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Old 17-07-2008, 22:28   #1
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First "cruise" in San Francisco Bay (Jack Long Update)

Okay guys, this is likely to be the first of several disjointed and poorly organized posts. Mostly because I am so excited I can barely see straight and that makes it hard to type.

Here is the outline of my situation:

Rewired the 110 system today. Yay me.
Spreader project is almost done- I painted them today and will re-install tomorrow.
Boat is "done" once the spreaders are back on and the stays retensioned.

By "done" I mean "everything attached to the sale". I have a lot to do before I head South this fall.

Now I purchased this boat out in the Delta (Pittsburg) but want/need to move it to the Peninsula for my provisioning/prep/whatever for the next couple of months. My plan is to leave early in the AM Monday (high tide looks to be around 4AM) for the 65ish nautical mile cruise to the new slip.

Now, lets forget for the moment that I barely know how to sail. I am pretty sure at this point that I could motor the whole way without sinking anything. If I can get some sailing in- bonus!

My problem is that I am still at the "can leave the harbor, go in some circles, and make my way back" class of navigators. So between now and Monday I need to acquire charts (all I have is the goofy Fish-n-Map Co. thing from Walmart (that was on the boat when I got it) for the Delta.

At one point I thought I found free charts of US waters from the Coast Guard but I couldn't figure out how to view/read the files. Not sure if that was a dead end or not.

I've got a handheld GPS.

As a non-Captain I know the bay fairly well and risk of hitting a submerged rock notwithstanding am confident that in the daylight I could dead reckon my way to where I need to go... I am thinking I should anchor sometime Monday so I am not adding "sailing in the dark" to my list of questionably wise activities... I guess I need to learn how to anchor then... Maybe I can tie off to a buoy? Is that allowed?

Okay, stop laughing!

And begin productive advice.... NOW!

Or now.

Whatever, I am easy.


"It is never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot
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Old 17-07-2008, 23:14   #2
Kai Nui

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JDL welcome aboard. We bought Sundari in Pitsburg a few years back. Nice marina, and the yacht club knows how to party, but mostly power boat people.
You will learn allot from sailing the bay, Plan your trip carefully through San Pablo (AKA All Day Bay). When we came down, we planned to avoid the flood tide that can hit 5 kts, but what we missed was the 35kt westerly that was pushing allot harder than the engine. We short tacked that 17 miserable miles, and as soon as we got to our harbor, we gave away our charts for it. (Actually my wife did). I am under strict orders never to sail that bay again
One other point about All Day Bay. If you get an ebb tide, a westerly wind, and shallow channel, you get a very wet and bumpy ride.
We sailed early Sept. At night, the wind usually goes calm. That might be your best bet. The channel is well marked, and at night, a little less barge traffic. (The tugs like to play chicken with the sail boats. Or, at least they did with us.)
If you go during the day, make sure you are prepared to motor sail. You will need to do this or you will never get past the carquinez bridge if you have a westerly.
The channel is narrow, and the depth drops dramatically when you get out of the main channel.
It has been a few years, and I have only sailed that area about half a dozen times, so some of the locals might be able to tell you more.

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Old 18-07-2008, 04:09   #3
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Hello, Jack.

Congratulations on getting your boat ready to sail! You might want to look at this NOAA site for planning your trip. It combines satellite photos and nautical charts.


And, no, you can't (legally)tie up to navigational buoys. Make sure you have good ground tackle. It's the most important gear on your boat! Good luck!
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Old 18-07-2008, 05:11   #4
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Kai- I am more than ready to motor the whole way if need be! None of the bridges from Pittsburg to San Pablo are of the variable height variety are they? What are those called? Drawbridges? That is what is on castles right? It seems like there should be another name... I hear you on the traffic but I think, given my experience level, I am going to stick to daylight. At least then I will get the option of being the chicken! What marina were you at? The place I am seems to get a lot of vandalism and the toilet has been clogged by what looks to be the same... mess... for over a week.

Hud- That site is awesome and just what I was looking for! The rope on the anchor seems a little sketchy but I don't really know what to compare it to- and it did not seem as long as I would have expected... I will look into this tomorrow or the next day.

Thank you and keep 'em coming guys!
"It is never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot
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san francisco, sf bay

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