Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Upcoming Tours and Events

As summer winds down I'm looking forward to paddling my favorite time of year, fall. We have some great tours coming up so be sure to check our calendar.

 If you haven't seen the full moon rise over the Delta you should sign up for our moonlight paddle which is scheduled for September 8th. It's an experience you won't forget.

We'll be spending time on the water cleaning up the Delta for Coastal Cleanup day September 20th. Grab your boat and gear and be sure to join us! Delta Kayak Adventures will be providing kayaks for a minimal charge to help cover costs associated with transporting and launching. We also have a special cleanup planned for Antioch on the 19th of September where we'll be providing kayaks free of charge. We only have a couple spots left for the Antioch cleanup but we'll create a waiting list in case someone cancels. If you have your own boat contact us for more info.

September 21st we'll be paddling one of my favorite spots - Steamboat and Sutter Slough in the heart of the Delta. The following week we will explore the Cosumnes River Preserve which is another must see location!

We are also planning a day of kayak fishing on the Delta and an Intro to Kayaking class so check our site often.

Those are just a few of the tours we have planned for September and as always, you can request a custom tour for your group.

Happy paddling!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Miner Slough

Did a little exploring today with a friend of mine. It's been awhile since I've had the opportunity to get out and discover new paddling destinations and it felt great to be back in my Whisky! We launched just north of Rio Vista at 10:15 a.m. and paddled north on Cache Slough also known as the deepwater shipping channel that leads to Sacramento. High tide was predicted to be almost 3 ft. at 12:23 and the winds were forecast to be under 10 mph. The wind was actually blowing at least 10-15 mph out of the northwest with 20 mph gusts which made for a lively paddle the first 4 miles but we had a good current pushing us north so we covered those first 4 miles in under an hour.

I have to say the paddle from Rio Vista to the entrance of Miner slough is pretty boring as far as scenery goes but once you enter Miner slough it makes it all worth while. Miner slough is located east of the shipping channel and there are a couple of possible entrances. We chose the northernmost entrance and paddled slowly taking in the scenery. This area is very remote and both sides of the slough are covered with cottonwoods, eucalyptus trees and tons of blackberry bushes.

Within a mile of entering the slough we came upon an opening among the brush and trees. We peeked through the opening and saw heavy equipment, tractors, a trailer, patio boat and other items strewn about with some items submerged. We did a little poking around in this flooded area of Prospect Island but didn't stay too long as there was an eerie feeling about the place. Upon further research I discovered that this area was the site of a massive fish kill back in 2007. After a levy break the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation went in to repair the levy and while pumping out the water ended up stranding thousands of Stripers and other fish that call the Delta home. I guess they abandoned the repair project and left it as they found it.

We continued north and soon spotted dozens of huge palm trees and another entrance to a lagoon. I would love to find out more info about what used to be here as it looks like a beautiful spot and could have possibly been a resort some time ago. By the time we finished exploring this little area it was just after noon and we were starting to get hungry so we continued our journey north keeping an eye out for possible spots to get out and stretch. After a mile or so we couldn't find any suitable spots to get out but we did find a nice shady area under a canopy of trees so we rafted up and ate lunch.

We were hoping to make it to Arrowhead Marina but it was getting late and I began to worry about what the wind would be like back on the deepwater channel. We turned around about a mile shy of our destination which makes for a great excuse to get back out there. We paddled with determination back to Cache slough only to find it just as calm as Miner slough. That was a great relief and we were able to relax and float with the outgoing tide back to the put- in.

We ended up kayaking almost 15 miles for a great workout. The only downside was being in our boats for 5 hours without being able to get out and stretch. We'll be heading out there during a low tide to see if there are any hidden beaches that would make good rest stops. We didn't see much wildlife today unless you count bass fisherman. It was another awesome day on the Delta!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Paddling & Kayak Fishing Lake Mildred

I've spent the past week with my kids paddling and fishing Lake Mildred in the Sierra foothills. Lake Mildred is a 120 acre lake located within the Thousand Trails preserve, Lake of the Springs in Oregon House California. The first four days we paddled early in the morning and fished in the evening to avoid the 100 plus degree heat. The fishing wasn't great but it was a lot of fun and I did land a total of five fish including 3 small smallmouth bass and 2 good size crappie. My daughter ended up with 4 small bluegill which she caught from the dock.

Thousand Trails used to be a member only campground system but it is now open to the public. At Lake of the Springs you must camp at least one night to access Lake Mildred. There are endless outdoor opportunities in this area whether you like to paddle, fish, bike or hike. Within a 10 mile radius you can explore Bullards Bar and/or Collins Lake.  Bullards Bar is a huge emerald green lake that is well known for houseboating and fishing. Collins Lake has a great reputation for fishing and you can't beat their ice cream!  If you prefer moving water, the Yuba River is only a 20 minute drive from the preserve but do your homework before paddling the Yuba as there are many dams that create deadly hazards for those unprepared.

Due to the severe drought, water levels are very low at both Bullards Bar and Collins Lake but full enough to enjoy your time on the water. Lake Mildred is down about 15 feet from last year. I didn't get a chance to check out the Yuba River but according to the California Department of Water Resources the river is running just above 800 CFS near Marysville as of August 7th.

As summer winds down, I'll be scouting more of the eastern and southern Delta region. I'll be posting more "Wednesday Wanderings" where you'll have the chance to join me in these explorations.

Happy paddling!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Summertime Paddling the Delta

The past couple of weeks I've been blessed to be busy leading tours. Our Sunset and Moonlight paddles have been spectacular! We've also done a couple of kayak fishing tours which didn't yield a lot of fish but made for a great day on the water. We have our first camp and paddle event coming up soon. We'll be paddling Bullards Bar and Lake Mildred in Oregon House California. Be sure and contact us if you are interested in joining us for a fabulous weekend on the water.

Don't miss August 10th's Supermoon paddle! According to "Full moon falls on August 10, 2014 at 18:09 UTC (1:09 p.m. CDT in the U.S.). This full moon is not only the closest and largest full moon of the year. It also presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth for all of 2014. The moon will not be so close again until the full moon of September 28, 2015. In other words, it’s not just a supermoon. It’s the closest supermoon of 2014."

 If you would like a private tour for your family or group or would like to rent kayaks and do a little exploring on your own be sure and contact us. We'll be happy to help get you out on the water to experience our backyard...the beautiful California Delta!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Paddling and Kayak Fishing Lake Chelan, Washington

The past couple of weeks I've been paddling and exploring eastern Washington and Oregon. This post is about Lake Chelan, which in my opinion is the most beautiful lake in the world! It is a glacier fed and carved lake 55 miles long and in some spots over 1400 feet deep making it the third deepest lake in the U.S.. The water clarity is unmatched by any lake I have ever seen including Lake Tahoe.

We stayed at Lakeshore RV park which is situated right next to the lake and has easy kayak launching  access. If you bring your wheels you can pull your kayak to the beach which is maybe 100 yards from the campground depending on where you're parked. If you're not camping you can use the boat launch facility for $5 daily fee.

I didn't get to do as much long distance paddling as I had hoped but I did get to fish from my kayak in the crystal clear waters. The water temperature is somewhere between 55 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit so it's best to dress for immersion if you plan on doing any long distance paddling or paddle far from shore. Keep an eye on the weather and check the forecast before launching as the weather can quickly change and the wind can produce 3-4 foot swells. There are multiple options for paddling trips and I suggest using route builder to plan your trip.

I fished from my kayak on one day and paddled from lakeshore park towards the dam. as I tossed my lure into the water I could see many fish following it but didn't have any bites. I discovered a place near shore under the cover of some trees where I parked, ate lunch and watched as many fish passed by my boat. Although I didn't catch anything it was a great day on the water!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

McCovey Cove

This past Sunday I finally paddled to McCovey Cove and hung out there with my daughter and a couple of friends.  I'm a huge Giants fan and have always wanted to hang out in the Cove and possibly grab a "splash hit."

We attempted to escape the heat of the East Bay but it followed us to San Francisco and made it an amazing day to be on the bay. The tide was perfect for game time with less than a 3ft variation for the time we were on the water. We brought anchors along just in case the current was strong but they weren't needed for this day.

We launched from Pier 52 around 12:30 p.m. with a light westerly breeze and paddled past the merchant ships towards McCovey Cove. We timed it just right as boats and watercraft of all shapes and sizes were making their way to the Cove.  We arrived just in time for the National Anthem.

The paddle from Pier 52 gave us the opportunity to view the City from a whole different perspective. As I scanned the horizon I soaked in the view of AT&T Park on the left with towering skyscrapers in the middle and the Bay Bridge leading away from San Francisco. What a spectacular sight with tankers moored, container ships heading to port, sailboats, yachts, boats filled with tourists and ferries loaded with Giants fans.

With the sun blaring down on us we were pleasantly surprised to see shade available under the walkway that surrounds the park. When we weren't floating in the splash zone we could duck under the walkway to get out of the sun and cool off. At one point there were 40 kayaks and at least a dozen boats parked in the cove. Everyone was very friendly and it was fun to watch everyone enjoying the day.

One thing I would do next time is bring a radio with earbuds so I can actually listen to the game. It would be great if the Giants would put speakers up along the Cove so people could follow along. There is quite a bit of noise in the cove from the crowd inside and outside the park which made it difficult to hear the game on our radio.

It was a great day and I look forward to doing it again! We even came close to catching a "splash hit!" A home run hit by one of the Mets sailed over my daughter's head and landed only a few feet away. We paddled back to Pier 52 after the 8th inning with the tide in our favor. We did have a brisk headwind for the last quarter mile but we made it safely back in only 15 or 20 minutes from the time we left the cove.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Moonlight Paddle and Private Tours

The past few weeks have been extremely windy almost every day. We got a break earlier this week with a three or four day heatwave which worked out wonderfully for our Moonlight Paddle on the Delta. I've been pretty busy with private classes and tours which has been nice.

The Moonlight Paddle couldn't have been any better. With a gentle breeze we paddled along Rock Slough towards Becky's Bridge. Just before the moon was due to rise we turned around and floated with the gentle current with our eyes fixed on the eastern horizon. Within minutes we were treated to a huge orange glowing ball of light climbing slowly skyward hovering over the peaceful Delta. On our way back to the put-in we were followed by an angry beaver who kept splashing his tail as we paddled along.

Here is a sample of our view. It's not the best video quality and nothing compared to the actual experience so be sure and sign up for our Moonlight Paddle to experience it for yourself!

Last night we hosted a great group for a private tour. We had people who had never paddled before along with casual paddlers and kayakers with their own boats. It was a wonderful evening despite the threat of wind hampering our progress. We were treated to a Mama duck with about a dozen ducklings, heron, an otter and a seal who surfaced only a couple of feet in front of one of our boats!

Delta Kayak Adventures would love to host and guide your group for a leisurely paddle on the Delta. We offer special rates for groups of 5 or more. Contact us for more info.