Benicia to the mothball fleet

Change of plans, based on currents and Martin's timely discovery of the Peddlers' Fair. We'll meet at the Benicia Marina (see coordinates--briefing at 11:45, on the water at Noon); paddle to the mothball fleet; lunch on the water; and return. 12 miles total. We should have wind and hefty current at our backs going out, wind and a diminished current against us coming back. Not conditions for a slow boat, unless you're a strong paddler.

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  • Martin F.

    Pleasure ride upriver. Workout downriver. Counterintuitive but you read it right. Quite the challenge paddling back to the Marina. Kudos for everyone for hanging in there. Special mention to John and Jenny for the aforementioned assistance. Thanks also to Bob Miranda for lending a kayak to Franca.

    August 10

  • Martin F.

    Pleasure ride upriver. Workout downriver. Counterintuitive but you read it right. Quite the challenge paddling back to the Marina. Kudos for everyone for hanging in there. Special mention to John and Jenny for the aforementioned assistance. Thanks also to Bob Miranda for lending a kayak to Franca.

    August 10

  • Bob M.

    It was a nice paddle but I sure wish we had somewhere to get out and stretch our legs. I have to admit that fighting that wind on the return took a lot out of me and I am sure everyone else. Great group of paddlers and all deserve credit for hanging in there.

    2 · August 10

  • Debra M.

    Thanks again to Jenny and John for the extra power coming back in. Jenny you rock! Bit off a bit more than was comfortable. Learning curve, wind trumps tide, strong wind is too much for me till I become a stronger paddler. Thanks too to Martin for helping haul me on to the dock, (felt like a sealion). Looking forward to the next outing.
    Best D.

    1 · August 10

  • John M.

    Beautiful day, and interesting to be so close (too close, as was pointed out by an official-acting pilot of a dilapidated patrol boat) to those old and not so old ships. The weather guys got it more or less right. Winds on the way back were 22 mph, gusting to 33 mph (it all seemed like 33 mph to us on the water). The paddlers felt well exercised (read: whipped), but victorious (and please don't make us do that again this month).

    2 · August 9

  • Kathryn

    Really want to do this trip but have way too much going on today. Hopefully it will be repeated! You strong paddlers can test it out for the rest of us. Photos, please!

    August 9

  • Bob M.

    I called the shop in Benicia and they do rent kayaks. Very vague about what they have. I will bring a set of racks that should fit your cvr and maybe you can pick up the rental.

    August 6

    • Martin F.

      Franca and Bob - received new simple kayak carrier and I can bring it for you to use on Sat. Check it out for reference at: http://www.rei.com/pr...­-

      August 7

    • Roberto

      I have an extra ticket for the 10AM slot at the REI used gear sale. Many kayak carriers usually there

      August 9

  • John M.

    For late checkers, the prediction is for 76 and sunney, with SW winds (in our faces, returning) 15-20 mph, with gusts to 30. So, some work getting back, though current won't be much (maybe 1 mph against us).

    August 9

  • Joanne

    Bowing out - I'm a strong paddler but a slow boat. Have fun everyone.

    August 8

  • Roberto

    Wind in Carquinez is showing at 17mph.. too much for me..

    August 8

  • Roberto

    The person who I was coming to Benicia is no longer coming. Anybody else from Berkeley or passing through who may have room in their car for vessel and me?

    August 8

  • Roberto

    Anybody going from Berkeley that would be able to give me and kayak a ride? Will contribute to expenses

    July 31

    • Roberto

      Thanks but I already found another ride

      August 6

    • Roberto

      Hi Franca: The ride I had just cancelled so am agin interested in your offer. Have you already installed a rack in your car? Tried to call but no reply. What is a good time to talk? Thanks

      August 8

  • Kaya O.

    Sorry I won't be able to join after all. Hope to join in again soon.

    August 7

  • Martin F.

    Hi Franca and Bob,
    I have ordered an additional kayak carrier from REI, it's in transit and scheduled to arrive Thursday evening. I'd be happy to meet you at the Kayak rental place and ferry it/take it over to the launch site at the Benicia Marina. I will confirm receipt of Kayak carrier. Please let me know if this is a workable solution for you. Ciao

    August 6

    • Franca C.

      Hi Martin, that is a very generous offer and very gratefully accepted. Let's talk on the phone to coordinate - But I think it's time for me to buy rack and kayak!

      August 6

  • Bob M.

    Away kayaks. Tough typing in a cab after 30 hours of travel

    August 6

  • Bob M.

    i left information on the mystery kayak rental place a while back. If they don't rent, you can try Suisun , but they may not rent take sw

    August 6

  • Bob M.

    Franca,

    August 6

  • Bob M.

    Franca, glad I can help. See you at the paddle.

    July 30

    • Franca C.

      Thanks and apologies for all my confusing messages - I did not scroll down. I'll be there at the launching and will get info on renting a kayak for my girlfriend.

      August 6

  • Franca C.

    Hi John, is there kayak rental in the immediate vicinity? Thanks!

    July 2

    • Franca C.

      Sorry Roberto and Bob - both your messages are truncated so I am not sure what you said.

      August 6

    • Franca C.

      I will be there and I have a girlfriend visiting from Austria who would like to come too. Bob I would be super happy to borrow your kayak, and since you know the place, is the new launch near the kayak rental (for my friend)?

      August 6

  • Donald F.

    I should have said exit off 780 onto 5th St. not 680. 680 or 80 will get you to 780 though.

    August 4

  • Donald F.

    Launching from the Benicia Mariana sounds like a good idea as you just have to exit 680 at 5 th. street and drive down to the entrance of the parking lot.

    For a reading on the current in the area go to the BASK website and use the Trip Planner which gives both tides and currents, knowing the currents is far more useful than knowing the tides. You can't hug the shore because you will have to swing well out to clear the auto shipping facility at the Benicia end of the bridge. Because it will be flooding about 2 kts. at noon getting to the fleet by 13:00 should not be a problem. It's flooding until about 16:00 so you will be paddling back against the last of the flood and the afternoon winds.

    August 4

    • John M.

      But, as Donald points out, max. flood is 2 knots at 12:41, and slack isn't until 3:46. I'm changing the briefing time to 11;45, and the departure to Noon, to get the limo ride to the fleet and then an easier time against the current and wind coming back. This isn't a paddle for slow boats or beginners.

      August 4

    • John M.

      BTW, his recommendation of the BASK trip planner looks like an excellent one.

      August 4

  • Donald F.

    Parking and launching in Benicia. There is plenty of parking in the lot at the bottom of first street and it's next to a very good beach. If one were to drive down first street and did not turn into the parking lot one would end up on a small but adequate sandy beach.

    Another option would be to put-in at the Martinez marina which is free to kayakers. Using Martinez would shorten the trip by about 1.5 miles however conditions just outside the harbor entrance can be interesting and require solid kayak handling skills. If you were on the boat ramp and looked to your right you would see a ton of parking about 100 feet away.

    Bert is right, a visit to the fleet can be windy.

    May 3, 2014

    • Seek

      Don't think Bob is referencing to the Martinez marina.

      August 4

    • John M.

      Benicia Marina, at the foot of 5th St.

      August 4

  • Bob M.

    The marina told me we could launch and park for free. If parked more than 4 hours its $5 per boat. I assume everyone knows, the fleet has dwindled down to 4 boats. Those of you that are backing out, I think you should give it a try. I dont think it is 5 miles from the marina to the fleet and if the weather is mild should be an easy paddle.

    1 · August 4

    • Jomar

      Hi John, I haven't paddled this area yet, so not much help on currents and tides sorry.

      1 · August 4

    • Seek

      I believe this is the put-in location that Bob is talking about...
      [masked], [masked]

      From the mouth of the marina to the boat area is ~5 miles straight line. If we hug the coastline to avoid the winds, it'll be
      a bit more than that.

      The forecasted winds for the area is here...

      http://www.windalert....­

      Keep in mind that it's a forecast for August 9th (need to scroll right to Aug 9). If you look at today's measurements, it was
      ~6mph at ~11am and it peaked at 10mph at 2pm and continued. We will be battling WSW winds at 10mph or greater on the way back

      What does it mean to me? I would start at 11am sharp. It should take us ~2hrs to make it to the fleet at 1pm (lunch for ~1hr). The tide difference between 1pm and 2pm is 0.2 feet. Not a huge change. As a reference the tide difference between 12pm and 2pm is 1 feet. Would it be hard to paddle against a 1 foot flood? Don't know, but I think the worst location of the flood as at the 680 narrow.

      August 4

  • Bob M.

    John, I know this area very well, lived there for 5 years. My guess is they will have the street blocked to avoid cars on 1st. Even if you get parking at the launch in the morning, you won't get out on thr return.
    I would avoid 1st street like the plague. 5th street launch should have plenty of parking. I know they charge for boats to launch, not sure about kayaks.

    August 3

    • Joanne

      Caramia, I've been wondering the same thing. My boat is slower than the magority. Thinking it over.Joanne

      1 · August 3

    • Caramia K.

      Mine is too. I have an inflatable Advanced Elements ( the convertible one.) It's a great boat but a tad slow. :(

      August 3

  • Caramia K.

    Bowing out this time:( I'm thinking I may need more experience to keep up with you all. :)

    August 3

  • Bob M.

    Consdering we are already paddling a good distance with no beach to rest at, I think adding more than 2 miles round trip is a bit much to expect of everyone. I think we should launch from the marina boat launch. I will call or go by next week and find out their policy.

    July 31

    • John M.

      Thanks, Bob. Hope you can do this early in the week. The marina looks like a good candidate. I agree that the additional couple of miles to use W. 9th aren't the best option. I also don't know how the Fair occupies First St. (i.e., could you still get to the parking area via, e.g., B Street without running into shoppers). I'll look forward to your advice.

      August 3

  • Jerry O.

    Very sorry, but have to take wife to airport and prepare for backpacking trip.

    August 1

  • Martin F.

    Martin F.
    Just read an article in the Contra Costa Times (Sat Jul 26th) about the 51st annual Benicia Peddler's Fair to be held August 9th. It's one of the biggest outdoor summer antiques fairs held in Northern California and brings about 300 dealers to First Street in downtown Benicia and runs from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Navigating past the crowds and parking will be a challenge for us Kayakers. Suggest we pick an alternate put in spot. 9th Street or the Benicia Marina both offer plenty of parking. 9th Street increases the course by approximately 1 mile, but offers a pier and a beach area for an easy put in. I have crewed on sailboats out of the Benicia Marina and kayaked once from the beach at 9th Street. Anyone else familiar with the area please chime in. Thank you all.

    July 31

    • Jomar

      Parking is important, an additional one mile is a good compromise and peace of mind. I'm cool with that.

      July 31

  • Martin F.

    Just read an article on the Contra Costa Times (Sat Jul 26th) about the 51st annual Benicia Peddler's Fair to be held August 9th. It's one of the biggest outdoor summer antiques fairs held in Northern California and brings about 300 dealers to First Street in downtown Benicia and runs from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Navigating past the crowds and parking will be a challenge for us Kayakers. Suggest we pick an alternate put in spot. 9th Street or the Benicia Marina both offer plenty of parking. 9th Street increases the course by approximately 1 mile, but offers a pier and a beach area for an easy put in. I have crewed on sailboats out of the Benicia Marina and kayaked once from the beach at 9th Street. Anyone else familiar with the area please chime in. Thank you all.

    July 31

  • Bob M.

    http://kiteskatepaddle.com/ Franca, I checked out their website and they do say they rent kayaks. Might want to give them a call to get more specific information. I drove down there the other day and did not observe any kayak shops. Also, read my earlier post with regards to the launch site.
    Bob

    1 · July 19

  • MAG

    Hi everyone! 12 miles is just a bit past my limit (based on past experience); however, once we know something about tides (well, maybe we already know about that) and wind, I might be able to make this. Hoping that the conditions turn out favorably.

    July 9

  • Bob M.

    I checked out the Benicia launch on 1st street this morning around 8:30. I did not see any kayak rental facilities on 1st street. It was low tide and the east side of the launch had many sharp rocks showing and to launch you would have to do so beyond the rocks. The west side looked good with very few exposed rocks. The wind was very strong blowing west to east and the launch is unsheltered. Parking appeared to be no problem and many food/drink establishments nearby. Be sure to check that there are no events going on as this might change things. The 9th street boat launch may be an alternative and if you stay near the shore, the wind is not too bad. I am returning from Brazil on the 9th and may not be able to make the trip. Enjoy!

    July 8

  • Bob M.

    I will check it out next week, I will be in Benicia all week. But, I am almost sure that the closest place to Benicia is in Suisun. I am not sure what the date of the paddle is, but if I am able to go, I can offer the use of my 2nd Kayak.

    July 5

    • John M.

      Thanks, Bob. The date is August 9th.

      July 6

  • Donald F.

    On the way to the fleet from Benicia you will have to pass a major ship docking facility in Benicia and have to stay well clear. The current through the bridge structure will be faster than the posted and there may be some turbulence. Check the Trip Planner at the BASK web site.

    1 · May 6, 2014

  • Donald F.

    To get to the fleet form Benicia on a flood will take about 1.5 hours max, less from Martinez. I'd suggest launching a bit later, perhaps noon, to better evaluate the wind situation and not to have to fight as much of the flood on the way back.

    May 3, 2014

    • John M.

      Thanks, Donald. I'd guess our little band will take a bit longer, but the Benicia-based course sounds like a good length. My relatively short kayaking experience has been that wind trumps tide (esp. for sit-on-tops), so keeping the starting time relatively early--but allowing time for us remote folks to get there--has let us avoid the breezes that builds up after 1 p.m. There are some narrows where tide becomes a killer, but I didn't expect that to be the case at Benicia and around the corner. Your thoughts?

      May 4, 2014

  • Bob M.

    John, I would set it up, but my work/travel schedule is too busy over the next few months. I work very near the mothball fleet and there is not much of a fleet left, about 5 boats. I think the 1st street beach launch may work for a small group. There is a boat launch on the east end of the town at the harbor. This would be the best launch if it is free (I will check with them on Monday and get back to you). There is also a boat launch at the west end of town that I know is free and has plenty of parking. Another thought is to launch at the Glen Cove Marina and cruise down the coast line to Benicia or cross over to Port Costa. I will give a more detailed report on the two harbor launches next week. In the meantime, if any one wants to organize the trip, I would love to go if I am home that day.

    May 3, 2014

    • bert

      Hi john, I've been out of the loop for awhile but the paddle is straight forward. Head east stay to the left and 5.5 miles later ta-da, You're there! Wind in the afternoon could be an issue and there is no place to pull out until you get back near the hwy 680 overpass. I've always parked at the end or along the sides of first street. It has not been a problem if you have an early start. If Don is out there listening, I'm sure he can tell you a little more.

      May 3, 2014

    • John M.

      Thx Bert. There seems to be a diagonal parking area after a bend at the end of First Street. If there were a launching area nearby, it would be a good starting spot.

      1 · May 3, 2014

  • John M.

    Someone been here before who's willing to set this up? Sounds interesting, and all we need is a date and location advice.

    April 29, 2014

  • Martin F.

    Let's do it.!

    March 16, 2014

  • Bob M.

    There are no kayak rentals in Benicia. There may be one in Suisun.

    February 17, 2014

  • kathleen

    Are there any kayak rental places there?

    February 16, 2014

  • Keith

    Lets do this thing! Martinez has a marina and boat ramp...would be a good put-in.

    February 10, 2014

  • Michael

    It would need to be on a Sunday or Monday for me to attend...

    February 9, 2014

  • Donald F.

    Did this paddle two weeks ago but from Martinez rather than Benicia, not much difference. The best launch spot in Benicia, use it once a week, as has been stated, the bottom on first St. where there is good parking and a good beach on all but real low tides. Do NOT call anyone associated with the Mothball Fleet as they will be out there with a patrol boat pushing you around. The fleet is disappearing fast. As Bert knows going to the BASK web page and using the trip planner to get the currents right is a good idea for this paddle.

    December 4, 2013

  • Rich

    Sounds interesting. Hope a good put-in is available.

    November 20, 2013

  • Bob M.

    I have launched from the W 9th street pier and a small vacant lot about two blocks east of the pier. The lot was a nice launch, but I had some lady yell at me who lived across the street because I interfered with the view from her living room (nuts). Last I checked, there was no launch on 1st street. I work in Benicia, so I can check out the launch sites next week.

    November 15, 2013

    • Seek

      Ah yes. I saw that one, too, but I wasn't sure about the tide vs muddiness of the area.

      November 15, 2013

    • bert

      I don't recall the area being that muddy. Similar to the put in at Loch Lomond. This is a location where many kayakers and wind surfers put in.

      November 15, 2013

  • bert

    Help! I'm trying to update the location and paddle narrative but the site doesn't seems to be giving me that option. What am I missing!?

    November 15, 2013

  • Seek

    Which boat launch were you thinking about, Bert?

    E. 5th Street ($5)...
    [masked],[masked] (plug into google maps)

    or, W 9th Street [masked],[masked] (plug into google maps)

    Reference: under "Fishing Access in Benicia"
    http://www.beniciabait.com/

    November 14, 2013

    • bert

      Its is actually 1st street. [masked], [masked]

      November 15, 2013

  • Seek

    Don't do it on Dec 14th or on thanksgiving either. ;-)

    November 14, 2013

  • miguel c.

    find the date, I'll do if good weather.

    November 14, 2013

  • Bob M.

    Let's do it. I am ready most Saturdays.

    November 14, 2013

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