Saturday, February 23, 2013

Heroes on the Water - Quarry Lakes

Friday I had the privilege of providing kayaks for veterans who attended the Heroes on the Water event at Quarry Lakes in Fremont. I want to give a shout out to Don Anglin who organized yesterday's event. He and other volunteers made this a very special day! Don's love for the vets is obvious and it's so refreshing to see that there are many people willing to sacrifice their time and resources for such a wonderful cause. A big thanks to East Bay Regional Parks who waved fees for the day! Our vets deserve our love and respect. We who haven't served in the military have no idea what these soldiers have given up for us to enjoy our freedom to live our lives in peace. I just feel so blessed to be able to help in any way I can.

The HOTW website states "Heroes on the Water has one purpose..... to help wounded warriors - injured military personnel - relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate with society through kayak fishing and the outdoors." Don Anglin is in charge of the Northern California chapter and if you are interested in getting involved in future events you can connect on norcalkayakanglers website. Not many fish were caught yesterday, but we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. There was no wind and it was a great day to be out on the mirror-like water. I look forward to meeting more vets and helping them get out on the water!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Winter at Cosumnes River Preserve

How many Black Crowned Night Heron can you find?

Today I had the opportunity to paddle the Cosumnes with a dear friend and we had an awesome day on the water! The temperature was around 54 degress and we launched from the preserve around 11:30 a.m. with the high tide predicted at 11:54 a.m. at 3.32 ft.. We weren't the only paddlers on the water today as we crossed paths with at least a dozen kayaker's. There were some in rec kayaks, several in sea kayaks and even a few fishing kayaks. I checked in with the fisherman and no one had caught anything yet but I brought my pole along just in case I wanted to give it a try.

We paddled at a leisurely pace down Middle Slough until we reached the Cosumnes where we headed east. When we reached "the Point" we headed up Tihuechemne Slough in search of Sand Hill Cranes. We didn't spot any while on the water but we saw flocks of them to the north of the preserve before and after our paddle. We did see a couple of Great Blue Heron, a Belted Kingfisher and at least a dozen Black Crowned Night Heron on our return to the launch. We also saw Turkey Vultures, a couple of Red Tail Hawks and a Great White Heron during our paddle. While taking in the beautiful scenery  I threw a few casts but only caught weeds, and my boat, so I gave up for the day.

Around 3:30 the wind started picking up and we began to get chilled so we headed back to the launch. It was another wonderful day paddling!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Franks Tract

It's beginning to feel like spring and today was a gorgeous day for a tour! I guided three clients today from Hennis Marina to Franks Tract today. The water was like glass the entire time we were on the water. We left just as the tide was going out at 9:15 a.m. and paddled against a gentle current the first hour and a half. We paddled about 3 miles through Sand Mound Slough towards Franks Tract until we spotted a nice beach where we could stretch out legs.

We didn't spot too much wildlife today other than Egrets, Blue Heron and a few coots. We also saw a hawk and we heard a seal barking in the distance.

After stretching our legs, we headed northeast into Franks Tract and spoke with some bass fisherman who told us they had caught five black bass so far. Franks Tract was absolutely beautiful with the flat water seemingly going on forever.

After enjoying the scenery, we headed back with low tide in full swing for an effortless paddle home. Overall, we paddled a little over 7 miles in the 3.5 hours we spent on the water. We couldn't have asked for a better day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Decker Island Circumnavigation

 It was a beautiful morning although a little on the chilly side at 49 degrees at launch. Low tide was predicted at 10:47 a.m. at the Three-mile Slough-Sacramento River tide station. We launched our kayaks from the beach on the north side of the Three-mile Slough bridge. This is actually a very nice spot to take off from as it's a gently sloped beach. The beach itself is about 40 feet from the roadside parking area but there are a couple of not -so-steep paths to choose from to get to the beach. This area seems to be a hot spot for fisherman though there were only a couple here today. There are no facilities such as restrooms here but it is free. Brannan Island State Park is across the road and has nice facilities if you would like a restroom and there is a $8.00  day use/launch fee at the park.

Rope swing on the tree
Decker Island  is a 648 acre island that sits between the Sacramento River on the east side of the island and Horseshoe bend to the west. The Department of Fish and Game owns the northernmost 33 acres of the island and have been working to restore native plants on the island. There is a nice article that was published in 2005 that describes the work that has been done. According to the DFG website, activities including wildlife viewing and waterfowl hunting are allowed. There are several beaches along Horseshoe Bend that would make nice lunchtime stops. There's even a rope swing hanging from a tree if you dare to try it!
Sacramento River side 

Rio Vista in the distance
We launched at about 10:45 a.m. and paddled effortlessly with the current around the entire island which is an approximate 6 mile paddle. We returned to the put in at about 1:00 p.m. which was quite quick considering we didn't put much work into actually paddling. We spotted several Great Blue Heron, a couple of Sandhill Cranes, Great White Herons and some Mallard ducks. Information from the DFG state there are mink, beaver, river otters and even coyotes on the island though we didn't spot any mammals today.

Delta Kayak Adventures will definitely be adding this location to the tours we offer!

View of launch from the water

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hennis Marina - Bethel Island

Another wonderful day on the water and the best part was I got to spend it with my hubby Randy! We took his Jackson Cuda and my Coosa (which is available to rent from Delta Kayak Adventures) out to Hennis Marina located near Sand Mound Slough to do some fishing. The weather was beautiful, about 63 degrees. Hennis Marina worked out great for Randy because they launched us using an elevator. Randy's knees are in very bad shape so it's difficult for him to get in and out of his boat when we use a ramp. Jim, the owner of Hennis Marina, was so helpful and patient while we unloaded our gear onto the lift. They charge $10 to launch a group and it's well worth it.   They also have restrooms available. It's best to call first and let them know your coming but he's there most of the time.

We launched about 1:30 and headed east towards Sand Mound Slough. Low tide was predicted at 4:44 so we paddled against the current but it wasn't too bad. When we reached the slough we headed south with the current and just drifted while we fished. No nibbles or bites today but it was so beautiful it didn't matter. We took in the scenery and saw a couple of Great Blue Herons and some Egrets.  We also saw an ultralight plane buzzing around the slough which was pretty neat to watch. After almost three hours on the water, we headed back to the marina and were lifted out of the water effortlessly (at least for us). What a great facility! It makes the water so much more accessible for those who have physical disabilities.