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Old 05-12-2012, 10:50 PM   #21
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Oh, one more question: I know what a lot of the challenges are in boating up here (and in Hawaii). What are they for that area? Mark has mentioned some pretty strong currents. What other things do you have to be aware of in boating the delta and the rivers?
One thing is shallow waters. One should watch the wake to see how one's doing. Note here in the lower Napa River which looks quite broad but has a narrow navigational channel. The sharp turn of the wake marks shallow water.



Here in central San Pablo Bay I'm safe from the shallows, but southern and northern sections of the bay are very shallow.

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Old 05-13-2012, 12:31 AM   #22
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Mark,

Have you and Perla considered coming into the Delta a day or two before the fireworks? If you have the time and inclination, it would give you much more time to explore and relax.

The "Secret Lagoon" pictured below fills with Snowy Egrets at sunset. I sat and watched as 50-100 filled the trees as the sun got lower and darkness fell upon the sleepy lagoon. (shhhhh...If you promise to keep it a secret, I'll even share with you my secret lagoon coordinates with you. But you've got to get there early so you can get the good spot before Pineapple Girl gets there.)
Vickie and I refer to the location as "Al and Meg's Lagoon".
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:39 AM   #23
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Vickie and I refer to the location as "Al and Meg's Lagoon".
Ssssshhhhh. We'll need to move to PM motif.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:47 AM   #24
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Does anyone know if that bar on that island in the Delta every made it. They use to have some wild parties there and live music. Then the county started to mess with them and they were closed for a year. When I left Antioch in 2010 they were planning on reopening. Can't remember the name of the place. Paradise Isle or something like that.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:37 AM   #25
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Marin,

As someone who has lived/boated in both Sacramento and the PNW, I think it is difficult to compare the Delta with the Sound. It's one of those "not better, not worse, just different" situations. Many years ago I kept a sailboat in Stockton and felt like I left the world behind as soon as I was out of my slip. Many isolated & private anchorages with calm, warm water and levees covered in berry bushes. I'd dinghy over to the levee in the morning with a cup of coffee and eat breakfast as I picked my way down the shoreline. Maritime challenges were primarily groundings due to the shallow water and changing shoals. You get used to them and learn quickly how to "unground." There's a "Delta lifestyle" that is very relaxed and friendly, although there is also a very party-hearty crowd, but usually enough room to get away from them if you want to.

One is not "at sea" in the Delta even though weather/ tides & currents can be a challenge.

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Old 05-14-2012, 02:47 AM   #26
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Maritime challenges were primarily groundings due to the shallow water and changing shoals.
DVD--- Many years ago a high school friend and I made plans to take a 17' Grumman canoe down the Mississippi one summer from St. Louis where we were both in school to New Orleans where he had relatives. Our plan was to camp out on the islands in the river most of the time and call at towns periodically to replenish our supplies. Our primary navigation aid was a huge chartbook put out annually (I think) by the Army Corpe of Engineers that showed in very small scale (or is it large scale?) every detail of every section of the river, the islands, bars and channels and hazards. They put it out every x-amount of time because the river keeps changing.

Is there a similar regularly updated book of charts for the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and the delta?
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:55 AM   #27
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Note here in the lower Napa River which looks quite broad but has a narrow navigational channel. The sharp turn of the wake marks shallow water.
That's really interesting, Mark. I did not know that a wake could be an aid in telling one where the shallow water on either side of a deeper channel lies. I wonder how many people who travel (and sometimes go aground) in the long channel at the north end of the Swinomish Channel up here know that trick. At high tide the water all looks the same but the channel itself is quite narrow with mud flats on each side.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:47 AM   #28
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Is there a similar regularly updated book of charts for the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and the delta?
I don't recall anything like that, but it may exist. It seems like it would be very difficult to keep up because the shoaling would change after any significant rainfall or spring runoff. They, obviously, maintain the channels well to support commercial traffic, but out in the boonies, you were pretty much on your own. Perhaps someone with more current experience could comment...

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Old 05-14-2012, 01:21 PM   #29
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DVD, you gave a great description of what it is like to boat on the Delta!

We whole heartedly agree that the shallow spots and snags are the biggest challenge. There are no detailed charts and (again as DVD said) they'd quickly be outdated as the bottom shifts in the heavy spring flow, or another derelict vessel sinks and becomes a new snag, etc. We slow down when we start to see single digits, so if we do run aground maybe we'll have a shot at getting unstuck. So far we've just had a few brushes with mud and no actual groundings. Knock on wood. Sunday am was fun as we had a 20 minute wait for a bridge opening. I was making a big loop back up the river to burn off some time (felt like a sailboat at the start line of a race) and I started seeing pretty low single digit depths on the right side of the river so I was heading back to the left for what the chart indicated should be deeper water... and the depth gauge stopped working. Great timing. I didn't run aground or even kick up any mud so luckily it worked out ok. Matt was down below showering and missed all the fun.

Papa Charlie, you must mean Lost Isle. The incident that brought increased scrutiny was a murder. They are still closed for renovations and I think the latest estimate to reopen is next year.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:29 PM   #30
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Vickie and I refer to the location as "Al and Meg's Lagoon".
Yeah you will definitely have to get there early to beat us. We spent another lovely night there Saturday. A large Chris Craft came along in the afternoon and anchored across the entrance for a few hours and several fishing boats came through, mostly late Saturday or early Sunday. We enjoyed swimming (floating) and watching a blue heron stalk up and down the bank through the tree branches and roots for at least an hour... We anchored farther from the bank this time and our anchor was set in the mud this time and not just weeds!

We don't mind rafting if we do happen to be there when someone else arrives!
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:56 PM   #31
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There are no detailed charts and (again as DVD said) they'd quickly be outdated as the bottom shifts in the heavy spring flow, or another derelict vessel sinks and becomes a new snag, etc. We slow down when we start to see single digits, so if we do run aground maybe we'll have a shot at getting unstuck.
I followed the Coot builder's (he's familiar with the San Francisco estuary) recommendation for having the transponder connected to its own separate/larger display rather than the smaller readout on the radar/map-plotter screen.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:24 PM   #32
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Papa Charlie, you must mean Lost Isle. The incident that brought increased scrutiny was a murder. They are still closed for renovations and I think the latest estimate to reopen is next year.
That's the one and now that you mentioned it, there was a little altercation there. Place can get pretty wild on the weekends. I have only been there during the week. Even then there have been some, well, let us say, some interesting shows put on by the patrons. Still was a nice stop on a hot day.

We purchased our 3218 from a broker in Oxbow and had her moored in Antioch before moving to the PNW in May of 2010. The Delta is an interesting place.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:23 PM   #33
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X-rated

Party time at Lost Isle:

Lost Isle Bar and Resort on The California Delta

http://www.yelp.com/biz/lost-isle-stockton
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:41 PM   #34
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Any pictures resembling me in Mark's link are shear coincidence! I hear place it was a fun place to visit.

Last time I motored by there a few weeks ago, there were cranes in place but no outward signs of activity. No boats in sight. The buildings looked as if they had not been improved in years.

It was a weekend, so maybe that was a factor.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:43 AM   #35
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It's surely not my kind of fun. (Too old, too experienced, and too fat.) On the other hand, watching the sheriff's boats picking off drunk boaters could be entertaining.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:47 AM   #36
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Delta Mellllowww!
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:09 AM   #37
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Lost Isle and charts

Lost Isle is still under renovation, There have been issues with docking , ADA access, security requirements and bureaucracy but they are forging on. Charts are available as both the San Joaquin , Sacramento Ship Channel and Sacramento rivers are shipping channels and have maintained bouys and dredged channels. Ships do go all the way to Stockton and Sacramento. The entire delta is charted but most of the sloughs are not dredged anymore so the sounding are not correct. Snags, wrecks, and sandbars can keep you on your toes. Usually the bottom is mud or sand. Areas with current usually have a sand bottom areas without will have mud bottoms. There are actually a few scenic areas and on the old Sacramento starting with Rio Vista a series of very quint towns with lots of colorful history. The California delta is probably one of the finest water sport areas in the world. Wake boarding and skiing in calm warm water is usually available 6 months out of the year. Bass fishing is very popular. Who mentioned Mildred Island? That used to be my secret spot, now the word is out. If the PNW had the California weather it would actually be unbeatable for cruising but it doesn't, If California had the destinations and beauty of the PNW it would unbeatable as well, but it doesn't. So you guys dream of Baha and I dream of PNW and Alaska. We have had a great year for wildlife especially waterfowl. The delta is mostly farm land but it houses many kinds of wildlife. I have seen deer, cougar,"four legged" beaver, fox, otter, muskrat, weasel, raccoon, harbor seals, whales, coyote, red tailed hawk, bald eagle, vulture, osprey many different kinds of falcons. And that doesn't begin to cover all the different kinds water fowl. I'm in Locke , 96miles inland , and we have resident harbor seal. We have current in the delta but the PNW and Alaska have CURRENT, BIG CURRENT.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:54 AM   #38
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If California had the destinations and beauty of the PNW it would unbeatable as well, but it doesn't. So you guys dream of Baha and I dream of PNW and Alaska.
That's why every other year we go to SE Alaska, but via cruise ship. We'll be leaving on the 23rd from San Francisco. Last time, departing from SF:

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:02 AM   #39
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If the PNW had the California weather it would actually be unbeatable for cruising but it doesn't,
If the PNW had California weather it would no longer have any of the appeal the PNW has because everything that makes the PNW appealing wouldn't exist. It would look like California. When it wasn't flooding and washing into the sea it would be hot, dry, and on fire.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:14 PM   #40
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After a nice day here yesterday it's pouring rain today.

Marin I could use some hot, dry and on fire.........
Not literarily though.
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