Paddlers now have access to another free launch spot! East Bay Parks have recently reopened Bay Point Regional Shoreline after an extensive restoration project. The restoration included habitat restoration, restroom upgrades, improvements to accessibility and trails, interpretive panels and overlooks and the addition of a kayak launch. Overall, the park district has done a wonderful job improving this park and I encourage you to check it out for yourself. Not only for paddling but as a lovely area for an easy hike.
The launch itself is about 1,000 feet from the parking lot so make sure to bring some wheels. The path to launch is not paved but it is a compacted surface which made it easy to pull kayaks to launch. For kayaks longer than 12 feet, you may need to go around a short fence as there is a 90 degree turn before you enter the gangway. There are flushable restrooms and a nice picnic area adjacent to parking lot.
This area gives you access to Honker and Suisun Bays. Fall and winter would be the best times to paddle this area due to less wind but always check tides and wind forecast. The current can be very strong in this area and tides are critical in planning a trip here. Spring and Summer are notorious for westerly winds and this area can be hazardous for novice paddlers. There is some protection from wind near the launch area but you need at least a one foot tide to paddle the protected area. I returned to the launch at a .92 ft tide and there was maybe 3 inches of depth at launch.
Fall and Winter offer some of the best paddling conditions on the California Delta. With spectacular sunsets and abundant wildlife viewing you can enjoy magical moments on the water. You may be thinking it's too cold to paddle but I'm here to let you know you can still enjoy being on the water without being cold and uncomfortable.
First of all, the number one thing not to wear is COTTON. Cotton absorbs water and takes a very long time to dry. Do not wear cotton t-shirts or jeans when paddling. Synthetic clothing like polyester blends, fleece or wool are great options for layering. We are all unique and some of us run warmer than others. If you tend to chill easily, start with something like a rash guard or thin synthetic base layer. You can also use these year round for sun protection. Next would be a medium weight layer or wool followed by a heavy outercore or expedition weight layer. There are many manufacturers but my personal favorites are Kokatat and NRS. Check their websites for more information about their products.
Another option is pairing dry pants with a dry top. This is a more economical option but again won't necessarily keep you completely dry if you are submerged. Again, beware of dry top and pants vs. semi-dry top and pants.
Finally, gloves can not only help keep your hands warm but can help protect against blisters. I honestly have yet to find a pair of gloves that I love. Neoprene gloves are ok but for me, once wet, it's very hard to keep my hands warm. I'm still experimenting and will let you know if I find the perfect glove. Another option to gloves is using pogies. Pogies allow you to have direct contact with the paddle shaft yet shield your hands from cold temperatures.
Do you have to spend a thousand dollars or more to keep warm? The answer is NO. The most economically safe option is a wetsuit paired with a paddling jacket or semi-dry or dry top. If this isn't in your budget you can always wear synthetic layers and splash pants and splash jacket to help keep you dry.
Whether you wear a drysuit, wetsuit or go with synthetic layers, ALWAYS bring a change of clothes to keep in a drybag in case you do get wet.Delta Kayak Adventures offers paddle pants or wetsuits at no additional charge to help keep you dry and toasty if you book rentals or a guided tour.
|You'll find this downed tree on the southwest portion of Kimball.|
It has been way too long since my last post. This year has definitely been crazy. After being shut down for nearly 10 weeks, we were able to reopen on a limited basis. Paddling is probably the safest social distance activity one can do. Thankfully, we have had a very busy but challenging year like so many other small businesses. The excessive heat and smoke from fires throughout the state forced us to close down multiple times, including Labor Day weekend.Facebook Page.
We have lots of exciting tours coming up including a couple of new tours that haven't been available to the public. Winter Island, on the San Joaquin River, has been recently restored to wetland habitat. It was a private island owned by a hunting club which the state bought and completed restoration last November. The currents within the sloughs inside the island can be very challenging so I strongly suggest a guided trip to explore it safely. Delta Kayak Adventures has made special arrangements with Oxbow Marina to offer limited tours from their amazing location. Oxbow is a private marina and not open to the public. They are located on Georgiana Slough which is one my favorite sloughs in the Delta.
Check out our calendar to see what tours are coming up or book a custom tour with friends and or family! Kayak and paddleboard rentals are available year round but reservations are required a minimum of 24 hours in advance. We offer wetsuits and paddle pants during the cooler months at no additional charge.
Happy paddling and hope to see you on the water soon!
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