Our dockmates annually head up to the warm waters of the Sacramento Delta each year for a week or so in August. This was our first time to join them; we were looking forward to testing our energy, water, holding tank and other storage systems for an extended period on the hook, as well as the performance of our relatively new dinghy and outboard motor.
We headed out before dawn on a flood on August 17 and were able to motor sail a good portion of the way. The two other boats we were joining were on different schedules so we were on our own.
Pirate’s Lair in the Delta Pirates’ Lair Marina in the Delta Nitro Powered Dinghy Races: Rick is ready. Unfortunately, the engine failed shortly after the race began and he was towed back to Cool Change. Bug net that Cindy made for the Delta – it worked great! The door is held together with magnets and the bottom is weighted with tire balancing weights! Modest house on the Delta – you see everything from mansions to humble abodes Big cargo ships seem so out of place in the quiet solitude of the Delta, but there they are, passing through the channel that takes them to Stockton to pick up foodstuffs bound for foreign ports
The motorboats on the Delta on the weekend were a bit distracting, but Monday brought peace. The first day we dinghied over to Herman and Helen’s for lunch, the closest eating spot. Another day we toured the favorite anchoring spots in the area; another day we dinghied to Pirate’s Lair, a marina a bit further away, for another lunch. Rick tried to race our dinghy but he couldn’t get it on plane in spite of his “Nitro” fuel can. We swam, kayaked, enjoyed cocktail hour each night, and enjoyed the company of Dan and Betsy, along with Rob and Nancy for a few days, on Isla Mia, and with Dan and family on Bounty. It was a lovely and lazy time.
Our systems held up pretty well. We used 3 gallons of fresh water per day per person by using the foot pump and separate drinking water. That was more than we expected, however; we are thinking it was dishwashing that put us up that high. Power consumption was minimal since our refrigeration takes very little and we only used minimal lighting. The holding tank was plenty large enough, too. The only disappointment was that the dinghy wouldn’t plane; it is either the size of the engine or the inflatable bottom that is causing that. We may have to live with it because Cool Change’s carrying capacity doesn’t allow for a different dinghy.
On our way back on on August 23, we stopped at Pittsburg marina for the night. The marina is in wonderful condition and the area is picking up. We found a charming restaurant called “La Veranda” for good wine and an Italian dinner.
The winds were blowing 27 knots the next morning as we headed east from Carquinez Bridge, but calmed to about 15 knots after the San Rafael bridge. We played with our new windvane for several hours before returning to our dock Saturday night, exhausted. A good time …
Pittsburg to Sausalito Track, August 24, 2013, 49.9 nm including a lot of playing randomly between the San Rafael bridge and Angel Island with our new Monitor windvane; about 12 hours, average speed 4.4 kts, max speed 7.6 kts. The waves were tremendous heading west out of the Carquinez Bridge in the morning, a real rocking horse day, with an ebb tide and 27 knots apparent at the bow. It calmed to 15 knots near Angel Island