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Elkhorn Slough Paddle - The Jewel of Monterey

Once again I am going to borrow from one of our members to describe one of the great paddles of the Bay Area.  This time it is Eric Norris who has hosted a number of events out of Elkhorn.

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Elkhorn Slough is one of the best places to kayak on the planet! Marine mammals, birds, and natural beauty abound.

Be on the beach in front of Monterey Bay Kayaks at 10am READY TO LAUNCH. After a 2-minute briefing we will head out for a leisurely paddle up the slough to a point just past Seal Bend. There we will either pause for lunch, or--if the group so desires--enter the funhouse maze of Rubis Creek for lunch and possible Coast Guard rescue (just kidding).  (2013 note:  his isn't kidding).

We'll ride the tide both directions, but if the afternoon winds kick up the paddle back could become an effort. This is an excellent paddle for beginners or experienced kayakers. If you don't own your own kayak you can rent from Monterey Bay Kayaks. It's best to reserve a kayak in advance as they do sell out on nice days. www.montereybaykayaks.com or[masked]-5357. If you are going to rent, please show up at MBK by 9:15am. If you are an absolute beginner, I recommend a sit-on-top kayak, and polyester underclothes. MBK will provide you with a wetsuit, PFD, paddle, and paddle jacket as part of their rental package. A wetsuit is always a good idea when paddling in cold water.

NOTE: We will not wait for stragglers. Please show the group the courtesy of being there on time ready to go. There will be experienced paddlers in this group, or the always friendly and knowledgeable staff of MBK, to help you out.

If you have a marine VHF transceiver, we will be on channel 72.

There is a fee for parking in the Moss Landing Harbor Parking Lot.  Get an envelope from the rusty kiosk on the bathroom building, and deposit your parking fee there as well.  Note that you need only pay for parking, not launching, as we will not be using the launch ramp.

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  • Eric N.

    Here's the video: Pelicans: http://youtu.be/VE4BQjutG9s Reflections: http://youtu.be/AzMGJvyhlAM Traffic Jam: http://youtu.be/HBDRxzfbhM0

    1 · October 6, 2013

  • David

    It was great! I had fun and met a lot of new people. I enjoyed the nice and easy paced paddle. It was a beautiful day in the slough to go kayaking.

    2 · October 6, 2013

  • Teresa

    Thanks for a good paddle with some nice folk.

    1 · October 6, 2013

    • John M.

      Great photos, Teresa.

      1 · October 6, 2013

  • John M.

    Weird not to be there, on our home turf. Looks like it was a great day.

    October 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful day! Extra high tide made for a completely different experience of Rubis Creek. Good meeting the other kayakers. Thanks to Eric for being our fearless leader.

    2 · October 6, 2013

  • Sarah S.

    Between the migrating birds and the beautiful late summer weather, should be a lovely day

    October 2, 2013

  • Brett & G.

    We paddled the most we've ever paddled at this past weekend's campout at Tomales Bay, that our arms fell off. Just kidding! We changed our RSVP because we realized this would be 3 consecutive weekends away from home and we've fallen behind on a-many mundane but necessary tasks. Play and enjoy for us, please!

    September 30, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I should make it. I hope to arrive Saturday, maybe do a sunset paddle along Cannery Row. I have a marine transceiver, so will set it to CH72. will most likely stay at motel 6 in Watsonville.

    September 20, 2013

  • MAG

    Was here a few weeks ago, and yes, an hour or so can make a substantial difference in the wind and surf. Let's try to get on the water at 10:00am. John, sorry you won't be able to make it, but at least it's for something very worthwhile. If my last visit was any indication, we should be seeing lots of wildlife!

    September 19, 2013

  • John M.

    Regrets. Radio station pledge drive.

    September 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Try one more time. Cost guard on stand by :)

    September 16, 2013

  • kristina Y.

    So sorry to miss but am gonna be out of town. Enjoy! It's one of my favorite places.

    September 4, 2013

  • Joanne

    Coming from Santa Rosa the night before. Recommendations for a place to stay not too far from the put in?

    September 3, 2013

    • John M.

      The best hotel accommodations I know around Watsonville are the Best Western Seacliff Inn (very handy to the freeway), in Aptos. Seascape Resort is a more scenic experience, on a bluff over the bay, but I'd guess it's pricey. If you're a camper, I'd agree with Jenny on Sunset Beach.

      September 3, 2013

    • Brett & G.

      For campers like us: Sunset State Beach appears to be fully booked, but one could check for cancellations closer to the date. We've made camping reservations at Mt. Madonna County Park, which is off of CA-152, between Gilroy and Watsonville, a 30-min. drive to the Slough. Any six other paddlers who'd like to camp are welcome to join us.

      September 4, 2013

  • Eric N.

    I agree with John, but suggest that renters arrive at 9:15. It takes a while to fill out the paperwork, get geared up, change, get the mandatory mbk briefing, and get assigned a boat. It will take longer if 15 people walk into mbk at the same time.

    September 4, 2013

  • John M.

    Ooh, I like that outflow! If we get well up in the slough by Noon, we can go to the other end of Rubis Creek; eat in the creek somewhere, and get through on the high tide. If the wind isn't outrageous in the afternoon, we should have a nice paddle back.
    A comment, based on experience: some of us are notoriously bad at getting there on time, and the tide makes a difference. I'd propose that we shoot to get there at 9:30 and be ready to launch by 10 (a nuanced change from the posted 10 a.m. gathering time and briefing). Just sayin'...

    September 3, 2013

  • Janie G.

    Hi Kate...I'm coming from Pt Richmond > maybe we can chat about a carpool / THX

    September 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Cool - let me know when is a good time.

      September 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi - Would like to carpool with someone from SF - will contribute for gas :)

    September 2, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I was there Saturday, it was awesome!

    August 5, 2013

  • Eric N.

    One comment from the last paddle, which may seem obvious. There is no place to take a "nature break" on the slough. So be sure to empty your bladder before launch, and take steps to minimize your need to go. Also, despite being a TeamOCEAN docent on the slough, I just learned that Seal Bend is NOT the big horseshoe bend, but the gentle bend before it where the harbor seals pup. Embarrassing. If we are going into Rubis Creek we will be well above Seal Bend.

    August 5, 2013

  • Jody G.

    Can't wait!

    August 5, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I should be there...

    July 29, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I should be there...

    July 29, 2013

  • Martin F.

    Back for more wildlife. Great paddle!

    July 18, 2013

  • Brett & G.

    We paddled there 2 summers ago and had the best time. The mommy otters with their babies on their stomachs kept floating over to us, so we had to paddle backwards so as not to be in danger of getting hit with that $50K fine! So many bird species!

    July 9, 2013

  • MAG

    One of the best places to paddle--love it here!

    March 21, 2013

  • Jerry O.

    A correction is in order. the description used above was written by Eric Norris. We are lucky to have quite a few members who post events. I lose track. My apologies.

    March 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Try one more time. Cost guard on stand by :)

    March 21, 2013

  • Eric N.

    Yama be there, but that is my writeup from last November's paddle up Elkhorn!

    March 21, 2013

  • Jerry O.

    Hope it is ok to quote you. Saved considerable time not having to write a whole new description.

    March 20, 2013

  • John M.

    Miss a paddle in my back yard? I don't think so.

    March 20, 2013

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