Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I've Been Up To....

It's been a busy month. Our family went back to Lake of the Springs for one last summer camping trip. We had a great time making new friends, paddling and fishing. The only down side was that for 7 out of 8 days, temperatures were above 100. The upside was it made for wonderful nighttime paddles! We even watched some of the Perseid meteor showers from our kayaks.

We made it home last week but haven't had a chance to get out and paddle until yesterday. My daughter and I headed to Lodi Lake so that I could try out a used boat that Dan from Headwaters was selling. I've decided to buy it and I'm soooooo excited!

It's the P&H Capella 166. I've been wanting to get a sea kayak for awhile but don't have the funds for a new boat. I told Dan what I was looking for - a boat that I would use primarily for touring, fairly fast, good storage capability and would work well for using on the Delta and San Francisco Bay. When I called him he said he had the perfect boat for me. Soooooo, I just had to go and see for myself.

We arrived at the lake around 2:00 and the weather was on the warm side, about 92 degrees. Dan was nice enough to bring the boat down to the lake for me. After getting in and adjusting the foot pegs, which were very easy to adjust, I launched with no issues. I paddled over to the dock to test the primary stability. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the boat leaned quite far before going all the way over. The seat was very comfortable although I got it a little askew when I pushed on the foot pegs but it was an easy fix. After checking the stability I just floated and snapped my hips back and forth to get the feel of the boat. Once I was comfortable my daughter and I headed up the Moke. After about 20 minutes or so I started to not feel so good and needed to rest in the shade. I hadn't realized how warm it actually was. After a power bar and water I began to feel much better and we set off again. I felt very comfortable in the cockpit and the boat moved effortlessly through the water. It has three sealed compartments for storage which will be great for long day trips and maybe a kayak camping trip down the road. Another plus for this boat is that it has a skeg and a rudder. The rudder can be removed easily if I want to take it off. Overall we paddled about 4 miles and I spent nearly three hours in the cockpit and felt relaxed and comfortable the entire time on the water. I can't wait to spend more time in it and learn new skills and improve on the skills I've been working on.

I am truly blessed to have a husband who supports and encourages me in everything I do. I look forward to spending more time on the water with him and the rest of my family and friends. Maybe someday I can become an instructor and share what I'm learning with others. Kayaking is an awesome sport!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Antioch Marina (update)

I had the itch to paddle this evening so I ended up dragging my daughter with me for a quick paddle to the Dow Wetlands from the Antioch Marina. The marina now has a self pay kiosk so it is no longer free to launch. It's $5.00 to launch but the ticket lasts for 24 hours. If the weather cooperates, I plan on returning in the morning.

The temperature was in the upper 70's with the wind blowing about 12mph according to my wind speed ap. High tide was at 6:47, which is about the time we launched. The water was a little choppy but not too bad. If you decide to paddle this area you really want to check the weather and be comfortable paddling in wind and white caps. It gets really windy this time of year. It took us about 20 minutes to paddle against the wind and current to get to the  Dow Wetlands Preserve. It's usually a little calmer within the preserve but not tonight. After taking a few pictures we decided to paddle a little further inside the preserve.

I checked my phone to see what time it was and when I looked up I realized that a beaver was swimming toward my boat. At first I thought, "how cute," but then I accidentally screamed when it looked like he was going to jump in my boat which sent him underwater rather quickly. With my heart racing we decided it was a good time to head home. We didn't have to do much work to get back. We just let the wind and current take us back to the marina while we enjoyed the sunset.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Heroes On the Water

My two eldest kids and I were greatly blessed today while taking part in Heroes on the Water at Lodi Lake.  
It was an honor to help serve our veterans. Heroes on the Water "helps wounded warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate with society through kayak fishing and the outdoors." You can find out more about the organization by clicking the link above. Today's event was put on by Norcal Kayak Anglers, Headwaters Kayak Shop and Waste Management. The American Legion cooked a wonderful breakfast for everyone and the VFW BBQ'd some great hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch. Explore SUP, Headwaters,  and members of Lodi Paddle Club provided over 70 boats and paddleboards for the vets to use. It was wonderful to see so many people volunteer their time for such a worthy cause!
Sammy Halladay helps prepare breakfast.

The American Legion cooking breakfast.

Lots of boats!

Dan Arbuckle giving a little paddle instruction.

Mokelumne River

My friend and I had a great paddle Tuesday evening on the Moke. We launched from Mokelumne Beach RV Park which is just north of Turner Rd. on Frontage Road off of Highway 99. It costs $5.00 per boat to launch but it is a beautiful place to paddle. Not many motor boats due to the many obstructions like downed trees and shallow depths.


It was 100 degrees when we launched just after 5:00. The many trees that line the river provided much needed relief from the heat. We had a leisurely, low key paddle on the glass like water. My only regret is that I didn't bring my fishing pole. We saw quite a few fish jumping and there were many good spots where I bet they were hiding.              

We also spotted  a Great White Heron, a couple of beavers and three yellow labs cruising in a zodiac. This is a great place for a quiet paddle and I look forward to returning soon!