Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kayaking Tomales Bay.

Sundays adventure was to paddle from Millerton Point to Lawsons Landing, just inside the mouth of Tomales Bay. High tide at 10:30am at 6ft, low tide at 4:30pm at -1ft (about as big as they get in California). Weather was forecast to be perfect - warm, light wind NE 3-5knots... 

Poised for action at Millerton Pt. Carmela, John, Krista, Heidi and I had staged a car at Lawsons Landing take out. I figured a 6mph paddle with the 3mph tide 13.2 miles would take a little over 2 hours. We could stop, picnic, take lots of pictures and walk up and see the elk and float around watching the harbor seals and myriad seabirds.

We stopped in at Shell beach first - the water was glass on the way over, but there was a little evidence of a sea-breeze building.

After a sandwich and yummy cookie we reviewed the plan. One of the kayaks we had with us was an inflatable kayak/ raft hybrid. It didn't hold sufficient speed or track well and was already tough going in the headwinds that were building. We would have to split.

Heidi and I would head for the car and Carm, John and Krista would either head down as far as they wanted, with us picking them up on the return, or paddle around and head back for the car.
The sea-breeze picked up to a 15mph headwind. With the sea breeze, the temperature dropped from 68'F to 56'F, pretty ugly for the scenic tranquil lazy kayaking I had promised. Those darn weather people ! We had 9 miles to go and 3 hours of sunlight. We were averaging 3mph. Yikes - this was going to be a grunt !

Not much time to stop, though we had to a few times to drain the kayak, the chop was pretty bad. Once we made Hog Island, the wind calmed and we were able to average a better speed and catch some time back up. There were loads of seals on the sand banks begging to have their photo taken, but our hands and feet were frozen, so we trucked on. We did catch John on the radio though, all accounted for and warming up at Nicks Cove. Good to know.

We reached Lawsons Landing at dusk, hurriedly packed, loaded and started thawing out on the way back to meet the others.

Quite a paddle, there is really too much to see here, even on the perfect day. I think next time we will plan on at least an over-nighter.

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