For a moment I considered abandoning ship [kayak] and fleeing in embarrassment. Instead I ran up, claimed my novice mistake, and wrestled her to safety. I sheepishly put on my drenched, sandy sprayskirt and PFD. Never leave your boat on wet sand, even if only for 3 minutes!
Embarrassing situation complete, we spent the typical 10 minutes trying to seal Alice's cheap hatch cover and finally launched into the little waves - much to the amusement of our canine audience.
Pictures (click to enlarge and see captions):
We arrived at Red Rock about an hour later. Red Rock is a completely undeveloped island in the middle of the Bay - and the only privately owned one. Apparently it used to be mined for manganese. It was purchased in 1964 for $50K and is now for sale for $5M (no one wants to pay buy it). Based on this interview, the owner thinks it's a very ugly island. We spent some time exploring and taking pictures, and I disagree. Alice made it 90% around before she reached an impassible headland. The boundaries of 3 counties converge on this rock, so Alice was in Contra Costa, Marin, and San Francisco Counties in the span of a few minutes.
On the way back we managed to avoid a ferry and monstrous shipping barge. I probably wouldn't choose this paddle again any time soon because it requires passing one of the two main shipping channels in SF Bay, and big boats have little regard for kayakers. Sunday was a good choice since there was very little boat traffic.
The wind had picked up on our return, and the current was still drawing us towards the bridge. I'm quite sore as I write this post, but excited to be using kayaking muscles again :). We aimed for San Quentin, arriving just as the sun was setting behind Mount Tam. When we realized the guards in the towers were watching us paddle along the prison seawall, we tried to look less sketchy by taking off our sunglasses.
I leave you with some fun facts about San Quentin that distracted me from finishing this post last night:
Fun facts about San Quentin:
- Oldest prison in CA (1852), all men
- California's only death row: 700+ men on death row. Largest in western hemisphere.
- Apparently it has hosted concerts for the prisoners (Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Metallica)
- It is currently at 137% of capacity
Date: Sunday March 23rd, 2014
Time: ~ 2.5 hours
Distance: ~ 7 miles