Gear Trails, Vol. II: The Bay Area’s Best Paddle

Courtesy of Oru Kayaks’ Andy Cochrane

By The Editors
December 14, 2015 9:00 am

The biggest problem with getting outside in the Bay Area? Being spoiled for choice. We’re trimming that process by getting the goods straight from the experts. This week: Andy Cochrane of Oru Kayaks on his top Bay Area paddle.

“My friend Roberto [Gutierrez, Oru’s co-founder and chief commercial officer] lives on a houseboat in Sausalito, so we paddled from there under the Golden Gate, out past Point Bonita Lighthouse, where it’s pretty choppy. We went past Rodeo Beach and Muir Beach toward Bolinas. We slept in Pirate’s Cove [between Muir Beach and the Tennessee Valley trailhead at Tennessee Beach].

We packed really frugally — I compare it to ultralight backpacking. We had a fire at the campsite. Pretty much everything else was in three or four dry bags ranging from 20 to 30 liters, including a completely new, dry set of clothes you can throw on and stay warm.

We’ve wanted to do this route for a while because it’s adjacent to the city and no one does it — there are pretty big cliffs [along the Marin Headlands] and the water’s choppy — but both of us have pretty extensive paddling backgrounds. When you’re looking across from Land’s End, or maybe even if you walk to the lighthouse, you get a totally different sense from being on the water. You can see sharks and seals near Bolinas, and if you’re really lucky, you’ll see a whale. But the coolest part is when you’re at the bottom of these cliffs, you forget how close you are to millions of people. You’re that close, and you don’t even know it.”

To which we add:

Andy and Roberto were testing out Oru’s new 16-footer, the Oru Coast Kayak (and the extra-plush Ora Coast+ Kayak, made for longer paddles in rougher water than you’d want to countenance in a smaller boat.

Main image via Flickr


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