Thursday, April 18, 2024

Full Moon Group Paddle: Full of Fun, Even Without the Moon

Club Room & Boathouse. Image: City of Coronado website

Over the weekend, I joined my family at the Coronado Boathouse for a unique water adventure: a Full Moon Group Paddle. Led by the Coronado Recreation Department, the evening paddle was scheduled around the Blue Moon event that night. The sun had succumbed to cloud cover much earlier in the day; I was doubtful we would even see the moon, but the idea of paddling under the stars for only $10 sounded like a fun outing to me.

Upon checking in with the staff, guests were asked to choose a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard. Most of the 20 or so guests opted for the kayak, as did I. Employees then handed each of us a life jacket and a headlamp, settled everyone into their kayaks or eased them onto their paddleboard, and off we went into Glorietta Bay.

Image: City of Coronado website

As we started paddling towards the Coronado Yacht Club, the sky was at that early evening watercolor phase, where it’s gray with hints of lavender and just a peak of pink. We started to find a rhythm, and boaters settling in for the night greeted us as we paddled by. The Del twinkled with lights and the guides loosely cocooned the group, allowing participants to paddle at their own pace. Nearly splashing the yachts, we turned around out of the bay and continued to hug the coastline around the golf course.

Soon, twilight was upon us, and the water was as dark as the sky. After poking some fun at my headlamp earlier, I was relieved to have the light at this point. When we approached the bridge, the gentle sound of our oars hitting the water conflicted with the traffic noise; we could smell the fuel from cars. A few birds were lounging on buoys, but we were the only activity on the water as far as we could tell.

Full Moon Group Paddle
Paddling towards Tidelands Park.

The guides led us under the bridge and we “shored up” at a sandy area, just southeast of Tidelands Park. After marveling at the San Diego skyline for a few minutes, we launched our vessels back into the water and paddled straight for the Boathouse.

As we neared the end point of our tour, we could see a fire roaring from a distance. Getting off the kayak, I realized how cold and plenty wet I was, and gladly accepted an offer from the staff for s’mores at the fire pit. A few minutes was all it took to warm up (after all, we are still in Coronado) and the ambiance was classic bonfire fun. It was an invigorating, beautiful and serene way to see the island we all love. My only wish is that the guides had engaged in discussions during our paddle about the local wildlife, the bay or ocean itself. As for the moon? As we paddled in, a sliver of it managed to come out to play, providing a glimmer of light in our path to s’mores. Definitely a great Coronado adventure for water lovers of all ages!

More Full Moon Paddle Dates ($15; $10 Resident Discount): 

  • April 29: “Pink Moon” Full Moon Group Paddle
  • May 28: “Flower Moon” Full Moon Group Paddle

Other Paddle Events (prices vary): 

  • April 14: Sunset Paddle
  • May 13: Mother’s Day Paddle. Bring your mom for a relaxing (morning) paddle tour around Glorietta Bay and lite breakfast after.
  • May 19: Sunset Paddle

To learn more about activities at the Boathouse or for registration information, visit, call (619) 522-7342, or visit the facility at 1845 Strand Way Coronado, CA 92118.

Full Moon Group Paddle
Coronado Times writer Rebecca Sather with her family.

Rebecca Sather
Rebecca Sather
A graduate of the University of Oregon's Journalism School, Rebecca lived in New York City and Seattle prior to moving back to southern California. She's worked for Condé Nast, Time Inc., and other local publications. Rebecca enjoys riding her purple beach cruiser, creating self-guided taco tours, traveling, reading and subsequently drinking wine with her book club, cooking, decorating and entertaining.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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