Exploring Drakes Estero

Kayaking Drakes Estero

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.

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.  The 6 hour tour usually makes it to the mouth of the estero, where we stop on the sand spit to stretch our legs and enjoy a delicious picnic snack of fresh baked bread, local cheeses, and fresh fruit.  After enjoying our snack 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.

Drakes Estero is closed to paddlers annually for Harbor Seal pupping season March 1 thur June 30.

Our first 2014 tour is on August 3rd.

Time:  Varies. See below.
             

Price:  4hr tour:   $80 
           6hr tour:   $98           

Launch Site:  Drakes Bay Oyster Co.
                     (see Directions)

Dates:

July: See the excitement of the Leopard Shark and Bat Ray Breeding and Spawning and young harbor seal pups exploring the shallow waters.

Sat. July 5th: 2p-6pm

Wed. July 9th: 9:30a-1:30pm

Sat. July 12th: 10:30a-2:30pm

Sun. August 3rd: 1p-5pm

Sat. August 23rd: 10a-2pm

Sat. August 30th: 10:30a-4:30p  (6hr)

Sat. September 6th: 9:30a-1:30p

Sun. September 21st: 9:30a-1:30p

     *Bring lunch for 6hr tour or snack for 4hr tour and plenty of water

Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore

Drakes Estero

harbor seal


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.

Wildlife: Caspian terns, brown and white pelicans, osprey, great and snowy egrets, bufflehead, peregrine falcons, great blue herons, surf scoters, black crowned night herons, and Brant geese seasonally pass through the estero as they make the journey between breeding grounds and their winter destinations. The hillsides that surround the waterway are home to coyote, bobcat, mountain lions, northern harriers, red tail hawks, and the only free-roaming herd of Tule elk in the state of California.

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
The success of any journey is based on well prepared participants. The most important contribution you can make is to arrive on time prepared and ready to enjoy the trip. When getting ready, please make sure that you understand the directions and allow yourself plenty of travel time. It is very important to be appropriately dressed to ensure your comfort and enjoyment. Please follow the Clothing Recommendations provided.

Food
To complement this exceptional adventure PRO provides a wonderful snack of local Marin cheeses, fresh baked breads, and seasonal fruits. We are proud to incorporate the local flavors of Point Reyes into our tours. Please let us know if you have special dietary needs.

Your Guides
PRO takes pride in the quality and skill level of your guides. Impeccably trained, they bring a wealth of knowledge and proficiency to each trip. With expertise in group facilitation, natural history, wilderness first aid and specialized kayak instruction, your guides are ready to provide you with a safe, relaxing and enjoyable experience. As a trip's success and safety depends on their judgment, we ask that you respect and support their decisions .

Sea Nettle Jelly Fish