I got back in this morning but spent the better part of the day working with the marine surveyor going over Magewind for the insurance company. There were a couple things that he found. He didn't like any of the life jackets that I had and there were a couple hoses that he wanted two hose clamps on instead of one. He didn't find the real important thing as far as I am concerned. I have two deck leaks that real bug me and I have to fix before the rains start. Most of the time was going over the equipment that is onboard. This one was the first that ever had me turn on all of the systems so he could see if they worked. I thought that was pretty good.
The trip to the delta was very good. I managed to hit the current just right, max flood was at 10 am, though only 3 knots. When the boat only goes 6 knots, that extra 50% is very nice. Hans and Theresa with their friend Hans got away from Richmond at about the same time and we met up with each other at the Brother's Light House. All of this and up to Carquinez Strait was motoring where we arrived at lunch time. Theresa anchored behind the fuel dock and I tied up along side.
After lunch there was a little wind and still a little current. It was interesting to sail under the new suspension bridge that is being built. They are in the process of spinning the two main cables. We sailed past the sugar factory, the town of Benica, the mothball fleet and into Suisun slough where we anchored for the night. Theresa again dropped the anchored and I rafted up along side. There were cocktails then dinner and we talked into the night.
The current departed early the next morning and so did we. About 7 am Theresa had the anchor up and we had everything tied down for the trip back out the straits. There is rarely any wind in the morning so this part and the passage to the mouth of the Petaluma River was also done with the motor. We did stop at the same lunch stop as on the way in. From the river mouth we sailed up the river for about an hour or so and dropped anchor in a larger bend for the night. I like this river very much. It follows between two ridges with river grass along the banks and vineyards behind that, with the brown hills in the back ground. The one very striking thing that did catch my eye was in the morning, we had another early departure, there was a fog up high that made the light very grey. The river was glass reflecting the blank sky perfectly. There were flocks of seagulls traveling in large "V"s in the sky, and in the water, separated only by the thin strip of green and brown of the horizon. Very stunning. The fog, though not that thick, gave a moist sensation on my face. There was an opening on the water but only about twenty or thirty feet high making it very easy to see the banks and Hans and Theresa's boat Stella Mare. But the camera at the top of the mast could barely see Stella Mare which was only five or six boat lengths away.
Just a year ago when I did a similar trip up this channel with Hans, only his second I believe with his then new boat, he was very nervous. But after a four thousand mile trip to Mexico. . . . I made him lead us out of the Petaluma river. A passage that is a little anticlimactic now.
This time we stopped at China Camp for lunch. It has been a long time since I had stopped there. It is always between the place I am going. Too soon to stop on most trips. This time it worked out perfect to wait the change of the tide and for the wind to pick up for a sail home. After lunch, I said good by to everyone, they went back to Richmond and I toward Sausalito. As I entered into Raccoon Straits, I decided to just anchor off Angle Island for the night not having to meet the surveyor until mid morning the next day.
I had a very peaceful evening watching the last of the sail boats file by on their way back to their docks for the work week. I had a nice dinner of bread, cheese and grapes and watched the sun set behind the hills of Sausalito as a thin wisp of fog frosted the top and dissipating before it was able to come down the other side and cover the town. The sky remained clear all night and before I retreated below into to furnace heated cabin of Magewind, I watch the first stars show themselves.
The first two anchorages were completely glass. Raccoon Straits has a lot of current action. There are many different sounds, the anchor chain on the bottom, the waves lapping on the shore and the gentle rocking of the boat to the small waves that are created by the current as it flows through the strait, first the ebb then the flood.
Even at dawn it was still clear and I watch the windows of the houses on hills turn red with the glow of the sun which was behind the island and I could not see. An hour later after breakfast, the fog had come is so thick I could not see the shore from where I was anchored. I puled up the anchor, cleaned it, and felt my way back to my slip.
It is already time to plan the next trip for this weekend. There were so many different changes this last weekend, it made the usual look different and beautiful.