Paddle Smith and Corkscrew Slough!

Let's explore some of the sloughs of redwood city!

I've yet to do these sloughs, so this will be a bit of an adventure.  I'll bring some gps data to help out with the navigation.  Of course, given that this is in town, you can probably navigate using your smartphone :)

Put-in at 8am to beat the wind and heat.  High tide is at 9:49am.  Please arrive early enough to unload and ready your canoe to launch by 8am.  We will not wait for stragglers, as this could result in extra paddling against the ebb tide on the way back.

The launch area will be rather industrial, but the sloughs should be nice.

There is a launch fee of $5.00.  I'm not sure if they charge canoes, but definitely bring $5.00.

Here is a map, a few pictures, and a description of the launch.

The entire loop is about 8 to 9 miles.  Bring water, something to eat, and sun protection.

We will probably paddle for 2.5 to 3 hours, so I doubt we'll make the whole loop.  Feel free to turn around at any point, or do the whole loop if you are up for it.

I'd recommend having some amount of canoe experience for this trip.  There could be some tidal current, and a rookie canoe cap-size-for-absolutely-no-reason is no fun when you are in a muddy slough.



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  • nicole j.

    A beautiful calm and sunny morning. The tide timing was perfect. A pleasant group to paddle with. We did the entire Corkscrew Slough in just over 3 hours. In the parking lot, the Great Egrets and Night Herons were nesting in the Cotton Wood trees. The baby birds had hatched, were being fed, and even climbing out of thier nests. A great paddle.

    August 1, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was my first Meetup experience. I liked that someone else (thanks Steve!) organized it. You selected the time and tides perfectly. When you said you won't wait for the tardy, I believed it!

    July 30, 2012

  • stephen

    Hey Duane,

    I agree with your comment. Next time I will exchange cell numbers with the paddlers so that I can better handle group separations, which should be expected with crafts of different speeds. I'll also prep the group with the route details and the expectations on separation.

    July 30, 2012

  • Jill D.

    Great paddle! I did the whole loop -- it was quite a workout...but it was great that we started so early -- we missed the afternoon winds. There were some birds - I was hoping to see more -- but it was a treat to see harbor seals along the route. Thanks Steve and Angela for planning this paddle.

    July 29, 2012

  • Duane

    A nice workout if you decide to paddle the whole loop. We had excellent weather with only a very light wind and a little tidal current at the end of the paddle, but I can see that this would be a very exerting and challenging trip if the wind had come up, as would likely happen later in the day and with a strong incoming or outgoing tide. Since we were a little behind our scheduled departure time due to late arrivals and then later spent several minuites waiting for stragglers to catch up, the latter part of our paddle was more difficult because of an outgoing tides then it would have been if we had stayed on schedule.

    July 29, 2012

  • stephen

    I'm sore from this one! We did the whole loop! We were quite fortunate to have the wind at our backs the return half, which certainly helped given that the tide was flowing out as we paddled back through the harbor to the launch. Paddling time was a bit over three hours.

    There were some birds, and we saw a few groups of sun bathing harbor seals in the middle of corkscrew slough. Some of them were pretty big, so I'm glad the slough was wide enough for us to keep our distance. There were a couple of mama seals that had their eyes on us!

    The end of corkscrew slough provided a wide open view of the bay, with nothing but water between us and Coyote Hills in the east bay. I'm glad the weather was calm. I'm sure it could be quite choppy out there!

    The turnout was great. The single paddlers were a bit slower, and turned around at the end of smith slough. We all made it back to the harbor around the same time. Some of the group went for lunch after packing up.

    July 29, 2012

  • Angela

    Thank you, Steve, for organizing. I have to say, this was the best exercise I've gotten thus far from a canoeing trip. Though it's hard to compete with Newark Slough's majestic views, those seals really made my day!

    July 28, 2012

  • stephen

    Yes, at the public boat launch.

    July 23, 2012

  • Jill D.

    Steve, on the description from the link you posted, it seems that there are two launch sites -- a public launch site/ramp and then something called the Stanford Boat House. Will we be meeting at the public boat launch on Chesapeake?

    July 22, 2012

  • stephen

    This may be a good deal on a tandem. Reviews of the sundowner are mixed. It is kinda a specialty canoe. Some folks think it is tippy. Not a good choice for solo paddling.

    July 5, 2012

  • stephen

    Looks like California Canoe and Kayak in Oakland also rents. My guess is that you would need to pick up any rental the day before to make the put-in time. These rental rates seem pretty steep. You would also need to buy some sort of car-topping kit. Perhaps find a partner and split it if you want to go that route.

    July 5, 2012

  • stephen

    Hey Kyle,

    You could post a discussion to see if any other members want to join and offer you a seat in their canoe.

    Otherwise, I'm not sure what is available up your way (SF). City Kayak rents for a high price (and some sort of reentry test??).

    Mel Cotten's in San Jose rents canoes, but you would need to drive down and rent it the day before so you would have it for the early start. Probably not worth the gas.

    You could also look on craigslist and try and pick up a used one.

    July 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I don't have a canoe as i've just moved to the area. What are my options? Thanks

    July 4, 2012

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