Monday, March 8, 2010

Tomales Bay Kayaking

S and I headed to Tomales Bay on Sunday morning, arriving at the parking lot at Miller Park/Nick's Cove at about 8 A.M. The original plan was to paddle on SF bay, but forecasted winds up to 20 knots made me change my mind. I didn't expect the winds to be any less at Tomales, but the open water exposure is less, so a tough crossing is a mile at most.

On the water by 8:45 A.M., we headed toward the other side deciding to paddle between Duck and Hog Islands. Any advantage given by the ebb tide was reduced to zero by the wind coming in through the mouth of the bay. Arrivng on the other side, we landed in a little cove I have camped at a couple of times and enjoyed a little snack, sunshine, and respite from the wind. Deciding to paddle a little more, we made our way toward the mouth of the bay, but the increasing wind, while not overpowering, was not as attractive as sitting in the sunshine out of the wind. Heading back, we set up our chairs, had lunch, sunbathed, and enjoyed the solitude. After a couple of hours, we packed up and toured the whitecliffs west of our lunch spot and sighted a herd of elk grazing high up on the hill. The wind, by this time, was howling, so after formulating a game plan, we headed toward Hog Island and landed on the East side. The wind was incredible. A couple of photos later, we got back into the kayaks to finish our crossing. Due to building waves we headed toward the lauch ramp but water and wind conspired to change our plans. S did a yeoman's job of crossing and landed on the sandy beach to the right of the pier. A great day to be sure-relaxing and exhilarating!

Distance: 5 miles
Time on the water: 1:30
Fuel: Turkey bagel sandwich with cream cheese, oranges, trail mix, Clif bar, and coffee
Fauna: Racoon, egrets, heron, cormorants, and elk
Wind: 25 knots+

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