It's finally here. After multiple delays, the new Alviso Marina Boat Ramp is going to officially open on June 5th, 2010, and a big party it is going to be. Organizers have estimates that there will be up to 1000 people and 100 kayakers.
Here is the official flyer from Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Corteses's office. They are the ones throwing the party for the Alviso Boat Ramp grand opening:
This site has the latest information about the opening day activities and schedule. You can sign up for the kayak event and receive email updates from the organizer:
Right now it appears that the organizer is not sure when his group will paddle out on the slough. I am sure he will announce it in his email update. However, the Kayaker's Alliance is having a meetup at 1 PM on opening day to paddle the 4 miles to the bay and back:
Since few people have kayaked the Alviso Slough, we will find out the conditions as we go. I think the primary issues are:
(1) Water depth at low tide - I've heard the minimum is 1-1/2 feet to 3 feet at low tide. Will that be enough for kayaks, particularly those with a rudder or fin?
(2) Sharing the waterway with motor boats - is it wide enough at low tide?
The estimates were correct. It was a big party with about several hundred people present. There was a live band, lots of booth and free cheese burritos. Several TV stations were doing live news coverage there.
The ramp was as good as boat ramps get. Thoroughly modern with two large floating docks. Everyone who I talked to were ecstatic that a ramp like this is finally put in at Alviso Marina. One older couple told me that they used to fish two feet long sharks and sturgeons in the bay a long time ago when the old docks were operational.
The Alviso Slough was nicer than I anticipated. It was both wider and deeper than I thought. To answer my own questions:
Water depth at low tide - no problem for kayak, or motor boats for that matter. I saw several motor boats launching an hour or two past low tide with no problems.
Alviso Slough wide enough for both motor boat and kayaks - yes! No problem at all unless you are go
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some to prove it.
Here is a Mercury News article describing the grand opening:
And a KPIX TV news report: