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Thread: What I Saw

  1. #301
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    Dura Mater and I left Richmond for the Delta on June 14; motored all the way across the San Pablo thanks to Engine by Dave, ended up in Benicia for the night. Pulled up to the guest dock there just in time to catch the lines of Stink Eye, on her way back from the Delta Ditch Run. Ate dinner with Christine and Jonathan, then lunch the next day waiting for the flood.

    After a BLT w Avocado we were off, sailed the whole way sideways and downwind with excellent wind. No spinnaker. Too many turns. Too much wind.

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    And here we are. Is it hot? Why yes, yes it is. Which is why I just finished my chocolate with breakfast. Don't want to lick it off the packaging later, it tastes better without paper bits.

    Yesterday I got a ride on a really fast boat with a new friend, Ty Mellott and Devery Stockon, of Owl Harbor. Ty is the publisher of Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine. We flew across Frank's Tract ("don't try this is in your boat") and ate at the Sugar Barge on Bethel Island.

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    We went to the Rusty Porthole first ("this is serious Delta country here") where we were greeted by an old friend of Ty's, Dani. Sorry, but the power was out. It will be fixed by the weekend. How fast did we go? So fast I wasn't allowed to stand up. Huh. 60 mph. Seriously. Faster than DM, that's for sure. Even with my new jib from Dave Hodges.

    Gotta go. Major Max is flying in for the evening. Going to collect him in my air conditioned car. More later. Coming to visit? Bring your suit.

  2. #302
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    Dura Mater and I left Richmond for the Delta on June 14;
    Yesterday I got a ride on a really fast boat with a new friend, Ty Mellott and Devery Stockon, of Owl Harbor. Ty is the publisher of Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine. We flew across Frank's Tract ("don't try this is in your boat") and ate at the Sugar Barge on Bethel Island.
    Last we heard on these pages you were Roving Reporter for Bay and Delta Yachtsman magazine. But rumor is you have been relieved from the Delta reporting? Boat not fast enough? Proof readers not up to snuff? You wanted your beat changed to Bay and Delta Yachtswoman? Your fans wonder if there is a story we should know.
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-24-2022 at 02:37 PM.

  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Last we heard on these pages you were Roving Reporter for Bay and Delta Yachtsman magazine. But rumor is you have been relieved from the Delta reporting? Boat not fast enough? Proof readers not up to snuff? You wanted your beat changed to Bay and Delta Yachtswoman? Your fans wonder if there is a story we should know.
    I write about Bay stuff over there and about the Delta over here. It's open season on the SSS Forum. hahaha. In more ways than one, even though I did delete that photo of the guy in the speedo. I still have it in my photo stash, in case you were wondering. Most of my best photos are the ones Bob Johnston posted years ago. He's got a great collection.

    Here are some more photos from Owl Harbor. Mount Diablo across the alfalfa field

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    Some kind of flower. What kind? Tom P might know. Sue for sure will know.

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    Here's one of the newer owl houses up in the Eucalyptus tree under which I park the car

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    Tomorrow I'm driving back up, gonna sail DM over toward Mandeville, check out a place to anchor for the fireworks on July 3. I have strings of Christmas lights for Dura Mater's lifelines. Hopefully people won't be too loaded, and will avoid us at the end of the night. Who am I kidding?

    Richmond Yacht Club is supposed to be on a cruise-out to the Delta, and Vallejo Yacht Club, too. If anyone decides to come up river bring BIG waterguns. These people up here are serious about water wars.
    Last edited by Philpott; 06-24-2022 at 08:04 PM.

  4. #304
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    Jul 2016
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    Looks like an artichoke, but gone to seed so it does not look like the produce brethren.

    Enjoy the delta.

    Ants

  5. #305
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    Sep 2007
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    "I write about Bay stuff over there and about the Delta over here."

    Yesterday the rack outside Danny's office was chock full of July editions of the B&D Yachtsman, including nine full pages of "What I Saw." I think Philpott's on a roll.

    The rack also had a batch of the July/August Good Old Boat. This edition is focused on small boats, includes an article by Webb Chiles featuring Chidiock Tichborne and Gannet, and opens with a page of small-boat reminiscing by Wendy Mitman Clark that brought tears to my eyes.

    The last reminds me that I owe DM a red onion. She came through town while I was between an A/C repair on the house and working with Dave* on the provisioning spreadsheet. I never brought her the red onion - sorry about that!

    * aka the Dave in "Engine by Dave." We're double-handing the Pacific Cup.
    .
    Last edited by BobJ; 06-25-2022 at 09:27 AM.

  6. #306
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    Lots of friends sailing to Hawaii in Pacific Cup and several starting the Long Pac on Wednesday. Then there's Todd Olsen out there being a single minded singlehander. I look forward to hearing about his trip.

    Everybody's probably a little nervous, a little bit excited, wound up. Of course I will keep an eye on all the trackers available. Best wishes to all of you. Take care out there.

    I'd like to add a bit about the nice, calm Delta. So near yet so far from preparations across an ocean. Dura Mater and I are swinging on a danforth in 30' of water on Three River Reach. We have a front row seat to the HUGE barge on the other side of the San Joaquin River from which there will be BIG FIREWORKS tonight here in ... my phone tells me we are in Lodi.

    This is a real boat show. Don't think any different. Everybody has their best out here today. Buffed and detailed, with Huge American flags everywhere I look. Big gorgeous cabin cruisers, long lean power boats, beautiful ltrawlers. There are hundreds of boats out here today. Who knew a trawler could be so attractive?

    My favorite boat (of course) is the beautifully painted Cal 39 across the way. This is their last outing before going back down to the Bay and out the gate to Mexico. How do I know this? Well, the owners of the pretty trawler came over in their dinghy to advise me regarding dropping anchor after I had hauled it up twice because I decided that I hadn't let out enough scope for the conditions - 18 knots with no wind break. They told me so. Thank you to Steve and Ali from Marina Bay.

    I'm using this nice little doohicky from the Oakland Public library, so will be able to post this to the forum. Photos are a bit too difficult, though, so I'll save them for when I get back to Oakland.

    Gotta go. The air show is starting. Jets. Unusual planes doing daring things. It's nice out here. Blue sky. Happy people. Lots of American flags flying.

  7. #307
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    A while ago a dear friend called me up: "We're getting married at 11 am on the Fourth of July! In Tracy!"

    Oh, swell. I wanted to anchor out on the water opposite Mandeville Point, watch the fireworks on the night of July 3. What to do? What to do?

    I sailed down past Prisoners Point, anchored, watched the air show, then the fireworks, crawled into the VBerth and slept until 5:30 am on the morning of the Fourth.

    This morning I woke up, pulled anchor, motored with Engine by Dave back to Owl Harbor. Left DM slightly disheveled, threw on a dress, arrived on time but slightly disheveled myself. Watched my friends get married after thirty three years of unwedded bliss, ate a lot of wedding cake. Tres Leches. How could I not? And this photo of Mount Diablo across the fields? This was my reward for waking early. Wow. Makes me happy.

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  8. #308
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    Jan 2013
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    Berkeley Marina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    Dura Mater and I are swinging on a danforth in 30' of water on Three River Reach.
    An auspicious first Delta outing for Solo and me: After a terrific sail up and then a day of boat projects, I decided to stay put, read a book, and stick around for the fireworks like a real tourist. I took my nose out of "What I Saw" just long enough to gander over at the growing gaggles of party boats when I saw a lone mainsail creeping up from around Mandeville Tip into the mayhem. The cojones on that sailor, I thought - I don't think my insurance would cover whatever damage I would have inflicted while ping-ponging among the rafts of delta destroyers.
    Then I saw that unmistakable gunwhale stripe that screams "Cal"...and then 3 portlights, one long, two short: a 2-27. Could it be? This is the Delta, after all. And sure enough, it was! The author in her natural habitat. I was a few hundred yards down the river close to the levee side.
    That pristine Cal 39 had me fooled all weekend. The hull looked familiar, but that solent rig? Thanks for clearing it up. And thanks for writing a great book! I can't wait to get back over there in a few weeks and do some real Delta stuff.

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  9. #309
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    Thank you for those photos, Lanikai! I don't have very many photos of Dura Mater in the Delta. Before this year I didn't have a dinghy. Your photo of the big ship on the San Joaquin reminds me of that great scene in Lawrence of Arabia:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9Uwau7rB8Q

    You seriously just sailed upriver for the fireworks? And then sailed back? That's ... well, I don't know how to say this any differently ... that's lunacy! DM and I followed the fireworks barge back down river on its way back to San Francisco as far as Seven Mile Slouth. That was at 6 am, the wind hadn't even picked up yet and we were getting spray over the bow. You must've gotten very wet.

    Hope you do decide to come up again. We'll be at Owl Harbor for awhile yet. Text me ahead of time and we'll meet up? Robbie Murphree introduced me around at some restaurants Friday night. She knows everybody. Next visit? Karaoke almost everywhere!

  10. #310
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    I admit I departed with no real plan except to ride the flood and see what happens. Worst case, a night in Pittsburgh or Antioch and I'll force myself to actually do some planning. Best case, get to the bedrooms like the doo-dah gurus of s/v Marrakesh suggested. But once underway, it was the best sail I've had in years, and I didn't even get to try my asym for the first time - just reaching and wing-on-wing for hours. A ditch run on something small and planing is high on the bucket list now. I kept track of fallback options along the way but before I knew it, the sun was just about to set and I was flying by the Hilton's hunting "cabin", still on the flood bubble. Stockton only 13nm ahead?! Why does it all seem so much more intimidating in the chartbook?

    I planned to stay for the night and then try Owl Harbor, or head up to Georgiana, or leave the boat in Stockton for public transit options... but it was so pleasant - where was this notorious heat? And bugs? I only zapped two the whole time with my Harbor Freight electrified tennis racket. Even the motorboat madness was entertaining. Feeling too spoiled, and with some logistic hassles coming up this weekend, I figured I'd get the full taste of a delta cruise and swallow the medicine of a one-day motor return trip, knowing I'd be back asap for much longer. Other than a few miles of square waves between Pittsburgh and Port Chicago and losing a battle of sail vs flood in western San Pablo (had to do some sailing on the way back), it was cake, albeit diesel-filled. Next time I'll try the Suisin cutoff one of your interviewees suggested. It was unexpectedly windy all night and the morning of the 4th, wasn't it? After 7 mile slough the water was flat enough that it was a dry ride. My boat has a comically, even arrogantly, proud bow, so that helped.
    What I saw of the delta was much more like east coast cruising, in the best way. Now I want a catboat with tabernacle mast to explore the far corners.

    I'll look for you and DM at Owl Harbor in probably late July. Looking forward to hearing plans for "What I Saw part two: The Meadows".

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