That’s how they describe Lake Tahoe. Everytime I drive over the 7,377 ft Echo Summit on Hwy50 and catch the first glimpse of Lake Tahoe I imagine how the first non-indigenous explorer to see Lake Tahoe (Lt. John C. Frémont in 1844) must have felt to find such a stunningly beautiful expanse of fresh water (the largest alpine lake in N. America and the second deepest at 1645ft) after having crossed the dry expanse of the Nevada desert.


Arguably the Nevada shoreline up around Sand Harbor is the best area for kayaking but I had to ‘make do’ with the South Shore.


The say Emerald Bay is one of the most photographed locations in the world and I did my best to keep up that reputation as I paddled over from Regan Beach into the horseshoe bay and around Fannette Island.


Even though I was on the water at 7am I had to fight a few gusts on the way into the bay and I was happy to use the skeg on the Capella 163 on the return leg as an increasing wind blew up from the south.


I had to feel sorry for a couple who were having to fight to make headway against the breeze on their fat sit-on-tops whilst my Capella cut almost effortlessly through the small chop. By playing with the skeg until I got it balanced just right, I found the Capella to track without any need for correction strokes or edging – quite remarkable for such a short and manouverable kayak.

The three hour paddle ended all too soon but at least I then got to see the lake from above as well as I took my daughter for a short hike.


One day I will make a full circuit by kayak of the 72mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe. Until then I will continue to explore this jewell bit by bit.