Adventures of Bliss

Vessel Name: Bliss
Vessel Make/Model: Pearson 385
Hailing Port: Berkeley, CA
Crew: Jolanda de Boer, Tod Flak
30 September 2010
28 September 2010 | Napa, CA
26 September 2010 | Eden Isle
25 September 2010
24 September 2010
23 September 2010 | Bethel Island, CA
21 September 2010 | Suisun City
19 September 2010 | Pittsburg,CA
17 September 2010 | Vallejo, CA
06 August 2010
23 July 2010
31 October 2009
28 October 2009
26 October 2009
20 October 2009
20 October 2009
17 October 2009 | 34 14.75'N:119 15.94'W
14 October 2009 | Marina Del Rey, CA
Recent Blog Posts
30 September 2010

Wine tasting in Napa

Some times a change in plans is the best thing ever. In this case: taking a car with A/C and not a bike to do a wine tour as the weather was still in the lower 100's, and wineries are located on hills. I'm not a kind of person that wears butt padded shorts when I bike, so we'll take that tandem another [...]

28 September 2010 | Napa, CA

Leaving the Delta

We've enjoyed the delta, and were glad we checked it out. For us, September was a good time to go, as it was a quiet during the week, but not so much during the weekend, and we can imagine that the summer can get pretty busy here. It's a place where motor crafts seem to rule, and with that comes a certain [...]

26 September 2010 | Eden Isle

An adventuresome day

Jolanda: Tod wanted to spend some time fishing today, taking the dinghy, so we came up with the plan that we would tow the kayak 2 miles down the river to Paradise Marina, and he would go on his merry way into a more remote slough. Now, 2 miles might not be that much if you walk , however ½ [...]

25 September 2010

Eden Island

Down the Potato slough, up the Disappointment slough, you will find Eden Island, a small private island bought by some members of the BYC decades ago (principally motivated by microcomputer designer Adam Osborne) . Steve and Maureen [...]

24 September 2010

On the hook in the Delta

Friday 9/24: Time for some fishing and trying the tree tie. Three River Reach came up as a good location to anchor, but luck and weeds were not on our side. We approached from the river, and saw a couple of fishing boats close to shore. Ah, times you wish you had a retractable keel....The center of the [...]

23 September 2010 | Bethel Island, CA

Relaxing on pretty Bethel Island

As we sailed under the Antioch bridge on Wednesday and down the San Joaquin River to go to Bethel island, we both were not immediately warmed up to the scenery. Not much hills left, and surrounded by power lines. However, the moment we went up False River, we were more surrounded by tule, and pretty [...]

Wine tasting in Napa

30 September 2010
Some times a change in plans is the best thing ever. In this case: taking a car with A/C and not a bike to do a wine tour as the weather was still in the lower 100's, and wineries are located on hills. I'm not a kind of person that wears butt padded shorts when I bike, so we'll take that tandem another time on a flat surface.

We started exploring the Carneros region close by, and drove to fancy and artsy Artesa winery, which has an artist in residence, and just for its scenery, it's worth the visit (the picture above is one of their pools). We're lucky that not many people choose to visit this one, and our next winery, Etude, yesterday. It gave us the opportunity to taste $80 bottles of wine in a very relaxed pace, sipping our 5 samples on their patio, instead of slurping it all down in 5 minutes standing at the bar. Nevertheless, the slower pace didn't prevent me from already getting tipsy at 1 PM....Time for some lunch: as Napa has very strict regulations about serving food in wineries, we drove to St. Helena to visit V. Sattui, a cheaper winery and Italian deli in one. It seems that all folks choose that one, and I dare not to think how crowded this one would be in the weekend in the summer.

Of course, what would our vacation be without ice-cream (a cute local family owned parlor in St. Helena), and good tapas dinner at Zulu in downtown Napa?

Back to the Bay today, likely heading over to China Camp for an overniter on the hook.

Leaving the Delta

28 September 2010 | Napa, CA
Jolanda
We've enjoyed the delta, and were glad we checked it out. For us, September was a good time to go, as it was a quiet during the week, but not so much during the weekend, and we can imagine that the summer can get pretty busy here. It's a place where motor crafts seem to rule, and with that comes a certain amount of noise. After 5 days exploring we felt like a change of scenery of tule, levees, Mount Diablo (always very scenic in the background, see the pic) and very warm temperatures.

We left Eden Island at 830 AM, and motored back to Benicia in 6 hours. Our main sail was up for providing shade, as there was no wind to be seen. A heat wave is in the area, so no escape from that in Benicia. We pulled in our slip, and took cold showers, with the AC fan on full blast, only to come out for dinner 2 hours later. We managed to get a stroll in before sunset, and then had dinner in a cute restaurant on Main Street.

This morning we re- provisioned at the Safeway in Benicia, and took off for Napa where we're staying at the Yacht Club 1 mile from downtown. Napa also had a record temp of 103 F today, so we went for the closest ice-cream shop, and just zoned out in the A/C for a while. A bit cooler forecast for tomorrow and Tod is trying to talk me into biking to some wineries- I'm all game if we take a tandem, and I can relax in the backseat.....


[By the way, if you'd like to see the locations we've talked about on Google Earth, click the "Maps & Tracking" link at the right, then click the link to Google Earth.]

An adventuresome day

26 September 2010 | Eden Isle
Jolanda and Tod
Jolanda: Tod wanted to spend some time fishing today, taking the dinghy, so we came up with the plan that we would tow the kayak 2 miles down the river to Paradise Marina, and he would go on his merry way into a more remote slough. Now, 2 miles might not be that much if you walk , however ½ way down the trip I realized that this would require quite some upper body work out, but hey, what's a girl got to do in a bloody hot day in the Delta? So, the good thing, I stayed relatively cool (temps were in the high 90's that day), got really intimate with lots of tule, did not get run over by motor boats or PWC's (every thing motorized seems the preferred mode of transportation in the delta), and did get to take a break ½ way on a private dock.....But boy, 2 hours of continuing upstream paddling does tire you out. I declined a generous offer by some fishermen to tow me as I was now close to Eden Island. Ice cream aboard, a cold drink and a fan powered by our inverter makes you forget your sore arms and the immense heat, until............you get a call from your husband.

Tod was having his own adventure 2.5 miles away:

Tod: After spending too much unproductive time in a dead-end slough trying to fish under the hot sun, I found a lovely location-- tied up under a tree that was overhanging a turn in the slough (pictured above).

In preparation to return home, I stood up near the back of the dinghy (to take care of some business), and then heard a terrible ripping sound.... the floor of the dinghy had ripped away from the main tube in a small area, and water was coming in. After a momentary panic, I realized I could make it home anyway, since the two pontoon tubes are really what keeps the dinghy afloat. But anyway, I decided to not waste more time and to get going immediately. As I started the outboard motor, the prop started turning and propelled me straight toward the rocky bank. I tried to quickly turn... but it was too late, and I ran up on the rocks. I knew as soon as I heard the "sppewwwww....." that I had punctured a pontoon! I scrambled up onto the rocks to have a look... I could feel the gash in the vinyl where the air was still pouring out. So, in the course of about two minutes I had ripped out the floor and punctured one of the two main inflation tubes. I felt that I was completely screwed!

I was just about to call Jolanda to say that there was no way that I could make it home... but realized that it was really not an option. I was way too far away for her to reach me by kayak; it would have been nearly impossible to get Bliss that far down the shallow slough where I was; and to make matters worse, I had no shoes and no wallet or money! So I could not really walk anywhere. Just then I had an inspiration... I wondered if that dinghy could function with only one side inflated? I got in the thing, and it immediately started filling with water. But anyway I got the motor started and slowly started making my way. It seemed that if I kept my weight in the right place, it reached and equilibrium with only about 6 inches of water inside! A couple of times when the motor started to sputter (due to a faulty choke mechanism), I needed to kneel on the floor to adjust it -- and each time I heard the floor rip a little more.

But after about 45 minutes (and several more nerve-racking episodes), I finally made it to the half-way point of Paradise Marina, and called Jolanda to let her know what was happening.

Jolanda: As he called me he said I might need to pick him up. Not thinking clearly, I thought he meant by kayak, and I wisely decided not to comment (later, he told me, he meant I would get Bliss to pick him up)

Tod: Obviously I eventually made it home about an hour later. We pulled the resilient but sad little dinghy up on deck, emptied the water (from the floor and also the punctured pontoon), and evaluated the damage (not sure if it is worth fixing or not). And I propped up my box of fishing tackle to drain out without even looking inside :-(


Tod arriving back to Bliss in the half-deflated dinghy. The water is half-way up his calf!

Eden Island

25 September 2010
Jolanda
Down the Potato slough, up the Disappointment slough, you will find Eden Island, a small private island bought by some members of the BYC decades ago (principally motivated by microcomputer designer Adam Osborne) . Steve and Maureen kindly welcomed us, and pointed out which mooring balls to use. Here you see Bliss fully set up for the hot afternoon sun. We are surrounded by grass adrift (aka drifting lettuce bar).

Steve, and local member Andy, showed us around the island, gave us fresh tomato and green chili peppers that they picked off bushes growing there, and showed us all the hard work they and other Eden island members put in. When you enter the island from the dock, there is a large wooden deck and a small simple building. Eden Isle is just 8 acres (at low tide), but they have a walkway established only on one side of the island. One of the goals they have is to actually get a path throught the incredible thick growth into the center of the island... they hope to discover high ground (meaning, does not get wet at high tide!) All in all, it is a very charming set up!

Our desire to get more ice cream got us kayaking over to King island resort, just a 8 min paddle away. A store in the Delta doesn't quite compare to even a mini version of the Berkeley bowl...actually there is no fresh produce whatsoever, just beer, chips, ice cream, and spam......better stock up on fresh things if you plan a trip to the delta (to be fair, we have only checked out 3 stores). We were amazed to find that they had a single small bottle of olive oil (rather expensive, of course).

On the hook in the Delta

24 September 2010
Friday 9/24: Time for some fishing and trying the tree tie. Three River Reach came up as a good location to anchor, but luck and weeds were not on our side. We approached from the river, and saw a couple of fishing boats close to shore. Ah, times you wish you had a retractable keel....The center of the river was full of weeds. When our depth sounder was reading 2 , and the engine slowed down, it was clear we were having the whole backyard around our prop. We were able to back out a bit, found ourselves a circle where weeds were not all dominant, and just dropped the hook to get our priorities straight....LUNCH! Then into the fresh water with mask and snorkel and clear off the prop.

After lunch, we motored up to Potato Slough, and tucked ourselves close in (no tree tie though, but bow and stern anchor well set by Tod) to one of the many private islands in the Delta in Little Potato Slough. Tod went fishing and came home with a cat fish for dinner (I think he likes the catching better than the aftermath...). Here's Tod's catch of the day.

This catfish looks more frightening in the picture than it was in reality

Relaxing on pretty Bethel Island

23 September 2010 | Bethel Island, CA
Jolanda
As we sailed under the Antioch bridge on Wednesday and down the San Joaquin River to go to Bethel island, we both were not immediately warmed up to the scenery. Not much hills left, and surrounded by power lines. However, the moment we went up False River, we were more surrounded by tule, and pretty Franks Tract Recreation area.

The lovely tule lining much of the levees


Tod had chosen the Caliente Island yacht Club on the quiet side of Bethel island for an overnight stay. What a cute, funky style YC!

Bliss sitting in front of the Caliente Isle Yacht Club and Harbor

As there's no one around now, we have the guest dock to ourselves (feels like our private dock), and we have a great view of Mount Diablo.


Mount Diablo in the distance in the morning haze
Quiet morning around the neighborhood


The cows are mooing closeby, and all you hear at night are the crickets. The very friendly harbor master couple live on the premises, and we have all the luxuries of a YC in a remote, quiet area. BYC members- go check it out, they would like us to visit, and don't see much sail boats.

This feels like vacation: just sleeping in, no fixed plans: we decided to not leave the CYC, but explore Bethel Island by dinghy. With Karl's outboard on our dinghy, we went around the complete island (which took us several hours), and stopped for lunch at the Rusty Porthole restaurant ("restaurant" seems a bit too much of a name for this place, but the burger was good).

Along the way we saw plenty of different ways to enjoy and live on the waterfront- from shacks to more upscale.



Bliss's Photos - Santa Cruz Island
Photos 1 to 15 of 26 | Main
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rare island fox, on hike from Pelican to Prisoner
hike from Willow
up above Willow
up above Willow
up above Willow
up above Willow
evening at Albert
at Albert
Tod deep in meditation with fishing pole
at Albert
at Albert
heron on a kelp float
approaching Albert
Albert
 
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