactions. When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known."


I brought my daughter's chocolate Labrador the next summer for a trip to Scenic State Park, near Bigfork, Minn. I had been dog watching Mazie all summer while my daughter was working at a summer camp. She was a natural water dog and enjoyed riding in my tandem kayak. I had brought her along for a few over-nights already. She would scare off any raccoons just by being in camp, kept my feet warm at night, and ate my leftovers

We paddled around the esker, a long ridge of sediment left behind by ice age separating Coon Lake and Sandwick Lake. From this point I could see that the park lived up to its name. A group black and white patterned loons were fishing nearby taking turns diving and disappearing into the water. The silence was then broken by one's tremolo, a wavering call of alarm announcing our presence on the lake.

Camp site #6 overlooks the Sandwick Lake. Several large pines had fallen into the lake camouflaging the site's boat in entry. It was spartan site to say the least, equipped only with a fire ring and grill adjacent to a grassy spot to set up my tent. It would be my base-camp for that next couple of days while staying at the lake. My home away from home.

“To wake up on a gloriously bright morning," wrote American geologist and explorer Josiah Edward Spurr, while leading an expedition mapping the interior of Alaska, "In a tent pitched beneath spruce trees, and to look out lazily and sleepily for a moment from the open side of the tent, across the dead camp-fire of the night before, to the river, where the light of morning rests and perhaps some early-rising native is gliding in his birch canoe; to go to the river and freshen one's self with the cold water, and yell exultingly to the gulls and hell-divers, in the very joy of living."

"You alone?" questioned came from a group canoeists floating by my camp site on the next year's solo trip on the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"Always," I said. Which wasn't really true. I would take my kids along on lots of camping trips all the time. I loved sharing my adventures with my family, but my solo trips were special. They were my chance to get-away, to feel the joy of a vision quest and to be a modern-day Daniel Boone.

By day I would paddle around the lakes or rivers, exploring hidden coves and bays. I'd follow streams until my path was blocked by a beaver dam or stop just before the rush of some rapids and contemplate paddling on to the sea.

While at night, with the kayak beached, the tent set and campfire burning, I would enjoy some freeze dried stew with a bottle wine and watch the world come to a standstill, as the sun would either burned up in the black silhouetted pines or dissolved in a fiery glow into the lake. There I would melt into the warmth of my campfire under the stars, listening to the haunting reverberation of the loons. My thoughts of past and worries of the future would fade into the peace of the present.

"One day I undertook a tour through the country," said Boone, "And the diversity and beauties of nature I met with in this charming season, expelled every gloomy and vexatious thought."

Because being alone wilderness you can find the silence and solitude that can fill your heart and soul.

Friday, June 2, 2017

COLD RUSH


Ah summer-time. Nothing better than after five years of extreme drought than enjoying the warm temperatures and refreshing coolness of area California rivers. However this year, one might find it to painful to even dip in their toes. The record breaking Sierra snows are melting and creating very chilly fast-moving water for rafters, kayakers, and as well beachgoers.

“It’s freezing,” Renee Perfecto told the Sacramento Bee at the Watt Avenue access area along the American River Parkway, as she watched her three children play in shallow water away from the current. “If you get in knee-deep, the water’s ice cold, but the kids don’t seem to mind.”

Upstream on the South Fork of the American River the fresh runoff is translating into big rapids and excitement and area boaters are reaping the benefits.
“It was awesome, a little cold, it’s fast.”” kayaker Eric Winkler told CBS13-TV.

Caution signs have been posted along the river in Caloma, Ca., reading “Cold, Fast Water.” River watchers there, say the river is flowing five times higher than it did the past four years.

“People aren’t used to this big water like we’ve had in the past. Five years of a drought really impacts people’s ability to look at a river. They just don’t remember,” That's what Tulare County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Kemmerling told the Los Angeles Times about the Kern River, “This year, they think it’s the same river, but it’s five times as big.

California's Kern River had one of its deadliest Memorial Day weekends in 24 years after three people died on the river. Kemmerling said, that search and rescue teams also rescued more than 26 other people from sandbars, trees and other precarious perches in the swiftly moving water over the holiday weekend.

“They get lulled into a false sense of security,” Kemmerling said in the same interview, “What they think is a tranquil river that they’re used to — the currents are running 12 mph. And you can’t swim out of it once you get into it.”

Four people have drowned so far this year in Sacramento waterways according to authorities. The most recent was a 19-year-old man whom drowned after he jumped into the frigid North Fork of the American River and was quickly swept away.


An average of six people drown every summer in Sacramento area waterways, with the accidents concentrated in areas such as Tiscornia Beach at Discovery Park. In 2015, 13 people drowned in the American and Sacramento rivers. Last year, no drownings were reported on them between Memorial and Labor Days. This year bracing for the worst, county and city officials have decided to keep Discovery Park located at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers one of area's popular beaches closed due to dangerous conditions.

“It’s incredibly high,” Jim Remick, a diver instructor for DART (Drowning Accident Rescue Team) told The Sacramento Bee  along the American River Parkway, “The water is quite cold and dangerous. It’s an unprecedented thing for the county and city to close the beaches (on Memorial Day weekend), but the way the river is now, (the beaches) may stay closed until the Fourth of July.”

Tiscornia Beach, also remains closed because of winter storm and flooding damage. The park itself opened on a limited basis to allow people to launch boats.

Friday, May 26, 2017

AQUARELLA


These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession. -- Claude Monet

While touring Claude Monet’s home and garden in the Normanady village of Giverny, about an hour train ride from Paris, I found myself and the world famous artist linked by the same elan, because we share that same enthusiasm and inspiration of nature and a kindship of water.

Chartres River Walk
“I am following Nature without being able to grasp her," said Monet,  "I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”

This is where he created one of his most famous works depicting water lilies in the pond surrounding his gardens. In his footsteps, among other tourists I got  glimpse of his inspiration as I followed the meandering path under weeping willows and over a Japanese bridge and saw the pond's spellbinding reflection of light and water. He painted them here, in every time of the day, moving along with the with the sunlight. He created eight mammoth curved panels that to this day, still immersed people into his garden.
Seine River, Paris

“It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way." Monet said, "So we must dig and delve unceasingly.”
They are like the same mirrored images that inspire me everyday, while out on the lake or river. The movement of the water and its changing colors shimmering around me.

Kate Hives an adventurous sea kayaking guide and rough water coach with SKILS based out of Vancouver Island described in best in her blog At home on the water, when she wrote, "I feel so lucky to know the magic of travel by way of water, to intimately feel the ebb and flood of the ocean as it caresses the rocky shores and sandy beaches of this coastal playground. Sometimes I feel like I have been told a great secret of the mystery of the natural world and my – our – connection to it. It is this time of year that I revel in setting out in my kayak to search of the feasts of the natural world."

Lake Natoma
So now as spring fades and I head into the summer paddling season, I look back some of my favorite images and reflections while on the water. And just like Monet, I find myself appreciating the light, the blue sky and the water.

Lake Natoma with Current Adventures

Bayside Adventure Sports on Folsom Lake
Lake Natoma
Lake Natoma
Current Adventures at Lake Natoma
Lake Natoma

Friday, May 12, 2017

"WHAT FALLS THERE ARE"... A GUIDE TO RIVER SCOUTING


We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields, and we ask that they teach us and show us the way. -- Chinook Blessing

In 1869, ten men and four boats embarked on a journey through almost 1,000 miles of uncharted canyons trying to map one of the west's last great wildernesses and forever changing our view of it.

"We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore," said one-armed Civil War hero leader John Wesley Powell, "What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not. Ah, well! we may conjecture many things."

The party experienced calamity after calamity. One of the boats sank in a rapid, taking with it all their scientific instruments and a quarter of the party’s provisions. Another near-sinking of a second boat took the remaining food through spoilage. Morale disappeared as  party members gave up and abandoned the expedition. After three months, only five of the original company would emerge from the depths of the Grand Canyon. Although hailed a hero, Powell's first trip into the unknown was a disaster.

"The relief from danger, and the joy of success, are great." wrote Powell in Down the Colorado: Diary of the First Trip Through the Grand Canyon, describing the perils of the trip, "The first hour of convalescent freedom seems rich recompense for all—pain, gloom, terror.”

Photo by Roger Peka
There is an old whitewater kayaking adage that says, "When in doubt, scout." If Powell's trip down the Colorado River teaches us anything, it's that the party didn't know anything about what they were likely to face. Today's whitewater paddling experts give us several reasons why you might want to scout a rapid first before running it.

"The first is just to make sure it has an exit. If I’m paddling on an unfamiliar stretch of river and no one in the crew knows it then it’s crucial that there is a way out of a rapid before you commit to dropping in." said Current Adventures Kayak School & Trips instructor Pete Delosa, "In California it’s not uncommon for the river to run into and under a pile of boulders. In the Northwest, it might end in a pile of trees. If you can’t see the exit from the top, you don’t really know."

The California-based kayaker Delosa sponsored by Immersion Research and member of Team Pyranha, recommends that if you know it’s going to be a hard  rapid to paddle, to study the flow and get an understanding of what the water is doing. Look for hazards you want to avoid and the line you want to make. See how much of the water is going into the hazards versus where you want to go.

"Are there certain features that are going to flip me?" said Delosa, "Maybe there is a feature like a small eddy that I can use to get to where I want to go, or maybe there’s a really big hole that I need to avoid because it feeds into a sieve."

Rafa Ortiz via Facebook
Red Bull athlete Rafa Ortiz never runs anything too stout or dangerous without a proper scout. Ortiz is one of whitewater kayaking's super stars and the focus of Chasing Niagara," a film produced by Red Bull chronicling his pursuit of being the first person ever to go over Niagara Falls in a kayak. However, he says, when he is guiding someone down a river they've never paddled, he finds it tricky choosing when to get them and scout it.

"I often find that too much information doesn't necessarily result in them having a good line, " Ortiz wrote on Facebook Messenger, "When you scout a rapid, for example, with a bad hole on the left, as you get in your boat and paddle into it, all that is in your mind is the dimension and apparent stickiness of the monster on river left. Your mind is often blurred by fear."

On the other hand, he warns, not to make someone drop into a rapid their first time without enough information. He says, it would be neglectful on his part if they ended up in the gnarly hole on the left, swim and get body recirculated just because he didn't emphasize its dimension.

"What I do nowadays is an in between," wrote Ortiz, "I suggest people scout a rapid that in my opinion does have a life-threat in it and even something that could result in a negative enough experience for them to want to quit kayaking. Otherwise, let them enjoy the pleasure of the one chance they have to run it blind."

Photo by Ethan Howard
After you've made the decision to run the rapid, start at the bottom and work your way back up to your boat, suggested DeLosa. He says to find landmarks that you will be able to spot from the water.

"Landmarks are really helpful for knowing where you are in a rapid when you can’t see the entire thing from the entrance." said Delosa,  "A good example is Skyscraper (rapid) on South Silver Creek in California. There are two really tiny standing waves right at the lip of the drop. From the pool above you can’t see anything past the horizon line, but if you go off between those two little waves with a slight left angle you’re in good shape to start."


Sacramento paddler Gavin Rieser agrees  and thinks the biggest reason, is being able to see a pool at the bottom of the drop. 
"If I can't see what looks like a pool below," said Rieser,  "I have no idea if what I'm about to run is a huge monster drop or not."
Rieser also does his homework by reading up on the rivers he will be running and checking in with area boaters on what to expect.  
"Another big factor is how much I've heard about the run or not." said Rieser, "If I know it's supposed to be a Class III to IV run, then I'm not likely to scout it much. If it's a Class V run, I will be scouting a lot more"

If you’re on a longer mission day to save time, a good habit to develop is to always take your rope with you whenever you get out to scout. Delosa says by doing this you won't have to go back to your boat and then back down stream if someone in your crew asks you to set as the safety.
"Also, while you’re scouting," said Delosa, "Another crew might come along and paddle into the rapid without scouting and you’ll be well positioned to help them should someone get in trouble."

In 1871–1872, Powell again retraced part of his ill-fated expedition down the Colorado River. This time, he would be fortified by knowledge instead of folklore. His scientific expedition filled in the blanks left behind on the  previous trip and produced the first reliable maps of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. Wanting to be more comfortable, Powell acquired a sturdy armchair, and tied it to the middle bulkhead of the pilot-boat. From there, he could view the river ahead him, but this time, he had seen it before.

If you want to learn more and practice some advanced skills contact us at Current Adventures Kayaking School and Trips and ask about private advanced classes.
PHONE: 530-333-9115 or Toll-Free: 888-452-9254
FAX: 530-333-1291
USPS:Current Adventures, P.O. Box 828, Lotus, CA 95651
info@currentadventures.com
owner Dan Crandall dan@kayaking.com

Friday, May 5, 2017

THE "OTHER SIDE" OF TOMALES BAY


BY OUTSIDE ADVENTURE TO THE MAX GUEST BLOGGER LYNN HALSTED

I’ve dipped my paddle into Tomales Bay on a handful of occasions. Mostly on  moonless nights, to explore the bioluminescence, a light produced by a chemical reaction in living things in the water. Winds are typical, for Tomales Bay and Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco, Ca, but, for the second day in a row, the wind was almost non-existent.

This sunrise was a welcome site as I sipped my morning coffee and thought about the paddle ahead of us that day. We launched from Miller Park, which is located on the Eastern side of Tomales Bay. This is my first time launching on this side of Tomales. You pay at the kiosk to park, and the cement launch makes getting into the water a breeze.

Our Plan “A” was to head across the water, circle around Hog Island (protected), explore the Western shoreline before having lunch at White Gulch Beach.

If you’re an experienced paddler, you are never afraid to go with Plan B.
So, once everyone was in the water and after a quick safety talk, we paddled towards Hog Island. The wind, still non-existent, as you can see from these pictures. It was so pretty and calm! One of our paddlers was using a ‘peddle’ kayak for only the second time, and he indicated he was already getting tired after only 10-15 minutes of paddling.


So, we partnered someone up with him and continued to Hog Island. The eastern shore of the Island was closed due to sensitive Seal habitat and Seabird Colony. So we paddled around the island, my first time up this close, and talked about our plan. Our tired paddler was now a concern, as the wind had come and there were rather large swells that seemed to some out of no where. I’m serious, the conditions changed in a matter of minutes!

After a conversation with a fellow paddler who has been on this section of Tomales countless times, we decided it would be best to paddle back to the launch and let our tired paddler take out and rest. The rest of our group would paddle on the Eastern shoreline, heading inland. This must have been meant to be, as this turned out to be a beautiful paddle.


So, after our tired paddler was safe to shore and out of their kayak, we paddled by the little sitting area off of Nick’s Cove restaurant, where later we would enjoy an adult beverage. I was hopeful I could take this old gas pump for my backyard Most of us ladies had fun joking about our ideal ‘man’, stationed up on the hill, overlooking the bay as if to flag us in with his stoic stare and well positioned lantern. A resident Bald Eagle was perched up in a tree, so I paddled under him and too this shot.

My favorite part of the day; Lunch! After about 2 hours of paddling, we found a great place to exit, stretch, and enjoy the sunshine as we ate our lunch. I even found a ‘planted’ piece of driftwood for my garden at home. Once our tummies were full, we decided to explore a little channel that only went inland a few hundred yards before dead ending into Highway-1. There was an Egret eating his lunch, but my pictures didn’t turn out well.

However, this picture of the Egrets turned out quite nicely. I’m sometimes amazed at the great shots I get. This was one of them. These Cormorants were drying out their wings and the silhouette was breathtaking.

After a long day of paddling, we headed back to the take-out. This will go down in my memory banks as a top 10 paddle experience.

 Lynn Halsted  is the founder of Sacramento Paddle Pushers,
Halsted started SPP, an online paddling meet up group in October 2010. As  popularity of kayaking grew so did her group. It now has close to 500 members with a solid core of 60 paddlers actively taking part in trips through out California and even sometimes venturing into the Pacific Northwest. Catch up with more of Halsted kayaking adventures at her blog Dipping My Paddle. You can find Sacramento Paddle Pushers on Meetup.com.

Outside Adventure to the Max is always looking for guest bloggers. Contact us at Nickayak@gmail.com if you are interested.