Drakes Estero Tours

Drake’s Estero is one of the most stunning places to kayak on the California coast. Departing from the former Drake’s Bay Oyster Co., surrounded by acres of verdant coastal farmland, we’ll paddle by the mudflats and through the eelgrass of this inspiring wilderness estuary. You’ll have the chance to see harbor seals, bat rays, leopard sharks, and many bird species such as osprey, geese, white pelicans, loons, grebes, shorebirds and a variety of hawks including Northern Harriers, Osprey, and Red Tails.

We welcome experienced and adventurous first time kayakers alike to join us on this beautiful paddle. We limit the number of participants, so please reserve early!  Drake’s Bay is closed to kayaking for seal protection every year from March 1 to June 30.

!!! Please note !!!
If you are booking after 5pm for a next day tour, you are NOT CONFIRMED until you receive a phone call from our office confirming your tour!

!!! Please note !!!
If you are booking after 5pm for a next day tour, you are NOT CONFIRMED until you receive a phone call from our office confirming your tour!

Itinerary:   We meet at the parking lot of Drake’s Estero. (The location where Drake’s Bay Oyster Company was) You will see a brown sign for “Drakes Estero” on the left side of the road when coming from Point Reyes.

After unloading gear and going over basic kayaking instructions and safety procedures, we launch our boats.   Depending on conditions, we paddle along Schooner Bay and into Home Bay or out towards the entrance.   We go paddling rain, fog or shine.

Equipment:   Our double kayaks track well, are difficult to capsize, and are easy to maneuver. All the necessary gear such as life jackets, paddles and spray skirts is provided.

What to Bring:   Come prepared for variable weather. Bring clothes that reflect your degree of sensitivity to heat or cold.
* Sun screen & lip balm
* Hat with sun visor
* Wool or fleece hat (for cold days)
* Sunglasses
* 1 liter (minimum) water bottle
* Shorts or baggy pants that can be rolled up to your knees are best for paddling
* Shoes you don’t mind getting wet such as Teva type river sandals, wetsuit booties, or aqua socks.
* Tennis shoes with wool socks or rubber boots are good in cool weather.
* Waterproof jacket
* Wool, capilene, poly pro, or some other synthetic long sleeve, long underwear shirt that will keep you warm when it is wet. (Cotton or cotton blend clothing retains water and will keep you cold if it becomes wet.)
* Pile or fleece pullover or a wool sweater
* Change of clothes, including dry shoes

Release Form: Please fill out the online waiver or read, sign, and BRING the release of liability and assumption of risk form with you on our trip. 

Cancellation Policy:  

Please understand that when a reservation is made with Blue Waters Kayaking, it is a commitment on our part to hold seats in a kayak for you.  This often involves considerable work on our part to make sure that the right equipment is ready for you at the right place and time. We can (and often do) turn away others from that particular date (or trip).  If you decide to cancel, it can be difficult for us to book someone else on that trip, and in some cases may cause a trip to be cancelled due to the effect on minimum group size requirements. With this in mind, we have implemented the following cancellation policy:

*  All reservations are subject to a 5% non-refundable handling fee at the time of booking.

*  Up to 7 days prior to the event: Full refunds of any fees paid will be given during this time period, minus the 5% non-refundable handling fee. There is no charge for rescheduling during this time period.

*  7 days prior to the event: Your reservation is considered final, and all fees are due and payable.  Unpaid credit card deposits will be charged. After this time no money will be refunded

*  Within 7 days (including the day of the event): all cancellations and no shows will be charged in full with no refunds or reschedules unless due to inclement weather. (see below)

We attempt in all cases to determine prior to your tour launch if weather will impede your trip. However, there are rare occasions where we have launched and weather patterns change suddenly at which time we must return to shore.

In this case the following policies apply and each patron is responsible to contact the office to make arrangements.

~~Where tour is cancelled after we already launched the kayaks and must return to shore within the first hour patrons can:

  • Reschedule with a future trip
  • Receive a 50% refund

~~Where tour is cancelled before we have launched the kayaks patrons can:

  • Reschedule the same trip on a future date (at no cost)
  • Cancel completely. Each patron is responsible to contact the office to make arrangements.  In the event you choose to cancel you will receive a full refund minus the 5% handling fee.