Monday, June 16, 2008

Boat Plan: Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay Camping

Here is my email to my family with my boat plan for tomorrow's trip:

Dear Family,

Here are my plans for the next few days. I'm going on a solo kayak/camping trip to Lake Tahoe. This is a very safe, fun trip. To make it even safer, this email constitutes my boat plan. I'll email with photos and stories when I get back.

Day 1 - Tuesday 7/17
Tomorrow morning I'll drive up to SugarPine where I'll leave the Honda. I'll have lunch and put in around Noon. I'll paddle to Emerald Bay which is a short distance by water at about 7 miles. I often do trips of more than twice that distance. I'll camp at a boat only campsite on gorgeous Emerald Bay. I've got campsite #B018. There is a hike that originates from this campsite that is on the itinerary. The hike overlooks some of the route paddled. There is also Fannette Island in Emerald Bay to explore. It is a tiny island with a tea house. I'm going to bring my thermos with tea, and plan to enjoy it at the tea house. If there are other paddlers at the camp, I'll try to recruit them to join me. Motorboat traffic is restricted to 15mph on the bay, so it is very safe. I may be able to make cell phone calls from Boat Camp and Fannette Island (according to AT&T's coverage map) and will call Kevin to check in if I can.

Day 2 - Wednesday 7/18 (Full Moon)
In daylight, I plan to paddle across Lake Tahoe to Zephyr Bay, have lunch then return. This will be a round trip of 14 miles. If weather is the least bit rough, I won't do this trip, but instead will paddle close to shore along the south end of the lake, or take a hike. There are a couple of enticing trails. At night, I may take a moonlight paddle around Emerald Bay close to shore with my deck light.

Day 3 - Thursday 7/19
I will have a big breakfast of oatmeal, then break camp and paddle back to Sugarpine, have lunch, then drive home.

Here is my custom Google map of my routes.
The weather is looking very good. The wind is not getting more than 8mph lately. It's not getting below freezing, though it will be cold at night, I'll have my solo tent with fly, sleeping bag, thermals, wool hat, and will be very cozy. I will call off the trip, or any part of it, if the weather changes.

Safety Precautions
I'll wear my wetsuit in case I end up in the water (very unlikely in good conditions, and I won't go out in bad conditions).
Of course, I always wear a life vest, and know how to re-enter my kayak.
I always have a whistle with me, and this is a heavily used area with lots of other people around.
I'll have my cell phone (fully charged), and the number for Coast Guard programmed in:
U.S. Coast Guard, Tahoe City Station.............. (530) 583-4433
I'll have a Motorola VHF FM radio (can be set to channel 16 to talk directly with Coast Guard).
I'll have compass and map.
I'll have a deck light in case I'm out after dark, but will not go out on the open lake at night.
I'll call Kevin when I'm safe in camp (if I can get a signal).



Eileen S. said...

How was campsite B018 at the Emerald Bay boat-in site? What site(s) would you say were the best? do they all have easy access to the shore? Private? Thanks for any advice! Must have been a great trip!

Shamus Thornton said...

Hi Eileen, The campsite at B018 was next to a shed that had some kind of machinery in it that kicked in every few hours, all through the night. I wouldn't recommend it. There's a map of the campsites online if you look for the Emerald Bay Boat Only campsites. Take care, Shamus