23 February 2014

Berkeley Marina to Brooks Island (+ too much mexican food)

Alice, Stijn, Johnny, and I met at the Berkeley Marina at 9am for a very "unplanned/casual" paddle. I use quotes because it took us a week of rapid-fire emails and changing plans to reach this point. Most of us (except Johnny) had abandoned our boats for far too long. For most of us, this was our first sea kayaking trip out of Berkeley. We launched from the docks near Cal Adventures on the south side of the marina. The parking is free and the launch works well at most tide levels. 

Johnny and Alice packing up boats.
We headed north, swinging wide and staying pretty far offshore. We had no destination, but eventually headed towards Brooks Island (previously Isla de Carmen, Rocky Island, Bird Island, and Sheep Island!). The island has a long history - first settled by the Ohlone Indians, later used for grazing/oyster harvesting/quarrying, and finally acquired by the East Bay Regional Park District in 1968 and converted to a preserve. Today it is a bird sanctuary - no landing allowed.

Johnny, Alice, and I at Bird Rock. Photo by Stijn Schiffeleers. 
Shameless selfie, included because that's Brooks Island in the background.
Hazy San Francisco in the background, cormorants in the front. Photo by Stijn Schiffeleers.
The paddle was casual to say the least. We thought we could paddle around the Island but realized a long breakwater nearly doubled the length of paddling (see map below). Another reason why planning can sometimes be a good idea. Alice, always the rebel (and having drank too much water), did a bit of island exploring by foot. On the way back the wind picked up a bit, and we were joined by a number of sailboats near the marina. Stijn and I bonded over our mutual love for the Belgian band K3. The Berkeley Pier looks much cooler from below: the piers extending infinitely in both directions like a room of mirrors. 

Stijn hiding behind a pile at the Berkeley Pier.


Date: Sunday February 23rd, 2014
Time: ~ hours
Distance: ~ 10.5 miles

Upon returning to shore we shared a bottle of Wyder's Pear Cider and caravanned to the nearest mexican restaurant where we were shocked by the monstrous portions and promptly found ourselves in a food coma. Up next, the Cal100! I think we have a lot more training to go...

Alice and the monster burrito we should have shared....


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Love the under the pier shot. Well written, Nena!! Thanks for capturing..