What to do before you arrive?
First off, it is important to know that for our planning purposes we generally need a reservation to be made 24 hours in advance. Please use the events calendar sign-up: http://www.amigosdelapresa.org/events/ Click on the event that you want to attend and then click on the link to reserve a spot. Enter your name, email address, phone number and in the message section indicate the event that you want to attend and the number of people that will be coming. Then hit the submit button and we will receive an email of your request.
If you need to cancel, please notify us in advance by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If we need to cancel the paddle, you will be called in advance if we have a number for you (it’s important that you provide a phone number when you are reserving for a paddle). If you didn’t provide us with a phone number, we will make an attempt to let you know through an email that an event has been canceled.
Transportation to and from the boathouse is, of course, your responsibility (cab, Uber, carpool, bike, hike, etc)
The directions to the boathouse are written on the website. http://www.amigosdelapresa.org/161-2/ Copy them or jot them down in case your cab or Uber driver is uncertain!
What about the Weather?
It is difficult to predict conditions as they may be one way in el centro, but different on the Presa. We generally advise that you show up and be prepared to make the decision with the guide on site. If conditions are very obviously bad, we will attempt to reach everyone who has signed up by telephone. This is one reason it is important to have a telephone number for you. We will also attempt to reach you by email if you have not given us a phone number.
What to wear?
Again, it is difficult to predict weather conditions, but generally, it is suggested that clothing be loose fitting similar to any other outdoor exercise/activity. For example, tight jeans will be uncomfortable. Pants that will dry quickly work, but most paddlers wear shorts. On top, layers are suggested. If you are paddling on a warm day, you want light clothing on top, but if it is cloudy or during an evening paddle, it is good to have a sweatshirt or something similar to layer for warmth. Wearing or carrying a hat is a good idea as is sunscreen if you use it. Don’t forget to take along your water bottle!
If you wish to change, there is a space (a small trailer) at the boathouse where you can change from street clothes to paddling clothes. Also, you may lock your valuable inside the boathouse, if necessary.
As a ‘water’ sport, you should plan to get a little wet if nothing more from handling the wet kayak to drops of water running down the kayak paddle on to your legs. Wearing shoes that can get wet and muddy may be a good idea, just in case you step in the water at the shoreline.
What to expect when you arrive?
Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes BEFORE the scheduled time. Unfortunately, if you are late, you may miss the paddle as it is very difficult and unfair to the others if the guide needs to turn around, unlock the boathouse, and prepare someone who is late for the paddle. Arrive early!
All kayaks are stable and designed for beginner’s recreation. They are all single kayaks (generally, Perception Impulse 10). We do not use doubles (two-person kayaks). Beginners are always welcomed UNLESS the scheduled paddle is announced for ‘experienced paddlers only’. If you doubt your abilities, please discuss this in advance of the paddle. If you doubt your abilities after you arrive, it is better to NOT paddle until you have had a lesson. We offer free lessons, so this can be arranged.
You should know that each paddler is expected to wear a PFD (Personal Floatation Device), or if you are a strong swimmer, you may carry the PFD on your kayak.
Generally, you and a kayaking partner will be expected to carry the kayaks to the water. One person holds two kayaks in the front (bow) and the other person holds the same two kayaks in the back (stern). It is a short walk to the water and if you need to stop to take a quick rest, you can do so! If you have any doubts about your abilities to carry a kayak with a partner to the water, please let us know if advance and we will try to make an accommodation. The Perception Impulse 10 kayak weighs 44lbs.
What happens on the water?
Under the direction of your volunteer guide, you will paddle to various sections of the Presa Allende. It is your responsibility to stay within range of the guide (this means not to go any further away from the guide than can easily be called to or heard), unless otherwise agreed upon with your guide(s).