Thursday, September 13, 2007

Up to the Delta...

In early August the Encinal cruising group went to the Sacramento-San Joaquin rivers delta for their annual "Delta Daze." It's a very long day (or two day trip if you're sane) up to Three River Reach, about ten miles out of Stockton, on the inland sea of California. Some say there are almost a 1,000 miles of navigable waterways in the delta region, and I'm not one to argue.

This was my first trip and I invited along Paul Poirier, one of our long-time club members to join me on Dog Days. He was thrilled to come, and we agreed to make it two days up, two days there, and two days back. (We could have stayed longer, but I was leaving for a trip to Europe and wanted a couple of extra days to get ready for that.)

We had a nice sail up to the Vallejo Yacht Club (about half way), where we met with my old friend Bruce Sinclair for drinks at the club and dinner at a great Mexican place to which Bruce drove us.

The next morning we shoved off early for Three River Reach, caught a nice wind, got through the Benecia gap in slack water, and then variously sailed and motor-sailed all the way up. The route is not particularly inspiring in terms of view. We passed the railroad and highway bridges above Benecia just as some trains were lumbering over - a nice sight - and then past Humphreys restaurant, named for the wandering whale of several years ago who made a big sensation by swimming deep into the delta.

We were passed by some larger (and faster) boats in our fleet as we neared our destination, but we still arrived by 16:00 hours and dropped anchor among the dozen or so other Encinal boats. The next two days were filled with napping, partying, napping, drinking, eating, some swimming, and general visiting of other boats. It was a really relaxing, fun time, and we were both sorry that we had to cut our little trip short (everyone else stayed for three or four more days).

But, all good things must end, so on the 5th day of our journey, we weighed anchor and motored (getting perhaps an hour of sailing in) down to the Benecia Yacht Club, where we spent the night. Next day we left early to catch the tide and had a great motor-sail and sail back to Alameda. A fun trip!

More photos


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