Paddle Paradise on the Gaviota Coast

Paddling Paradise, photo courtesy of Ken Pearson


Imagine stepping out your front door, driving to a nice beach on the Gaviota Coast and launching through the small surf to the glassy waters beyond. Does this sound like a Covid-19 fantasy dream? You can do it in REAL life REAL time! We have figured out a safe way to make this happen. Well, “safe” is a transient word in our vocabularies, these days of pandemic, fire and smoke. Just stepping out our front doors involves some risk. If you’re curious about kayaking with us on the Gaviota Coast, read on.

Kayak Launch at Haskell's Beach, photo courtesy of Ken Pearson


On Saturday, October 3, Santa Barbara Adventure Company is offering a guided paddle from Haskell’s Beach to Driftwoods or Seals and back. They deliver kayaks to the water’s edge and shove us off with all the necessary gear. Their experienced guides will stay with us as we paddle up the coast. If the tide allows, we will land on Seals Beach, talk about Gaviota and the work of Gaviota Coast Conservancy, then head back to Haskell’s. The roundtrip is about four hours.

I have made this trip with another outfitter three times, and can tell you it has always been exciting and magical. Once the surf was a bit larger than the usual rolling curls, but we all got out with the help of our guides. The ride back in was very exciting and a few people fell out of their sit-on-top vessels. Those on shore cheered them on and paddlers came up laughing, no worse off than when they started, but wetter. Another time, the water was extremely glassy and the kelp forests flaunted their magnificence. Dolphins appeared! I was most impressed with an 80-year-old woman’s stories of kayaking in Alaska with her son in years past. Yes, she was paddling with us. 

This will be an adventure! Conditions are dictated by Mother Nature. I can tell you it’s a treat to have competent guides deliver all the gear and the safety knowledge they have accumulated with training and experience. I am not a young woman, but I trust these people to get us out there and back in this beautiful place. SB Adventure Co follows procedures for keeping guests distanced and Covid regulated. They instruct all on basic paddling techniques, and help us launch if we want. Call them if you have questions or concerns. Participants should be able to swim, and comfortable in the ocean. Children must be five years or older, and accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Gaviota Coast Conservancy Benefit

Guided Kayak Trip

Cost: $122/person 

Cancellation fees apply 

At least 50% goes to Gaviota Coast Conservancy

Saturday, Oct. 3, 9:30am to approximately 1:30pm

Registration through SB Adventure Co, call 805-884-9283 or click

Mention that your're with the Gaviota Coast Conservancy trip

See you on the coast!


Sea Kelp! Photo courtesy of Ken Pearson