Circumnavigation of Alameda Island by kayak
We checked our tide tables, and put our boats in at MLK regional Shoreline right at the start of Maximum Ebb tide. We figured that this would give us a push through the Oakland inner harbor (which it did). The helpful current was most exceptional from the High Street Bridge to Coast Guard Island. After that, the width of the passage increased, and we didn’t get as much help. This isn’t the most scenic trip in the world – most of the scenery is other boats, and very large industrial equipment. Nevertheless, our goal was to complete our circumnavigation (which we had failed at two years ago due to weather). The plan was for lunch at Encinal Launching and Fishing Facility (though in retrospect, Lunch at Robert Crowne State Beach may have been more scenic). We re Launched our Kayaks at Encinal (after having walked them through a hole in the fence (oops)). Based on the tide tables, we figured that we’d be going through the San Leandro channel during slack tide (at the low point). We were surprised to find a strong current against us. As we trudged our kayaks through the channel back to the launch site, the current should have been turning. It didn’t change until we got well into San Leandro Bay. If you plan to go, I’d suggest trying to take advantage of the currents like we did – but plan it so that you aren’t paddling through any of the narrower sections during slack – you might not get the help you expected.