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Thread: What I Saw

  1. #141
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    At the request of the author, the Polar Expedition thread has been moved to Shorthanded Sailing.

    Let the expeditions continue!

  2. #142
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Thanks, Bob. This forum is a source of fine, discretely useful information. The topic of polars is obviously of interest to people and deserves its own thread. All sorts of blather and teasing continues to be welcome here, of course.

  3. #143
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Drove over to Berkeley Marine Center today with a friend. Who was there on top of his new little boat with a very deep draft?

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    Ryan Nelson of Rogue Rigging. Heís going to come out single and doublehanding with the SSS next season, as soon as he addresses some minor details. Like a mast. And rigging. The tailorís children have no clothes and all that.

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  4. #144
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default To the Delta Again

    This is Dura Mater's third trip to the Delta. Before leaving I spent an afternoon removing Ocean Requirements. Off came Carliane's EPIRB and maps, Tom's storm jib, Greg's 50 watt solar panel and the passive radar. Removed the down sleeping bag, the down clothing, the long underwear, wool hats and socks. Won't need that in the Delta. Nope.

    There is alot of food left uneaten by my Belgian tactician. Lots of food. Organic fruit. Freeze dried meals from REI. Fourteen gallons of water. And chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Swiss Miss hot chocolate, too. But alas, no marshmallows.

    Back on came the mosquito netting, a new chart plotter (broke a third one: Dropped it. Jeesh) tshirts and shorts, Skin-So-So Soft and my pretty drifter. Also my umbrella, which was very helpful as I sailed across the San Pablo Bay toward the Vallejo Yacht Club.

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    This Delta trip is a languid one. What's the hurry, anyway?

    The same pelican dive bombed right next to Dura Mater all across San Pablo Bay. Got a fish every time. Showing off. Show-off pelican.

    Testing this new reciprocity business, I called ahead and reached Debbie at VYC. Sure, she said, come on over. There will be Wednesday night races but there should be room at the guest dock. And there was. Right next to the Etchells. Ooh. Pretty Etchells boat. Looked brand new. Looked fast. I leaned over the deck rail.

    "Hi! Are you racing tonight?"
    "Do you need crew?"
    He smiled. "Not really."

    That's okay. His boat looked complicated. Thousands of tiny cleats with multi colored expensive looking lines. I wouldn't have known what to do with 'em, anyway. Plus, there was a harbor full of boats ahead of me. I realized that I had to refine my pitch. So I put on the dorkiest hat in my reportoire and carried my life jacket past all the big boats, down a far dock, over to a J-80. The only other boat in the harbor with a tiller. Seriously. The others all had wheels. Big boats.

    I moseyed on down the dock toward Pearl, the J-80, where four people were sitting, talking through their strategy for the race.

    They eyed me warily.
    "Hi! Do you need one more crew?"
    Three people looked at the fourth. Must be the skipper, so I smiled BIG.
    He smiled back. "Not really. But there are a lot of boats that do. Why did you come all the way over here?"

    I was ready for this.
    "Because your boat is the only one with a tiller and it's more nimble. I know because I've sailed on a J-92. J Boats are fast. That's a nice sail, by the way."

    The skipper, Jack Vetter, smiled back. He knew a good argument when he heard one.
    "Sure, come aboard." Which was generous of him, since I learned that his crew of Michelle, Kimball and David has sailed with him for years. And I have to say that it showed. We almost beat that Etchells. Almost. Came in second, and when Jack was handed the second place bourbon glass he gave it to Kimball. Classy guy. That was a lot of fun.

    Slept like a sailor and woke up late. Waited for the ebb to ebb, then raised DM's sail. Needed help shoving her bow out hard because it was windy already and she was being shoved up against the dock. Three people readily agreed to help, so then we were on our way again. At the end of Mare Island Strait we turned to port, and averaged 5.1 knots all the way to Pittsburgh Yacht Club, where we are staying the night.

    Saw lots of interesting scenery on the way. No freighters, only a few sailboats. Saw this

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    Very friendly people here at the Pittsburgh Yacht Club, and it is beautifully maintained. Thank you to Sharky, a pretty blond woman who also gave me the Club WiFi code. A hot shower at the end of a sweaty day in the sun. What could be nicer? The slips here next to the yacht club are owned by the city of Pittsburgh and cost 50 cents/foot for the first night. I was told that the second night is free, even on your way back from the Delta, but don't quote me because I didn't see it in writing.

    Tomorrow? I head to N 37 90000, W 121 609, the Cunningham Yacht Club in Discovery Bay. Mike and Jacqueline are visiting their children but plan to return on Saturday. So I have time to anchor out for a night on the way, somewhere in between here and there. Mike says there are lots of nice places along False River and that I only have to call on channel 9 for the Railroad Bridge to open sesame before I reach Indian Slough. Really? I can't wait.
    Last edited by Philpott; 07-18-2019 at 08:48 PM.

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    San Francisco Bay Area


    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    Drove over to Berkeley Marine Center today with a friend. Who was there on top of his new little boat with a very deep draft?

    Name:  Ryan on his new boat.JPG
Views: 308
Size:  259.0 KB

    Ryan Nelson of Rogue Rigging. He’s going to come out single and doublehanding with the SSS next season, as soon as he addresses some minor details. Like a mast. And rigging. The tailor’s children have no clothes and all that.
    That old Mini 6.5 has shown up on this forum before, in years past.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    1962Buesher "Aristocrat" tenor saxophone
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  6. #146
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Arnold, CA


    Hey Jackie!
    You could have left the panel on and kept your battery charged.
    Use less diesel that way.

  7. #147
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Jackie just sent a postcard from Rhode Island. Says her chartplotter battery died. Rhode Island? Oh, the postcard says zip code 94505..and she writes:

    I’m anchored in a tule off Old River. Trying to sleep but it is Windy windy, DM is sideways. At about 5pm my chart plotter battery died so I decided that was a sign to stop. It was too windy for my beach umbrella and I was hot and sweaty anyway. My coordinates N 37 59524, W 121 34 675. Google tells me I’m at Rhode Island, Ca and that there is no public transportation. Which is fine by me ��I’m headed down to visit Mike and Jacqueline Cunningham in Discovery Bay. They have a dock outside their house! There are the loudest birds here. Why would they be making so much noise this late at night? It’s quieter in Oakland for crying out loud! Hey, you birds! Quiet down out there! If I drag anchor I’ll just leave this muddy spot for that muddy spot. Sure is pretty out here. Sublime.

  8. #148
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default To Discovery Bay: Part Two

    What is a tule"? According to Merriam-Webster: "either of two large New World bulrushes". They grow in marshy lowlands or swampy land. Here's Mt Diablo at the end of the river, tule grass on either side as far as your eye can see. Pretty calming, being out there

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    They are beautiful when they sway in the wind. I'll post a video some time. It'll make you sleepy.

    Look at your Delta map and find the Railroad Bridge

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    It is over Old River just south of Bacon Island. Is it not the coolest thing? It is called a bascule bridge. I called on channel 9, a real nice woman answered and I asked her if she would open the bridge for me.

    She said, "Sure, but turn on your engine."
    "Yes, Ma'a," I replied, and started my engine. Then I said, "Thank you."

    Here's what is just the other side of the Bridge: another tiny little marina. They're everywhere. This one is called Cruise Haven

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    Just a bit past the Railroad Bridge, as I turned into Discovery Bay from Indian Slough

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    the wind was on our nose, so I furled the jib and dropped DM's mainsail.

    There was a NoWake rule once we entered Discovery Bay. The Cunningham Yacht Club is 2.5 miles from the entrance to Discovery Bay because it is located in the furthest southwest corner.

    Luckily DM and I enjoyed reverse rush hour. It was a Saturday morning and there were dozens and dozens and dozens of power boats leaving Discovery Bay with four times that many people aboard. It seemed like Discovery Bay was spawning see-doos and ski boats and all kinds of zippy water rides. They kept shooting out of the various DB exits into Indian Slough. The wakes were incredible. I felt like a junior dinghy sailor being passed by a long row of tugboats in Potrero Reach at full speed.

    Although it took me 3.5 hours from my anchorage just below Rhode Island, the last hour was spent poking along against a stream of power boats full of women in bikinis. Yes. There are alot of bikinis in Discovery Bay. And women inside them. I just hope they wear gobs of sunblock or else they're going to get really sunburned because those bikinis are very small. I don't have any photos because this is not that kind of Forum. This is the Singlehanded Sailing Society forum. hehehe

    Arrived midday Saturday at the Cunningham Yacht Club (CYC), also known as the home of Jacqueline and Mike Cunningham, in the Discovery Bay community of the Delta. Here is a photo of Discovery Bay from way up high:

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    The real Jacqueline is probably too small to see from this far away, but can you see Jacqueline the boat? There aren't many sailboats in Discovery Bay. I counted only five sailboats in the whole place, including Dura Mater. She and Jacqueline are the prettiest. There were thousands and thousands of powerboats. I did see a yacht that looks like a much longer Surprise!, but who cares? I don't know that skipper.
    Last edited by Philpott; 07-24-2019 at 11:50 AM.

  9. #149
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default To Discovery Bay: Part Three

    Arriving by water is definitely the way to get to Discovery Bay. The impression is of Venice except that the villas are not crumbling into the water. Nothing looks decayed in DB.

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    BTW, this is not Mike's house.

    Instead of vaporettos there are powerboats. Every house has a dock, almost every dock has at least one or two boats. Nice boats, too. These are not cheesy floaties. Well, there is a huge pink flamingo floatie the size of a house across the bay from the CYC, but it's only slightly cheesy and the shrieks of delight from all the little kids makes it adorable. The CYC is on Turtle Bay.

    There are also a lot of palm trees in Discovery Bay. I counted thirty in one yard, where there were also four slips full of big power boats. Okay, I'll admit it: Discovery Bay is kind of swanky.

    The CYC has room for three boats. In other words, it could accommodate Kynntana but she'd have to hold her breath. In addition to Jacqueline the 30' Freedom, there are two dinghies, a small sailboat sans its mast, at least three kayaks, a paddle board and ... oh, yeah, a paddleboat. Seriously comfortable.

    The front door of this Yacht Club faces the sun, which means that the deck facing the water is shady. That's very important in this heat. There's a breeze, comfortable patio furniture with big fluffy cushions and a closet full of wine that you can order through the Wall Street Journal. This is my favorite yacht club in the whole neighborhood.
    Last edited by Philpott; 07-24-2019 at 11:43 AM.

  10. #150
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Discovery Bay: Part One

    Dura Mater and I sailed down the Old River from my anchoring place below Rhode Island, which is not like any island I've ever seen. No roads, no land that I could see, and no coffee house. What kind of neighborhood doesn't have a coffee house?

    It was an adventure getting to Discovery Bay, which is where William Cunningham II lives with Jacqueline. Here are Mike's directions:

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    As long as you follow his directions closely, keep an eye on your depth finder and your chart plotter battery doesn't die, you'll be fine. If your chart plotter battery dies you need to anchor in a mess of tules and reconnoiter. Of course, by then you'll be hot and sweaty and you will have used up all the bad language in your repertoire, so just give it up for the night and stay hydrated. Recharge the chart plotter and try again tomorrow. New day, new language.

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