Friday, January 3, 2014

New Years Day Paddle

On New Year's Day I went paddling with a group of friends on the southeast end of Tomales Bay. We started off from Alan Sieroty Beach across from Inverness Yacht Club and paddled four and a half miles south towards Point Reyes Station.

As we left the beach the tide was coming in—a king tide—the highest tide of 2014, in fact. The high tide would peak just before noon, so we followed Joe Soule's plan to paddle as far up the creek that is the main tributary of the bay as far as the high tide would allow. That creek is named Lagunitas Creek, yes, that Lagunitas Creek as in Lagunitas Beer. Lagunitas Brewery (now brewing beer in Petaluma) first started out in Marin County, in a small West Marin town called Lagunitas.  It is my guess that Lagunitas creek was named for the 10 mile long lagoon into which it empties, that lagoon being what we now call Tomales Bay.

We were able to get pretty far upstream a little bit beyond the remains of a railroad trestle that once carried trains from Sausalito to Monte Rio.

That's me on the right. We're about a mile east of Point Reyes Station. Photo by Lyrinda Snyderman.

Once we got as far up the creek as we could paddle, we turned around to find a lovely creekside meadow that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. That's where we unpacked our kayaks and shared a fine potluck luncheon.

Seventeen of us in all. Lotsa fun.
As we paddled back to our cars a strong ebb tide current carried us eagerly along. Joe and I played in the wetland lakes that were once used as pastureland for cattle.

A mile or so before finishing the paddle I was pleased to see Richard James again who was cleaning up the bay. I wrote about Richard last November 17 on this blog called Caring for the Coast. (If you missed reading about Richard, I encourage you to take a minute to learn about him.) Soon after saying goodbye to Richard I plucked some flotsam out of Tomales Bay—a wayward duck decoy. Richard and I are kindred spirits.

As we paddled the last mile a little bit of overcast appeared in the sky with some northwest wind which together changed the mood of the paddle and, for me, increased the sense of fun.

So here's to good paddling and good craft beers!

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