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Old 08-22-2016, 04:42 PM   #81
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City: California Delta and SF Bay
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Old 08-22-2016, 04:57 PM   #82
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City: California Delta and SF Bay
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I stayed in the Secret Cove for 9 of my 16 nights. While I was there, my dinghy was deployed and available. I used it each night for a sunset cruise around the island and local 'neighborhood'. Each night was a quiet time to count my blessings and survey my surroundings. They usually just lasted 10-15 minutes and served as an after dinner cool-down cruise.

Saturday night, Vern left his Jetski with me as he returned home single engine with the plan to return Sunday AM to retrieve it. He told me to take her for a spin, so my Saturday sunset cruise was more fun than most others! I backed off the throttle when the speedo hit 50 MPH. Vern assures me it would have hit 54! I couldn't resist a victory lap around the cove while no one else was there. Just as I completed it, Bob returned with his family from their tube rides. That was fun!!

During this whole trip, there hasn't been a cloud in the sky. On Sunday, my last night in the Cove, I was blessed with a tremendous sunset that the camera just can't capture. I put the shot up anyway so you can enjoy part of the experience. Of course, I have to throw in a couple gratuitous FlyWright photos while I'm at it...

The stern shot shows my revised prototype cockpit cover. I'll discuss it in a later post about significant improvements that made a difference on this trip, but here's a shot anyway. It's a reverse sliding cover - the frame is stationary and the shade fabric slides aft to open access to the flybridge. This position also promotes ventilation and limits 'station wagon effect' while underway. When it's secured on the fwd edge, it looks like any other cockpit shade. Note the lack of vertical supports which allows for unimpeded fishing.
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:30 PM   #83
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City: California Delta and SF Bay
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Sunday started with a post-coffee Jetski ride around the island to give Bob's 12 yr old son, Liam, a ride. It was wet and cool, but we had fun! Then, Bob assisted me as I dropped Vern's ski off at Tower Park. Bob also had Vern's stern anchor that he retrieved upon Vern's departure. When we returned, Scary (Steve Cary) showed up on a jet ski and visited for a couple hours. During that time, Bob pulled anchor and headed for home.

I had been contemplating leaving my boat in the Delta so Giggitoni (Ray) and I could pick up in a couple of weeks when he gets off his current job site. I already had a slip arranged at Tower Park (Thanks, Janice!!) and took FlyWright into it to verify she'd fit. For a number of reasons, I have decided that I'd take my boat home to her slip in Vallejo (about 7 hrs run time) over Monday and Tuesday. I can restock the IPA, water and food there and have my car for ease of travel. Then, when we decide when we're able to make the next delta trip, I'll be ready and we can travel together as buddy boats. Also, I learned I have a family member with health issues so if I need to travel or postpone boating plans, it's easier with the boat in her home slip.

So today is Day 15 (of 14) and I'm anchored back in a new spot in Montezuma Slough. I headed out of the Cove this morning at the crack of nine. I knew the winds would be kicking up in the afternoon and the tide currents were most favorable from 0900-1300. By the time I reached the San Joaquin River, the sheep were already showing with steep 2-3 ft wind waves against the ebb tide.

I got a little bit of spray on the windshield, but the boat handled it all as if it was nothing. I had initially been planning to turn up 3-mile Slough, passing Brannan Island State Park and then Decker Island on the Sacramento River...both good anchorages in the SW wind. If all was going well, I could continue to my planned destination of Montezuma Slough where there are plenty of wind breaks.

I changed plans as I approached 3-mile Sl in favor of staying on the main river to Antioch to grab a few gallons of their 'cheap' diesel at $2.85/gallon. Then I took Broad Slough up past Chain Island and ducked into Monte just as the winds were peaking at 30K! Just in time!

Now I'm sitting on anchor on a N-S leg with terrific wind protection to my west from a long line of trees. The bottom pic shows the localized wind protection I'm getting from the tree line. I had 2 ft wind waves passing about 20-30 ft behind the transom but nothing in my current position. My weather station tells me it's blowing about 6-10K out there. No worries! I've got my line in the water waiting for the trip's first sturgeon to join me.

Tomorrow morning, I'll run the remainder of Monte Sl, exiting into Suisun Bay NE of the Mothball Fleet (MBF). Once past there, I'll pass under the Benicia/680 bridge, through Carquinez Strait, hang a stbd at Mare Island Causeway/Napa River mouth and it's a short 20 minute ride home.

I have an opportunity to time it tomorrow so I can ride a significant tide through C Strait on the tail end of the ebb. There's a delay in the currents through the narrows on the ebb so when San Pablo Bay turns to a flood, the flood continues up Mare Isl/Napa R. The delayed ebb in C Strait allows me to benefit from both as I surf my way home.

Today I surfed pretty well. Day 15 totals:

31NM in 3.8 hrs. Yes....that's right...an average speed of over 8.1 Kts out of this pig! And that includes a 5 minute bridge delay and a fuel stop.

Don't know if I mentioned this, but I love my boat!!
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:31 AM   #84
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Good Job!

Al,
Glad you had a good trip. You packed a lot into 14 days. Like the shade improvements you made and the understated red brothel lights.....

Cheers,
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:51 AM   #85
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Love, love, love the picture with Yogi. You two make a great looking couple.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:31 PM   #86
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Looks like an awesome trip! Nothing better than puttering around the CA Delta.
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:34 PM   #87
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I made the trip to Vallejo Marina on Tuesday (Day 16 of 14), surfing my way into the slip. Like Day 15, I covered 31NM in 3.8 hrs. I got about a 2.5 kt push through Carquinez Strait and another push of 0.8 kt up the Mare Island Causeway. It was a wet ride through Suisun Bay and the westerly stretch of C Str with winds gusting to the mid-20s opposite a strong ebb tide. I saw consistent 3 footers with an occasional 4 footer thrown in for fun. Got my anchor washed well with spray on one of those.

As I approached the Vallejo marina, I saw a couple of interesting boats sitting there. The Spirit of Sacramento paddle wheel boat is of the same name as the boat owned by John Wayne and featured in the movie, Blood Alley. Here's the story of the original Spirit of Sacramento, but the first paragraph of FINAL WORDS discusses what I believe is this vessel.

Near the fuel dock is a river boat that reminds me of Swampu's vessel. She has real character!

I arrived at my slip around 1315 and arrived home by 1730. As I drove home, I sensed a bit of jaw pain, but didn't think much of it. By the next morning, I had notable tooth pain on a back molar that grew through the day into full blown mind-numbing pain. The only way for me to control it was to immediately drink ice water. That would calm the pain within 2 seconds and last for about 2 minutes. The dentist couldn't fit me in until the next morning, so it was a loooong night of drinking ice water every 2 minutes. I was so glad this didn't occur on the boat in the middle of the Delta! By 0900, I was feeling no pain after a few shots. A few hours later, my root canal was done. Whew!!!

My final numbers for the trip:

153 NM, 21:29 hours underway, 7 anchorages, 16 days, 9 nights in Secret Cove.

I feel like this trip was the first real-world trial of all the new systems upgrades on FlyWright over the past 9 years. They all came together and functioned as I had planned. Electrical upgrades, Honda generator, Battery SOC meter, fresh water system, holding and FW tank monitors, anchoring/windlass/ground tackle, raw water washdowns (fore and aft), navigation, lighting, sanitation, Nova Kool refrigeration, cockpit cover, solar lights, weather station, ER cameras and temp monitoring, dink/motor/dink net, cockpit deck mats, sunscreens and windshield heat screens, Breeze Booster and 12V fans, galley systems...everything worked as planned and allowed me to live unplugged for 2 weeks with just a courtesy pumpout on Day 11 for the aromatic benefit of my friends. After refilling water on Day 11 when I was still indicating 1/2, I returned home with more than 3/4 water and didn't skimp on cleaning or daily showers. I went through 18 gallons of bottled drinking water for coffee, ice tea and tooth brushing.

I carried a great quantity and variety of IPAs for this trip. I did not run out! All were winners, IMO. Here's the variety I had onboard:

Lagunitas IPA
Sierra Nevada (SN) Pale Ale
SN 11.5* Plato
SN IPA Hop Hunter
SN Nooner
SN Hoppy Lager
SN Summerfest
Hop Valley Citrus Mistress
Bear Republic Pace Car Racer

My Huck Finn adventure is now in the books. I'm looking forward to more of the same in the near future!
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:13 PM   #88
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Al, is the current Spirit of Sacramento a pseudo-paddle-wheeler with propellers for propulsion? ... I remember taking a dinner cruise out of St. Louis and was highly disappointed the supposed paddle-powered boat was a fake.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:21 PM   #89
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Dunno, Mark. I just drove by it and snapped that shot out the stbd door at 8.3K.

I've felt the same disappointment on a similar vessel. It had twin screws and a fake free wheeling 'paddlewheel'.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:45 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
My Huck Finn adventure is now in the books. I'm looking forward to more of the same in the near future!
Wonderful trip and a very thorough shakedown! (I'm envious as hell!)
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Old 09-05-2016, 01:04 PM   #91
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From today's news, the sinking of Spirit of Sacramento (pic in Post #87).

Spirit Of Sacramento Sinks In Delta Near Antioch « CBS Sacramento

http://www.kcra.com/news/87foot-padd...ounty/41512488

I heard a USCG Mariner's Advisory on the VHF that a safety zone had been established on False River between Fisherman's Cut and Frank's Tract. That must be where she capsized overnight. No injuries among the two onboard who got ashore via dinghy.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:26 PM   #92
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Sister ship

Al,
Walking down my dock toward my boat this weekend I had to do a double take. I thought maybe you had decided to extend this cruise a bit. Similar vintage and color scheme I think but different name and hailing port.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:58 PM   #93
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Holy crap, Bill!! That guy's got incredible taste in boats! I'd love to meet him and shake his hand.

Maybe a parallel universe...hmmmmmm...
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