It’s no surprise that some of the best ways to enjoy summertime in North Lake Tahoe are by actually getting ON the lake.
Choices abound – stand up paddle boarding, fishing, kayaking, water skiing / wake boarding and sailing. Two not to be missed experiences include a morning stand up paddle out of Kings Beach with Adrift Tahoe and an afternoon or sunset sail with Tahoe Sailing Charters operated by Mike Pavel and Jim Courcier.
Stand Up Paddle (SUP)
Adrift Tahoe opened at the beginning of the 2010 summer season and has built a reputation among locals residents as the place to go for SUP. Rent a board, take a lesson or join the morning “WOW” groups that paddle every Tuesday at 7 and 8:30 a.m.
The shop has a variety of boards that are well suited for the novice to experienced paddlers – Bark, C4, Lakeshore Paddleboard Company, Naish, Tahoe SUP and Tomahawk. On Wednesdays, Adrift Tahoe offers an east shore excursion that leaves from Sand Harbor and includes a guided path to hidden beaches and private coves with a guide. As described on their Web site, “Scramble on rock outcroppings, view the famous Thunderbird Lodge Estate, take a dip in a secluded cove and relax on “Two Towel Beach.” The half-day tours include a snack and water with a picnic lunch for the full day tour.
Sailing with Tahoe Sailing Charters
Both Mike Pavel and Jim Courcier are avid sailors, accomplished racers and U.S. Coast Guard Licensed skippers who love sharing their passion for sailing aboard their 50’ sailboat, Tahoe Cruz. Pavel grew up in southern California where he first learned to race on Hobe Cats and he’s been sailing on the lake since 1985, logging countless hours on Avalanche, a 35’ J105 that he used when he started Tahoe Sailing Charters in 1998. Courcier grew up on Long Island Sound. His passion for sailing led him to live aboard his sailboat for nearly four years spending time between the Caribbean and New England. In 1988 he moved west, settled in Tahoe and has been actively racing on the lake and in the San Francisco Bay ever since. In 2005, Jim and Mike partnered as co-owners of Tahoe Cruz, re-gutted the vessel and added wonderful touches to the fifty-foot beauty.
Tahoe Cruz has enough deck space to accommodate 25 people and the fabricated high rails and aft seating offer extra comfort while taking in the incredible 360 degree views. As much as the boat may heel, be assured it is not going to capsize. The boat weighs about 14,000 pounds and most of its weight is in the keel, a solid lead casting, covered in fiberglass and bonded to the hull for extra strength and stiffness
The boat is wind powered 90% of the time during the 2:30 p.m. and sunset cruises. To the dismay of many visitors, Courcier explains, “The wind picks up at 2:30. You can set your watch to it.” Trust the Captains – they are on the water every day! What if the wind isn’t blowing? The small diesel engine that uses bio-diesel kicks in and you’re motor sailing. The main sail stays up and the quiet, clean burning engine keeps you moving. The noon cruise generally stays closer to shore and offers guests the tranquility and unique experience of being on Tahoe combined with a great view of the West Shore and lakefront homes including “Fleur du Lac” a famous location used in the “Godfather.”
Tap the Captains in-depth knowledge of sailing and Tahoe while on board – whether you’re looking for restaurant recommendations or considering a lakefront retreat or Tahoe cabin, Jim has the information you need. In fact he represents and sells most of the boat slips in the Tahoe City Marina and his office is just steps from Tahoe Cruz’ launch. Mike runs Mtn. Mike’s Sports, a ski shop in Squaw Valley, and is an especially good person to ask about skiing and snowboarding and the latest models.
What you need to know
- Rentals cost $20 / hour or $75 for the day.
- If it’s your first time renting, enjoy a complimentary beginner lesson. Sign up for the early bird or regular WOW session and the board, paddle and tour is only $15!
Getting there: 8338 North Lake Boulevard in Kings Beach – .3 miles from the intersection of Highway 267 and Lake Boulevard.
Phone: (888) 676-7702
Web site: www.standuppaddletahoe.com
Tahoe Sailing Charters
Tahoe Cruz launches daily from the Tahoe City Marina.
Cruises depart at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
- Noon – $50 adults, $30 children
- 2:30 p.m. – $50 adults, $40 children
- Afternoon cruises includes beer, wine, juice boxes, sodas and water
- Sunset Sail at 5:30 p.m., $60 includes wine, beer and appetizers
Getting there: Approximately 20 minutes from Highway 80 – take Exit 185 and travel 14 miles on 89 South to Tahoe City and turn right at 700 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City.
Phone: (530) 583-6200
Web site: www.tahoesail.com