Friday, December 9, 2016

Martinez to Eckley Pier

Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of paddling from Martinez with intentions of landing at Port Costa but conditions were so good we kept on paddling and ended up at Eckley Pier.

We launched from the Martinez Marina about 45 minutes after low tide and caught the remaining ebb for a ride to Port Costa. There's no charge to launch kayaks if you don't have a trailer but make sure to load gear away from ramp as not to block others from launching. Wind was forecast to be 4 knots or less from the west.

After launching we headed west on the Carquinez Strait and pointed our bows toward the Ozol pier which used to be a jet fuel storage and transfer station. The pier is highly visible being over 800 feet in length and 270 feet offshore. We made our way closer to shore and paddled under the pier. Just past the pier, we encountered a beautiful tugboat, the Delta Billie. She had her engines idling while waiting for her ship to come in.

We continued paddling close to shore as we made our way to Port Costa. The shipping channel is extremely close to shore so we were careful to stay out of the channel and keep our eyes open for approaching ships. We reached Port Costa after an hour of paddling which meant we were moving quickly averaging over 4 mph at a leisurely pace so we decided to continue and head for Eckley Pier.

We reached Eckley Pier in no time and landed on a gravelly beach on the west side of the pier. Eckley pier is part of East Bay Parks Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline and is a beautiful park with miles of hiking trails. We enjoyed a snack at the park and there are restrooms available with flush toilets on the other side of railroad tracks. According to this was "the site of a small village, brick-making plant, and the famous Garden City Ferry, the area now features a park with an open grassy area, a half-dozen picnic tables and the remnants of an old brick structure."

We departed the park and paddled around a huge structure in the water that looked like some sort of kiln, presumably left over from the brick-making plant. We caught the flooding tide and paddled on glassy water taking time out to watch a seal swimming close to shore looking for an easy meal from fishermen on shore. We also witnessed a large fish jump clear out of the water going after something on the surface.

Before heading back into the marina, we took a detour up Alhambra creek. After a little exploring we noticed it was getting dark quickly so we returned to the marina in fading light. There is a fishing pier very close to the entrance of the marina so be watchful of fishing lines to avoid getting tangled. It was a lovely paddle and I could hardly believe the calm water conditions. I look forward to returning!

Contact us to book tours and rentals

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

San Joaquin River Trips #2 - Point Sacramento

Trip #2 in our series on day trips from Antioch is a paddle for more experienced kayakers. It's a minimum of 3.5 miles one way to Point Sacramento which can be done in an hour if timed properly with tides but you'll want more time to explore on the way.

Things you want to consider before launching are tides, weather/wind and water temperature. Always dress for immersion, do not wear cotton and wear a PFD. Check wind forecast and if wind is forecast 10+ MPH reconsider launching. It doesn't take a lot of wind to create 3-4ft rollers on this section of the San Joaquin. Launch a minimum of an hour before low tide to get the most help from the current. There aren't any places to bail out or stop and stretch until you reach Point Sacramento.

Cabin Slough

After launching from the Antioch Marina, cross the San Joaquin and head northwest along the shoreline of Kimball Island. You'll be crossing the shipping channel so be sure there are no ships in sight. This area can be busy with other boat traffic so make sure to be alert and make yourself highly visible. Once reaching Kimball, stay within 15 feet of shoreline to stay out of shipping channel and follow until you reach Point Sacramento.

Your first possible detour is Cabin Slough. There's usually raptors hanging out in the trees at the entrance and there are a couple of openings that beckon exploration within a half mile. If you continue to head northwest you'll reach another large inlet that leads to Sherman Island. You could spend all day exploring a fraction of the passageways within Sherman Island. Make sure you have a GPS and be cautious at tides 1 ft or lower to avoid getting stuck in mud. It's easy to get lost in here so keep track with your GPS.

Approximately 1.25 miles northwest from the inlet, you'll reach Point Sacramento. There is a sandy beach although it can disappear with a high tide. Be cautious here as the current can be very strong. If you time your paddle with the tides and reach Point Sacramento at slack or just as the tide begins to flood, your paddle back to the Antioch Marina should be an easy one and you could potentially do very little actual paddling and just ride the tide home. Remember to keep an eye out for ships before crossing the river back to the marina.

Contact Delta Kayak Adventures to book a guided tour!

We offer guided kayak tours, kayak & paddleboard rentals & classes.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Save 10% on Gift Cards - Limited Time


Get 10% off your purchase of gift cards now through December 14th! Gift cards do not expire and can be used towards any tour, class, kayak or paddleboard rental. Click HERE to purchase gift card and use save10 for promo code.

Check our calendar for upcoming tours and classes!

We appreciate your business and look forward to helping you explore the California Delta!

Book a custom tour for your group!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2016 ACA Paddlesports Conference Sausalito

This past weekend I was fortunate to be able to participate in this years ACA Paddlesports Conference held at Seatrek and the Bay Model in Sausalito California. It was an amazing weekend with lots of paddling opportunities and educational sessions.

I began the weekend by participating in the "Fun Paddle on Sausalito Bay" led by co-owner Galen Licht of Sea Trek. It was an amazing start to a great weekend. The weather was unbelievably warm and water like glass. We spent a couple hours exploring the waterfront with Galen sharing a little history and culture about the area. It was wonderful paddling with so many kayak and SUP enthusiasts from all over the globe.

After the paddle, the Conference welcomed us with words from the ACA executive director and others including Lynn Sadler, Deputy Director of the Division of Boating & Waterways- California State Parks. It was very encouraging to hear Lynn speak of her own paddling experience and how she truly wants to support and encourage paddle sports in our state. The DBW has produced a safety video for ocean and flatwater kayaking, which if you are new to the sport, I recommend watching.

I also attended Friday's educational sessions  "Waves,Wildlife and Wonder of Mendocino" and "Using Skills Routines to Improve Demonstration and Assessments". Cate Hawthorne and Jeff Laxier did the presentation about Mendocino and it persuaded me to put it at the top of my bucket list of places to paddle soon. They own and operate Liquid Fusion Kayak and offer tours and classes for all paddlers.

Saturday was the day I was really looking forward to and it certainly did not disappoint. I took the "Practical Navigation" class with Richard Lee Smith and Peter Donahue. I won't share all the details but I learned quite a bit and was able to put it into practice on the water. We started on land going over basic navigation such as how to read a nautical chart and discussed currents and planned our trip route to Angel Island. On the water, students took turns leading and using ranges to complete each trip segment in a straight line. We crossed Racoon Strait about an hour or so prior to max ebb which was predicted to be a little over 2 knots. We crossed the channel and rested in an eddy behind a buoy before we made our way to the Garrison. During lunch we discussed what we learned and planned our trip back to Sea Trek. We would be crossing Raccoon Strait at maximum ebb and the water was sure to look a lot different than we crossed the first time.

With the large swell coming in through the Golden Gate,
powerboats galore and the ebb flowing at more than 2 knots, the water was anything but calm. The crossing got my heart rate up a little but was fun and challenging to paddle. We all made it safely back to Sea Trek and finished our day reviewing what we learned. Richard and Peter were awesome instructors and I'm so glad I participated in their class.

I finished the weekend with a session on social media and implementing adaptive kayak programs which I found to be very informative. My friend and I couldn't resist another paddle on Richardson Bay so we hit the water and did a bit more exploring. We paddled to the houseboats which are definitely worth checking out. Very eclectic mix of homes on the water. We paddled along the Sausalito waterfront and got to listen to some opera in the park before we headed in. All in all it was a great weekend and you should add Sausalito to your bucket list.

The American Canoe Association is an organization that supports all paddlesports and its' website includes a wealth of information.

Paddle safe!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

San Joaquin River Trips #1 - Point Beenar

Point Beenar

I plan on writing a series of day trips that are possible when launching from Antioch. Antioch has been designated a San Francisco Bay Water Trail Site and there are many choices of where you can paddle from this location. Antioch sits along the San Joaquin River and is very close to the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin. When paddling this area make sure to observe safe paddling practices. Always dress for water temperature not air temperature. While planning your trip, evaluate your skills and when in doubt don't paddle. Become familiar with nautical charts and how to read them. The San Joaquin River contains shipping channels that over 300 ships a year use to travel to the Port of Stockton and ships move a lot faster than they look. Never cross the river when a ship is in view. Be patient, enjoy the sights and sounds around you while waiting for the ship or other vessels to pass. Always check tides and weather forecast before heading out. It doesn't take much wind, about 10 knots against the tide, to really stir up the river with 2-4 foot swells and chop. If paddling during the fall and winter make sure to pack dry clothes and towel in a dry bag or if paddling for a short period leave dry clothes in your vehicle. Bring along a communication device such as your phone in a waterproof bag or VHF radio. Always wear a PFD, personal flotation device. For more safety tips check out the ACA website.

If you're a beginner, take an intro class to learn how to maneuver your boat efficiently. Start with small trips, under 2 hours to get your feet wet so to speak. There are some great spots within an hours paddle to explore. If you would prefer a guided trip contact me at Delta Kayak Adventures and we'll plan a custom trip designed for what you want to see or learn.

The following is a trip that can be paddled within 2 hours when planned in accordance with the tides.

Antioch Marina to Point Beenar: 3.5 miles round trip from Antioch boat launch

I love paddling in the fall. The weather was perfect today with fluffy clouds dotting the sky, not a stitch of wind and glassy water. I launched with what was left of the outgoing tide and made my way towards Winter Island along the south shore of the San Joaquin. I brought my fishing gear and trolled while paddling at a leisurely pace. My goal this year is to catch my first Salmon from my kayak but I have yet to succeed.

After paddling about a half mile past the entrance to the Dow Wetlands, I crossed New York Slough and pointed my bow towards Point Beenar. Sea lions barked in the background as I made my way across the channel. When I reached the Point and Winter Island a White-tailed Kite flew over me and landed on a tree at the edge of the water. I also spotted a Belted Kingfisher today. This time of year is awesome for viewing birds you don't often see on the Delta.

The fish were jumping all around me but none made it to my boat. I hung around the point for a while before turning my boat homeward and letting the current bring me back. The scenery was amazing and I noticed the sea lions were quiet. I floated past them without making a sound and two of them were sound asleep while another swam around the channel marker. The current was moving at a good clip and before I knew it I was at the Dow Wetlands so I decided to try my luck within the wetlands. Fish chased my lure but none took a bite. The sun was fading fast so I reluctantly paddled back to the marina.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Rentals Now Available at Antioch Marina & Upcoming Tours

Amazing Delta sunset this past Friday

The fall paddling season is upon us and I can't wait to spend more time on the water! This past week the weather has been amazing. A bit on the warm side with barely a breeze to speak of made for incredible water conditions.

San Joaquin River outside Antioch Marina

We have some exciting news! We now have kayaks and paddleboard rentals available at the Antioch Marina. We look forward to a bright future along the Antioch waterfront. At this time reservations are required to guarantee availability but rentals are available 7 days a week. There are many destinations begging to be explored and Antioch has become an official San Francisco Bay Water Trail site. Depending on your experience and the type of paddling you want to partake in, we will offer suggestions for both beginners and experts whether you want to paddle for an hour or an entire day. We'll be offering many trips and classes from this location and are excited to share this amazing place with you. We will continue to offer tours and rentals throughout the Delta region so keep an eye on our calendar or call to organize a custom trip with your group.

We currently have spots available on the following upcoming tours in October:

Sunday, October 16th -  Antioch to Dow Wetlands

Saturday October 29th - Steamboat Slough

Sunday October 30th - Holland Tract
Contact us to create your own adventure!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

South Fork Mokelumne River

It was a gorgeous day for a paddle on the Delta Monday. A bit on the warm side but being on the cool water was the best place to be. We launched from Wimpy's Marina at the end of the low tide and paddled south on glassy water.

We paddled downstream past Beaver Slough almost 5 miles in less than 1.5 hours. I noticed lots of birds including many hawks, killdeer, egrets, heron and I think I spotted a few sandhill cranes. I was able to positively identify two long-billed curlew which are not seen often in the Delta.

We turned around with the tide and headed back to Wimpy's where we enjoyed a tasty lunch.

Wimpy's charges $5 to launch a kayak. After unloading your kayak drive back up levy and park close to the road as not to block parking for restaurant customers.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

San Joaquin River, Antioch

We had an amazing paddle on the San Joaquin River this morning with the Antioch Council of Teens. We started a little late, so paddled against a fairly strong tide to get to the Dow Wetlands Preserve. Started the paddle by seeing an otter and then a few minutes later a seal made an appearance. Made it to the Dow Wetlands and then returned to the Antioch Marina with the flooding tide. It was very busy, lots of boat traffic today, including a ship which made for a lively paddle.

Delta Kayak Adventures will be at the Antioch Marina October 1st and 2nd offering kayak rentals from 10am-4pm and FREE standup paddleboard demos within the marina. We also will have guided sunset paddles at 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be lots of other activities for families to enjoy too! Delta Thunder Boat Show and Exhibition and Rivertown Jamboree will be going on at the same time. The tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain will also be docked at the marina offering tours.

Save $5 per person on the sunset paddle if you book online! Enter save5 for promo.

Delta Kayak Adventures offers tours, rentals and classes throughout the Delta region. Book a custom tour with 2 or more paddlers. Contact us for more info.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Paddling and More Paddling

I apologize for the lack of recent posts but it has been an amazing summer with lots of paddling!
Some highlights include:

Lots of paddling at Big Break, San leandro Bay & Brooks Island, guiding for East Bay Regional Park District.

Teaching Introduction to Kayaking classes:

Trips throughout the Delta including Delta Meadows, Mildred Island, Eucalyptus Island, the San Joaquin River, Sacramento River, Mokelumne River, Georgiana slough, Cosumnes River and much more.

Sunset and Moonlight paddles:

Trips to the coast:

With my favorite time of year for kayaking upon us, I have a lot more paddling yet to do. Contact us if you'd like to join us for one of our tours or would like a trip based on a specific location you want to explore.

I'll be posting more adventures soon. Until then, hope to see you on the water!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Coastal Cleanup 2016


Last year we collected over 2,000 lbs of trash from the Delta over 2 days in both Antioch and Rio Vista!

Join us for Coastal Cleanup on September 16th in Antioch and September 17th in Rio Vista! We'll be doing water based cleanup at both sites and will provide kayaks for those who need them for $10 to assist in costs relating to transport and cleaning of equipment after events. Number of boats are limited and are available on first come basis. Sign up ASAP for this fun event and help us spruce up the Delta!

To sign up for Rio Vista cleanup you must register here: 
For Antioch click here:

If you pick up trash whenever you paddle be sure and download the Clean Swell app to track the trash and upload data to the Ocean Conservancy's global ocean trash database.