Friday, September 27, 2013

Old River with Point 65N Whisky 16 and XO 16

I'm excited to announce that I added a couple Whiskey 16's, XO 16's and a XP18 Pro Lite from Point 65N to my fleet!

Today my Son and I launched from Holland Riverside Marina a little
over an hour before high tide. The weather was in the upper 70's with winds below 10 mph. This was our first time visiting this area and definitely won't be my last.

Holland Riverside Marina boasts 2 launch ramps with docks and they charge $10 to launch. The owners are working on upgrading the marina including adding a beach which will be available to launch from sometime in the future. There are restrooms, lots of parking available and a small store whose hours vary. This is a beautiful area with a very friendly marina and many paddle options available.

If you enjoy paddling calm water with little current or you are new to paddling, I suggest heading west from the launch ramp toward Rock slough. After 3/4 of a mile if you stay to your right you'll be paddling Rock slough and can paddle another 2 miles just past the Delta Road bridge where the slough ends. If you decide to go left 3/4 miles west from the launch, you'll paddle Indian slough towards Orwood and Discovery Bay.

If you would like a longer more challenging paddle, head east from the launch and enter Old River. From here you can head north towards Little Mandeville Island or South towards Cruiser Haven and Discovery Bay. Make sure and plan your paddle with the tides and use a gps or chart to navigate so you don't get lost in the many sloughs and marsh islands.

Today we paddled south with the incoming tide towards Cruiser Haven to the Orwood Bascule Bridge. Once we entered Old River we stayed river left for a more direct route which was a little over 3 miles one way. You can paddle 6 plus miles one way if you decide to explore river right with the multitude of side sloughs and islands. The route we took today offered no landing sites or beaches, so be prepared to stay in your boat awhile.

I'll briefly  share my experience with the Whisky 16 designed by Nigel Foster and more thoroughly reviewed in Sea Kayaker magazine's latest issue. I seriously love this boat!  It fits like a glove, accelerates quickly and is effortless to put on edge. It comes standard with a skeg which I used for most of this paddle primarily because I forgot to put it back up after testing the mechanism. With the skeg not in use the stern unlocks and I was amazed at how easy the boat maneuvers. I'm not a sea kayaking expert but this boat will help me improve my skills and allow me to grow into the kayaker I'd like to be. The only thing this boat needs is a little padding on the seat which is an easy fix. If you would like to try this boat out for yourself contact Delta Kayak Adventures to set up a demo.

If the weather cooperates I'll be paddling the XO16 Sunday and write up a little review.
Sam paddling the XO 16

Fall can be the best time of year to paddle and explore the Delta! The winds die down and there tends to be more wildlife to view. The water temperature also cools down so it's best to always dress for immersion. If you have questions about where to paddle, what to wear or anything related to kayaking, I'd be happy to try and help! You can contact me here.

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