Explore(!) Estero de Limantour

Truly exploration. We *think* we know where to park; not sure about how long a carry it will be to the water; no kayak rental nearby. That said, we expect Drake's Estero-like conditions, serene, gorgeous scenery.


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  • John M.

    Mike Naito's pictures trace the arc of our exploration well. We *did* park at the right place, with the right put-in. The problem: too little water. After a two-hour wait for the tide, some called it a day, but shortly thereafter, the tide reached us, and we wound our way into the estero for an enjoyable, if very windy, paddle. We're still not to the bottom of the problem, but our theory is we'd need to see 5' on the tide table before we can get in. Education for a future outing at a beautiful place.

    September 1, 2014

    • eric A.

      The real reason I bagged out of this expedition.
      Did I ever tell you the time of my first kayak expedition?
      Well myself and a friend set out to sea from the drakes bay oyster farm.
      the tide with us, we were out to the mouth in no time.
      Lunch break and then the reality that these 8' plastic tubs would not cut into the midday breeze one bit.
      So we headed to the limantour bridge and ran aground just past the limantour estuary, leaving us up a creek, far from our cars. :)
      I loved the expedition anyway, but ruled out limantour bridge as a launch spot.
      love yall

      September 1, 2014

    • John M.

      Unfortunately, I don't see another put-in within hiking distance of parking. And this one worked, though we have to treat the tides correctly. The alternative is to launch into the surf and paddle around through the joint mouth of the esteros (or paddle all the way down from the former Drake's Bay Oyster Co.).

      September 1, 2014

  • John M.

    Weather forecast: mostly sunny, high near 68. Northwest wind 11-15 mph, gusts to 18 mph (should be roughly behind us, and the hills should give us some protection). I put in an earlier request to arrive well before 11:30 (some carrying needed), but it looked like it was pointed just at Franca. Not so; it was intended for everyone. Let's be ready to be briefed at 11:30 at the bridge put-in, then go explore.

    August 29, 2014

    • Franca C.

      Argh!! Accident on the freeway - will be late!

      August 31, 2014

    • John M.

      We actually sent a bunch of cars out there to make you late. ;^)

      September 1, 2014

  • Debra M.

    I'll be padding on the Russian River tomorrow, Monte Rio towards Jenner if anyone wants to join me. Probably will put in around 10:00 am. Call or e-mail if you want to meet up. [masked]

    August 30, 2014

    • Steve

      I'd join but I'm in Tahoe.

      August 31, 2014

  • Debra M.

    Very sad not to see all of you tomorrow. After Benicia, feel the wind is likely too much for me.
    Changing my RSVP to No :(

    August 30, 2014

  • Ute K.

    After your last note about the winds I will sit this one out. My little Kayak will surely get blown all around. I'll look forward to the next outing though.

    August 30, 2014

    • John M.

      I'd note that the wind forecast is variable. It wasn't too long ago that 20-30 mph (not even knots) winds produced gusts of 45 mph.

      August 30, 2014

    • Joanne

      I'll sit this one out too. Joanne

      August 30, 2014

  • John M.

    Those who aren't coming, please change your RSVP to "no". Thanks.

    August 30, 2014

  • John M.

    Urgent note: we now have a small craft advisory for Drake's Bay through Sunday afternoon. NW winds 20-30 kts. We'll probably feel a good bit of that, though it should be somewhat at our backs returning. If you're not a strong paddler, this might be a good one to sit out.

    August 30, 2014

  • Franca C.

    Still unclear where is the starting point....

    August 25, 2014

    • John M.

      We'll need to team up to get kayaks to the put-in. Getting set will take some time, so please don't drive up at 11:30.

      August 27, 2014

    • Franca C.

      Ok I'll aim for 10:45-11:00

      August 28, 2014

  • Jake

    I'm very interested but don't have a Kayak. Is there any way of getting closer a kayak rental location?

    August 27, 2014

    • John M.

      I'm not sure about the question. If it's about any closer kayak rental locations, perhaps Blue Water Kayaks in Inverness is the closest (my guess), but I'm not a local. And keeping my fingers crossed that you're not asking about moving the event closer to a kayak rental location.

      August 27, 2014

  • John M.

    Hi. Sorry for the time change, but I had a chance to confer on tides, and the recommendation was that we use the 3.5-foot rule of thumb that we'd used in Bolinas Lagoon (did I mention that this is an exploration?). It continues to get better after that. Anyone wanting to rent can do so at Stinson Beach Surf & Kayak, 3605 Hwy 1 (they have foam blocks you can use on your roof, if you don't have a rack). Bring your own straps, if you can.

    August 27, 2014

  • Donald F.

    You will want to use the north parking lot, the first you'll come to when driving down the hill. The trail leads down from the parking lot past the rest rooms to the bridge where you put-in, about 200 -300 yards. It's not the best put-in but very doable with a little help from your friends. This paddle is very dependent on the tides as at low tides it's difficult to get back to the start point. I'd go to Google Earth and study the narrow winding water way that leads north to the estero.

    August 14, 2014

    • Donald F.

      There is another parking area south of English Way but is of little use for this paddle. This is a interesting paddle with wonderful wild life and bits of old ships to be found in the sands.

      August 15, 2014

    • Franca C.

      Donald, is that where the muddy hallow trail start? I think that is the closest to the estero. If so that is after English way. Leg me know - thanks!

      August 25, 2014

  • Martin F.

    Wish I could join you guys. Away for a wedding, better be a great party.

    August 25, 2014

  • Davy D

    Can't make it. I'll be camping with my son Jacob and some friends of ours on Tomales Beach that weekend. Yell out and we might hear you. John: By "Drakes Estero-like conditions," you mean 1/2 hour of heavy rain? :]

    1 · August 18, 2014

  • Maggie

    That's the place we always want to go! Too bad we have to miss it. We will be out of town at that time.

    August 14, 2014

  • Bob M.

    Wish I could join you. My daughters in town from new Orleans. Enjoy!
    Bob

    August 13, 2014

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