07 October 2006
Our adventure begins on the 24th of September, 2006. Tex, Dave and I met at the boat at around midnight to load the boat and get ready for an am departure to Potato Slough. We did not need to rush off because the tides would not be favorable until about 10:30am. Had a nice raspberry pancake breakfast and off we went. Very little wind so we motor sailed towards the Richmond Bridge. It was a slow day but spirits were high as this was our third trip to the Delta. September is a great time to go as it is very quiet up there this time of year. We make it up to the Carquienez Strait around 2pm. Still slow going and I am sure we are not going to make it to Antioch on this day. We end up off Benicia at aound sunset and head into their yacht harbor for dinner and rest. We tie up at the fuel dock and begin BBQing our fresh salmon dinner. Along with some fine wine, salad and some veggies we feast on the boat. After clean up we all notice how peaceful the boat is. It seems the tide is falling and we are sitting in about 4 feet of mud. We look at the charts and it will be high tide around 7am and just in time for our departure. We all sleep well and get started early.
The wind is blowing and off we go. We are getting good speed and the Bencia bridge has just passed. There is the mothball fleet off our port bow. The Navy keeps all their old ships in the bay, just in case they might need them again. It is an impressive sight. We follow the channel makers. We round a bend and the water is 50' deep and we are hitting 6 kts. We stray out of the channel for a little bit as we get closer to our detination. We pass a bright yellow marker and continue on. We soon find out what the yellow maker was for as we are hard agound in some soft sand. We get the sails down and I jump in the water with the anchor to begin our kedging efforts. Slowly we get back to deep water and we are sailing again. We hit sand one more time as we head out and then we stick inside the channel for the rest of the trip. Getting stuck up here is not that big of a deal but it costs us an hour of our time to get everything sorted out.
We continue up New York Slough and stop in Antioch for a pumpout and a break. We shove off and three hours later we are secure in beautiful Potato Slough. There is one other boat and they are at the other end of the anchorage. We go for a nice swim and then get ready for a pasta dinner and backgammon.
Wednesday morning we have a light breakfast of granola, fruit and yogurt. We then have a nice morning swim and hang around the boat for the day. Inflatables, kayak and a hammock in the bow make for a very relaxing day. The weather is perfect and the water refreshing. We have some great conversations and enjoy our piece of heaven. At 3pm we take off for Antioch. We need to begin our home trek a little closer to home as it will be an all day sail to SF. We follow the channel markers under motorsail and before we know it the sun has set and we still have an hour to go. We approach Antioch in the dark and see the lights of the harbor. We settle into our slip after feeling our way in and head off for a very fine meal at Humphrey's. Named after the wayward whale that swam up to the Delta about 15 years ago. He eventually was lured back to the Pacific after some folks played the sounds of other humpbacks eating and having sex. The cool part about the story is that on Friday afternoon about 5pm they set Humphrey on a course under the Golden Gate Bridge and of course the media was all over this. The local radio was abuzz with the news and as he headed out the Gate traffic came to a stop on the brige as everyone stopped to watch him swim away. What a great sendoff!
After a fine meal we headed to bed and a great nights sleep.
Up at 6:30 for our return home. The wind is up but it is on our nose so we motorsail some more. As we exit New York we are barely moving so we begin tacking and watching the charts and the channel markers. We hit C-Strait and the wind has picked up to about 16 kts and the going is slow. I check the tides and we are getting a
.7 kt favorable push in the right direction. Oh joy! We need another 3 or 4 but it was not to be on this day. We fight our way to the Richmond Bridge and finally the wind is on the beam and we are hitting 7-8 kts without any Yanmar assistance. We make it home shortly after sunset. Another successful and safe Delta trip under our belt. Thank-you Addiction for a great adventure to the mighty San Jouquin River.