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Old 20-10-2015, 00:16   #1
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California Delta in the Winter

Have you cruised, been at anchor in the Delta in the winter months? If so, where and when and what was it like?
Wind, water and air temp details are much appreciated.

There may be an opportunity to take the boat up for three months, December- Feb.

I've cruised the Delta, for a month, during the Summer. On the hook most of the time, marinas the other. I love the delta, I didn't want to leave! Whenever full-time cruising arrives and assuming the take off pt is from here, I totally expect to take 3-6 months cruising the delta beforehand. If you are in the bay, or going to be passing through - Go! How many places can you cruise in that have a lot of anchorages, fresh warm water for swimming/fishing, in the country/farmland and are just miles away from the bay/ocean?

Ideally, I'd anchor out 5 days then top off water/provisioning for two days in a marina. Slip it during storms too. Is this an unwise idea with ellis nino?

If its too hairy for me, do you know of a low cost marina for 1-3 months? I'm looking for the cruiser rate, not liveaboard rate.

Thanks everyone,
Cher

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Old 20-10-2015, 16:16   #2
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Those are likely to be three cold, rainy, windy months you have chosen. Far different than the warmer months. You might hit a day here and there of the magic you remember, but mostly I fear you will be miserable.


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Old 20-10-2015, 16:17   #3
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Your assessment of the place otherwise is spot on perfect.


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Old 20-10-2015, 16:51   #4
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Fog and then more fog. Get a good heater and it could be nice.
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Old 20-10-2015, 16:56   #5
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

35 years ago, I use to winter my 55' commercial boat in the delta. Sometimes Sacramento. One time Bethel Island at a private dock. My wife and I lived aboard. Usually by March I could start paint and other maintenance for the coming season. One winter we had 3 weeks of 70° days, but I wouldn't count on it. Each winter I built a 35'+ salmon boat outside for extra money. The weather was good enough for that. Generally you get strong SW winds when a storm goes thru. Then the wind turns around and comes from the north and is quite a bit colder. Water runs about 50°F until the snow run off. With high pressure Sacramento and Stockton you can get weeks of low fog with day temps just above freezing and nights below. Suisun Bay is about the dividing line for sun/fog. It blows out with a storm. With El Nino coming you should get more than average rain and warmer temps.
I didn't anchor often, except coming and going from the sea once a year. There are many marinas and I remember them being mostly empty in the winter, but that was 35 years ago.
Coast Pilot 7, chapter 7 has lots of info about the area. It can be downloaded here: Nautical Charts & Pubs
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Old 21-10-2015, 14:12   #6
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Thanks grasslands, guy and Lepke.
With El Nino I would think it won't be as chilly as it would be normally.
Anyone on here liveaboard there now?

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Old 21-10-2015, 14:13   #7
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Excuse me, gaspass.

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Old 21-10-2015, 20:19   #8
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Cherise,

SailorChic34 lives aboard all year round in the Delta on her boat. Maybe send her a PM?

Ann
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Old 21-10-2015, 21:40   #9
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

+1 on what Ann T. Cate said. That, & I put up a post, inquiring about the Delta, about a year ago, & recieved LOADS of info & feedback. Including a link to an official site for planning one's trip on the Delta, etc.
Here's the link to it Help: San Francisco + Sacramento River Delta area Info Needed
Also, one of the oft repeated tips, was to make sure that you have good towing coverage, as running aground is common. But that aside, it sounded like a nice place.
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Old 21-10-2015, 23:38   #10
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Cherise,

SailorChic34 lives aboard all year round in the Delta on her boat. Maybe send her a PM?

Ann
Oh I only spend the summer months in the delta. Well may ish, till September/ October. It gets cold at night in the delta in winter. I think in winter, a dock sure makes it easier to stay warm with an electric heater. It's Cold at anchor in 35 degree weather. I've decided that I'm getting to old to freeze my butt off in winter. So I'm finding a slip for rainy season.

As with all things it's getting harder to live at anchor in the delta. You generally have to move about a bit. Salono county cops are telling folks 4 days only in one spot. Even though another part of the county code allows 30 days for liveaboards. Contra costa has the same codes. Sacramento is 15 days without a permit.

Of course enforcement varies, a bit. The Salono boys are a bit gung-ho at the moment.

Though there are some nice protected spots here and there and it's totally lovely in the fall.

Really October is the perfect month for anchoring in the delta. Not too hot, not too cold. Alas, Rainly season begins next Tuesday night.
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Old 22-10-2015, 00:44   #11
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Quote:
Alas, Rainly season begins next Tuesday night.
I know rainy times can be yucky living aboard, but I hope you're rightl that some good rain comes soon to Northern Calif. Light, gentle rain, and a lot of it, over time. healing for the land and good for the farmers.

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Old 13-11-2015, 07:09   #12
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I know rainy times can be yucky living aboard, but I hope you're rightl that some good rain comes soon to Northern Calif. Light, gentle rain, and a lot of it, over time. healing for the land and good for the farmers.

Ann
As an old Chico boy, I would have to say that everyone's comments about the winter in the Delta (not to mention the Central Valley northward to Redding) are on target.

If I remember correctly, the climate actually moderates up around Sacramento, with much less fog and somewhat less chill, though the rain persists.

Also, there used to be places to "park" all the way to Knight's Landing, though I am not sure what kind of draft your vessel would need to safely navigate that far up river.

Just my vague memories, which, I hope are, at least somewhat helpful.

If you folks get too chilly, consider a January vacation w. me and the wife in the Philippines. See our post in the "Crew Wanted" section for more : )

Regards to all, and thanks for your gracious and excellent advise in the past.

G2L
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Old 14-11-2015, 13:44   #13
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Hi G2L,

What a nice reply, thank you.
Deep draft, 7.5'. With the drought its shallower than ever too. However, going up to Sacramento is a good idea.

Thanks for the crew offer. Sounds like a fun trip.
What do you and your wife think of that kidnapping? Any idea if they are closer to release?

Thanks again, C

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Old 14-11-2015, 14:31   #14
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

In the early '60s I was a teenager that worked on tugs. We delivered fuel barges as far upriver as Colusa. The pipelines ended most if not all barge traffic that kept the channel open. I don't think they dredge any more. A result of the hydraulic mining of the gold rush days is silt still coming down from the mountains. I don't think there is water for a 7.5' draft above Sacramento. There may be sand bars in the lower river, too. 1980 was the last time I was as far as Sacramento. I remember running into 6' depths in the winter. The charts are only a rough guide.
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Old 14-11-2015, 14:55   #15
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Re: California Delta in the Winter

Regardless of el Nino or not, FOG, sometime heavy and LONG lasting develops in the Delta and all up & down the Central Valley. This fog is not due to weather but the difference in temperatures between the land and air above it. If it's ONLY a mere 50 feet deep (of high) you're still not gonna see anything off your bow. It's called TULE fog. Every year, like clockwork, there is a 487 car pileup on I5, somewhere along its length. Harold Gilliam discusses tule fog in his excellent book Weather of The Bay Area (Univ. of Cal. Press) and may be included in Kimball Livington's Sailing The Bay. It can sometimes last for weeks. On light east winds it reaches all the way to and into The Bay through San Pablo Bay.

That said, I'm planning to go up after New Years.
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