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Old 08-09-2016, 09:16 PM   #21
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Thanks, Walt. I try to have a good time. It's hard not to have fun on a boat.

I've been looking into fuel prices today since I'm down to 1/3 tanks since my top off about 2.5 months ago. I thought of this after I had already passed Pittsburg and Antioch. I'm good for another 25 hrs or so.

Here's what I found so far.

Pittsburg $3.00
Antioch $2.85
Delta Marina $3.60 (10 cent cash discount)
Village West $3.66

Vallejo marina: $3.73
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:53 PM   #22
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Totally off topic, but where do you suppose the term "gunkholing" came from? It's such an unusual word. Lol

Sounds like you're having a good time so far!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunkholing
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:59 PM   #23
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Vallejo marina: $3.73
Since the closing of weekend fuel service (and marina office) in Vallejo, I wonder how old their fuel is getting.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:38 PM   #24
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I'm sure USCG Vallejo buys plenty. The marina refused to let me top off once when they hit a min level of 900 gals (IIRC) required be available to them by contract.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:40 PM   #25
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The tidal currents have aligned me perfectly for the north sky view of the Persiads meteor shower tonight. Nature's Olympics.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:54 AM   #26
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I'm sure USCG Vallejo buys plenty. The marina refused to let me top off once when they hit a min level of 900 gals (IIRC) required be available to them by contract.
Are their outboards diesel powered?

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Old 08-10-2016, 08:14 AM   #27
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Al - Best luck in your Delta travels! I'm sure you will have a blast!!

Wish we could say we'd be there to meet cha. Unfortunately, this and last year have had numerous family health problems as well as business and home repair (from 200 yr. oak tree falling on house - couple hundred $ damage) items that preclude our opportunities to visit the Tolly and go out around Delta. Hoping to get to boat for upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend... not at all sure that can be arranged due to recent health flare ups. I've been sorrowfully lacking in tending to our 100 mile away fun-boat. Imagine the spiders on exterior are having a field day [we seal her real good to keep them spiders on outside only]. I sure hope to get her hauled this winter and spend couple to three weeks making love to her while I do many improvements... as well as general bottom repaint etc.

Enjoy yourself!

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Old 08-10-2016, 12:34 PM   #28
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Are their outboards diesel powered?
Nope....but I think you knew that. Not all boats at USCG Station Vallejo have outboards.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Star0210 View Post
Totally off topic, but where do you suppose the term "gunkholing" came from? It's such an unusual word. Lol

Sounds like you're having a good time so far!
This sounds plausible to me.

Gunkholing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunkholing
Wikipedia
Gunkholing is a boating term referring to a type of cruising in shallow or shoal water, meandering from place to place, spending the nights in coves. The term refers to the gunk, or mud, typical of the creeks, coves, marshes, sloughs, and rivers that are referred to as gunkholes.
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:08 PM   #30
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That sounds like the Calif Delta
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:40 PM   #31
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I was able to update previous posts of Day 1 and 2 with some pictures. More coming, but it's slow going here on the hook. Part of it is my data connection, but most of it is this cast-off laptop I just transfered to the boat for exclusive boat use. Now I remember why I replaced it!

Started Day 3 in the wind shadow of Decker Island. It was a very peaceful overnight in benign conditions. I started out the day in the cool ER adding a qt of oil to each engine after about 30-35 hrs of running. That's much improved over the old days when I ran her 200 RPM higher than now. It used to be a qt every 15 hrs or so.

Since I was sitting on tanks 3/8 full, I had about 25 hrs plus a 5 hr reserve remaining, so I stopped by Delta Marina in Rio Vista ($3.60) and added 50 gal total. It gives me an additional 15 hrs of operating time so even if I move 3 hrs per day for the remainder of my 2 weeks on the water, I'll be good. One less thing to worry about!

3 Mile Slough Bridge



Rio Vista Bridge



I left Delta Marina with more ice (but no pumpout!) on my way to Steamboat. The Rio Vista Bridge lies just N of Delta Marina but with 19 ft of clearance, I didn't need a lift.

When I reached Steamboat Slough, I hung a right.

Snug Harbor



As I approached the J-Mack ferry, I noted the signs warning not to pass the ferry while it's red light is flashing. This is a cable ferry so the cable is taut when it's in motion. I waited until the ferry docked on the Grand Island side, then moved slowly along the Ryer Island side of the slough, watching the ferry and slack cable. As I approached the cable, I saw it go taut! The ferry's red light was flashing and he was pulling out of the landing! I was going about 4 kts when I slammed the trannies into reverse and goosed the engines, bringing the boat to an abrupt and complete stop about 20 ft from the cable. I sounded my horn a couple short blasts in the process to alert the ferry pilot that I was there. I backed off about 100 ft and waited. Then he came onto CH 16 apologizing for his "my bad!" (no kidding, MB...he used your name in vain!) "No problem" I said, but that was close! A good lesson to always expect the unexpected, even from the professionals. How many times he must cross that little slough without a boat in sight! It must be mind fogging after a while.

Steamboat Ferry - J Mack:



I proceeded merrily up Steamboat Sl noting the interesting houses and mansions gracing her banks. I always enjoy seeing the Grand Island Mansion (GIM)where many of the Delta legends and Hollywood characters merged. (And I mean that in several ways!!) It harkens back to the days of old. I continued up the slough about a 1/2 mile and dropped the hook. After shutting down the engine, I could hear my water pump and see the red bilge pump light. PRESSURE WATER-OFF, CHECK FW TANK LEVEL.

Sure enough, for the 3rd time in the past 2 1/2 years, I lost the output hose from my water heater! First time, I replaced the lower clamp where it released. Next time, it was the hose that was replaced. Now, it's the same hose, but at the other end! I replaced that clamp today. So now I've got a tight water system again, but lost all 75 gallons in the tank. Then I remembered!!!

I called the GIM at 1615 and explained my situation. She told me, yes, they had water at their dock and I was welcome to come in to fill up! No problem, no charge! Perfect! 30 minutes later, I was topped off and heading back upsteam. This time I continued another 1/2 mile north and found an evenbetter looking anchorage...still about 1/2 mile south of the permanent anchorages at the north end of Steamboat Sl.

So now I'm here and enjoying my first beer with homemade guacamole and chips in the famous Steamboat Slough! Many riverboats in the late 1800s used this slough as a shortcut from San Francisco to Sacramento. Many of them would run aground on the shifting shoals and become vulnerable to the pirates running the rivers in search of gold from the gold rush being transported to San Francisco. Lots of history here.







Time to start dinner, so I'll add pics and other details later!

Cheers!

Day 3 Total: 16NM in about 2 1/2 hrs.

Running total: 59NM in 8 1/2 hrs
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:06 PM   #32
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Interesting to see the mothball fleet still there. I have not been in that area for many years.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:36 PM   #33
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Cable Ferry Crossings

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
..
Snug Harbor
As I approached the J-Mack ferry, I noted the signs warning not to pass the ferry while it's red light is flashing. This is a cable ferry so the cable is taut when it's in motion. I waited until the ferry docked on the Grand Island side, then moved slowly along the Ryer Island side of the slough, watching the ferry and slack cable. As I approached the cable, I saw it go taut! The ferry's red light was flashing and he was pulling out of the landing! I was going about 4 kts when I slammed the trannies into reverse and goosed the engines, bringing the boat to an abrupt and complete stop about 20 ft from the cable. I sounded my horn a couple short blasts in the process to alert the ferry pilot that I was there. I backed off about 100 ft and waited. Then he came onto CH 16 apologizing for his "my bad!" (no kidding, MB...he used your name in vain!) "No problem" I said, but that was close! A good lesson to always expect the unexpected, even from the professionals. How many times he must cross that little slough without a boat in sight! It must be mind fogging after a while.
Could have been nasty. Similar "red flashing light" rule applies here,with the ferry stationary one side or the other. But, it`s usual to pass over the cables mid channel on the basis they loop down between ferry and the fixed side, and will be at the deepest in the middle.
Sounds like a great solo journey!
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:01 PM   #34
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Yes, Bruce. It would be more accurate to say I "favored" the other side, but was still within 10% of the middle.

Since I lost 75 gals of water today, I guess the answer to my question of how long I could make 100 gal of water last is theoretically 4! I think I can do better than that. I'm going to take a mulligan and start that one over! Reset Day 3 with full water.

I'm liking my new fuel gaging system. I think someone suggested it or something similar here on TF over the past year or so. I use my laser pointer thermometer to sense the temp difference in the side of my aluminum-aluminium tank. I recently marked 1/8 tank increments in my rectangular tank walls near the aft lazarette. When I shoot the wall after an engine run, I can see the temp drop as I lower the laser to the level of the fuel in the tank. I have now 'recalibrated' my electric fuel gages to match the 1/4 and 1/2 tank levels with a Sharpie.

My water saving faucet levers are also helping save water. It's like a Navy Shower lever that I can use every time I wash my hands or do the dishes. I like it so much I put one in the head, too. The good ones shut off completely when levered off. Cheap ones still dribble when off.



Electrically I'm doing pretty well. With about 2 hrs running each day, my Balmar keeps the batteries topped off. I end each run at 95% or more. This morning was the lowest I've seen this week at 80%. My 2-week's food fit into my new Nova Kool so I'm only running the countertop fridge on the inverter when I'm underway to chill a six pack, watermelon and corn on the cob. All the meat, breakfasts, side dishes and snacks fit into the 5.8cf NK! I was very surprised! (Even my bait is in there!!!)

I haven't launched the dink yet b/c it hasn't been needed. I'll probably not need it until the east Delta. Not having it in the water makes moving each day much simpler. But it's nice to know it's here if I need it with a Honda 2HP and a Merc 2-stroke 15HP. Both have their advantages.

I run the Honda gen to make coffee, run the microwave and use the electric skillet. All else runs off 12V and the 1000W POS Xantrex inverter.
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:55 AM   #35
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Here's a video I made several years ago while overflying these waters. Day 2 is mostly covered between 1:10 at Montezuma Slough and 3:10 at Decker Island. I covered in 2 minutes by air what took me 2 hrs by boat.

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Old 08-11-2016, 11:17 AM   #36
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Years ago when the wind farm near Rio Vista was expanding rapidly, the Air Traffic Controllers at Travis AFB were concerned about the effect on their radar, so we were called in to do a series of low altitude checks to verify, among other things, that their Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW) system was functioning properly. This involved establishing radar contact at a normal altitude, then descending rapidly to below their safe altitude in an attempt to trigger their warning system. We did this throughout the SE quadrant where the wind turbines were located.

While we were doing this over Montezuma Slough and the Salinity Gate, I passed my cellphone camera to the Electronics Technician standing near the cockpit and he recorded this video. You can't hear the conversation with ATC but you can hear the airplane's Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) sounding at low altitudes.

In this video, the salinity gates are closed requiring boats to lock through at the left (north) end of the gate system.





Mothball Fleet:





Rio Vista/Decker Island:

On this one, I saw my friend and Pro Striper Guide Mark Wilson fishing on the river near Decker Island so I gave him a wing wave.

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Old 08-11-2016, 01:14 PM   #37
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Al, thanks so much for these posts, as much as they make me homesick. I wish my Dad was still alive to see a few of these. He grew up in the Delta area, and one of his grandfathers was involved in the development of the Delta as we know it today. A cousin still has a farm on Ryer Island where we used to go pheasant and goose hunting. The other family homestead on Sherman Island where he spent summers in the 20's and 30's is long gone, there is some sort of banquet/event joint there now. And of course we've done a lot of boating throughout the Delta over the years.

Please keep this blog coming!
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:22 PM   #38
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Please bear with me as I'm continuing to have problems uploading pics from my phone. Only about 1/2 are getting through so there are more to come soon, I hope.

Day 4:

Today was a slow running and short day. I only traveled 7 NM in 1:15 moving from the north end of Steamboat Sl to the N end of Georgiana Slough. There's an anchorage just N of where I anchored last night, so I idled through there on my way out of Steamboat Sl.





After passing under the Steamboat Sl Bridge, I hung a right and proceeded a few miles south toward Walnut Grove.



I saw Scary's boat there and he caught me taking pics of Cary'd Away as I passed. We chatted briefly as I jockeyed in position next to him. We hope to rendezvous later this week.



I passed under the Walnut Grove Bridge and then opened the Georgiana Slough Bridge at Georgie's north end. Now I'm anchored about 3/4 mile into the slough in the company of a couple Manatees. I'll hang here tonight in the warm and calm conditions.



Speaking of weather, my days are running in the mid-80s to low 90s with 35-40% humidity and light to moderate winds. Right now it's 90 and calm, so I have my Breeze Booster up to grab whatever breeze I can. Tonight's low is forecast for 60*. No rain or clouds in the forecast.

Having just returned from a trip to DC, I got used to hearing the "feels like" temperature when locals discussed the weather. "Ya, it's 87 outside BUT IT FEELS LIKE 102!!" That's not something we do around here. When it's 92, we just say it's 92 because with our low humidity, it feels like 92....maybe 95 on a bad day, but not enough to complain about. That's another reason I love Northern CA!!

My decks are getting a little warm in this heat. I just shot the gray cockpit deck in the sun and got 147* with my laser pointer thermometer! This year, I added some rubber mats to the cockpit to pad the deck and cover the hot decks. So I just shot the rubber mat and it registered 157*! OK, that improvement backfired a little bit. After about 10 seconds in bare feet, I start doing the hot potato 2-step, so it's flip-flops in the sunlight this week!

I'll add more pics as the internet allows. Until then....

Cheers!
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:39 PM   #39
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Al, old videos and undated pictures won't get it. I don't believe that this is happening. You have to put up a picture of you in your Speedo with the front page of the current newspaper for confirmation. I don't believe for a minute that Meg would turn you loose on the world for two weeks totally unsupervised.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:51 PM   #40
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Al, old videos and undated pictures won't get it. I don't believe that this is happening. You have to put up a picture of you in your Speedo with the front page of the current newspaper for confirmation. I don't believe for a minute that Meg would turn you loose on the world for two weeks totally unsupervised.
Doesn't/didn't your significant other trust you having "boy" time?
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