The More things Change...
22 July 2007 | Napa
...the more they stay the same. OK, we're in Napa. But we're not STILL in Napa, we're BACK in Napa. Last week we got an 0-dark-thirty start to ride the tide down-river, with the Encinal club being our destination. We had a few projects to do, and the marine infrastructure in Alameda is vastly superior to that found up our tiny river.
Any way, we had a less-than-auspicious start. As soon as we motored into the river from our marina, with the sun not yet to the horizon, the motor decided its not an early riser. It went back to sleep, leaving us drifting with the tide and river current, in a very narrow river channel with rocks on both sides.
Now, this wasn't exactly a life-or-death situation, as we could have literally stepped off the boat and walked back to our house, but c'mon now...what would the neighbors say? Image IS everything!
With some deft boat-handling by Nancy, we stayed in the channel long enough to get the anchor down and the boat stopped. After running around frantically like some kind of solo Keystone Cop, I settled down enough to actualy look for the problem, and you know what? I found it. Turns out that a fuel valve had been shut off during some work in the engine room, and was never turned back on. We soon had the motor running again, and we lifted anchor and continued on our way, relieved to be no worse for wear.
OK, fast forward about 10 days, during which time we enjoyed the Encinal Club and knocked out quite a few boat-projects. The time has come to once again leave the club before they toss us out. We enlisted the help of our good friends Jen and Christian Philips, fellow sailing addicts, to help us deliver Meridian back to Napa. And what a great trip it was...15-20 knots all day, mostly on the beam, and riding a strong flood tide the whole way. We routinely saw 7 and 8 knots of boat speed through the water, and with the current assisting us, we were making up to 10 knots over ground. In a car, that's the equivalent of bad rush-hour traffic. In a cruising sailboat, that's damn near warp speed, and we were lovin' it!
Several hours after leaving Alameda, we turned north up the bucolic Napa River, for the final leg home.
Some great sailing, along with the stunning scenery of beautiful vineyards in the rural valley, made this a very nice passage indeed.