Delta Doo Dah
Latitude 38

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2011

Delta in October, October 2011
Hi there, was wondering what the wind conditions might be like in Delta late Oct. Is it too late to go (sailing) there? Assume it's not as fluky as Nov but might have frequent days of light air. Would like to check it out in my 23' boat to prep for next year. Have not sailed there so pardon if the answer is obvious.
marksf
I have never been to the Delta in October, so have no firsthand knowledge. Hopefully some of our other forum users do. Out of curiosity I looked up Sacramento and Stockton historical weather data on Weather Underground using October 30, 2010 as the target date. Here are the results:
Sacramento:
Wind Speed 3 mph (SSE)
Max Wind Speed 14 mph
Max Gust Speed 18 mph
Visibility 10 miles
Events Rain
Stockton
Wind Speed 6 mph (SE)
Max Wind Speed 17 mph
Max Gust Speed 21 mph
Visibility 9 miles
Events Rain
A lot more almanac data is available for these cities, but not for the smaller towns you might hit, or the waterways between them.
Christine Weaver, Webmistress, Latitude 38

Bridges, September 2011
This is from Lucie Mewes on Georgia, who is finally doing their Delta cruise:
Here's a little bit of observation on bridge stuff. First, boy oh boy do I miss my Hal Schell map. Somehow it had everything. I remember it having distances..... We took Franko's Adventure Guide (really waterproof), the State Delta Map for Recreational Boating (fish on the title page), and the CA Delta Map & Visitors Guide from the Chamber (ads of marinas on one side). Here's the deal: I forgot about the Mokelumne / Hwy. 12 bridge until we were past Korth's. We couldn't raise the tender on 9, so I furiously searched for some blurb...and the state map came into my grasp first. Really helpful! Said to call the Rio Vista tender if one didn't raise anyone on 9....which I did and he told me the schedule.
Our cruise with the RYC River Rats took us under the Terminous / Hwy. 12 (Little Potato Slough) bridge and our cruise leader had already scheduled an opening for noon. Really great, the tender opened the bridge early for the group ahead of schedule, opened again - at noon - for the boat which got off the mud early, and waited for us 20 minutes later. We are easy to see, after all.
It's too bad the info on the three maps isn't together. Franko has the times they are manned and when to call in advance. The Chamber has their phone numbers and heights. The State map has a nice piece on general communications.

Delta Doo Dah 3D Pics & Video, August 2011
Video from Odyssey of a fantastic week! www.youtube.com/watch?v=Agc_qEs90Uw

It was an awesome time for the Solace crew. Here is a bit of video from our boat: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zx2FZQtSi0

Here are pics and videos from Sizzle: http://tinyurl.com/klooju2

What Did 3D Mean to You?, August 2011
We have been fortunate to take part in all three Doo Dah's and after the last two year's events; I dropped a personal note to Christine and LaDonna to thank them for all their hard work in putting it together. I think, however, the best way to thank them is to let them know what the Doo Dah meant to us.
Christine/LaDonna,
Here is what the Doo Dah meant to us:
The best, most fun, relaxing, entertaining vacation we could ask for. The best use of our boat and one of the reasons we choose to keep on boating. The opportunity to meet people and to establish long lasting wonderful friendships. The opportunity to remember what it is like to unplug and enjoy the simpler things in life. Developing the confidence in ourselves and in our ability to work together to achieve a common goal like not running aground (FYI - this is the first year we did not) or to get off once we do. And finally, the opportunity to look forward to our next trip up the delta. Thank you again for all your hard work, please keep it going.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

It was just awesome yet again. It's the one boat trip the girls talk about - and expect to do. It didn't hurt that we did the early (Friday) bash in very pleasant weather. Next year - looks like we'll take advantage of Owl Harbor for a month or 2: so thanks for turning us on to them!
HapaDad

Delta Doo Dah Rocks!, August 2011
Sittin' in the cockpit, listening to tunes from the band at Sugar Barge...Life doesn't get much better than this!
Autumn Wind

We were on TV in Sacramento Monday morning (three live shots).
Christine Weaver, Doodette
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Good web page for inlets and bridge photos, July 2011
I hope this information is reliable because there is a lot of good visual info about many of the areas we are planning to visit during the Doo Dah. Hope you find this helpful, especially us newbies. http://marinas.com/browse/inlet/US/CA/cities/
Annie

7 Foot Draft, June 2011
The other weekend, when I was aground in Ayala Cove at Angel Island during a negative tide, I started to wonder what the depths would be during the Delta Doo Dah.
A look at the charts showed that the entrance to Owl Harbor to be 5 feet and sections of the channel leading up to Boyd's Harbor at 7 feet.
My boat draws 6' 8".
So my question is, has anyone with a deep draft done a previous Delta Doo Dah (or these harbors) and if so did you have any problem entering these harbors? Is entering on a high tide sufficient? Also, what about getting back to the main deep water channel from Boyd Harbor to head to Stockton...can you get to it by going around the southern end of Franks Tract (looks very shallow) or should you backtrack to the north to get into the deep water channel.
Thanks, Solace Crew

I highly recommend a depth finder with an alarm. There are many places in the delta where the charts are not accurate and yearly silting changes everything. I have run aground when skirting the edges of the shipping channels so I try to stay centered in the channels. I spoke to the new owners of Owl Harbor this week and she indicated that depth should not be a problem. I draw over 6' and I have been in Brunos Island (next to Owl Harbor) many times with few issues. Low tides create issues so it is important to proceed cautiously. Owl Harbor said they will mark the channel for the DDD to make it even easier. We have had many opportunities to practice our UN grounding techniques including, use of anchors, people on the boom while over the side, and just patience to wait for the tide change.
Tazman

A depthfinder and good set of charts are indispensable in the Delta. Comparing them will help you figure out exactly where you are. Silting tends to occur off points of land and is often visible. An engine with reverse helps. Georgia has come with us twice before and she draws 8-ft, so when in doubt, follow her!
Christine Weaver, Doodette
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Our friends with Liberte were on the Doo Dah last year with her 7' draft and no problems. We have gotten their boat up to Lost Slough a number of times. It means paying close attention to charts and tides as always. A lot of times we go ahead of them with our 4' draft and check the depth. You could do the same thing following shallower draft boats. Of course sometimes you go as far as you can and that's were the party is. :)
Jim, Tartan 37 Ardea

We have been on the last two Doo Dah's and both years we ran aground, last year several times. We draw just under 6' but both times it was our own fault for doing so. Cutting corners and not looking at the charts or watching the depth sounder. Running aground in the delta is no big deal, soft mud, and there is always someone around willing to throw you a line and pull you off. The first time was off Hog island and we were able to just raise the main, heel the boat over and sail off. Last year both times was around Potato and we were pulled off by fellow Doo Dah'ers passing by.
Try to time your shallow water moves during a rising tide, watch your charts/depth sounder, follow another boat to get depth reports, go slow when in doubt and you will be fine. Just part of the delta experience.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Running aground in the Delta is a rite of passage :-)
If you want to go down the southern route down Piper Slough and around Franks Tract here are a couple of notes.
1. When leaving Boyds Harbor stay in the middle of the channel.
2. The concrete wall on your port side will have an opening about a mile down.
3. Past this opening stay closer to the left side of the channel than the right (left center).
4. As long as it's not a minus tide, you will collect some weed on the keel and rudder, but not run aground.
5. Take the first channel to port at the end of Piper Slough.
6. Stay in the middle of this channel(actually it's quite deep all the way to the sides).
7. When the levee ends on your starboard side, take the next channel to port.
8. Favor this channel to the left side.
9. At the end of the small island chain, sight on the tulee island a mile further up the east side of Franks Tract.
10. Do not cross between the small island chain and the tulee island - old levee lies beneath.
11. Favor the left side of this run keeping in mind #10.
12. When the levee on your starboard side turns east keep just left of the islands on your left and follow them all the way to the San Joacquin.
Peter
I'll offer up some "general" advice we received before our first time in the Delta a number of years ago. Remeber this is general and not true all the time and worth exactly what you are paying for it but it has saved us a number of times. The water is generally deepest next to a levee. It was explained to me that when the levees were originally built material was scaped up adjacent to the levee and deposited on top of the levees. This created a ditch next to the levee. It's not uncommon to see very shallow water in the center of a slough and 40' depth next to the levee. As I said this is absolutely not true everywhere but if you find the water getting thinner and you are in the center of the channel SLOW DOWN and start hunting for deeper water closer to the levees. Hope this helps and YMMV.
Jim, Ardea

I think that you meant False River when you said Franks Tract. FT does not have a levee around it anywhere!
Fisherman's cut should be fine, just make sure that you take the south exit at the little island at the south end.
We wre in Owl Harbor with Coyote (6 ft draft) last weekend after the Islands race (1st place - woooohoooo). There were no issues in and out but we could not get into the slip at the yacht club so we parked at the end of the fingers.
Peter

Thanks Peter, I did mean False River. So, are you saying that at the low tides you were not able to get into the docks at the yacht club at Owl Harbor?
Shawn, Bumpy, C&C 40

That is correct. However I am told that they will be docking the Doo Dah fleet at the main marina, not the yacht club.
Peter

Georgia is so happy to have deep draft company!
We've enjoyed transiting False River just fine...it's the little islands by the bedrooms in Potato Slough that get us every time! Thanks to Neener3 (she's BAAAAK!) we escaped last year.
We've gotten into the Owl Harbor Slough (brain fade: 3 mile or 7 mile?) ok, but never gone farther up than Bruno's. Guess we'll time our cruise for an earlier-than-4 arrival!
Lucie

Liberte draws 7 feet as well and tho we have current nav software aboard for the Delta, I'm a big fan of the Delta fishing map and use it to double check the depth as we go. We usually do pretty well, but getting stuck in the mud is half the fun-- hence the name for our group of sailing friends, The Mud Daubbers! :-)
Julia
Lucie, you are thinking of Sevenmile Slough. Here are detailed instructions from Owl Harbor for getting in:
To get here the best route would be through New York Slough up the San Joaquin – if you go up the Sacramento you will need to have the bridge lifted at 3 mile slough.
The entrance to our slough – Jackson Slough – is at Channel marker 41 – there is also a very large crane on your left as you enter that makes for a great “marker”. The best way to enter is to stay somewhat to the right side, there is a reed barrier that you can see on your left side. As you enter you will pass 2 marinas on your right and will want to stay somewhat closer to that side than the middle. As you approach a fork in the slough stay to the left and you will see our sign ahead that says Owl Harbor Marina.

Hey Doo Dah'ers - the fun starts a month from Friday! June 2011
Where are people planning to go on the free days?
What are you doing to get your boat ready for the fun?
What's on the menu for those great evening cockpit parties?
Anyone else bringing a stand up paddleboard?
Where is the dinghy race going to be this year?
Can't wait for some kick back hot weather.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

We have been busy preparing our boat. Varnish - done, Autopilot - fixed, Regulator reprogrammed - check. I guess we are finally ready to go. The Delta has been an annual trip for our family for the last 10 years. Currently based in Emeryville, Tazman is ready for the Delta. We have planned to relocate to the Delta for a while, picking up a slip at Owl Harbor where we will be based after the DDD. As a matter of fact, our lease begins the night of the planned stop (ok so we are cheating a little bit.)
We heard rumors of potiental water attacks and we want to warn others that we are prepared for defensive action. We really look forward to a great trip and the meeting of new friends. 30 days to go.
David and Ruth Sawyer, Tazman

I've still got projects to finish but I'm running out of time. New VHF and antenna so I can hear everyone on the morning net. New larger holding tank (Yeah!). Replace old stereo that doesn't work (tunes Yeah!). Change engine/trans oil and filter and fuel filters. Lube Super Soakers. Stock up on goodies and beer. Can't wait.
Jim, Ardea

It seemed that we really lucked out last year with pleasant weather so we never put up out delta awning, with fringe. So not to take any chances we are checking and double checking to make sure the awning is in good working order.
We have installed a very tiny dodger, but a dodger never the less. Hard to put one on our boat so it will just keep water from pouring in down below when bashing home.
By personal experience, about 5 times in less than an hour, we do know now that our depth gauge works. However, there appeared to be some errors last year by the captain of the vessel. he know's now that we have to "look" at it. I do not know why our alarm did not work. Will put that on the list for the next two weeks of projects.
Since I am the pathfinder in the family, am thinking that we will stay at Boyd's until Wednesday or thursday. maybe back up to Owl harbor for a night or meet up with others and anchor out for a night.
rich and shawn, bumpy

Our Favorite spots are the Bed Rooms on Little Potato Slough. Good holding, fishing, and few bugs. Look for the LARGE American Flag and stop by for a Margarita. Oh Yah real blended Margarita. Live Large when on the Delta
Tazman

Current boat project involves new 'canvas' (actually a cut-up old sharkskin sail from a J/105) to cover the pipe berths (homemade out of PVC pipe). These provide sofa-like seating on the port side and storage on the starboard side. Plus, Jonathan is repainting the forepeak where the V-berth goes. That's probably about all we'll get done.
Need to figure out a boarding/swim ladder, as there is now an outboard where the ladder is supposed to go.
I don't have a SUP board, but would love to use OPBs (other people's boards). I have a boogie board which works well for swimming and lolling about in the water, as does our horseshoe life buoy. Didn't use them last year, but may bring my swim fins again. We'll be bringing our 8' inflatable again, which stores conveniently in the aft quarter when not inflated.
We have not yet discussed our plans for the 3 free days.
As for party and dining provisions, we'll bring a box of each color of wine. There are some good-ish box wines now and they are so much easier to store onboard than round glass bottles. (We became notorious for our box wine in Kauai, and we weren't even staying on a boat.) We bring tomatoes, peaches, onions, cucumbers, basil, etc., and pack them in plastic containers so they don't get bruised. These we keep in a dry box or cooler, but not in the drinks cooler which is colder. We'll bring smoked salmon, goat cheese, and crackers. Maybe french bread. I like mineral water and cold green tea, J. will bring beer and tea bags, and we'll have pre-ground coffee which we make in drip cones. We have a single propane burner and will bring boil-in-bag rice and MREs. We have no fresh water, so bring a 5-gallon container of water and smaller water bottles which we refill from the big jug.
Christine Weaver, Doodette
Stink Eye, Laser 28

I've heard that Five Fingers is a cool spot to hang out...but also heard that it's overgrown and inaccessible now. Has anyone been able to get in there lately?
The Borgs, Solace

Five fingers looked pretty overgrown last year. Mildred is a good spot except for the bugs at night.
Ardea

Going back to the bedrooms in Potato, I know that we should be exploring but we like this spot so much it is a no brainer.
This is the third year the crew of the 'iliohale will be doing the Doo Dah. We added a lot of items to our boat to do list after the first year. Last year our big projects were a larger holding tank and a dodger with an awning. This year our big boat project was the addition of a solar panel, hoping to harvest some free electrons while sitting in the sky chair and soaking them up on my own.
Our menu is typical, lot of snacks and BBQ food. We like bringing a couple of water mellons that we put in the water all day to cool and then feast in the hot afternoon.
We plan to bring a SUP like last year which was a big hit with the fleet, I think we were the only boat to bring one (with the exception of LaDonna who forgot the pump for Latitude's blow up one). People really enjoyed it, I am hoping that someone else brings one so that we have some races.
Dinghy racing on Potato last year was awesome, I zoomed around taking photos and it was great fun to watch.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Wayne and I (Karen) are in countdown mode until the fun begins. This will be our 3rd DooDah and we are looking forward to seeing some familiar faces as well as meeting some new people too. I plan on stocking our galley in the hopes of some happy hour raft-ups once we all get settled for our free days. We will be in Potato Slough with Iliohale. (Just for the record.....they always have the best food onboard anywhere...)
bccodyssey

Georgia's got plans:
Varnished interior, check
New Kirae counters, check
Pressure water, check
Raritan - refurbish?
Engine, check
Madelyn dinghy for racing, check
Zodiak etc. - needs review for flashlight, pfds, cushions, horn, other safety equipment etc.
Bed - yeah, she's still stripped out
Noodles, check
Blasters, check
Sunscreen - lost, oops
Bugscreen, check
Blue WM seats - mildewed and if the sun EVER COMES OUT AGAIN in El Cerrito I'll get to work.
Floating mattress -NEEDED!
Solar lights for winch lighting - 2 in hand, test for new Bed Bath Beyond models to do.
Yep, Ben and I are moving back on board, cleaning out the Container and reviewing where stuff is. REALLY looking forward to the Delta. Reports are that the water is pretty good. I want some of that 4th of July Heat!
Lucie

We did get a inflatable SUP - arrived yesterday actually. We also now have an el toro for the kids. Fortuntely, the boat is 24' wide so we should have space for everything…
We did Mildred's last year - was a great spot - but since last year was the first year in the delta - willing to give Potato Slough a try. Are there any little sand beaches nearby for the kids?
HapaDad

Good question, I don't recall seeing a sandy beach in Potato, it is pretty much all dikes and marsh islands. In Bedroom two there is a dock with a small club house of some kind, I have never seen anyone there. You can dinghy around the corner to the Lighthouse, looks like there may be room for the kids to run around. I took a look at Google Earth to see if I could find something but the only sand I could see is Peter's favorite spot on Franks. Someone else may know of one.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

I got a little secret for y'all....at low tide there is a great beach at the mouth of the Mukolumne River. It's on the last islet and you have to approach from the Mukolumne side. I would advise against taking the big boats too close, but you can anchor with 100 ft of the islet on the North side.
Peter

Secret beach

I see that beach on Google earth, looks like an easy landing with a dinghy. Do you know what the dock and club house is all about in Bedroom 2?
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

It's Fig Island, I believe, and the owner has hosted RICHMOND YC's 4th of July parties there. Georgia found a little island last year. It is less submerged at low tide.
Lucie, GEORGIA

By any chance is anyone bringing one of these on the Doo Dah:
http://translogic.aolautos.com/2011/07/13/in-detail-jetlev-r200/
it would be fun to play with.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

Wow, that looks really dangerous.
Christine Weaver, Webmistress, Latitude 38

We loaded 6 cases of drinks & beer on the boat yesterday and we have started to check things off our check list of stuff. Toilet paper - check; 12v phone charger - check; sky chair - check; and on it goes. A floating Club Med it is.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

I'm out east right now where it's a 100 degrees (and feels like a 100% percent humidity). Can't wait to get back to California, get the boat ready, and take a dip in the Delta. We are loaded with water guns and water toys...looking forward to a great week.
Solace

Current Conditions, July 2011
The water temp has gone up quite quickly with the recent high temps - now around 75 degrees. It's not quite as clear as last year, probably due to the late rains. Going through a bit of a cold snap - I had to put a layer on yesterday at 7:00 PM playing golf - but the trend is for some 100 degree stuff next week.
If you go down the river from Owl Harbor and enter False River from the north, then to Piper slough I can guarantee you a minmum depth of 12 feet all the way to Boyd's ant the lowest tides.
We ran Coyote down Fisherman's Cut on our way to Owl Harbor on Saturday (we won again!!!). Tide was at 2 feet and ebbing. The shallowest we saw on the depth sounder was 15ft.
Peter

Bugs (not crawdads), May 2011
Most of us have observed fewer mosquitoes in the Delta than in our own backyards by the Bay, but flying insects do come out at twilight and some people seem to attract mosquito bites more than others. We've used citronella candles in the past, but you don't want to breathe the fumes.
Christine Weaver, Doodette
Stink Eye, Laser 28

My family and I have spent many years exploring the delta. We kept our first boat at Bruno's Island for 4 years before bringing it up to the bay. Every year we sail our boat to the delta for a week or two. Our favorite anchorage being Little Potatoe (Dan Quail spelling) slough bedroon #3. With regards to bugs, we always try to anchor out from the tules. The last few years we have gone early July where the weather has been colder than usual and quite windy. When the wind is blowing, there is no bug problem. We have equiped Tazman with screens for the hatches and the companion way (bought a comercial netting that works quite well.) We do burn the "bug" candle with limited results but it seems like we are trying to be proactive.
For us: We anchor away from the shore. Hope for a breeze. Have the screens in place. Burn the stupid candle. Use bug spray worst case. Bugs have never been a big problem but we have always been prepared.
David and Ruth Sawyer, Tazman

We have used these: http://tinyurl.com/px82quh the last two years and they have worked well. We turn a couple of these on in the cockpit while outside and then in the main cabin when below, and they really seem to work.
Gary & Nancy, iliohale

I'm one of those unfortunate people that the mosquitos always go after. I talked to a guy from the San Mateo County Mosquito Abatement District and he says they don't tolerate breezes. So, I agree with Tazman and we'll try to anchor where there is a breeze. Last year it worked out really well in the "bedrooms". Failing that, I'll bring along my little battery-operated fan/mister ($9.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond). I also might have to use bug spray, but I hate the smell, so I won't put it on unless I see the critters flying by. We also have purchased some mosquito netting from Redwood Trading Post where they sell it by the yard. If all else fails we are going to try to jury-rig some type of tent protection with the mosquito netting. We made a cruising companionway hatch cover that has mosquito netting as well.
Lorianna, Catalina 30 "Goose"

I agree about the smell of the stuff you spray on yourself. It will keep the mosquitoes away, but unfortunately it will also keep Jonathan away, which is hard to do on a boat the size of ours! The natural botanical ingredients are much preferable to the traditional chemicals, like DEET. Apparently Avon's Skin So Soft really does work, but the fragrance makes me sneeze.
Christine Weaver, Doodette
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Avons Skin so Soft works well for keeping the bugs away. Watch out for its' tanning effects. One year I received a blistering sun burn from not washing up the next morning and putting sun screen on.
Tazman

Bumpy also has screens for the ports and me bought screen material last year by the yard at our local harware store "PINI" and fashioned a few screens for our forward hatch and companionway. However, I am also going to buy a few double wide baby buggy bug nets for about 10 dollars each. they have elastice around the bottom so can pull down over an open hatch. It was suggested that you could weight them down with fish weights pined on the bottoms or buy cheap link chain and glue to the bottoms to hold in place.
also, I read that you could spritz the screens at night to deter bugs from heading in that direction. We don't use lights that much at night. Book lights and battery candles to keep the light low. We also used the bug fans and they did seem to work, but I will try one down below, or hang just inside the companionway. I also found these patches, I think at REI, that looked like a giant bandage and no smell.
I was told that mint oil and eucalyptus oil work well in wax burning candles, but I think I am going to try the products that were mentioned above. I know I will smell good.
Rich and Shawn, Bumpy

A friend always swore by Vitamin B but I just did a little reading and it looks like placebos fared just as well in a double blind study. The CDC recommends oil of lemon eucalyptus, though, for those who don't want to go the chemical route.
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

Anchoring Advice, July 2011
We had a question today about anchoring in the Delta: Is one Danforth anchor enough? The simplified answer is probably not.
On Stink Eye, we have two Danforths, a lightweight 'lunch hook' or racing anchor, and another heavier Danforth. We also have an extra long line for tying off to a tree. Currents can be strong and will switch around in the middle of the night, so one anchor is not usually enough unless you are in a big anchorage with plenty of room to swing (rare in the Delta). For a really good night's sleep, a three-point tie-off is the most secure (hence, two anchors plus a bowline to a tree).
The bottom will be soft mud, or mud with grassy weeds. The weeds can sometimes give a 'false set'. Jonathan says, "Back down hard to make it bite," and "Bigger is better."
More anchoring advice can be found in our First Timer's Guide to Mexico.
Anchoring is an important skill to practice, so take advantage of the opportunity!
Christine Weaver, Doodette
Stink Eye, Laser 28

Rafting Up, July 2011
I found this on a yacht club website and thought it might be good to share for those who don't have much experience with rafting up. I remember being a little freaked out the first time we did it!
Before you join a raft-up, have a forward-leading aft spring line ready, as well as bow and stern lines. Have your fenders out and, if you have a sailboat, be sure to lie alongside in such a way that your spreaders will not foul your neighbor’s.
A few common courtesies apply when rafting. First, get approval from your neighbors before cranking up the tunes. Second, when crossing one yacht to get to another, go over the bow, not through the cockpit. Third, step lightly trying not to rock the boat. In addition, if you have gone ashore, make sure your feet or deck shoes are free of sand before stepping on a boat’s finish. Lastly, charge up batteries right after joining up, then keep the generator off, especially through the night.
Julia

And don't forget the old tradition of giving a bottle of wine to the boat on the inside of you. Preferably something costing $30 or more. (Actually I just made that one up)
Jim

Really great advice on rafting (and the wine)! One last suggestion: If you're coming back to the boat late at night and it's clear your neighbors are asleep, be as quiet as possible crossing to your boat. No stomping, loud talking, etc. And whatever you do, don't open their hatch and yell "Peekaboo!" Bad form.
LaDonna 'Doodette' Bubak

Some more tips for rafting up:
Bring extra fenders. Tie lots of fenders to the side of the boat that will meet up with the boat that got there ahead of you. Remember to place them higher than you would if tying up to the dock, along the rub rail if you have one. If you're the first boat in at the dock, still put out extra fenders on the dock side of your boat for extra cushioning. Once you're tied up, put a couple of fenders out on your outside rail (a preventative measure, and also a friendly gesture for the next boat coming in).
For our extra raft-up fenders, we got bass fishing boat fenders. They are tall, skinny and flat. Those square flotation cushions can make good raft-up fenders too.
Watch out when you step on our boat (red and white Laser 28). You'll think you've stepped on a dinghy. There's no way to walk over it without rocking it. Walking on the bow is like trying to walk on the side of a slippery slope. If it's not too cluttered with people and stuff, you're welcome to walk through our cockpit instead.
This one goes for cruise-ins in general, even if everyone's in a slip:
If you're a night owl heed LaDonna's advice and be real quiet when you return to your boat. Singing all the lyrics from '60s TV shows at midnight as you search for your boat is probably not going to make you any new friends. Conversely, if you're up at the crack of dawn, walk quietly and don't chat up your buddy, make cell phone calls on the dock, etc. until everyone else is up and about or until you've reached shore. That boat you're standing next to may have sleepy-heads aboard (like me). And on the water - you can hear everything!
Christine Weaver, Doodette
Stink Eye, Laser 28

A friend once told me that going through someone's cockpit while rafted is akin to walking through their family room uninvited-- nice to know we have an invite from Stinkeye! ;-)
Liberte

Yep. Especially at night, since we sleep in the V-berth, with very little space between us and the ceiling! Another instance when you might want to avoid walking across the bow is when it's taken up with sails. Don't tread on other people's sails!
Christine Weaver, Webmistress, Latitude 38

Tides, currents and dam releases, July 2011
FINALLY sat down to read last month's Latitude 38 article on the Delta, and thought I'd recount a story from a summer when I enjoyed speeding about the Delta in a 22' runabout. It was fun going to the end of all the sloughs we could find: Mossdale for barbeque, to and under I-5 in several places.
Normally, the boat was kept in the elevator storage in Walnut Grove, which was darned convenient, though costly, even when we wandered beyond Mossdale marina.
There was one time when I met the boat in Sacramento, at the yacht club. Imagine our surprise when we found the boat high and dry: I learned later that the tides there were often more the measure of the release of water from Folsom Dam.
Later, we found that Lost Slough wasn't so sensitive. We'd landed the boat to have lunch and nap, and awoke entirely high and dry. Lucky for us, the Georgianna bridge tender and his family were taking a ride on their jet skis and found us, wondering if we were gonna be there until the dam opened again. No, this was pure tide. They left, and came back to replenish our cold beverages for our long wait.
Georgia does a good job of finding shallow spots, and I have a great picture of the island we found in Potato Slough last year. Lucky for me, it was more submerged as the tide rose.
Lucie

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