STOCKTON, Calif. - Sabbatical's voyage to the California Delta (about 75 miles from our slip in Alameda) last week was eventful for several reasons.
1. We had record runs in both directions, sailing faster than I thought Sabbatical was capable of.
2. We thought we had an engine room fire that had the crew running around with fire extinguishers and wondering exactly how cold the water might be if we had to swim to shore.
3. After the fire turned out to be only smoke from a locked brake on the engine, I discovered that the aft cabin sole had water - a lot of water - which turned out to be coming from an exhaust house that had slipped a clamp.
Many glasses of wine were imbibed that evening.
But in addition to our ship's adventures, we also sat at anchor near Mandeville Island for a few days, watching big ship traffic along with other sailboats and jet skis out in the channel. Also, there was a large raftup of houseboats on the shore with some very interesting sunbathing activity on the rooftops. (Interesting sunbathing? Hmmmm...)
The photo at the beginning of today's entry is of an arguably close call, in which a sailboat got caught between the house on the shore and the grain freighter in the 100-foot wide channel. Not much of a contest if the sailboat couldn't get out of the way.
On the way north, we made an overnight stop at the Vallejo Yacht Club, where my friend of 36 years, Jim McCarthy greeted us. The entrance is narrow (see photo below) but we snuck in fine without even hitting bottom. The next morning, we snuck out fine, but about 15 minutes early and helped the Yacht Club with its dredging project by churning up a 20-foot swath of mud.
Vallejo Yacht Club entrance
On our sail up from Vallejo to Mandeville Island (west of Stockton, Calif.) the wind came up - really came up to over 30 knots in gusts - and at lunch time we rolled up our headsail and sailed with just a mainsail. We still made record time getting to the anchor and were glad that we only had one sail to deal with when we hit the twisting narrow channels late in the day.
Unfortunately, that wind was also pretty cold until almost the point where we anchored.
Sylvia and Lorraine on the bow - in jackets because of the cold
The trip home was equally fun - sort of - with blustry winds in our face the first day, which encouraged us to put in to the marina at Pittsburg, a new facility that is on its way to be a first-class operation. With our crew and amigos, Dan and Lorraine Olsen we found a Mexican restaurant that is almost worth driving to from Sacramento. Almost - it would be more than an hours drive.
In touring downtown, we found a movie theatre that is undergoing some kind of renovation. Dan couldn't wait and wanted a tour and ticket right then. We convinced him it would be awhile before the girl behind the counter served him.
Dan Olsen tries (unsuccessfully) to buy a ticket
The next day we motored the rest of the way back to Alameda - 48 miles - and instead of the turmoil and high winds when we left, we crossed what looked like a mountain lake, with hardly a ripple of wind.
'Lake' San Francisco
'Well, you know. A man of your age?'
3 weeks ago