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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:18 pm 
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Hello,
I have this idea of kayaking to work in SF one day, I just love the idea. Looks to be about 8 miles to the marina where I would land in SF from Berkeley. Everyone thinks I'm nuts who I mention this idea too. Hoping to find someone on here who would be more encouraging. Unfortunately it looks like the tides would not be in my favor, although its hard to tell how strong they are, have to look more on the map I found. Also those massive freighters would have to be avoided. Ok it does seem difficult. I am very fit though and am confident that I could cover the miles without a problem. I do have the sail kit which I would bring to use if it looked feasible. Any input would be appreciated. Haven't found any kind of record anyone doing this online. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:48 am 
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Having sailed a windsurfer, El Toro, Venture 21 and Ericson 27 on the bay....here are my suggestions. Safety flag with light, portable-water proof marine radio, bright orange dry suit and PFD of same color...my theme is to be visible on the water and dressed for the cold bay water.
You can find tidal info on line and there is a bay model in Sausalito that will demonstrate the tidal flow/changes all over the bay .....it flows like a river "ripping" in many locations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Army_ ... _Bay_Model

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:55 am 
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Zenyak wrote:
Hello,
I have this idea of kayaking to work in SF one day, I just love the idea. Looks to be about 8 miles to the marina where I would land in SF from Berkeley. Everyone thinks I'm nuts who I mention this idea too. Hoping to find someone on here who would be more encouraging. Unfortunately it looks like the tides would not be in my favor, although its hard to tell how strong they are, have to look more on the map I found. Also those massive freighters would have to be avoided. Ok it does seem difficult. I am very fit though and am confident that I could cover the miles without a problem. I do have the sail kit which I would bring to use if it looked feasible. Any input would be appreciated. Haven't found any kind of record anyone doing this online. Thank you.


Dr Steelhead Catcher has some excellent advice.

The SF Bay can be dangerous in big ships to kayaks. You have fog, ripping tides/currents and howling winds to deal with.

You might want to try a Sat or Sun trip and plan to leave Berkeley in the morning with an outgoing tide, and return with the incoming tide and the usual westerly winds. Your sail would help on your return.

Before you do it by yourself, check with the local yakking clubs, they may have trips planned with a group and or you can hire a guide.

Below is a list of tides and equipment suggestions and clothing suggestions. I would suggest the PFD jacket listed and Kokatat Kayak pants with feet or bibs. You can use the jacket later during cold or cool weather. My wife and I have the Kokatat Kayak pants, and we wear them year round. She has wading shoes, and I use my fly fishing boa adjustable boots or wading sandals. I would recommend taking a drive to Clavey's in Petaluma to be fitted with the Kokatat kayak waders and foot gear. If the Kokatats can be fitted and the footgear doesn't work at Clavey's, take your new Kotatats to a Big Five, put them on and get fitted with foot gear.

Below is a list of gear my family and I use for yakking/power boating and outdoor activities to make our trips more enjoyable and to have some safety backup systems. Put your PLB and VHF in your float jacket and have a whistle attached to the jacket and an attached knife. The GPS is to help you find your way back if an unplanned fog catches you. It will also let you know where you are on the trip over and on the way back.

Remember no gear can save one if they put them self in a severe dangerous position. Or their gear is at home or goes away or down with the yak with the former yakkers in the water.

You might wish to try your new gear in the Berkley/Richmond/Oakland protected areas a few times to get used to the gear. Bodega Bay is a fairly safe and fun place to try yaks and yakking gear. You can launch your yak on the west end of Doran Beach Park just south of Bodega for both the bay and a protected ocean mini trip.

A good whistle and kayak knife to attach to your floating jacket. Also, a Princeton Tec Eco Flare Locator to attach to your float jacket; available at Clavey's: http://shop.clavey.com/princeton-tec-ec ... -p603.aspx

San Francisco Bay Tide Table and current table. Currents are important to yakkers:
http://wolfweb.unr.edu/homepage/edc/tid ... _fr14.html

ACR SARLink PLB - Personal Locator Beacon
http://www.shopepal.com/p-3516-acr-sarl ... eacon.aspx

Uniden Atlantis Maritime VHF floating 2 way radio 2506
http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-Atlantis-1 ... B000E99WOC

First Watch Hi-Vis Flotation Bomber Jacket - Hi-Vis Yellow/Black - X-Large

http://www.scubastevesmarine.com/index. ... cc15bd4759

Kokatat Men's Hydrus 3L Tempest Pant with Socks or whirl pool bibs:

http://shop.clavey.com/pants--bibs-c100.aspx

Waterproof handheld GPS unit. The one below is my son’s and my favorite. He uses his for remote bow hunting and boating on the Delta and Bay, and I use mine for hiking and yaking. They are easy to use and have a ton of tidal data including points around the SF Bay. They are the best handheld GPS units we have found. They have been discontinued, and those still around and new can be bought at great savings.

Garmin Oregon 550T 3-Inch Handheld GPS Navigator with 3.2MP Digital Camera (U.S. Topographic Maps)

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Handheld-N ... waterproof

List of Clavey Kayak Classes that might help like the Golden Gate Class:
http://shop.clavey.com/kayak-classes-c114.aspx

Misc. Safety accessories from Clavey.
http://shop.clavey.com/kayak-safety--rescue-c66.aspx
REI has excellent kayak safety accessories.
http://www.rei.com/c/paddling-safety-equipment

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:50 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
Just do it! ...as they say :-)

Having been there recently it looks like it would be an exciting commute but I personally would not want to undertake it in the fog.

There's loads of advice about safety equipment from other posters. My NZ$0.02 as follows:

1. Take spares and tools to allow you to quickly fix any drive failures while out on the water - this means, cable breakages, fin masts snapping, pedals breaking, and the rubber of the fins wearing through/breaking at the adjustment screw corners. I have experienced all these failures in my trips around Auckland's Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbour which are much less challenging environments than the SF Bay area from a number of points of view (wind, tide, shipping, fog, temperature to mention the more obvious ones) and being able to quickly swap parts out and in while out at sea can prevent a failure turning into a drama into a crisis, not to mention a very long commute !

2. In tidal waters a GPS is invaluable in determining which heading will result in the shortest journey time. I wouldn't be without mine on longer passages though you can achieve similarly precise routing without a GPS as long as there are stationary objects that you can line up along your route (I use conveniently placed channel marker buoys). The technique (in case you don't know it) is easy: when a gap opens, due to crosstide/crosswind/poor course holding, between the two marks you have lined up in your direction of travel, you turn towards the closer of the two marks to bring them back into line and you will come back onto the direct line again.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
What Stobbo said!
I've been commuting to nightshifts twice a week for the last 7 years. I still look forward to it and miss it if I don't go, which is rare. (I generally won't go if thunderstorms are forecast but any other weather is OK.)
The Adventure is the perfect commuter as you can sail, pedal or paddle, depending on the conditions. I know the Hobie will get me home no matter what the weather. Heading into a 30knot wind is no drama with the Miragedrive. I've done it many times.
Now saying that I have no idea on the conditions you will face in SF. You should take note of what has already been posted re safety. My commute is only a bit over 5kms and I don't have huge ships to contend with so common sense should prevail. I'm on the water for between 40mins to a bit over an hour, depending on conditions, but I allow 2 hours to get there because I have to wheel my kayak about 2kms a trip.
Your 8 mile commute would take a lot longer so you would have to factor that in. It would make for a long day but I reckon you should try it ...at least once! :wink:

PS: I hope you have access to a shower at work as you will need it!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:45 am 
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Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 4:01 pm
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Excellent suggestions.

Would a spare Mirage unit fit in a Revolution's front hatch? If so that might be a good spare to have. I forget about the potential Mirage problems with an Oasis. With the Oasis, we have a spare in the water if something happens to one.

stobbo wrote:
Just do it! ...as they say :-)

Having been there recently it looks like it would be an exciting commute but I personally would not want to undertake it in the fog.

There's loads of advice about safety equipment from other posters. My NZ$0.02 as follows:

1. Take spares and tools to allow you to quickly fix any drive failures while out on the water - this means, cable breakages, fin masts snapping, pedals breaking, and the rubber of the fins wearing through/breaking at the adjustment screw corners. I have experienced all these failures in my trips around Auckland's Hauraki Gulf and Waitemata Harbour which are much less challenging environments than the SF Bay area from a number of points of view (wind, tide, shipping, fog, temperature to mention the more obvious ones) and being able to quickly swap parts out and in while out at sea can prevent a failure turning into a drama into a crisis, not to mention a very long commute !

2. In tidal waters a GPS is invaluable in determining which heading will result in the shortest journey time. I wouldn't be without mine on longer passages though you can achieve similarly precise routing without a GPS as long as there are stationary objects that you can line up along your route (I use conveniently placed channel marker buoys). The technique (in case you don't know it) is easy: when a gap opens, due to crosstide/crosswind/poor course holding, between the two marks you have lined up in your direction of travel, you turn towards the closer of the two marks to bring them back into line and you will come back onto the direct line again.

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2012 Freedom Hawk Pathfinder


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:27 pm
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Thank you for all the advice. I really appreciate it. I have been watching the currents from work (in a high rise). After work today I scouted out my landing spot and found city kayak who are willing to hold my kayak for the day for $8.00 the price of going by Bart lol. I am not a rookie kayaker so I am feeling generally doable about the whole thing, the only thing that really gives me pause is the large ships, they are huge and really fast. You can see them way ahead of time, but without being out there it is kind of hard to judge how hard it would be to dodge them.

Perhaps I'll go on my 50th birthday. That way if I make it great, if not hey its my birthday and I'll just spend it kayaking.

Maybe I should go one day and then return the following day, but that would mean I would need to lock it up well, which I will do just how could I lock up the mirage drive?

My mirage drive is pretty old. There is a good bit of extra play in it. I did upgrade it with new cables, would have to tune as best I could. I have the large allen wrench for the bolts that hold it in place, would also bring the wrench for adjusting the cables.

Being a family dude I don't go out a whole bunch anymore so don't want to gear up all that much more then i am already. I wonder how my phone would function as a gps out there. Maybe I would get one of those mega horns as a last ditch thing if a freighter really was bearing down on me.

I have a dry top and waders, but it is so uncomfortable will probably go with the waders and a belt. I have mysteriouso underwear. Have one great light, perhaps I would invest in a larger headlamp as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:12 pm 
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Found this web site which is pretty cool, wonder if I could access on the water, shows all active ships ( supposedly)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:13 pm 
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http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/home


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 Post subject: Re: Incredible Web site
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:43 am 
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Great website. Thanks for posting it.

Zenyak wrote:
http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/home


The big ships will have professional pilots on them, and they are great seamen and are safety aware at all times.

The problem is being seen. A horn on a yak with a big ship bearing down on you is useless.

They probably wouldn't/couldn't hear you. If they could hear you, they would not be able to maneuver their ship or stop to miss you if they did hear you. A Hi Vis daylight flashing strobe would be best.

Outgoing ship traffic can be very fast. We have taken a couple of cruise out of SF. Both times the ship was late getting on its way. The pilots had them going at a good rate of speed shortly after clearing the docks.

The ferries on the water move at a good clip. Their operators are very good, but they might not see a yak out in the bay until they were on top of them. Again, A Hi Vis daylight flashing strobe would be best.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:25 pm 
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I did it yesterday and had a blast. Some adjustments I need to make is reducing water getting in the hull. Also I had to hold the line the whole time which got intense. I can't cleat it off because I need to adjust it all the time, but am thinking if I had a pulley up where I am I could reduce the pressure holding it. Anyone do this? Which side?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:47 pm 
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Location: High Point, NC
This may help - I removed the forward mainsheet cleat on the forward aka bar. I installed a standard, old fashioned horn cleat next to my seat. I almost never cleat the main, but I can loop it once around the horn and that takes all the pressure off my arm. A quick release is just a matter of releasing the line slightly. It'll slip from there.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:48 pm 
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For my second cross bay kayak commute, I used a bicycling technique of reducing my weight, i.e. leaving work boots at work, etc. I noticed the difference and was definitely floating higher on the water. However as I understand it for kayaks the longer the lateral line the faster the craft which is why kayaks tend to be long. Which makes me think I should do the opposite and ballast my craft a bit to get fully in the water and use its whole length. So counterintuitive can't bring myself to actually try that. Any thoughts?

My time both ways was about 8 miles in 2 hours, i.e. 4mph average

Am looking for threads which address water accumulating in the hull.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:32 pm 
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Location: Escondido
Zenyak wrote:
However as I understand it for kayaks the longer the lateral line the faster the craft which is why kayaks tend to be long. Which makes me think I should do the opposite and ballast my craft a bit to get fully in the water and use its whole length. Any thoughts?
You're absolutely right. Although weight slows the boat down by a small amount, waterline is much more important to speed. On relatively smooth water, the bow starts to come out of the water as the boat speeds up due to hydrodynamic lift. I use bow weights to counter this. The amount varies by speed and model. On the Adventure, I use a 5# dumbbell in the extreme bow. My friend Mike has a special 7# rock that he uses (he's faster than I, thus needs more weight). On my Revo 11 I use 10# in the extreme bow -- different set of dynamics. No doubt, it makes a big difference! The way we determine the correct weight is to have someone watch your bow at the cruise speed you're using.

I don't know if this still makes a difference in heavy chop where the bow is in and out of the water a lot. It's also a waste of time if you're not going fast enough to get any bow lift.

BTW, the depth of the bow in the water is not important, only that it is in contact with the water. -- this has to do with wake patterns and drag. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:52 pm
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Location: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Zenyak wrote:
http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/home


Thanks Zenyak - a very useful and interesting site. Have recently purchased a house in Yarraville, close to the Yarra River on which the Port of Melbourne (Australia) is located. It will be fun to be yakking on the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers and be able to get information about the ships in port... including apparently the ones that are about to plough me under.

The wealth of information provided by this blog is immense...


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