Drake's Estero - The Seals, the Batrays, The Birds (and the mud)

  • August 31, 2013 · 9:30 AM
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Most of you know this is a yearly pilgrimage for me.  Love this place.  Tides look good for this date.  (Even then, be prepared to walk on water).  Bring a lunch as we will paddle to the mouth of the Estero and stop for lunch then paddle back.  Weather can be unpredictable this time of year so please bring layers.   

Trip Classification: Everyone, however no direct boat rental.  Blue Waters is the nearest location.

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  • Bob M.

    Great paddle! Lots of seals and enough mud/sand to keep you busy finding the deep water. Next time I would like to go all the way to the bay.

    September 3, 2013

  • Joanne

    This was a great paddle.

    September 3, 2013

  • John M.

    Thanks, Jerry, for organizing this paddle. Jenny mentioned (and I agree) that it was fun to have a "team sweep" for part of the outing.

    September 2, 2013

  • Jenny S.

    A great paddle, the bat rays in the cove put on a great show for us. Not as much marine life as last year, but a good day.

    September 1, 2013

  • Kim

    Jerry, thanks for the introduction to the Estero, definately putting this on my "again list".

    September 1, 2013

  • John M.

    A unique environment. Large numbers of white pelicans this time. For those of us who ventured into what seems like their favorite cove, we had a chance to see several bat rays (close up!). I understand there was a bunch of harbor seals together at one point. Because the sun was in and out during the day, we didn't have a good chance to see leopard sharks (I saw none). Overall, though, it's a beautiful, serene, isolated setting. Like Elkhorn Slough, we have access to wildlife without the issues of swells and waves.

    August 31, 2013

  • Jerry O.

    Would like to have had more sun, but it was a fun paddle.

    August 31, 2013

  • Rich C.

    Excellent day on the water. Nice weather, beautiful place, great people. Thanks everyone!

    August 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Transportation just became an issue. Will paddle local since Im loaded. Browns Island , Pittsburg ca.. Really nice paddle if anyone in same situation. Have a great ride and I hope I can do another to meet some of the people in this meet. No people out here. Lots of water!!!

    August 31, 2013

  • Ted H.

    I just can't make it, but thanks for the ride offer Meg.

    August 30, 2013

  • Jon

    Looks like I'm going to have to bow out also. Have a great paddle!

    August 30, 2013

  • Ming Y.

    Sorry, I found out today that the area in Yosemite I was hoping to visit is not affected too much by rim fire except a slightly longer detour. As much as I like kayaking, spending long weekend in backcountry is too good to pass. have fun in Drakes Bay.

    August 30, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Sorry guys, looks like I am going to have to cancel. If things change, I might be able to show up...enjoy the day!

    August 30, 2013

  • Donald F.

    For those thinking about a night paddle after the Estero paddle it's been very foggy on Tomalis Bay the last few nights and may require a compass or a GPS unit to find your way back to the put-in.

    August 29, 2013

    • Ming Y.

      thanks for the tip

      August 29, 2013

  • Donald F.

    The first row can hold about 8 cars parked up against the fence but then a second row will develop holding another 8 cars and I've even seen a third row appear . Can even park across the road from the parking area but I'd stay away from the shed where the sell oysters.

    August 28, 2013

    • Jerry O.

      There is also some parking back out on Sir Francis Drake. If need be we can have folks drop off their boats and equipment and then gives rides back from the parking.

      August 29, 2013

  • Rich C.

    You are correct Bob, I just checked and the Seatrek site has them leaving from the Oyster Farm at 0900. With the size of our group this could be a challenge. Maybe we'll be lucky and Seatrek won't have any reservations and cancel this event?

    August 28, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Just found out that Seatrek is having a group paddle at Drakes Estero on Saturday launching at 9:30. Does anyone know what the parking situation is?

    August 28, 2013

    • Jon

      The closest area to the launch holds about six or eight cars. We might have to get creative with 45 people from meet up and another group.

      August 28, 2013

  • Stuart

    Can't make this one, need to be in SFO by 2:30. :(

    August 28, 2013

  • Donald F.

    An observation if I may. A good way to see what the Estero is about is to go to Google Earth, wonderful image that shows the way out to the beach. There are resting seals out near the mouth that should be avoided but there is room for all. To see the bio lights on Tomalis at night one could pick up a camping permit at park headquarters and camp on the west side of Tomalis Bay at either of the two beaches with facilities. There is a good put-in at Millerton Park, $5 parking, restrooms and maybe an easy paddle across to view the light show, however crossing Tomalis at night is no trivial thing as the winds can make things very interesting but if your a competent paddler with night paddling experience...

    August 27, 2013

    • Bob M.

      OK, so WHERE are we putting in for the day trip?

      August 27, 2013

    • Ming Y.

      the oyster farm as organizer said

      August 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are there restrooms in the put in area? also
    How does the night paddle work? Stick around after the first paddle?

    August 19, 2013

    • Ming Y.

      there are a couple of put ins on west shore where i think restroom is available. yes, since the two places are relatively close.

      August 19, 2013

    • Donald F.

      restrooms ? yes

      August 27, 2013

  • Michelle C

    I can pick someone up, have truck, no rack, kayak leans up on cab with foam if that's ok. Mine has been fine that way...coming from Concord.

    August 26, 2013

  • Roberto

    I would like to attend but won't have a car that weekend. Anybody going from Berkeley or nearby that can take me and my kayak (16 ft)? Thanks

    August 26, 2013

  • John M.

    We'll be coming from Santa Cruz, taking 17/880/80/580/101/Lucas Valley/Nicasio Valley/Pt Reyes-Petaluma/Sir Francis Drake.

    August 26, 2013

  • Bob M.

    If coming from the south, just head up 660 to 580, cross the Richmond San Rafael Bridge and take Sir Francis Drake BLVD all the way out. Takes about 1 hour+ from San Rafael.

    August 26, 2013

  • Alice D

    A heads up for anyone coming from south of SF: the Bay Bridge is closed next weekend...

    August 26, 2013

  • Ming Y.

    Anyone interested in catching bioluminescence in tomales bay at night after Drake's Estero day paddle? The overnight tour in Sep is full. I'm sure lots of us want that experience. 8/31st is a moonless night.

    1 · August 18, 2013

    • Michelle C

      Yes, I'll stay and paddle with you

      August 20, 2013

    • Ming Y.

      GREAT! I haven't finalized labor day plan yet, but this now sounds doable with a fellow kayaker

      August 20, 2013

  • Michelle C

    I'm willing to carpool but interested in the possibility of night paddle... I'm in concord, would only suggest my truck if your boat is plastic, otherwise I can join you....

    August 19, 2013

    • Martin F.

      Hi Michelle can't do night paddle this go around... And have fiber boat..... Guess I'm out :(

      August 19, 2013

  • Stuart

    Anyone interested carpool from the peninsula? I have a short rec kayak, ~10 ft.

    August 19, 2013

  • Martin F.

    Anyone from the East Bay on this outing willing to carpool? Save the air, ride with a fellow kayaker!

    August 19, 2013

  • Martin F.

    Anyone from the East Bay on this outing willing to carpool? Save the air, ride with a fellow kayaker!

    August 19, 2013

  • Michelle C

    I'm also far down on the Sept wait list, I'm quite willing to stay for a night paddle.... But I'm clue free about any details

    August 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Not to put a damper on people kayaking Drake's Estero, but 48 is a very large number that would impact the Estero too much, in my opinion, especially considering the controversy over the Estero being designated as a "Wilderness Area".

    August 16, 2013

    • Jerry O.

      We can also deploy the Sharks/Bat Ray technique and break into groups based on pace.

      August 16, 2013

    • John M.

      Agree with Jerry. Frankly, I don't see a problem that we can't resolve on site, depending on the number of people who actually participate.

      August 16, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Yes Drakes bay oyster farm is the put in.

    August 10, 2013

  • eric A.

    I take it the launch pt. is "Luney's oyster farm"

    August 8, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Be sure to bring a cooler and buy oysters on the way home!

    July 31, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I should be able to make this one. I was there a few weeks back with a group from REI, a lot of fun, but very windy! In addition to the tide, I'd suggest we keep an eye on the wind and weather.

    July 31, 2013

  • Jim and Holly L.

    Holly and I had a great time last year. We are looking forward to this. We have a campsite for Friday at Sam P Taylor SP.

    July 9, 2013

  • Ron

    Hey Jerry, can you give me an estimated time on this, I have the World of Outlaw sprint car races in Calistoga at 3pm on this date too.

    July 6, 2013

    • Jerry O.

      Hi Ron, this paddle usually takes most of the day. We normally paddle to a beach close to the opening of Drakes Bay, have lunch then paddle back. That will mean not being back to launch site until around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

      July 7, 2013

  • Meg J

    I can give you a ride, but I have only one kayak rooftop carrier for my kayak.. If you or someone has a another one we can put it on my car, Ill be glad to take you.

    June 4, 2013

  • Ted H.

    I'll go if someone will carpool with me from the east bay. I can loan you a kayak, paddle, and a PFD if you'll pay for the gas to get there and back.

    June 4, 2013

  • Anthony S.

    possibly 1 guest, if she can rent

    1 · May 10, 2013

  • Martin F.

    Look forward to it. Thank you for organizing.

    April 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nevermind, I see the info. Thanks

    March 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Will we need our own kayaks?

    March 25, 2013

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