Monday, April 30, 2012

Big Break Marina

My friend and I had a nice leisurely paddle today at Big Break.  This time I launched from Big Break Marina so I didn't have to drag the boats a quarter mile to launch at Big Break Regional Shoreline.  It makes a big difference, especially when it's on the warmer side like today.  It costs $10 to launch but they charge per car not per boat so I thought it was well worth it.

We launched a little after 11:00 a.m. just before high tide and there was barely a breeze.  After leaving the marina we came upon this little island that reminded me of some tropical paradise.  We continued southeast at a very leisurely pace and just enjoyed the scenery.  We saw a couple of herons, a pelican and the usual mud ducks.  

We also stumbled across an abandoned sailboat that looked as though someone wanted to get rid of, tucked in the marsh.  After an hour or so we headed back towards Big Break Regional Shoreline and had lunch in the shade.  The wind started to pick up quite a bit so after lunch we paddled close to shore and headed back to the marina.  What a wonderful day!!

Today's trip

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lodi Lake - LPC Skills Clinic

What an awesome day at Lodi Lake today!  Dan Arbuckle from Headwaters Kayak hosted an intro to kayaking class and skills clinic for the Lodi Paddle Club.   I know he only scratched the surface, but I learned so much and have lots of strokes to practice.  It's amazing how well you can control your boat with the proper stroke technique!  

Today we worked on the forward and reverse sweep, the stern and bow rudder and the sculling side draw.  Learning the bow rudder made an incredible difference, allowing me to turn my boat much easier.  Dan also showed me how to use edging to turn my boat more efficiently.  I was doing great with the edging at first until I leaned a little too far and ended up in the drink.  Boy was that water cold!  Of course I decided to not wear my wetsuit top today.  Bad choice.  I will definitely wear my complete suit when paddling in cold water.

Bill practicing rescue techniques with Ron
 Because of my undesirable swim, I was able to practice my self rescue technique with my Tempo.  After a successful rescue with the help of Dan, we continued to work on our strokes by fetching a bilge and attempting figure eights around some buoys.  We then took a little rest on the beach and decided to do some paddling to warm up.  After a little paddling I realized I wasn't as warm as I would have liked to be so I decided to call it a day.  I had a great workout and got to hang out with some nice people!  All in all, a great day!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sandy Beach - Sherman Island

Saturday April 7th was a beautiful day to be on the water!  Headwaters Kayak Shop from Lodi was having a fishing kayak demo day and made it a great excuse to get out and check out the area.  I brought a couple of friends to try out some different boats and I brought my Tempo.  With no wind, this place is absolutely gorgeous!  

Sandy Beach Park is located on the Northwest corner of Sherman Island just north of Antioch.   There is a boat ramp and a sandy beach available to launch your kayak.  Restrooms are also available although they are just pit toilets but they were clean when we visited.  There is a $5.00 entry fee which is self pay if the kiosk is unattended.  There is also a $2.50 small craft launch fee.  You can get more info from their website

There are many options to choose from to explore this area.  We didn't paddle too far from the launch area as my friends were trying out different boats.  We did paddle to a tiny island for a snack and water break and it was beautiful.  I plan on returning to explore the many islands and sloughs in the area. Spring and fall are the best times to visit as there is less wind.  During the summer, it is my understanding, windsurfers and kite boarders use this spot extensively and it can be very crowded.  It must also be a great place to fish because there were many fisherman lined up and down the levy road with multiple rods trying to hook a prize.

I can't wait to go back!