Doin' the Delta 2007
05 September 2007
We have just completed a 5 day trip to the Sacremento Delta. This was my 4th trip up there and one of the best! The weather was perfect, we had tons of wind, and we did not get stuck! The crew consisted of the three original partners of our lovely sloop Addiction ( a Newport 30 from 1981) Geoff, Arnie and Craig. Here is the account of our adventure.
I headed up to the boat around 2pm and went for a solo sail that was wonderful. The wind was in the high 20's so I set a small jib and off I went. We had just installed a new sound system and it sounded great! I headed back to the docks at 5:30 to pick up the sunset sail crew. One of our other partners, Murray, was hosting some friends for an evening sail with some of his co-workers. We had a very nice sail and returned to the dock around 8:30.
The rest of my crew showed up around 10 pm and we loaded the boat under a full moon. We had an early start planned so we hit the hay around midnight. Up at 4am to get us headed out. With the moon doing its thing and the cool Pacific waters off of SF dong theirs, we had a beautiful start. Geoff was up with me and we had a beautiful sail out towards Angel Island. The wind was about 18 and we were flying. Just after Angel the wind died and we were motoring for the rest of the morning. Once the crew was up, we had a nice breakfast of cheese omelets and coffee. We continued past the Carquinez Bridge around noon with the sails up and moving very nicely. We threw up the spinnaker for a while and it was a beautiful sight! We arrived at the Antioch Marina around 4:30 and checked in to slip D-13. We had a nice salmon dinner in the slip and then after some fine wines, I hosted movie night in the cockpit. We hooked up the computer to the new sound system and it worked great. We watched "The Saint" with Val Kimer.
Next moring we were up around 9am (my crew likes to sleep in). Since we had free wifi in the slip, I had been up a few hours earlier checking my usual sites on sailing and the weather. We had a nice French toast breakfast and hit the local park for some Frisbee golf. We hit the river about 11am for a sail up to Potato Slough. It was a warm one so we would pull in the sails and as the boat drifted we swam and enjoyed the cool fresh waters. We arrived at Potato in the late afternoon and found our usual spot. Swimming and floating were in order. It was a great night with a nice sunset and a dramatic moonrise along with freshly grilled steaks.
Up again around 9am, we had some banana pancakes and hit the water. We were hoping to meet a friend at a local marina but he did not make it. Our destination this Saturday was Lost Isle for some volleyball and a Mai Tai. It was packed so we anchored off the resort and headed in via kayak. If you have never been to Lost Isle, it is the spot on the Delta for hanging out on a summer weekend. They have multiple bars, lots of wild dancing and tons of powerboaters. We played three or four games of V-ball and then I went back to the boat for a nap and the rest of the crew went in to watch the Cal game on TV.
While I was on the boat relaxing, I saw an official bonehead move just off my boat. There were tons of boats around and the wind was up. A man on an inflatable dingy with a motor was tooling around the anchorage. He was having trouble keeping the nose down as he had too much weight in the back. As he was moving he tried to stabilize his craft by moving forward, he hit a big wake and it threw him out the back of the boat and the boat flipped upside down on top of him. This happened about 50 yards from my boat. In no time a powerboat was there to help. He was OK and they helped right his boat and get him back on track.
The next morning we were up and on the water around 10am. We found a nice anchorage up river and spent a good chunk of the afternoon swimming and floating. We headed back to Antioch in the evening and had a wonderful sunset sail up the river. There was a bigger sailboat ahead of us and so we figured they had some local knowledge as they were going well outside the channel markers at every turn. It made for a nice sail back to the marina. We had dinner at Humphries and then called it a night.
The last day of the trip is the hardest. We did not have a favorable tide and we are going against the wind. It makes for a good 14 hour sail back to our home port. Geoff and I were up around 4am to shove off. The wind was howling and the tide a rising. We motored out and into the thick of it. It was very slow going and as we passed a marker or two, it was easy to see we were down to 2-3 knots as far as speed over the ground. We finally got a break around 10am after the Benicia Bridge. We put the main up and eventually the jib for some tacking between the bridges. It was another beautiful day! After the Carquinez Bridge, the wind picked up from the south and we were off for a spectacular sail across the bay. One tack was 1.5 hours long. We headed right up to China Camp and then tacked towards the bay. By now the tide was turning against us again and the wind was on our nose. Finally we made it under the San Rafeal Bridge and eventually we could raise our sails for a very fast sail back to the slip. Cleaned up the boat and by 7pm we were on the road home. We had great weather, fine foods and a great crew for our trip. We look forward to the next one!