Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thank You!

It's hard to believe that a year has passed since I officially started Delta Kayak Adventures. I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people with adventurous spirits. More than 300 people have paddled the Delta with me and most were amazed at the beauty of the Delta and its' inhabitants. Many were bitten by the paddling bug and have purchased their first kayak and continue to join me and others in exploring the Delta.

I couldn't have started this venture without the love and support of family and friends. With their support and God's blessing, I've paddled nearly 1,000 miles this past year and have barely scratched the surface of what the Delta and greater Bay Area has to offer. I'm also very grateful for the support of my customers, without them I cannot continue.  I'm looking forward to exploring more of the Delta and beyond, increasing my skills as a paddler and sharing this journey with others. I hope you'll join me.

To celebrate one year in business Delta Kayak Adventures is having a sale for a limited time on gift certificates. Two people can join a local tour for the price of one!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sandhill Cranes and Sycamore Slough

I have to say that today's paddle ranks as one of the best paddles ever! The temperature was 72 degrees when we launched at 1:30 from Tower Park and high tide was predicted for 2:38. We paddled with the current to Westgate landing where we hung out for awhile and watched at least a dozen Night Herons take flight from the trees. One Night Heron was very vocal as a hawk circled close to their tree. We continued on towards Sycamore slough and didn't encounter any other boats along the way.

We arrived at the entrance to Sycamore Slough around 2:30 and paddled approximately 2 miles when we spotted our first Sandhill Crane sitting on the levy by himself. As we watched him, more flocks flew noisily above us and appeared to land nearby which I believed to be Woodbridge Ecological Reserve. We spotted a couple more hawks and a White Heron while we rested in the Tule. We decided to head home around 3:15 and as we paddled west we spotted what had to be thousands of Sandhill Cranes heading toward us. We stopped paddling and gazed at the amazing sight before us. As far as the eye could see, the sky was dotted with cranes flying in. I shot some video from my phone which isn't very good quality but you can hear the cranes as they fly overhead.

An absolutely amazing day with great company! If you get the chance to paddle this area do it now before the Sandhill Cranes leave in January!

All the little black dots are Sandhill Cranes!

Crane drying his wings maybe?
Beautiful end to a wonderful day!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Kayak Fishing Contra Loma

Happy Veterans Day! I'd like to thank all the men and women who are serving or have served our country. In particular I'd like to thank my Grandpa, my Dad and my husband for their service in the Navy. Our country is blessed to have so many who are willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom.

Today I took my Jackson Coosa out for a spin on Contra Loma Reservoir and fished the afternoon away. I didn't catch anything but it was great just being on the water. It was so peaceful out there today and the water was so still it seemed you could walk on it. To my surprise, there was only one other kayaker on the lake today. Lots of people were fishing from the bank and the docks and I spoke with one who said he caught a couple of bass. I know there is fish there because I saw them jumping all around me. I tried everything from powerbait to jigs and lures but I didn't even get a nibble.

Contra Loma is an East Bay Regional Park and you can paddle the lake between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. everyday. The fees add up but it is a really nice park to visit. You want to make sure that your kayak and all your gear are completely dry for the quagga mussel inspection. They charge $3 for the inspection but it's good for 30 days which means you can go to any East Bay Regional Park and will not be charged for the inspection. They charge $4 to launch and $5 for a daily fishing permit. I  purchase a yearly membership so I don't have to pay the parking fee each time I visit. I was told today that you can also purchase a yearly inspection permit for $40. The facilities are very nice and include a boat ramp and picnic area nearby. For more info you can visit their website.

If you would like to paddle Contra Loma but don't have a kayak, Delta Kayak Adventures would be pleased to bring one or more out there for you! The Coosa is also available for rent!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cosumnes River Fall Paddle

Yesterday was one of the best days I've ever had paddling the Cosumnes River Preserve. My daughter and I led a wonderful group of five paddlers on a tour exploring the preserve. It was unbelievably warm for November, making it hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

The foliage along the river displayed its' fall colors loudly as we paddled quietly through the water. We traveled up the Cosumnes, entered Tihuechemne slough  and paddled as far as possible before we had to turn around at the pumping station. Back on the Cosumnes River, we paddled east to the "Tall Forest" where we stopped for a stretch and a snack.

We continued our exploration into Woodchuck Slough where it soon was choked off by overgrown trees and other plants of this riparian forest. As we exited Woodchuck slough I witnessed the largest fish I have ever seen personally, leap out of the water and nearly land in a kayak! I'm not sure what type of fish it was but it had a reddish tint which makes me think it may have been a salmon but I'm not sure if they're known for leaping out of the water like bass.

We all were reluctant to return to the put in after such a lovely day on the water so we meandered at a leisurely pace soaking in our surroundings. I'm amazed each time I finish a paddle at how refreshed and rejuvenated I feel. I'm truly blessed to have the opportunity to share my passion for paddling with others and meet some extraordinary people at the same time.

Photo by Amanda Bunton

If you would like to paddle the Cosumnes River Preserve or other parts of the California Delta, contact Delta Kayak Adventures as we would be happy to guide you!