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About Our Trips

MCKC is an easy going group and all trips are what would generally be considered "easy" to at most "moderate" by most experienced Bay Area paddlers.

Club members are of all ages. Some active members are in their 70's (and up). Few are what you'd call very "athletic".

Most MCKC members use 16 to 17 foot two person canoes or single seat plastic recreational kayaks in the 9' to 14' range. A few use sea kayaks for longer paddles. 

We organize trips to a lot of locations from Pt Reyes to the Sierras, and from Sonoma County to occasionally as far south as Santa Cruz.

Boats

All most any type of hard sided canoe or kayak is appropriate. On club trips two person canoes and short single seat recreational kayaks are most popular.

Inflatable boats: We hope that anyone using an inflatable already has lots of previous experience paddling it in this area before bringing it on a club paddle.  They are hard to handle in the windy conditions we get around here.

Our Trip Ratings

How do you know if your skills and equipment are appropriate for a particular trip? You should consult the trip coordinator of course, but here are some things to consider.

All our trips are "easy" to "moderate" compared general paddling in this area. Trips that do not have a rating note are "easy". Trip ratings are just guesses about what a trip might be like. The real trip could be different. Head winds, especially, are very common and even light winds can make a short distance a lot longer. Large bodies of water can get significant waves on them when the wind picks up. We seldom have problems like this but everyone should be aware of the potential difficulties.

Trips rated Easy: You should have done some canoeing/kayaking before and have basic skills including getting in and out of your boat, paddling in a straight line and turning. You should be in normal physical condition, able to paddle at an easy pace for at least an hour at a stretch. You need to able to climb in and out of your boat in a variety of places, including steep banks, high docks, etc.

Skill Level Intermediate: You should be able to handle your boat in waves up to 2' and strong wind. Kayaks should be equipped with spray skirts and self rescue gear and you should have training in self rescue.  These would be extreme conditions on an MCKC trip but we have encountered conditions like this when the weather changed unexpectedly. This rating is usually for large bodies of water where waves can build up and conditions can deteriorate quickly.

We occasionally do easy trips on moving water. Participants should have good basic boat handling skills. Some trips may require a grasp of basic moving water maneuvering, i.e. side slipping, pivoting, sweep and pry strokes, ferrying etc.

Endurance Moderate: This is appropriate for most people who are physically active.  This would cover our longer trips when we paddle at an easy pace without a real break for up to  2 1/2 hours. Total trip distance could be 12 miles or up to 5 hours in the boat round trip. Most people who are active and who like outdoor activities can do this without problems. We do not go fast and we keep everyone together. 

Being able to paddle efficiently helps. Having a boat that moves efficiently through the water (usually a longer boat) helps. Some canoes, and short, wide kayaks like kiwis take a lot of energy to paddle over a longer distance.

Endurance High: This would usually be a longer trip with the possibility of headwinds or adverse currents or trips where we need to move quickly to complete the route in certain time period. We don't do many trips like this.