Makin’ our way to Old Sac

Our next day headed toward Old Sac, we catch a nice current and we are going 9 knots!  Highly unusual, since our usual rate is about 7.5.  That means the current is pushing us about 1.5 knots faster than usual, whoo-hoo!  At this rate we’ll be there in no time!  And by that I mean before dark, most likely, probably.

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Chuck is laying in the sun on the dashboard in his widdle bed, not quite as skittish today.

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We are seeing hardly any other boats on the water – its like a ghost town around here.  After about 4 hours, we finally see a lone kayaker.  I wave enthusiastically, he’s like, don’t interrupt my stroke, lady, but he waves anyway…

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It is so beautiful in this neck of the woods, er, delta.  The levees, or dykes?, are lovely, not just piled up rocks with some random vegetation like in our area.

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This looks practically abandoned but it has indoor storage for boats, there’s an elevator for putting boats on trailers and hauling them into the building

Random thought, what is the difference between a levee and a dyke…gonna look that up right now…please hold…OK, the two words are interchangeable, they have different provenances.  Levee came to New Orleans when the French created levees there and Americans adopted the word.  The word ‘dyke’ probably came from the Netherlands, although there was a word ‘dic’ in England and perhaps…nevermind…too much about that, right?

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So much debris in the river can cause a lot of damage if you aren’t careful, as attested to by this mangled ladder!

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For most houses you can only see the top story or maybe just the roof, but this one is on its own wide peninsula.

Rick and I are talking and I hear a funny sound, cocking my head I realize someone is honking at us…eek…we’re hydroplaning right though a marina!  There wasn’t a sign but common sense tells us to slow down, even land lubbers know that.  And, we were going all of 7 knots, which is a horrible 8.6 knots!  We immediately slow down.  Oh, there’s a sign, at the other end of the harbor.

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Another sunken boat – we saw 3 of them on this trip.

We have taken down the bimini and the mast so that we can slip under most bridges without asking them to raise for us.  Nervously we (OK, I’m the only nervous one) motor up to one of them.  Many of the bridges have a sign showing the current height of the bridge above the water, but some of those signs are missing.  We also use a Delta Boating website that provides info on bridges, height and high and low water, who to call, hours of operation.  It isn’t always perfect information (for instance, it doesn’t let us know that one of the bridges is virtually-permanently closed for repairs – and the operator, why bother having an operator, anyway!, says in a snarky manner that we should have looked at the Coast Guard’s weekly newsletter for updated info on bridges, hazards and navigation info.  Well, yes, now we know).  The Delta Boating website shows a bridge as having 3 more feet of clearance that is actual, so we are REALLY glad we took down the bimini and mast.

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There’s someone in there at the ready to lift the bridge when necessary.

 

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It looks like we could step off the boat onto the bridge!

 

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Starting to lose our light

Its starting to get to be dusk and we are almost there…almost there, almost there and THERE it is!  What a pretty sight the Tower Bridge is all light up.

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No trouble tying up to the dock, there aren’t numbers for spaces or anything, so we figure we’re to snug up to the boat in front of us to make room for whoever comes in later.  The next morning we’re asked to snug up even more because a large houseboat will be coming in.

As soon as we are tied up and woman in a fancy black cape-coat comes up and says Nice Boat, then starts to attack us for rocketing through her marina down the river.  Yikes, sure we should have slowed down earlier but we didn’t ignore the horn and we aren’t a wake boat, for heavens sake.  But, we hadn’t been paying attention so we let her have her say, apologized profusely and let her feel superior.  On our way back to Discovery Bay, I tried to figure out which boat is hers.  There’s a derelict houseboat and a sharp-looking catamaran.  Hmmm, which one do you think?

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I took this pic to show the big tugboat behind the little one.  Does this wake look bad?  I can’t recall the specific location and speed of this area.  This might be the one where we were, ahem, irresponsible.

 

After settling down the boat, we wander through Old Sac to find a place for dinner.  Yum, Round Table…

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Back in the water!

The outside of the boat is DONE – sanded, primered, caulked, refinished, painted.  The mast is back on with a fresh coat of paint, too.

We are ready to put ‘er back in the water.

Launching has to be timed perfectly.  There are 4 important factors to consider:

  1. Schedule at Rick’s work
  2. Schedule at the Napa marina
  3. Schedule of the tides
  4. Schedule of the wife, me

Rick needed to plan the boat launch so that he could move WITH the tide, not against it—primarily because the outboard motor is wimpy with a capital W.  No sense in making the trip harder, right?

The Marina’s launch truck had to be available, Rick had to plan his work schedule about 2 weeks ahead so he could be off work AND I needed to drive him up there and then pick him up after docking at the Fortman Marina on Alameda Island.

Putting the boat back in the water is a simple process.  The specialized trailer slips between the dry dock supports.

The trailer slips right into place.

The trailer slips right into place.

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The rig.   Oooh, look at our paint job!

Then the trailer’s supports lift the boat from the spindly ground supports.  The package then maneuvers around and backs onto and down the ramp.

Backing down...

Backing down…

Slowly being lowered into the water...

Slowly being lowered into the water…

She's floating!

She’s floating!

...empty slip...

…empty slip…

We get the boat gassed up at the Napa marina’s floating gas station and I wave to him as he motors down the river.  Bye, Rick!  See you in Alameda.  😉