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Old 06-14-2016, 11:45 AM   #1
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SB to SF and back

Hello all,

For our first big cruise in our trawler we are planning to head up to San Francisco from Santa Barbara. We plan to spend some time in the bay, a week or maybe 10 days depending on weather, and then spend 10-14 days enjoying the trip back down.

I'll probably do the trip up singlehanded. The family will join me somewhere up in the bay, and either we will all do the trip back or potentially just the wife and I, depending on how scheduling shakes out.

The boat is a 1979 C&L 37 Europa, which is really a 36' hull. It's a single Isuzu, but it has a "get home" engine that can drive the main prop shaft via a titanium chain.

The current plan is to head out to Cojo and wait for a good rounding window, then up to Morro Bay. We'll hopefully leave the boat in Morro Bay for a few days while my son (and maybe me if I find a crew spot somewhere) sails in the High Sierra Regatta up at Huntington Lake. After that I'm not really sure, I figure I'll let the weather decide what stops I make. Suggestions are welcome.

The three things I'd like to do in the bay is spend a few nights on the hook at Angel Island, cruise up the Napa River, and cruise to Jack London Square and have an adult beverage at the old pub there. We have friends in the east bay where we can leave the car, so we will have land transportation.

So for those Bay Area locals, if you had a few weeks to spend cruising the bay, what would you do? What "must see" things should we know about? We are a family of three with a newly minted junior high student.

Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:25 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great trip you have planned. Heading from San Diego, to the SF Bay is on my bucket list. I went to school in the Bay Area, but that was 30 years ago, so my data is old. An area you would enjoy is Sausilito, but getting a guest slip will be tough. The areas near Angels Island, TI, etc would be fun. But I will defer to current residents and cruisers to give you some good intel.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:42 PM   #3
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You owe it to yourself to make a trip up the San Juaquin river into the freshwater Delta. Great swimming and an opportunity to kill the bottom growth.
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:35 PM   #4
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Second the recommendations to spend 4-5 days (minimum) in the Delta. From Jack London Square you can make the trip in a long day. Consider anchoring at Mandeville Tip or Three River Reach and explore out from there.
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:45 PM   #5
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Maybe this will help...it's a thread summarizing the area.

CA Bay/Delta Cruising Guide
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:10 PM   #6
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A lot of the bay is very shallow, so watch for low tides. My dad ran aground several times with a 5' draft 42 footer (boating and drinking wasn't exactly frowned upon in those days). The bay can actually get pretty snotty. There's a saying among sailors "If you can learn to sail in SF Bay, you can sail anywhere."

As others mentioned, the Delta really is fun, with warm water, warm air (unlike the bay, generally) and funky places (I grew up water skiing there)

I think the main thing I'd worry about with your boat is getting into sea states that she hasn't seen. Taller waves. All of a sudden you have clogged fuel filters and aren't running anymore. Make sure you are dialed in with solving that, and bleeding the lines. If your wing engine had its own tank and filters that would provide a little more safety factor.

In my Pacific boating, we actually hooked up our get home drive in anger one time. Not because our main failed, but because we wanted to go through the exercise. It's a whole nother thing that running through this at the dock. With the boat pitching and slamming, and the sea turning the prop and thus the shaft. You have to be able to stop the shaft from turning in order to get the chain on without losing body parts.

Big waves can happen anywhere, anytime, in the Pacific.

But I'm hoping you have a "lake cruise." I have seen that too, and it's glorious indeed!
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:45 PM   #7
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Beware the bar outside the gate, be prepared for the possibility of beam waves near Richmond, and the eastern portions of San Pablo and Suisun bays can be rough particularly when current opposes wind.

Don't overlook Petaluma, but avoid low tide and time your approach for the D Street bridge where you'll need a reservation.

And there are times when everything is copacetic.



Seen at Ayala (formerly Hospital) Cove, Angel Island:

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Old 06-14-2016, 07:37 PM   #8
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I second the idea of visiting Sausalito. Shouldn't be too hard getting a guest slip at one of the marinas there.

Angel Island is always a treat! Leave your boat on an Ayala Cove mooring and take the ferry, "Angel Island" to Tiburon and marvel at the "old money".

A trip into the delta is a must. Keep us informed of your expected arrival dates. You never know where the locals will be! Good luck!

Edit: You wouldn't happen to know a sailor by the name of Francis Samson would you? He has sailed the Huntington regatta every year since they built the lake!
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:48 PM   #9
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Sausalito is a complete tourist town. Worth the visit, but Napa (wine) and Petaluma (chickens) aren't so intense but are no less interesting. Benicia (former state capitol) is also worth a visit as the old downtown (as are the three prviously-mentioned destinations) is only a couple blocks away from the dock. Pittsburg is a good place to put on fuel.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:00 PM   #10
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... Leave your boat on an Ayala Cove mooring and take the ferry, "Angel Island" to Tiburon and marvel at the "old money"! ...
Tiburon, where you must have a meal at Sam's!



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Old 06-14-2016, 08:11 PM   #11
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Now there's a couple of happy Angel Island campers at Tiburon! That reminds me, questionmark, take a jacket. Somebody once said, "the coldest winter I ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco".
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:29 PM   #12
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That was Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), not to be confused with local writer Jack London who extensively sailed SF Bay waters and a member of local yacht clubs and customer of local bars.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:55 PM   #13
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If you've a car available, "must sees" include Muir Woods and Mt. Diablo. From the mountain on a clear day, one can see for hundreds of miles. And then there are the former Nike missile sites in the Marin Headlands and the Bay Model in Sausalito. The list is endless.

Sorry, no volcanoes here.



But we've got wine.

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Old 06-15-2016, 09:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Clown One View Post
Second the recommendations to spend 4-5 days (minimum) in the Delta. From Jack London Square you can make the trip in a long day. Consider anchoring at Mandeville Tip or Three River Reach and explore out from there.

Thanks. I grew up in the Central Valley, so I had sort of dismissed the delta. A night of reading has revisited that decision, and now it's rapidly becoming a focus for the trip.

We have another dream to do the loop, so it'll be great to do something similar.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:26 PM   #15
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If you've a car available, "must sees" include Muir Woods and Mt. Diablo. From the mountain on a clear day, one can see for hundreds of miles. And then there are the former Nike missile sites in the Marin Headlands and the Bay Model in Sausalito. The list is endless.

Sorry, no volcanoes here.



But we've got wine.


Good suggestions. We love Diablo, and I'll check into Muir Woods. Our normal "base of operations" for our visits is usually in Danville, so we will most likely stash the car there. I wasn't really planning on dragging it around, it's just that my wife will be driving up to meet the boat.

Sadly, I'm a huge disappointment to my dad because I don't drink wine. It's kind of his hobby. Luckily my wife can appreciate it, so he has someone to tutor. I'm more of a beer guy, but we keep a decent wine stock for visitors.

We visited Napa for the first time on a day trip last fall, and had a great time. But I think I would be willing to sacrifice the Napa River part to make the delta portion longer.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:59 PM   #16
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New cruising guide to SF

Go to Amazon and search for San Francisco cruising guide. There is a new 2016 edition that has all the answers.
My favorites...
Overnight at Angel on those double moorings (needs at least one 200' line..maybe your second anchor rode). Go ashore and explore. The old immigration station is very moving.
For access to The city use south beach harbor. Nice marina and good location.
China camp and Paradise point for lunch. Pretty rolly overnight.
Up the alameda estuary for warmer weather. Marina Village
on the alameda side is very nice.
Definitely a week up into the delta. Watch out for thin water, and weeds that can choke your intakes. But many great old funky marinas and isolated anchorages. Very laid back and relaxed.
Overnight at anchor in clipper cove. Almost under the bay bridge and the muted traffic noise always makes me think I'm anchored just off chatterbox falls in BC...if I keep my eyes closed!
But...single handing up the coast? Do yourself a favor and get a crew. The pro delivery skippers don't even make that run alone!
Enjoy!!!
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:08 PM   #17
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Oh yes...the easy way to hit Sam's anchor cafe (tiny dock is often full) and spend the day in Tiburon.
Tie up at the docks at Angel island. Then take the little green box ferry over to Tiburon,spend as much time as you want there, then take the little ferry back to Angel. Easy Peasy, fun,and no docking hassles at Tiburon.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:27 PM   #18
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Sounds like a great trip... right time of year... that isuzu will be leisurely grinding away - perhaps one of the west coast retirees will PM you and offer to crew.

Post a pic of the boat - sounds like a great vessel.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
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We have another dream to do the loop, so it'll be great to do something similar.
You haven't done "The Loop" until you've done the Delta Loop!

Let us know when you're entering our fresh waters. Hopefully we can meet up in the sun. Don't forget your sunscreen. But don't worry....few bugs and little humidity. We might have 100* days (35% RH) but we have 70-75* nights with cooling breezes. Last year, we didn't even break 100* on a 2 week trip.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:51 AM   #20
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Depending on location and time of year, the Delta can be absolutely filled with bugs. Don't leave any openings at night unless sure there aren't bugs about. Last time had a little-green-bug invasion. They literally covered the boat. Returning home (westward on eastern Suisun Bay) fighting steep five-foot waves, the water-spray turned green as it washed off the boat.

Unfortunately, left the boat open and the green bugs invaded my boat's interior.

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