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
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.
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
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
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
We don't do many trips like this.