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Paddle the China Camp Shoreline - 2013

This is a paddle Dave Domingo hosted last year.  It was very popular and seemed like a good idea for this year as well.  I will borrow Dave's description of the event as I could not explain it any better myself.

Note:  No easy kayak rental for this location.

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The plan is to start at China Camp Village at 9 a.m. and paddle north along the shore, then west (inland) into Gallinas Creek on a relatively slack current  and with little to no headwind. Snack/lunch stop on the dock at the McInnis County Park boat launch. Head back to the beach between noon and 1 p.m. with favorable wind and current. Click here to see a map of the route.

China Camp Village is within the China Camp State Park; day-use parking costs $5. You will need exact change because there is no manned entrance booth; instead, there are self-pay "iron rangers" in the upper and lower parking lots for the village.

If you put the address shown as the event's location (899 N. San Pedro Rd., San Rafael, CA) into a navigation system, it should lead you to the turn-off for the village parking lot. I've also posted a PDF with directions and pictures.

In addition to the normal paddling essentials (proper clothing, PFD, drinking water, sun protection, self-rescue gear, etc.), please bring your own picnic lunch.  (2013 note: Last year we were successful getting the boats out of the water via the dock).

This paddle is rated for everyone, with the caution that conditions on the bay can be variable.  (2013 note: The conditions last year were variable, as in windy with mixed seas).

 

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  • Donald F.

    Eddie, when entering through the China Camp gate a road on your right runs down to the beach and more parking, about 100 yards away. The windy conditions at China Camp yesterday are not all that uncommon for that area at this time of year. Fall conditions are sunny, warm and usually less gusty. Fun day it was.

    July 22, 2013

  • Becky

    It's 11:50 and we are enjoying lunch at Mcinnis Park. There are only 9 of us. What happened to the other 15 people?

    July 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I went to China Camp at 9am and drove through the whole park but couldn't find anyone and did not find a boat launching spot, so I went to Tiburon and kayaked to Angel Island and found a few secluded beaches along the shore to spent the whole day.

      July 21, 2013

  • John H.

    The paddle from China Camp to McInnis park was great! -- beautiful day, calm water, going with the current. But we waited for more people to show up, including a fearless leader. Finally we took off with only 7 kayaks and 8 people. Another showed up at McInnis park. The picnic tables next to the small dock at the park were a good place for lunch.
    For the trip back, we ran into brutal headwinds. Most of the group landed at Bullhead just short of China Camp and we ran a car shuttle. All in all, a fun day -- and an incredible workout.

    July 21, 2013

  • Lisa

    only 4 stars as the wind was tremendous trying to get back to China camp!

    July 21, 2013

  • D

    Great meeting everyone. Thank you all, esp. Jonathan and Becky for the tow

    1 · July 21, 2013

  • Lori P.

    Looks like I have to work tomorrow. I have a guest checking out of my vacation rental and another checking in. I am needing to modify this paddle to fit into the time I have available. I plan to launch at McInnis around 9:30 and paddle Gallinas creek until I meet up with everyone and paddle back to McInnis with the group. This way I can leave after lunch and get home to get my place ready for the next renter. I will have my VHF radio with me and I will have it on channel 69. Since I am not going out to the bay I will be in my 12 foot easy for me to load and launch rec kayak. See everyone tomorrow somewhere on Gallinas creek. If anyone is needing to get finished early you are welcome to join me at McInnis.

    July 20, 2013

    • Lori P.

      Guests just called they were going to check in at 5 and now they are checking in at the normal time of 3. This just does not leave me enough time to kayak. I am out. Have fun and I will catch up with everyone soon.

      July 21, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Yesterday I took a rescue and advanced paddling class at Seatrek and it took more out of me then I expected. I hate to bail out, but the old body needs a rest. Enjoy the paddle.

    July 21, 2013

  • Ron

    I'm bailing out, maybe see you all next week. Have fun.

    July 20, 2013

  • MAG

    Getting well, will enjoy seeing pictures later! Have a great time!

    July 20, 2013

    • John M.

      Hi Mark, Same trip, reverse direction next weekend. Join us, if circumstances permit.

      July 20, 2013

  • MAG

    I'm so bummed out. Got sick Thursday, got some antibiotics the next day, but still way too wiped out to make this trip; I'd been so excited about it. Maybe by next week if I've recovered and if it's not much more difficult than this one. Anyway, wishing you a great time on the water, and hope to see you soon!

    July 20, 2013

  • Kevin C

    Sorry to miss this one. I broke my shoulder on a mountain bike a week ago and need to heal. Have a great paddle!

    July 20, 2013

  • Nicholas

    Red wood kayak

    July 20, 2013

  • Eric N.

    Sorry guys, docenting on Elkhorn Slough

    July 17, 2013

  • miguel c.

    I'm doing Kayak for 6 months, beginner, some classes, ok for this paddle?

    July 13, 2013

  • Brett & G.

    The 28th may work better for us. Geigy would have had to miss the 21st to meet up with a gf from out of town.

    July 9, 2013

    • John M.

      Then we'll do one on the 28th, too! :^)

      July 10, 2013

    • MAG

      Excellent and diplomatic solution, John, thank you!

      July 10, 2013

  • Seek

    I vote to push it out a week later. Why?

    1. We haven't had much verbage over who cannot make it. Most of the time we have had a majority of no shows.

    2. I want to experience the reverse paddle.

    July 9, 2013

    • Becky

      Oops! How

      July 10, 2013

    • Becky

      How funny! Musical rsvping! :-)

      July 10, 2013

  • John M.

    Let's have our cake and eat it, too. We'll leave this as it is, since it's coming up soon, and people have made their plans. I'll set up an additional paddle for the following weekend, in reverse, and whoever wants to go on that one can RSVP for it.

    July 10, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I am good with either day, but we must remember there are many other people planning for the 21st. We could also plan our trip to head north for a while, return back to china camp and have lunch there. After lunch we could head south, turning back to china camp when we got tired or the weather got to rough.

    July 8, 2013

  • Seek

    Thanks Bob for the recon.

    I'm good either way; paddling from China Camp on the 21st or from McInnis on the 28th.

    July 7, 2013

  • John M.

    Just to be a pain in the keester, what about changing the date a week, to July 28th, and meeting at McInnis Park at 9:30 (on the water at 10)? Low tide is 11:22, which means relatively mild current with us out of McInnis, and we'd be returning from China Camp with the wind and mild current (maybe more moderate as we got to the creek) at our backs. This, of course, hinges on wind from roughly ESE (still a mystery to me, but that's what it was the last time we were there, and Bob's experience today seems the same).

    July 7, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I paddled towards the camp for about 30 minutes and then road the small waves back to the creek. The trip up the creek was nice and I was able to float with the current most the way up the creek.

    In my opinion, we should launch from China Camp on the 21st. The current going towards the creek and any wind will be in our favor. The current going up the will be very strong and we should be able to coast up to the launch (based on my experience, the current coming in and out of the creek is at least triple of that in the north bay). After lunch we should be following the current out of the creek. If the wind comes up, which it most likely will, the tide will be high enough so that we can follow the less choppy shoreline back.

    Bob

    July 7, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Today I arrived at the McInnis park launch at around 10:30. I was lucky to get a parking spot because it appeared that every soccer team in Marin county was at the park (something to consider). I was on the water around 11:00 and there was a decent breeze coming up the creek and the tide was coming in with a decent current flow. I think the earlier than normal wind was due to a lingering fog bank because the wind died down a little on my trip back in. The wind and the current were strong enough to push you back up the creek if you stopped paddling for 30 seconds or more. I arrived at the mouth of the creek ( the first channel marker) around 11:35. The current in the bay was nowhere near as strong as that of the creek. The wind was still present and I was heading into small rolling waves as I followed the channel markers towards China Camp.

    July 7, 2013

  • Bob M.

    John, The creek launch is about 20 minutes from my house. Tomorrow has a similar tide situation as compared to the 21st. I will launch tomorrow around 10:30 from the creek and head towards China camp. I will give you a full report letting you know what I think.

    July 6, 2013

    • John M.

      Great! Thanks, Bob.

      July 6, 2013

  • Bang N.

    Oops, I have gotten another engagement on that day.

    July 6, 2013

  • John M.

    You might be able to help me, Bob (Miranda). We had moderate to stiff winds from the ESE on our last outing here--just about opposite what I'd expected. It looks like the incoming tide on the 21st is hefty in the morning, which favors starting from/ending at China Camp. If the afternoon wind is usually from the west there, I'd favor starting from China Camp and getting the wind and zilch tidal action on the way back. If the afternoon wind is usually from the east or ESE (for whatever reason), then the ideal arrangement would be to start at McInnis but find another day, when the tides work more in our favor. That said, if the afternoon winds are indeed from the east, then I'm fine with bucking the morning tide to get into the bay and then proceeding on our way.

    July 6, 2013

  • kristina Y.

    Sorry, it turns out I can't make it afterall. Have a great time.

    July 6, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Seek, I agree with you with regards to everything but the current and tides. I have paddled the creek many times and do know the current in the creek during max ebb or flood is very strong, much stronger than in the bay. I think if we launch from the creek after 10:00 AM then we should be fine. Besides, we can get a cold beer at the China camp coffee shop. Let's take a vote!
    Bob

    July 6, 2013

  • Michelle C

    Hate to miss but forgot another trip was planned.

    July 5, 2013

  • Seek

    Is everyone up for starting at McInnis Park?

    McInnis Park Put-in (copy/paste into Google map):[masked],[masked]

    Reasons:
    1. Free Parking @ McInnis.
    2. Nicer views for lunch @ China Camp.
    3. Paddling with the wind heading back to McInnis.

    July 5, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I can provide a kayak (14 foot Kevlar seda talikut), paddle and other essentials for anyone that needs a kayak for the trip. The talikut is very stable and does not have a skeg or rudder, but tracks and turns very well without one. If interested let me know. Bob

    July 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds like fun

    July 3, 2013

  • Jerry O.

    I am going to have to bow out for this event. I am moving my Mother and won't be back in town until the 22nd.

    July 1, 2013

  • Jenny S.

    Sorry to miss, but I have to head out of state to attend to family matters. Hope to see folks soon!

    July 1, 2013

  • Brett & G.

    We'll be mountain biking the Park on Saturday and camping the night before!

    April 1, 2013

  • MAG

    Missed it last year, so really looking forward to accompanying Dave et al. this time around!

    March 21, 2013

  • John M.

    We ended up bucking a good wind coming home on our last outing here. Should we reverse directions this time (i.e., start/end at McInnis Park)? I'm game for any direction.

    March 20, 2013

    • Jerry O.

      Hmmm. Interesting idea. Might need to change the date though as I picked the day to have the tides carry us in and then again back out. (Or at least not have to fight it).

      March 21, 2013

    • Seek

      Agree with John. We also don't have to deal with parking fees at McInnis I think (just checked). A nice change going the opposite direction.

      March 21, 2013

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