Giacomini Wetlands Tour

Per Person: $115

We welcome experienced and first time kayakers alike on this unique paddle. In celebration of the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project, Blue Waters offers a tour through the beautiful wetlands at the south end of Tomales Bay.  Your day will include a stop on the beach with a short hike that will provide you with dramatic views of the wetlands & Tomales Bay.

jess_marsh4This open space’s character is changing daily. Non-native grasses wither away under the onslaught of saltwater, while pickleweed and marsh plants take over. Ducks (sometimes thousands) dot newly created tidal ponds. Bald eagles and marsh hawks soar over egrets and herons wading in slow motion.

A BIT OF HISTORY: The Giacomini Ranch was established over 50 years ago at the head of Tomales Bay near downtown Point Reyes Station. In order to create pastureland from existing salt marsh, Rancher Waldo Giacomini built levees and tide gates to manage tidal incursion. The levees significantly altered the patterns of estuarine circulation and sediment deposition in the area. In 2000 the Point Reyes National Seashore purchased 563 acres of the Giacomini farmland in order to begin the long, delicate process of restoring the wetlands. The project took eight and a half years to finish. The levees have now been removed, adding approximately 4% to existing California salt marshes. The Giacomini Wetlands can be viewed from strategically placed, yet somewhat limited trails and viewing areas, or (even better) from a kayak at high tide, gliding through areas where the human foot is now forbidden but non-motorized boats are not.

Itinerary: We will meet at White House Pool, located a mile west of Point Reyes Station where you will be welcomed by a guide.  After a welcome circle, gear up, and a quick boat/paddle lesson, we will launch our boats and head north towards Tomales Bay.  Once we enter the main channel, we will usually veer to the east, enter the wetlands and tour the flooded project area. (Based on water levels) Paddling through channels, shallows, and tidal marsh, we will explore as much of the wetlands as possible. We will stop along the way to enjoy a short hike with dramatic views. This tour gives us a great chance to share the restoration project and the history of the Giacomini Ranch.  We complete this day back where you left your car at White House Pool.

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 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 * Windbreaker jacket * Pile or fleece pullover or a wool sweater * Change of clothes, including dry shoes * Wool, capilene, poly-pro, or other synthetic long sleeve, undergarment that will keep you warm when it is wet

(NOTE: Cotton or cotton blend clothing retains water and will keep you cold if it becomes wet)

Release Form:   Please print out, 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:* Up to 7 days prior to the event: A $5 per person processing fee will be charged for any cancellation on any reservation. Full refunds of any fees paid will be given during this time period, minus the $5 processing 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 and up to 72 hours prior to your event: you may reschedule for an additional 50% payment of the class or trip cost. Upon rescheduling, you will receive a new reservation confirmation.

* Within 72 hours and 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 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 per person non-refundable deposit that was included in your reservation.