2016 Tour Dates Released! See below.
Kayak into the heart of one of the last pristine estuaries on the California coast. The day is spent paddling amongst the eelgrass and oyster beds, exploring the coastline in search of bat rays, leopard shark, harbor seals, and water fowl including white pelicans.
Time: Varies. See below.
Launch Site: Drakes Bay Oyster Co.
2016 Drakes Estero Dates:
Saturday, February 13th, 11:30a-3:30p
Closed to Kayakers: March-June
Open July to February: See the excitement of the Leopard Shark and Bat Ray Breeding and Spawning and young harbor seal pups exploring the shallow waters.
4hr or 6hr?: The 4 hour tour will explore Home Bay and the oyster beds traveling along the shoreline roving in the main bay. Typically we see the same wildlife on both tours, but we paddle approximately 5 miles vs. approximately 10 miles on the 6 hour tour. Both tours will stop on a beach to enjoy a picnic snack of fresh baked bread, local cheeses, and fresh fruit. After enjoying our snack on the 6hr tour, there may be time for a walk amongst the dunes, on the beach, or up the hillside to enjoy the view. This tidally influenced waterway will certainly delight as we paddle amongst the open rolling hills and wildlife.
The Place: Striking open vistas surround the protected wildlife sanctuary known as Drake's Estero. Fresh water commingles with the ocean's salt to create some of the most productive and diverse wildlife habitat on the planet. This 160 acre tidal salt marsh is to home thousands of seals, bat rays, migrating birds and leopard sharks, making this a paddler's paradise for anyone interested in viewing Mother Nature's intricate web of life.
Surrounded by golden hillsides, we will glide through the water as pelicans float overhead and come to rest. As we align with the rhythm of nature that surrounds us, we will paddle carefully amongst the wildlife that call the estero home, quietly waiting for the tip of a bat ray fin to rise gently above the water as it travels to its muddy feeding grounds.
History: Like its ebbing and flowing tides, this is a constantly changing environment. Our guides will help you connect to the past, present, and future with stories of the Miwok Indians who once called this drowned river valley their home, tales of Sir Francis Drake, his ship, and supposed discovery of the Bay, as well as the rich history of the first European explorers who settled and ranched in this rich agricultural countryside.
Today & Aquaculture: From our launch site at Drakes Bay Oyster Company you will observe the operations of a local oyster farm. Oysters play an integral role in maintaining the health of the estero by filtering the water, keeping algae levels in check, and absorbing bacteria in their environment. The oyster farms help to keep this relationship alive and the bay thriving. As we paddle you will be able to peer into other aspects of aquaculture and oyster farming.
Preparing for Your Trip