Sea Lion Paddle in Marina Del Rey

Back in August I took my board over to California.  For my first outing I headed down to Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey.

About a year before I had gone out with the lovely guys at Paddle Method on their sea lions tour so I felt slightly more confident starting here for my first trip out alone in California.

On the way back, I realised I had lost track of where I started. The are multiple basins in the marina and what with stopping and taking so many photos I couldn’t remember which one led back to Mother’s Beach! Luckily there were plenty of other boarders out to point me in the right direction.

Before going out I stopped by and said “Hi!” to the folks at Paddle Method again to get an update on water conditions and anything else I needed to be aware of. It’s always nice to get local tips if you are paddling somewhere new!

I was soon off paddling out of the marina. I am both fascinated and scared by sea lions – we don’t often see sea lions in Europe and they are larger than me and my board! The water was glass smooth to begin with but out in the main channel there was some boat traffic. There were several other paddle boarders out and I kept to the side of the channel to stay out of their way.

I chatted to other paddlers on the way out, and there were rumours of a whale sighting outside the harbour so I ended up going farther than I intended (and was then late back for brunch with the MIL – oops!). Sadly I didn’t get to see a whale – maybe next time?

Practical Information

Lot 9 on Palawan Way.  This is right across the road from the beach.  Costs $1.50/hour or $6/day at time of writing.   Happily took my foreign credit card.  Also took cash.  I had space here to inflate my board.
Toilets and showers There were toilets right across from the carpark on the beach.  The toilets were clean and I got changed here.
There was a bigger (and newer looking) toilet block on the main part of the beach. I believe this also has showers.
Drinking Water There are water fountains outside the toilets and I was able to refill my water bottle here.
Board Washing There is a hose outside the toilet block across from the carpack.  It is on the beach side next to the boat launching ramp.
Safety Stingrays:
There are stingrays in the bay.  Either wear booties or shuffle-step out so they move out of your way.

Buoyancy Aids:
Under USA Harbour regs you need a life saving device onboard. Whether you choose to wear it or clip it to the front of you board is up to you.

Paddle Information

Water Conditions Generally flat. The bay at Mother’s Beach is very still and perfect to get your balance to get started.  Boats move very slowly in the basin and don’t leave much of a wake.
As you move out into the main channel there can be more wash from larger and faster moving boats. 
Towards the harbour wall this combined with a fairly strong wind and a gentle sea swell made the water slightly choppy.
Once outside the harbour on the Lighthouse Bay side it settled down to a gentle sea swell.
Distance 7.3km (4½ miles) in total to the edge of the harbour wall and back.
Time 2 hours at a relaxed pace with plenty of stops for photos.
Sights Wildlife:
 Lots of sealions lazing on boats and pontoons and bobbing around in the water
I saw stingrays and other fish in the water at the beach.
Whales are often sighted up by the harbour wall but I didn’t see any.
Other Views:
The marina itself is quite pretty, with lots of boats, pretty houses and nice landscaping around the condos at Fishermans village.

One thought on “Sea Lion Paddle in Marina Del Rey

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: