Delta Doo Dah
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2009

Monday to Thursday, July 2009-July 2010
So this will be the first trip up the delta for Nancy and I. We are looking for suggestions on the "good" spots to go once we leave Antioch on Monday and we would love to tag along with some of our Doo Dah'ers. We promise to have plenty of cold beer and snacks for anyone willing to show us the ropes and act as tour guild. Plus we are bringing along our two person Hobie Mirage kayak as added incentive in case the beer and food is not enough. So if you know the delta like the back of your hand, let us know if you are willing to have us as a buddy boat.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Our plan, such as it is, is to head into the delta from Antioch Monday morning. We may go to Mildred Tract for a few days and then to Three River Reach for a couple and then to Stockton. We are SSC club members and are planning on leaving the boat in Stockton for the month of July. Mildred Tract is a submerged island off of the "Old River". We have been going there since 91 and it is a great place to anchor and sail. The average depth is about 13 to 15' and the entrance is 70' deep. There is a large bight in the SW end of the "lake" that is a great anchorage. Three River Reach is another very good anchorage just east of Mandaville cut off the deep water channel. It is about a mile long but shallows at the south end. The entire anchorage is shallow but is doable as long as you watch your depth sounder and coast in. There are beaches that are exposed at low water and you can nudge up pretty close to the west berm. The only drawback to this place is the mosquitos. We have rarely had a problem with them at Mildred. Because we are ending in Stockton, we hadn't thought of going north of the deep water channel on this trip.
KJensen

Our tentative plan is to spend Tuesday night in Franks Tract, which is close to our favorite place on earth - well, okay, in California. After that we have discussed going up to Walnut Grove and Locke via Georgiana Slough (which we have done in the past), or to the other side of Walnut Grove to the Meadows (which we haven't done before. I understand it is very shallow. Silent Sun tried to go in there, but that's a story for LaDonna to tell). I have heard good things from other Delta devotees about Mildred Tract; we haven't been, but might like to try it.
One thing you may find is that the plan you make while you're in the midst of the rat race may fall to pieces once you get into Delta cruising mode. A night in Franks Tract or some other new favorite spot can easily slip into two or three. Or you may make new friends who want you to come along that-away instead of this-away.
Go with the flow,
Stink Eye, Laser 28

That's so true, Chris. Last summer we planned to do a bunch of exploring but just ended up hunkered down in Bedroom 2 (I think) on Potato Slough. It was bliss!
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

I've got Lost Slough up on Google maps the Satellite version...The area on Lost Slough where we will be anchoring is just east of the north end of Snodgrass Slough, where Snodgrass doglegs up towards the bridge at Twin Cities Road. There is small island just south of the elbow of the dogleg...this island runs due north south....and one of the Walnut Grove Towers is due east of the south tip of the island. This island is at the juncture of Snodrass and Lost Sloughs. We anchor off the white docks attached to the south east side of the jutting peninsula attached to the main island just east of the small island.....where Lost Slough makes a 90 degree turn due east....basically around the area where the tower is....as can be seen in the satellite photo map. Sorry I don't have the GPS co-ordinates for you. One thing I do know....this is a very lovely area....but there are lots of hidden underwater berms and the like...I'm not sure that I can recomend that you set your course for this area of Lost Slough without some local knowledge....we will have on board someone who has sailed to this area over the last 45 years, without whom we probably wouldn't make the trip to this area of sloughs. Snodgrass may be a different story....just don't know for myself having never been there. It'll be interesting to see where everyone sets their sights for after Antioch. So many wonderful miles of Delta...so little time to see it all!
Doin the Doo Dah Loca!
Sophia and Jeff, Galadriel

Be careful on crossing Franks Tract. It has been a a few years for me since I've been out there across "the lake", and I understand they've been spraying in the past couple of years to reduce the weeds, but the last time I motored across F/T, I was stopped dead in my tracks at least twice as I recall by weeds entangling my keel. Had to dive and push them off the keel, only to go another 1/2 mile or so to be stopped again! Several years before that, you could take a shortcut across Franks Tract compared to going thru False River....
There are no issues in the sloughs surrounding Franks Tract, but the "lake" itself at that time was all but inmpassable! May be different now, after spraying the last couple of years, but I'd like to hear so from anyone who has been thru there recently. Since that experience, I haven't strayed from False River on my way to/from the Bay (except for the Ditch Run or South Tower Race). :-)
Peter, Stockton

The weeds are down in Franks. I went through there yesterday on a power boat and saw minimal weed.
We used to cut across at the North West corner between False River and the Porthole. We would motor 100 yards and then back up 20 to clear the weed. I haven't taken Coyote (draft 6 ft) through there in a number of years as it is more fun to sail around the tract.
As we cruised around yesterday we did see a big increase over last year in weed in the sloughs.
Peter, Coyote

Regarding weeds in the waterways, one of the race boats in the Delta Ditch Run lost control of their rudder and thought that something had gone terribly wrong with their boat. They rounded up into the shallows and stuck in the mud close to a levee. When they arrived at Stockton Sailing Club and lifted the boat on the hoist, they found that their keel and rudder were fouled with weeds, and were relieved to find no structural damage whatsoever.
We think we collected some weeds on our Saildrive, which may have cost us third place.
Some racers do carry kelp sticks in the Delta. Not sure how well they work, probably depends on the type of boat you have. Much easier to back down when you're cruising than racing! A lookout on the bow in weedy areas helps too.
On the way home, we didn't see many weeds, very few in False River. Never tried to take our keelboat into Franks Tract itself. Anyone know the GPS coordinates of the sunken tractor?
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Stink Eye has made a tentative plan to go north up the Mokelumne River to the east side of Walnut Grove and the Meadows after leaving Boyd's Harbor on Tuesday. Some of this territory will be new to us. More details to follow.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

I know you guys made the trek up to Walnut Grove last year. How did you go? How long did it take you? How was it? Would you do it again? What did you do while you were up there? Did you go Giuti's while up there? Any issue with the bridge openings? Thanks for the info.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

We've gone to Walnut Grove several times, but this was our first time up the east side (up the North Fork of the Mokelumne to Snodgrass Slough), and we did spend one night at Giusti's dock, after having dinner there (we dined on leftovers for the next 3 nights!). After that, we went to Walnut Grove Marina to fuel up (there's a new store open there now) and on to the Meadows and Lost Slough. There is a very shallow area after the Marina, which is hard to get around. I don't recommend it for boats that draw more than 5-ft or so. We got past okay with our 5-ft draft, but wouldn't try it at low tide. We poked into the Meadows and Lost Slough, where Galadriel was tied up, and then went back to Snodgrass Slough to anchor. A strong current put us up against a tree in the night, but this is a beautiful area, sparsely traveled, and fun to explore.
On previous trips, we have gone up Georgiana Slough to the west side of WG and tied up at the Walnut Grove public dock, where you can stay overnight (I believe we paid $10). You have to walk across the bridge, but there are showers and bathrooms to use which are pretty good. From the public dock (provided by the Downtown Merchants Association, you can walk to stores and restaurants in WG, and walk to historic Locke. There are also marine services, auto parts, a library, and more all close by. We love Walnut Grove! We are considering going back to this west side of WG on the DDD this year, and can take some boats with us. (Haven't decided for sure yet though.)
We have never had any trouble with bridge openings on either route. The hard part is getting into the Moke from San Joaquin River, as there is a BIG shoal and you have to pick your way in. A good chart helps and a depthsounder is indispensable.
Christine Weaver, Doodette
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Great thanks, we are considering doing the same this year, depending on how we are leaning after Boyd's. One follow up question, how long was the sail/motor up there from Boyd's?
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Forgot to mention that it takes us about half a leisurely day to get from the San Joaquin River or Potato Slough to Walnut Grove. There are no-wake zones for a lot of the Georgiana Slough route.
An alternative route to get to the west side of Walnut Grove and Locke is to go up the Sacramento River rather than Georgiana Slough via the Moke. This route will take you past Rio Vista, Isleton and Ryde, and has more depth. But please don't rely on my advice - check your charts!
This is a scenic route with lots of places to stop and services along the way. The main disadvantage to going here after Boyd's Harbor is that you'll need to backtrack a bit. Unfortunately, the Ryde Hotel is closed mid-week. They do have a guest dock if you need to stop and tie up.
Some of the most exciting sailing (besides racing) that we've had on the Delta was a screaming run up the Sacramento River from Antioch to Rio Vista. Under double-reefed ancient cruising main only, we were hitting 11 knots through the water, while windsurfers from Brannan Island reached back and forth across our wake.
Christine Weaver

A year ago ............. June 2010
....... we were kicking back relaxing in bedroom #2 at Potato Slough living the delta life. Where were you?
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Mmmm, let's see... June 29 was a Monday, so we were at Boyd's Harbor watching the craziest water fight we've ever seen!
The picture is of my partner in crime, LaDonna. Watch out for her!
LaDonna
After trying to take a few photos, Jonathan and I escaped to the upper deck of the Rusty Porthole, where we sipped margaritas in a leisurely manner and had a great view of all the action.
This was the top story on 'Lectronic Latitude for June 29, 2009.
Christine Weaver, Doodette
Stink Eye, Laser 28

"Odyssey" Delta Doo Dah Video, July 2009
Wayne, Karen, & Lisa's Delta Doo Dah video can be seen at:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sTwYU8Aols

What, you couldn't edit out our running aground off of Hog Island! Besides that, great job. Here is a link to some of my photos, got some good shots of the start and boats at anchor in Bedroom 2. www.flickr.com/photos/iliohale
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Awesome video Odyssey! Thanks 'iliohale for sharing photos too!
Speaking of photos, you can see (and order) Peter Lyons' pictures of the start at lyonsimaging.smugmug.com/gallery/8827307_tYPFb#584786294_BqSjs
Christine Weaver, Webmistress, Latitude 38

Bay Bash July 2009
Most of us had to return our boats to the Bay this week, or will soon. Those who headed for home on the weekend found it to be a real bash, and some bailed out in Antioch or Bethel Island. Arnie on Mi Amor advised me, "In the area between Pittsburg and the Benicia Bridge: You don't ever want to go between those two points on an ebb. Been there many times before." Well of course, that's what we did.
On Saturday we lingered at Stockton for the excellent omelets and a second cup of coffee, left at 10:45, fueled up next door, and made our way through the July 4th crowd to False River. Near the end of False River the wind built so much we could barely get 3 knots VMG with our 8-hp 30-year-old Honda. The slog from False River to Daymark 19 was very rough with big seas forward of the beam. Once past 19, approaching the Antioch Bridge, the waves were on the nose and began to flatten out. Finally, we made it in to Antioch Marina (where we had a reservation) just before 5pm. We figured we'd leave at the crack of dawn on Sunday with the ebb, hoping the wind would have died down by morning. It didn't. We stuck our nose around the corner at 6 am and came running back for the shelter of Antioch, where we found a couple of other Doo Dah boats also waiting out the rough weather. Nice to have a train station walking distance from the Marina!
Jonathan will take the train back to Antioch on Thursday night and try the bash again solo on Friday.
How was your bash?
Stink Eye, Laser 28
San Francisco / Antioch

We made the Bash with Odyessy and Mi Amor on Saturday. We left SSC at 6 AM and had decent conditions until we hit Mandeville Tip. From there it was 25 kts on the nose all the way to Vallejo. We went past Antioch at around 10:30 AM and got into the flood off Pittsburg. It was real nasty for a while in Suisun and then the chop got better and we were able to make some good progress. We pulled into Vallejo at around 4:30 PM for the night. Mi Amor pulled into Vallejo about an hour after us for the night. We got the boat cleaned up, rolled up the dinghy, and had a great dinner at the Sardine Can. It was to bed early after a nice hot shower. We left Vallejo at 8 AM on Sunday and had a great 6 hour sail back to Sausalito in 10 to 15 kts on a flood and in smooth water in San Pablo.
Odyessy wins the Bash Award, they went all the way to their slip in Richmond on Saturday and pulled into the dock at around 7:30 PM (13 1/2 hours), they are hardy soles. Waynes reports some nasty conditions in San Pablo on Saturday evening.
It was a great week and we really really enjoyed ourselves.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

I saw Odyessy leave from SSC. It looked Picture Perfect at the start. We left about noon and bashed our way to the fireworks and ended on the windward side about three. Through down the anchor and settled in for the show. Great show, one of the best. In the morning we motored back to SSC. However, not without the aid of Vessel Assist. I tried to go in by Tinsley Isl. but of course got way stuck. V.A. was only about 15 min away, came right over and said 600 to 800 bucks to haul me clear. Gave them my $34.00 receipt from West Marine for unlimited towing in the Delta for the year that I had just bought in Antioch. They said thanks, I said thanks, They pulled (4 seconds worth) Grace came clear, we parted friends. And I was not short 6-800. Nice day back to SSC. Left Monday morning at 0530. Down Connection Slough to the bridge. "Sorry the gear is out. It'll be fixed tomorrow". I turned around and went around Franks Tract. Came by the Rusty Porthole to discover Doggone, Volare, and Feolena (the last two I'm guessing or trying to remember). Doggone said they were heading for Antioch to watch the fireworks there when they left at noon Saturday. Nice trip all the way back to Soundmound Slough and into the berth. 5 hours because I stopped for fuel and took the long way round. Otherwise I'd have been there in 2 and a half.
Best to everyone and Thanks to all the Chairpersons, Hosts, sponsors, and anyone and everyone that helped make this a great time.
Robert, Grace

Arnie of "Mi Amor" here. We left SCC at 0530 hrs on the 4th, and had a nice ride with the ebb to Pittsburg. There we put in at the Guest Dock at 1100 hrs, and waited for the flood, untill 1 pm. From there we went to Vallejo where we met up with Iliohale and stayed overnight, We left at 0830 hrs, Sunday, and ducked very deep behind Pt Pinole to avoid the ebb chop. We rounded the Pt. to a light flood, and motored to the SR bridge, where we set the jib and were able to reach home at 6.5 kts. The only problem we had, was the gear shift broke in Pittsburg on the way to Antioch. I met with a friend at Outrigger Marina, who's a retired mechanic and had se tup a shop, complete with drill press and lathe in the forepeak of the CT 54 I'd sold him. Needless to say, he fixed the pedestal, but it took two days of Doo Dah time. We went to the Oxbow Marina on Wed, and on to the SCC on Thurs, where I met my wife Thurs afternoon. My crew person, Ben, had chipped his shoulder the previous week, and had forgotten his pain meds, so he drove back from the SCC with Jan from Carlos in my wife's car. We had a great time and hope to do it again next year.
Arnie

Favorite Gunk Holes, June 2009
Our's is a little beach that we call the 'Gold Beach' on the Upper Moke about 2 miles up from New Hope Landing. We stern-anchor and tie off to a tree and just relax! There is little passing traffic with just the drone of insects and the sound of birds and the occasional jumping fish grabbing lunch. On a big incoming tide we have even seen the river flow up hill there!)
The depths are pretty good all the way up to the old Benson Ferry Bridge and (just) beyond but watch out both on the Mokelumne and specially on the Consumnes! Stay in the center to avoid snags wherever possible. What a beautiful spot!
Tim

Delta bugs & no see-um's?? June 2009
It's been a while since we've been overnight in the Delta, but my recolection is that it's just got 'normal' little things, and that we didn't have any no-see-ums. Does any one have a different experience?
Also, is this a bit early for the blackberries?
Thanks, Pat

It is too early for blackberries - sorry.
Peter, Coyote

I've never seen no see-ums on the Delta. (Get it? ha ha.) But really, I do see little gnats at sunset, and occasionally mosquitoes. The gnats have never bothered us.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

1001 Tips and Secrets for Cruising in the Delta...and Beyond, June 2009
How's about we start a list of our favorite... "best of the best"... fast and easy improvements for cruising in the Delta...and beyond. Share that secret "widget" that makes life on board easier and more fun....that recipe that always wows the crowd at coctail or dinner time...that modification to the cockpit that turns it into your favorite place for leisure time...
I posted a couple of ideas under the Topic "...speaking of mosquitos"...and thought that it would be great to have a spot to go to to share cruising tips....I look forward to everyone's favorites...
Doin the Doo Dah Loca, Sophia, Galadriel

We have experience in warm weather gunk holing, just not in the delta. For us I think the luxury items that we have added to our boat that we would not want to part with are as follows:
A workable shower
Good fans
A sky chair
Screens
Shade
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

There are a ton of tips in the Delta article in this month's Latitude as well. I did forget to include a solar shower though!
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

Shade! Very important.
Warm blankets/sleeping bags and some form of heat in case it's cold at night. On our boat one of those little hanging brass oil lamps does just fine. Turn it off when you go to sleep.
Layers of clothing. It could get very hot, but it could also be cold, especially at night and returning to the Bay Area. Lightweight long sleeves/long pants in case you get burnt.
Do we have to even mention sunscreen? But a full-brimmed hat too. I use a cowboy hat I got at REI; Jonathan uses a lifeguard hat.
Screens, at least on your ports.
Plenty of water and ice to keep it cold. Sure, a cold beer or two is nice, but drink lots of water too.
On the topic of booze, some wine to share with new friends. We like Bota Boxes, available at Bev'Mo.
You might think me a sissy, but I'm bringing a shorty wetsuit in case the water's a bit too cold for my liking.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Forgot to mention anchoring lights. We got some of those solar landscaping lights. When we anchor, like in Franks Tract, we stick one in the flag pole holder on the stern and attach one to the end of the boom. We tuck in pretty close to shore, but bass fishermen come along at dawn, going kind of fast, and this helps them to see us. By the way, the bass fishermen in general are good neighbors.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

All great tips for what to bring. We would like to emphasize the comfort provided at night by a simple fan to move air if it is hot. We have a couple of battery operated fans that we got from West Marine a while back that have been great. They run on 4 D-cell batteries and will last for 4-5 nights on one set of batteries. They can be placed anywhere and are about 6 x 6 x 2 inches. Another alternative is a wind scoop, but if it turns hot with absolutely no wind, the little fans are the answer.
Wayne and Karen, BCC Odyssey

Here's a great tip so you'll have cold water to drink for at least four days or so....and as a secondary benefit...it'll keep your fridge colder for longer as well. We freeze solid (4) one-gallon plastic continers of bottled water...be sure to use the kind with screw tops. Remove a little water before freezing to accomodate the expansion as the water freezes. When we begin our sail we put these in our icebox (you could use a portable ice chest as well) along with frozen and fresh food for the trip. As the ice melts in the containers....voila....we have cold water. I'm also trying out an experiment this week. I bought a 5 gallon Thermos container that has a beverage delivery spout near the bottom. I will buy a block of ice and a bag or two of cubes and fill up this container with ice alone....same story...as the ice melts you have cold water...and if you need a few pieces for your martini or Margharita...you're set there too. By using the seperate container to use as a cold water dispenser...you'll prevent heating up the ice box every time you open it looking for a cold drinka H2O. Oh by the way....in case you couldn't tell...I'm a junkie for a cold drinka something while on a cruise. I spent five years sailing to the Med and back....without refrigeration of any sort....and boy....the thing I missed most while at sea....was a long...cool...drink!
Also, it's great to do some cooking ahead of time so that you can freeze meals/steaks etc.... and have them last longer in the fridge. And speaking of cooking. Be sure to bring along that barbie so you can do some grilling on in the cockpit...the galley will probably be a pretty warm spot already (it was 80 degrees in the Delta this weekend )...and any cooking you can do topsides will keep it more comfortable down below. In fact....when in the delta we will bring along a two burner propane camp stove...so that I can do most ALL of the cooking up top.
Sophia

I love all these great ideas, so I want to share! For all cold drink junkies - here's a cold flash (as opposed to a hot flash, as that's another forum). Safeway sells dry ice now, usually in a large blue container near the exit. We tried it out last year by putting it in the bottom of a large cooler to see how long it would last. We piled ice on top of the dry ice container, and then put beer on top of that. The ice got so cold we had to put something between it and the beer, so the beer wouldn't freeze. It lasted at least 5 days with some dry ice left over, but we were going home and had to empty our cooler.
Also, a word to the wise on using dry ice to freeze alcoholic drinks - We tried it one year with Mai Tai's - it makes a cool effect in an open bowl with "smoke" curling off the liquid, but it froze everything except the alcohol, and blitzed everyone out. Not the effect you want if you want a party to last or your guests to be safe on the water!
Merlin

Delta Stories, June 2009
Back in August of '02, Latitude 38 ran a story called 'Cruise of the Laundry Basket', about a Delta cruise in 1948. I liked it so much, I posted it on the Latitude Web site (with the author's permission). You can read it at www.latitude38.com/features/LaundryBasket.htm
Do you have a favorite Delta story?
Stink Eye, Laser 28

This little snippet of poetry was in today's Old Farmer's Almanac newsletter. It could have been written about the Delta:

Fair and green is the marsh in June;
Wide and warm in the sunny noon.
The flowering rushes fringe the pool
With slender shadows, dim and cool.
–Antoinette Alcott Bassett (1857–80)

This little snippet of information was in there too:
• Even though the summer solstice was on June 20–21, the latest sunset of the year takes place during the last week of June—due to Earth’s elliptical orbit and speed. See sunset times for your location.
• Though we receive the longest sunlight now, the hottest days of summer aren’t in June. We have a "lag" of the seasons while the oceans and Earth warm up from wintertime.
See www.latitude38.com/YRASchedule/sunrise.html for local sunrise/set times.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Dry Ice, 2009
Whether you have 12V refrigeration or not, dry ice saves electrons or extends the life of regular ice. Some grocery stores and convenience stores are now carrying Penguin Brand. To find a location near you, go to www.penguinbrand.com. However, I found they didn't list my best location--an Albertson's store in Watsonville--so Googling "dry ice" in your area might be better. In any case, set the dry ice on top of the regular ice, and all of that on top of what you want to keep cold. If you plug the meltwater drain hole, the cold CO2 won't leak away and the whole system will stay cold longer. If anyone has experience using dry ice for fridge or icebox cooling in a boat, please tell us more. I've never used it before.
P.S. Put dry ice on top of frozen things to keep them frozen, but on bottom of ice box with water ice on top of dry ice just to keep contents cold. You can flash-freeze things put into contact with dry ice, like fruit, so be judicious about where you place them.
lewiskeizer

Mandeville Tip Fireworks, June 2009
I have attached a Google Earth image of Mandeville Tip for the fireworks. We go every year and always enjoy it. Having read some notes on here regarding this event, I figyred that I would give everyone an overview of the various anchorage spots and what to wartch out for.
The blue lines denote the main channel.
Mandeville
1. This area is sparsely populated. It is a little rough as it is to windward of the island. Also, many boats passing through here will not observer no-wake considerations.
2. This area is also sparsely populated. It is still in the wind however.
3. This area is heavily populated. There are raft-ups of 30 boats and is the area where the yacht clubs and owner associations usually are.
4. This area is full of smaller raft-ups and single boats. It is the closest to the fireworks barge and heavy traffic can be expected Saturday afternoon and night.
5. This is the location of the fireworks barge.
6. This area is sparsely populated. There are a couple of raft ups but none with many boats.
7. This area is far from the madding crowd. You can still see the fireworks over the levee. There is limited anchorage here so it may be tough to find a spot.
8. This is party alley - you can find me here. It's great for a dinghy run to to see all the crazies that populate the area. Probably not a good place to take the children sightseeing.
9. This is the most desired spot. If you arrive Saturday you probably won't be able to find a spot here.
Now then - after the fireworks. STAY WHERE YOU ARE. All the locals come out for the fireworks in their ski and jet boats. After the show it's full throttle back to wherever the came from. It's quite something to see if you are near the channel. After an hour they have all gone and it's safe to be on the water again.
Peter, Coyote

Thanks for the tips and map, very helpful. So based on your notes, area 6 seems like a pretty good place to anchor for the show but is out of the way of the crazies? Is that correct?
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Yes, 6 is the probably the best place to anchor.
Peter

Advice on when these areas fill up? We were thinking of poking around some, trying to rough our itinerary, but would like to be settled before the 'crowds' show up. With little ones we definately are looking for something like area 6, but didn't know when to be there. For example, can we make it back from Stockton on Saturday morning and still get a decent location, or do we need to be there Thursday or Friday...? We have a potential alternate way to get to Stockton, but not sure I want to leave the boat alone either...thanks for the feedback
Jeff and Betsy, Oxygen

Hi Jeff and Betsy,
My understanding is that the Stockton Sailing Club people, who know about these things, are planning to leave their harbor around noon on the 4th to head over to Mandeville.
You could scout out the locations, check out area 6, on your way up the river so that you know where you are going when you head back down from Stockton.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

There is always space in area 6 so if you arrive late you should be fine. Last year there were quite a number of sailboat raft-ups there so you could always join them and make some new friends.
Peter

BUI Crackdown for the Doo Dah, June 2009
I just got the following PR from Cal Boating to tell us that law enforcement will be cracking down on folks boating under the influence next weekend so do yourself a favor and save the brews for after you're anchored or tied up.
ENFORCEMENT OF BOATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE LAWS TO BE STEPPED UP JUNE 27-28
SACRAMENTO -- Recreational boaters may want to think twice before reaching for that cold beer this weekend. Marine law enforcement officers, as part of a national coordinated effort of stepped-up enforcement known as Operation Dry Water, will be out in force on California’s waterways June 27-28 looking for boat operators whose Blood Alcohol Content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent. Operation Dry Water will include increased enforcement on patrol, boating under the influence checkpoints as well as boater education.
"In 2008, 49 percent of all boating fatalities were a result of alcohol use,” said California Department of Boating and Waterways Director Raynor Tsuneyoshi. “We want people to be safe and have fun while boating, but without consuming alcohol.”
Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion. Sun, wind, noise, vibration, and motion – “stressors” common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs, and some prescription medications.
"There will be zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our waters,” said California Boating Safety Officers Association President Cary Smith. “There will be arrests this weekend, and some boaters will face the consequences of boating under the influence, but we'd much rather arrest someone than to have to tell their friends and family they're never coming back."
According to California State Law, a person convicted of operation of a vessel while intoxicated could receive up to a $1,000 fine, six months in jail or both.
Operation Dry Water is a joint program of California, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard. Twenty-nine California law enforcement agencies will be participating in the program (see attachment).
To find out more about Operation Dry Water, please visit www.nasbla.org. For California boating safety information and laws, please visit www.dbw.ca.gov.

AND EVERY JULY 4 WEEKEND THEY'RE OUT IN FORCE NEAR MANDEVILLE! The sheriffs pick up a lot of revenue for the BUI tickets there each year. If you're going to imbibe, keep the hook down, or have at least one "designated driver".
Remember the offense that hooked poor Bismarck Dinius... (But we're not in Lake County, thank the Lord!!!)
Peter

Delta Fishing, June 2009
According to today's Old Farmer's Almanac newsletter, the dates of our Doo Dah will be auspicious for fishing: "Fishermen swear by the Almanac's Best Fishing Days. For the coming month, the best days are June 22–July 7, when the Moon is between new and full. Did you know that the Sun, Moon, tides, and weather all influence fish activity? For example, fish tend to feed more at sunrise and sunset. During a full Moon, the tides are higher than average and fish tend to feed more." The moon was full (June 7) when we were up there for the Delta Ditch Run (June 6-8) and we can confirm that the water level in the Delta was unusually high. The next full moon is July 7.
Any Delta fish tales? Or advice for fishing?
Stink Eye, Laser 28

What type of fish are typically caught in the delta?
iliohale

About 4 years ago we spent the weekend of the 4th of July on the boat at Mildred Island. A good friend of ours gave some excellent advise to my youngest son about how to catch a fish. My son and I dingied over to the beach and dug up some clams. My son went to work prying them open with a butter knife and we dinked over to the tullies. Within 1 minute he had caught about a 5 pound catfish. It was a good fight! Since he isn't a fish eater, it was catch and release. He caught about half a dozen catfish that day and had a blast. He only caught one black bass and it was only about 10" long. The next morning he hooked a huge catfish....some say it is the grand daddy of Milred Island....anyway he and my wife had to bring it back to the boat so that we could get it released.
Needless to say he is fired up for this trip and a chance to catch some more catfish!
KJensen

Caliente Isle Harbor has just joined us as a prize donor, and, while visiting their website, I came across this article about the very popular striped bass. http://www.calienteharbor.com/seamore.html
Stink Eye, Laser 28

In last month's Delta article, I pointed out that the fine for fishing without a license is nearly $800 so the license is worth the measly $47 if you're planning to fish. Note that Fish & Game doesn't make the distinction between 'fishing' and 'catching' like I do!
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

Successful Anchoring in the Delta? June 2009
After the Ditch Run, we slowly made our way back down the river and anchored out with friends for some RnR. Anyhow, we threw out our bow anchor (Fortress), and it seemed to hold. We utilized two anchors (bow and stern), and almost 100 feet of rode, and after a couple hours, we felt comfortable knowing that the anchors were set and they wouldn't drag. Well, wouldn't you know, after the sun went down (it's dark now) and we're finishing up our dinner, complemented with a fine bottle of Rum, we hear a voice from our boat buddies a few hundred feet away letting us know we're dragging. To make a long story short, we couldn't reset the anchors, and were cordially invited to tie up next to our neighbors - thanks Stink Eye! After this anchor experience, I've been researching anchors for the Doo Dah, and have --fortunately-- found an old CQR in storage. I'm also thinking the Delta or Claw anchor would provide a much better hold in the delta area than a Fortress or Danforth. Any comments or suggestions? We'll bring along the CQR, and it should be fine. We also plan to bring a snorkel and mask for diving down and ensuring we are set.
Jonathan, thanks for swimming out and tying your bow to a tree stump, and for setting your stern anchor securely so we could have a good nights sleep.
theWench

I acquired a Fortress a few years ago, having previously used other steel Danforth clones with which I had had no problems. Depending on where I anchor in the Delta, I found the Fortress frequently dragging until I adjusted its "angle of attack" so the angle between the flukes and the shank was higher. The mud at the bottom of the Delta is very soft, and so the anchor needs to be able to dig in more than it does in Bay mud or sand. Since I made that change, haven't dragged yet.
Deltaslr

On the four previouc boats we owned, when we spent all our time in the Delta, we used a Bruce anchor which never had any issues holding. I have an oversized Delta on our new boat and based on tests I am sure it will work just as well. I just took delivery of a Fortress as a back-up anchor and have heard good things about this anchor. We have only used two anchors (bow and stern) once in the 18 years we have anchored in the Delta and we have never tied to a tree. We like being away from the levees for better air flow and less bugs.
KJensen

I would agree to stay away from tying to trees. In 30 years of anchoring in the Delta (I also don't tie to trees), I can count the times I've had bug issues on the fingers of one hand. I do carry "Off" on my boat, but it hasn't been used in years--probably has expired. :-)
I do tie bow/stern frequently, though, depending on the width of the waterway.
Peter, Stockton Sailing Club

We have had good luck with tying the bowline to trees in tules between Franks Tract and False River, and haven't had a problem with bugs there. We actually like to tuck in close to get out of the wind (it was particularly windy on our trip back from the Ditch Run this year). A very long bow line helps, so that we can be as close as we want or farther off. Ideally, we like to loop the line around the tree and tie the bitter end back onto the bow cleat, so that when we cast off all we have to do is untie one end and reel the line in. (Plus we set a stern anchor.) We have not tried to tie up close to levees.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

We've both tied the bow to trees and used the bow anchor. We've never had a problem dragging at all (last time we bow anchored, I think it was on a CQR - we now have a Bruce instead). We generally drop the stern anchor while motoring slowly toward shore (one of us pays out the rode so we don't have any nasty surprises with the prop). If we've guessed well, we nudge onto shore and we simply jump off to tie up. Most of the time, though, we've guessed poorly. Last year we had to reset the stern anchor three times because we were so screwed up! But our grit paid off...finally. :-)
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

cockpit table, June 2009
My incredibly talented wife is so excited about the Delta Doo Dah, that she has taken it upon herself to dive into boat projects all week. One of her accomplishments is this functional cockpit table. What do you think? Pretty cool.
Cockpit Table
Looking forward to some fun entertaining!
theWench

I love it! Let us know if you need any help using it.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

D3 Kids, June 2009
We sailed to Stockton last year for Elani to attend sail camp, however we really didn't spend much time in the Delta - any suggestions for items to bring and things to do for an almost 10-year-old girl?
Cheers, John

Lots of water toys! We're bringing water cannons so watch out!
LaDonna

Kids Elani's age will probably spend a good deal of their day in the water if they like swimming. Boogie boards and inflatable water toys are good accessories. I'm a few decades older than Elani, but my favorite Delta swim toy on our spartan little boat is the horseshoe life ring! When I was a kid, I paddled around in the Bay on an inflatable air mattress, the same cheap kind we used as kids for sleepovers and camping. At Elani's age, my son spent all day in the water at Catalina with a boogie board. In northern waters, he took to rowing an inflatable dinghy all over the anchorages and marinas we visited. The good thing is the kids will wear themselves out without any effort on your part and they will sleep really well.
Christine Weaver, Webmistress, Latitude 38

Little over a week to go ........ June 2009
...... everyone hyped and ready to go? We are really looking forward to meeting everyone and starting on our first trip up the Delta. Getting the beer and water toys loaded, buying bug spray, checking out google maps, and reading all the great advice in this forum.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

We're getting excited! Thinking about all the last minute "projects".
theWench

Regarding last minute projects, Jonathan had ambitions for the interior of rebuilding the bulkhead (which is delaminating), painting the interior, rebuilding the pipe berths (replacing the old sailcloth fabric with less old sailcloth), rebuilding the cushions with new foam and new fabric, redesigning the V-berth, even building an enclosure for the porta-potty. But what's it's come down to is: just clean it.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

One project that hasn't fallen off the to-do list: build a temporary dodger/windscreen for the bash back. I can sail in the Delta for days and not get sunburned, but I always get wind burn on the bash back to the Bay. I show up at work and everyone thinks I got lazy with the sunscreen, but it's just the wind.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Where to park on Saturday night the 27th? May 2009
I am wondering where everyone is planning to spend our first night on the Doo Dah? A couple of options that we are thinking about is Vallejo, Napa, or just sailing straight to Antioch (riding the afternoon flood). I called both Vallejo and Antioch marinas and they have some spaces available. So what are your plans? If possible we would like to hang with some fellow Doo Dah'ers so let us know.
Gary & Nancy, iliohle

We are also planning on heading to Antioch for Saturday night. If they don't have room for our boat, then we probably anchor in a nearby slough and head into the marina on Sunday morning.
KJensen

Thanks for the response, I was able to get a reservation in the Marina. Cost is $20 for the night. Figured that way we get to sleep in and can then start the party early :-}
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

We haven't decided but we often hunker down behind Decker Island that first night. While I'm a bit of a planner, Rob likes to fly by the seat of his pants so I'm guessing we'll just figure it out as we go along!
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

Our plan on Stink Eye is to anchor in Middle Slough, just north of Pittsburg along the East Reach. We have not tried to go in there before, so I can't vouch for it, but the chart shows plenty of water if one doesn't cut the corner too close.
We'll join you at Antioch Marina on Sunday, probably late in the morning.
Some other suggestions of places we've been and like that are on the way: Vallejo Marina (good showers), Benicia Marina (walk to cute town), Martinez Marina (walk to cute town - but check to see if they've dredged because it was too shallow last time we went), Pittsburg (nice new marina; haven't been there since they finished it). We keep meaning to go to Glen Cove on the Carquinez Strait, but haven't been yet. Check with them about the dredging they have going on. Yacht Club members could also check with clubs along the way like Vallejo YC, Benicia YC and Pittsburg YC.
Christine Weaver

We're berthing Legacy (C&C 34) at the Benicia Yacht Club Saturday night, then taking the late morning flood up to Antioch for the afternoon shindig. After that, Potato Slough and hopefully a "bedroom." Our Redcrest has oars, not a motor. We have to row, and thus prefer slow-moving water.
lewiskeizer

This is our first trip 'kickn-back' in the delta for several years, and it looks like on Sat we will be passing the area where you go Port to Sacto or Starbord to Stockton. Quite a few years ago I was told that right in this area is where 'they' used to take the old boats that had out-lived themselves, and just run them up into the tules and leave them. Has anyone else heard about this, or been up there looking for signs of them? We were toying with the idea of 'gunk-holing' in that area to see what we might scare up, but I havn't ever been around there, so have no idea if there is anyplace to tuck in for the night.
Pat

I had mentioned that Martinez had been too shallow a couple of years ago when we tried to go in there, but one of the Doo Dah sailors called them and said they have dredged and sailboats should be able to get to the guest dock now.
Stink Eye, Laser 28 (5-ft draft)

We anchored there a couple of years ago in our Island Packet. It was a pretty nice anchorage but there is a current that runs through it do be prepared to swing around a bit. We chose the west side to get out of the wind. We anchored in about 20 feet of water.
KJensen

I was in Martinez in my Catalina 27 a couple years ago, and at that time it was OK, albeit you had to be a little careful (I have 4ft 6 in draft). If they now have dredged to alleviate draft problems, Martinez is a great little town--lots of antique shops on the main street, an Amtrak station right at the harbor to swap crew (simiilar to Antioch), and friendly folks. Not as well kept up as Benicia or Vallejo, however.
Peter

Marinas, etc. June 2009
My teenage son and I are planning our first sail to the Delta in late June (not part of the Doo Dah). We would welcome some suggestions if any of you would be kind enough to offer some.
We are planning on staying in marinas at night rather than anchoring. Tentative plan is night #1 in Benicia, night #2 in Antioch. Any suggestions for night #3? A nice marina further in the Delta, preferably with a retaurant, would be great.
Also, Latitude 38 says to sail only when the tide is rising (our boat draws about 5' 7"). Dumb question: does a rising tide correspond to a flood current in the Delta? And what's the best way to find info about Delta tides and currents?
Thanks very much! ffudem

Here is a site for Delta tides: http://deltaboating.com/tides/mokenhb.php
The warning to proceed on a rising tide (or flooding current) applies to unknown, possibly shallow areas. You can navigate in the shipping channels anytime. The San Joaquin and Sacramento Deepwater Channels are like the superhighways of the Delta. Stay between the red and green buoys and you won't need to worry about depth.
A nice day's sail from Antioch is the area of the Delta Loop (Isleton), at the confluence of the San Joaquin and Mokelumne Rivers, where there are several friendly marinas. We like Korth's Pirate's Lair in particular. Owl Harbor is an advertiser and eager to have Latitude readers stay with them, also Bruno's Island. Restaurants are within walking distance or on site at all of these. See http://www.californiadelta.org/deltamarina.htm for a list of marinas.
An alternative route would be to go up the Sacramento River to Rio Vista, which has a city guest dock and a marina with restaurants and a cute town nearby. This downwind sail up the Sac can be the most ripping good time to be had under sail in the Delta (reef early!)
Have a great time!
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Watermaker Warning, June 2009
Our friend Alan McDonell from the Boat Guys passed on this excellent piece of advice for Delta bound boats with watermakers:
"Every year we have people call us to fix their water makers after they come back to The Bay from the Delta.
The R.O. watermaker WILL create safe fresh drinking water from the ocean, brackish water and rivers polluted with fertilizers and other industrial chemicals, but here are a two IMPORTANT notes about using watermakers that they may have forgotten:
1. The Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta waters carry fine alluvial clay and sediments that pass through the typical 1 or 2 stages of pre-filtration found on R.O. watermakers and foul the membrane. Extra pre-filtration and constant monitoring of filter condition is necessary to to protect your watermaker.
2. Unless you have a closed loop system (some models of HRO, Sea Recovery and all Spectra models) it is necessary to adjust the high pressure down to match the rated capacity of your system, otherwise you will "wash out " your membrane and suffer a loss of water quality. If anyone has any further questions please give me a call.
Happy Watermaking!"
Most boats have sufficient tankage and there are enough place to stop and water up to mean making your own water is fairly unnecessary. Just wanted to pass on the warning!
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

We have no watermaker and no tankage at all. We bring one of those big plastic jugs of water (5 gals.?) you can get at any store, and a few water bottles, which we refill from the big jug. In the Delta, we're never more than a day's sail or motor from stores and marinas, so we can always replace or refill the big jug. We use this water just for drinking, cooking, and tooth-brushing, as we also have no shower and no head, just a Porta-Potti.
Really, in the Delta you don't need much. If I could have only one piece of modern equipment, it would be the depth-sounder.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Sailing vs. Motoring, June 2009
In general, how much sailing can we expect to do on the way up to Stockton and back? Downwind to and on the nose back?
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Downwind should be pretty good based on average wind speeds for June and the current that day. When you are heading back expect wind on the nose from Suisun through San Pablo unless a front is passing then it may be from the south...but I doubt that will happen. I have sailed in the South Tower race several times and it is a tacking battle almost all the way to the bay! One more thing, on the return trip if the tide is ebbing and the wind is from the west, expect pretty good waves in Suisun and San Pablo Bay.
KJensen

Heading up the wider rivers, the sailing is excellent, mostly downwind or reaching. Returning to the Bay is usually a beat. If you're not in a rush and the conditions are favorable, it can be fun to do some upwind sailing. One time on a return from the Delta Ditch Run, the engine died on the Express 34 we were delivering from Stockton to Richmond. We sailed the whole way back. It took us about two hours longer than it had taken us to motorsail in other years - 14 hours to cover the 67 miles. Speaking of motorsailing, putting up a reefed main can add a knot or more to your motoring speed.
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Kick @%* Restaurants, June 2009
Anyone have any favorite delta restaurants or bars that are a must stop while we are Doo Dah'ing?
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

There is a Black Bear Restaurant in Oakley 14 miles from Antioch.
A few notes of interest. The West Marine is located 1.2 miles from the Antioch Marina. Out the marina right on fourth, that turns into Auto Center Drive, that goes up to century, it's in the shopping center on right. Go up another .5 miles and there are Banks and atms. there may be other atms but I didn't find any. Starbucks and all the Junk (fast and not so fast)foods are at the same intersection as West Marine. Before getting off WM check out Vessel Assist for the Delta for $54.00 if not a west advantage member $34.00 if you are. Also note that the rates have been raised to $200.00 per hour for Assistance.
The BART Station is 7.8 miles from the Marina. A little uphill if you're cycling otherwise take a bus (stops everywhere).
Amtrak is a 1/2 block from the Marina. The track runs adjacent to the marina, if you have a problem with this bring earplugs.
They whistle and toot as they go by (love it).
I have a berth rented for the summer at sand mound slough. It's about 1/2 mile from Bethel Island berthing. I'll have a pickup there if someone has an emergency or needs a part.
Robert-Grace

I have to make a correction. I'll be 4.1m from the Rusty Porthole but plan on driving up on Monday after I get in. Great place, I sailed into there yesterday. Band Playing lots of action, young and old.
Places for food. Mel's Mocha and Ice Cream Parlor in Walnut Grove. Good deli sandwiches, coffees, and ice cream. Nice place to gather and sit, art on the walls and people on computers. Just pull up to the nice city dock and walk across the street and you're there. Next door is the Pizza Factory.
Robert

Fosters Big Horn in Rio Vista is an experience. Unless dead animals watching you while you eat bothers you. Then you might want to schlep up to Maria's in the same town. It's a bit of a hike but maybe a local can give you a ride. THE BEST Mexican food I've ever had. And I've had a LOT of Mexican food.
Al the Wop's in Locke is a must-stop, if only for the name. I suggest going for lunch and get the steak sandwich. It's a big slab of beef served with a plate of fried bread. The locals put peanut butter on the steak, as per tradition. Dinner is the same steak but served with the foulest plate of spaghetti you've ever eaten. Not worth the extra $$ and you can't just get the steak sandwich at dinner. It automatically comes with the pasta.
There are lots of other spots, we just haven't hit a ton of them.
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

Our favorite place for food and drink is a great place called "Giustis"...pronounced juice-tees...just around the corner from Walnut Grove....we've been going ther for years. They have a dock right in front of the restaurant and it's free to tie up there while visiting them....and it's just a hop skip and a jump from Walnut Grove if you need provisions. They have a great Sunday brunch. We were there a couple of weekend ago on a Sunday, and we had their brunch special...any entre...and all of the champagne you could drink.....seriously...they pored five rounds for our group and then finally just left the bottle at our table.....when was the last time that THAT happened at a "champaigne brunch". They also have a two-for-one lobster tail dinner special on Wednesdays. The bar is a great place to hang out....and if you're too hung over to sail away...then I think that you can stay at the dock over night...we have...but check this out first in the bar...or just give them a call ahead of time to confirm. Here's their website: www.giustis.com
Sophia

Anyone with any experience watching the Hilton Fireworks on the 4th? May 2009
Nancy and I sailed up to Napa last weekend and ran into a fellow sailor who has been a member of the Stockton YC for 25 years and has gone to the Hilton fireworks for like everyone of those years. First, everyone should be happy to know that the Stockton YC is planning to put on a great BBQ for us on Friday the 3rd. Second, he said that there are about 5,000 boats, most of which are manned by mad power boaters, who watch the show on the 4th. He said that you need to know where to go to see the fireworks and be out "out of the way" of the mad dash following the show. Having been on the bay many times for fire works shows, including the Kaboom show a few weeks ago, I really do not want to be anchored at night in the path of 5,000 boats trying like hell to get home as fast as they can.
So does anyone know where would be a good spot, out of the way, to anchor for the night where you can still get a good view of the show? Thanks
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Just to clarify, although there is a Stockton YC, it's the Stockton Sailing Club that is hosting our barbecue and sleepover on Friday the 3rd.
Personally, I have yet to attend the fireworks, so will defer to those who have.
Christine Weaver, Webmistress, Latitude 38

I have to agree with the person you talked to in Napa. We have never gone near Mandeville during the 4th because of the issues we have heard of. Lots of alcohol related stupidness after the show is over ad boats are screaming to get home. We have gone to "Mildred Tract" and anchored there and had a great view of the fireworks. Three River reach is another anchorage just east of Mandeville but it is also very busy and is shallow if you draw 6 feet or more. The last time we were at Mildred, we had a 360 degree view of firework shows from the cities aroun the delta....it was pretty cool.
KJensen

So is Mildred far enough out of the way to be clear of the crazies? And will it be hard to find a spot there late on Saturday? Sorry, we just don't know much about the area. Thanks,
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Mildred is far enough away but there are sloughs that go around it. After the fireworks, you will hear boats at high speed for about an hour but they are on the other side of the tule berms from Mildred.
KJensen

Although we'd like to experience the fireworks at Mandeville, we need to get a little further along toward home since Jonathan has to be at work in SF on Monday. So, we've already put in a reservation for a slip at Antioch Marina. Antioch will also have fireworks, plus they will have a classic car show and a parade.
Laser 28 Stink Eye

Speaking of mosquitos........... June 2009
........ any good tips to deal with them on a boat? We have screens for all our hatches and plan to bring a bunch of bug spray. Anything else that is a must do or have?
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

OFF has a new "wipe" style repellent that is nice. My wife used them and she said they smell nice and don't have that slimy feel. I bought a box of them at Target.
KJensen

I think that it depends on where you are anchored as to where you'll run into mosquitos. We didn't experience any along Lost Slough, even though our anchorage had a shallow and swampy area nearby. There was a breeze much of the time which will always deters the buggers. Also, the farther out from the levy you anchor out....the less likely you will be to enconter them.
One thing that is a MUST on the Delta is a shade-cloth of some sort....DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ONE! Even a market umbrella and plastic stand that you can fill with water will be a welcome relief from the sun. Another cheap solution is to create your own shade cover by tying or sewing two kingsized sheets or even fleece blankets together. You can throw them up and over the boom and then after tying knots in the ends, or sewing grommets in the corners...you can use bungee cords to tie them down to the lifelines. The neat thing about this cheap solution is that you can adjust the cover to hang down whichever side the sun is coming from as it moves accross the sky. With some additional material sewn on or grommeted on, you can also fit two panels to hang down around the backstay to shade the stern of the cockpit. There are many other sewing options...such as poles and attachments to a halyard to lift the cover horizontally up and above the boom...so many wonderful opportunities!
Life on the water in the Delta can indeed be warm....and there's nothing more wonderful than a long cool drink of water....or juice...or something refreshingly cold. One way to guarantee a cool beverage for at least a few days of your trip is to plan ahead to freeze your favorite drink (sadly...beer may not hold up to this technique...nor may anything else alchohol based (but don't let that stop you from adding it later on ! ! !) Just save several one gallon sized plastic water bottles...fill them up with your beverage and then freeze them solid for several days. You can stow these in a cooler or in your icebox on board...and VOILA...as the frozen block of beverage thaws...you have cold beverages on demand when you need them. We've also just bought an IGLOO one gallon thermos cooler with a beverage dispenser/spigot on the bottom. We will experiement to see if we can fill it up with frozen blocks/cubes of beverage...then we wont have to open the icebox everytime we want to get a cold drink. Hmmmmm....I wonder if I can make up some Sangria and freeze this and store it in the beverage cooler? How DOES one get alchohol the freeze anyway...or will wines low alchohol content allow it to freeze? I think I feel an experiment coming on...If it fails the "freeze" test...then I can at least toast the "failure"!
Anyhoots...these are a couple of suggestions for enjoying your Delta Doo Dah adventure. Oh yes...I almost forgot...be sure to bring along some sort of boarding ladder...trust me...you're gunna wanna get out of your boat and into the water..and then back out... while you're in the Delta...swimming and bathing is a must in the heat...a Solar Shower set-up is also nice.
Looking forward to everyone sharing their favorite tips on how to enjoy life aboard a sailboat on the Delta.
Doin The Doo Dah Loca
Sophia, Galadriel

Sophia, is Lost Slough on Acker Island? If not, where is it? Just doing some planning with Google Earth. Thanks,
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

If it is the same Lost Slough I know of it is just east and a little north of Walnut Grove. I-5 borders it on the east.
KJensen

I've got Lost Slough up on Google maps the Satellite version...The area on Lost Slough where we will be anchoring is just east of the north end of Snodgrass Slough, where Snodgrass doglegs up towards the bridge at Twin Cities Road. There is small island just south of the elbow of the dogleg...this island runs due north south....and one of the Walnut Grove Towers is due east of the south tip of the island. This island is at the juncture of Snodrass and Lost Sloughs. We anchor off the white docks attached to the south east side of the jutting peninsula attached to the main island just east of the small island.....where Lost Slough makes a 90 degree turn due east....basically around the area where the tower is....as can be seen in the satellite photo map. Sorry I don't have the GPS co-ordinates for you. One thing I do know....this is a very lovely area....but there are lots of hidden underwater berms and the like...I'm not sure that I can recomend that you set your course for this area of Lost Slough without some local knowledge....we will have on board someone who has sailed to this area over the last 45 years, without whom we probably wouldn't make the trip to this area of sloughs. Snodgrass may be a different story....just don't know for myself having never been there. It'll be interesting to see where everyone sets their sights for after Antioch. So many wonderful miles of Delta...so little time to see it all!
Doin the Doo Dah Loca
Sophia and Jeff, Galadriel

We spent a week up Snodgrass - trying and failing to get to the Meadows - and would suggest an inflatable dinghy with a good motor to push you off when you run aground. I'd also run up ahead of the boat with a lead line, sounding a route for Rob.
We dinghied up Lost Slough - very cool!
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

Regarding mosquitoes: the only place we've been attacked during the day by mosquitoes was the one time we stopped at Lost Isle! It was the middle of the week and there were about 6 people there. In Franks Tract they will come out at dusk and it is very entertaining to watch the swallows feeding on them.
Regarding shade: Jonathan built a sunshade out of nursery cloth and PVC pipe. He suspended it with a halyard and tied it to a shroud. It worked great!
Christine Weaver, Webmistress, Latitude 38

Welcome to the Delta Doo Dah Forum! May 2009
Hello To Everyone from Sophia and Jeffrey... aboard "Galadriel"... our '69 Coronado 34!
We spent a most wonderful Memorial weekend in the Delta last week...at Lost Slough... where we spent the weekend with our friends Alvaro and Molly aboard their Alberg 36 "WindSea". Molly and her family have sailed "WindSea" to the Delta from the East Bay every summer for the last 45 years !!! And they made the trip from the Richmond Yacht Club last week in a record breaking 11 hours and 20 minutes...with a huge flood tide and a following wind to push them along.
One weekend on the Delta has made us believers in taking a break from the windy and foggy conditions on the Bay which we always have this time of year. We will be "Doin the Doo Dah" with y'all at the the end of the month and then on Sunday we'll peel off from the group and head for Lost Slough....with Molly and Alvaro on board to point the way to our safe anchorage alongside "WindSea". Lost Slough will be our home-away-from-home for at least a month...perhaps longer.
Lost Slough is really shallow....but Molly knows the bottoms as well as the back of her hand...she can even point out where you have to look for that special Oak tree on the starboard side.... where you have to make a 90 degree turn to port and then scoot over to the Oak tree on the opposite side of the slough to avoid the sunken tree lying hiding on the bottom there!
But let me tell you....once you're anchored off....in your special spot along the levy....you know you're in heaven! Memorial Weekend on the Delta was wonderfully warm during the day and refreshingly cool in the evenings. Swimming was brisk but invigorating...and I had a wonderful time rowing up and down the slough and around the various islands in the area. On our next visit though I plan to put to use the El Toro Sailing rig that we just bought for our 8" Montgomery sailing dinghy. We'll have to make some modifications to the rig, but we're looking forward to spending long warm days sailing around the Delta waterways. I just wish we had more room on deck aboard Galadriel, as we'd love to bring our sit-on-top kayaks as well...you can't have too many toys when spending time in the Delta!
We look forward to sailing with you all...and... DOIN THE DOO DAH LOCA!

We have a friend who owns a pear orchard which parallels Lost Slough and we stay at his "park" every Labor Day weekend. I wish we could get our boat in there but the overhead power lines are too low for us.
KJensen

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