Monday, December 23, 2013

Pittsburg to Antioch around Browns Island

What a beautiful day today on the Delta. I spent the afternoon paddling my Whisky 16 around Browns Island to the Dow Wetlands Preserve and onto Antioch. I launched about 2:00 from the Pittsburg Marina about 15 minutes after low tide. It was 63 degrees with a gentle breeze coming from the southwest.

I crossed New York slough and paddled north around Browns Island towards Middle slough. I made note of a few beaches I passed for future reference. The water of Suisun Bay was very calm with only a couple small boats anchored and fishing. It only took me 15 minutes while paddling against a gentle current to reach Middle Slough. I was surprised at the lack of wildlife today but it was incredibly peaceful out there.

I paddled south on Middle slough closer to Winter Island until I reached New York Slough once again. I passed by what looked like an old wreck and about three barges loaded with debris. I reached the southeast tip of Winter Island at about 3:00 and stopped for a snack in some shade. I continued on to the Dow Wetlands Preserve where I finally spotted some waterfowl enjoying the sunshine. As I was leaving the Preserve an otter spotted me and we watched each other for a few minutes. He would hide behind some tule as he stretched his head about 6 inches above the water to check on me. He was so cute and encountering him was a wonderful treat to end the day.

It was great to get on the water and escape the hustle and bustle of the Christmas rush. Being alone on the water gave me the chance to "recharge" and think about the true meaning of Christmas.

May your Christmas and holiday season be filled with love, peace and joy!

Luke 2:11: "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Delta Meadows

Today I finally had the opportunity to explore Delta Meadows. The tides were perfect and the weather was a bit chilly being in the mid 40's but there was no wind which made the water like glass. We launched from Walnut Grove Marina a little after 1:00 p.m. with high tide predicted for 1:47 p.m..

The marina itself is very nice with a little store, clean restrooms and friendly people. They normally charge $10 to launch per vehicle not per boat but check their policy as sometimes they won't charge if you carry your kayaks to the ramp. Be sure and bring a chart and pay close attention to landmarks as it could be easy to get lost in the myriad of sloughs and channels.

After launching, we headed north on Snodgrass slough with what was left of the incoming tide. As we passed many beautiful houseboats a few ducks made their presence known as they flew back and forth across the slough. As we paddled up Snodgrass slough we passed many entrances to various channels and sloughs just begging to be explored. This area has a multitude of options to choose from for paddling quests. We chose to paddle the main channel of Snodgrass slough for about 3 miles until we reached the Meadows Slough. Once we reached the Meadows Slough we paddled southwest for another mile taking in the beautiful scenery. We discovered what had to be over a hundred turkey vultures perched in the numerous trees lining the levies. We were fascinated by just how numerous they were.

While we were investigating the Meadows, we lost track of time and soon realized almost an hour had passed and decided we should head back to the put in. I had hoped we would have a strong current in our favor to help us home but was surprised at how little current there was. We continued at a brisk pace not only to make it back before dark but to help keep us warm as the sun disappeared behind the many trees bordering the various small islands we passed.

I'm putting this paddle at the top of my list of best places to paddle on the Delta. I see myself spending a lot more time exploring the nooks and crannies of this magnificent area. I'll be adding this to the tours Delta Kayak Adventures offers so be sure to check our calendar or contact me for a private tour.