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Old 29-05-2006, 22:32   #1
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San Francisco Bay trip to Petaluma River

I had a slow afternoon on the boat one day. I tried my hand a recreational writing for the first time. I hope you enjoy my dabbling with liturature. It made for an interesting hour on a slow day:


May 3rd Petaluma river first trip.


Vivi and I left the Emeryville Marina a little late and went up to the San Pablo Bay. I could see the channel running straight up the center of the bay. The outgoing current was roiling. I managed 18 mph in the current and 22 on the side of the channel. It was inviting to leave the channel and explore the expansive bay. Once done, my charts showed that much of the bay was 1’ of depth. Quickly, we returned to the San Pablo channel, went up and hung a left at the Petaluma river channel.

We have since learned that locals will change their scheduled departure and arrivals to coincide with the tidal direction.

The Petaluma Channel guarantees 5’ of water on low tide. On one place we found 4.6’ of water. The rest of the channel stayed around 9’ the rest of the way to the turning basin. The “river” to Petaluma takes a winding path through the meadows, dairies and vineyards. Along the way, various old boating establishments keep an assortment of ancient fishing and live aboard vessels. Rabid locals, will run to the waters edge and throw rocks at the boat if you make a wake through these establishments.

We were late, and as we passed Gilead’s marina, I heard the D street bridge operator on channel 9 asking where were we?. I told him we were late. He said he would return to the city yard and see us in ½ an hour. We were grateful for his flexibility. Upon our arrival at the D St. Bridge, the clang clang clang of bells could be heard followed by a loud “Toot” and the bridge rose. We entered the City turning basin.


The basin was lined with docks to the east and west. The basin has been in transition from an industrial barge turning basin into a fashionable water front. We saw boats on the East side. We pulled tied up next to an assortment of fishing vessels. Crusty individuals sized us up. The gang way led up to a barren industrial area. The “Yellow House” bar nearby was gearing up for an all nighter. Vivi exclaimed “Oh My” ! At this time, I called the visitor center and discovered that the West Dock, near the tiny Petaluma Yacht club was the preferred spot.

We moved the boat to the West Dock, which was right next to the stylish downtown restaurant, theater, antique store district. The downtown was fashionably rustic, but the people all were upscale San Francisco. All clothes were hand made designer stuff. All food was quite pretty and trendy. We found 12 high fashion hair salon places, run by fashionable young men named “Donovan, Trace or Maricio”. I think this is typical of “Marin County”. This is quite a departure from the city’s history of being the egg and industrial capitol of the west.

I’ve heard that in the summer months, the city requires boats to be tied shoulder to shoulder, sterns to the dock. Once full, boats will raft up in the center of the turning basin. We had the place to ourselves, with the exception of an occasional tourist or young couple down the dock.


We explored several antique stores and were surprised at the amount of old Chinese figurines, dolls and jewelry we found. We were told variously that the proprietor had bought someone’s collection. Based on the amount of this stuff, I would say the fashion crowd decided that Chinese artifacts were “out”, and were trying something new.

Later that night, Vivi and I went to Depsey’s, a bustling brew pub. Elegant couples graced the tables. The simple menu offered excellent quality meals. I found that Depsey’s Rooster ale to be a little darker than the Pelican Ales back home.

We settled back into the boat late that night. The muffled sounds of revelers in the back ground, gay city lights in the distance.

The next day greeted us with cooler, foggy weather. We felt a little sun burned and woozy from yesterday’s travels. We snuggled under the covers, letting our bodies catch up.
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Old 29-05-2006, 22:40   #2
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Great photos, Craig.

That one building with the yellow paint. Reminds me of some of the city stage props that Universal Studios, in Culver City California uses.

But that's the one thing about that part of Northern California. Is that it's pretty and green. Compared to the part of California that I was born and raised at!!


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Old 29-05-2006, 22:52   #3
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Craig, Sounds like a fun trip On your intro thread we are discussing a get together upo in the bay, or possibly Half Moon. It would be great to have another boat along for the party.
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Old 30-05-2006, 00:12   #4
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Yeah.

Now we need a month and a day set for the meet?
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Old 30-05-2006, 08:17   #5
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Hi guys:

I agree on setting a date. I'll try my best to be there. I'm trying to talk the wife into going to HMB in Sep sometime. I had a weekend picked out b/c it had good tides going and coming. Plus the winds in the ocean tend to be lighter in Sep. SF Bay would be great too. We are berthed in Berkley.
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Old 30-05-2006, 18:41   #6
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Charlie.

What's HMB?
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Old 30-05-2006, 19:49   #7
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Kevin:

Half Moom Bay
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 30-05-2006, 20:34   #8
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I see now!!

Thank you Charlie for pointing that out.
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Old 30-05-2006, 20:36   #9
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I believe September would work out for me very much.

It is also my birthday month.

I think Labor Day weekend would really work best for everybody.

How about "Labor Day" weekend anyone?

:cubalibreI'm game for that weekend!!
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Old 31-05-2006, 09:15   #10
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Raft up

About the best times I've had were on raft ups in September. We need a consensus on dates. Perhaps two boats kind find a date and the rest of us will go in search of Vacation time at work. I'm partial to a warm area.

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Old 31-05-2006, 22:02   #11
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I'm not sure that Labor Day would work for me. I'll have to check with the admiral. I was thinking laterin September mainly b/c there were good tides leaving the Bay on Friday and entering again on Sunday Afternoon. Craig if you want some place warm HMB wouldn't be such a great place as it is almost never warm there ( except by the fire at the bar and I can't go there b/c I have kids to watch). What about Angel Island? That would be a longer trip for you guys but warmer than HMB. Another good spot is South Beach Harbor. It's a Marina but is only a buck a foot a night (not sure on multihulls). Anybody else have any ideas?
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Old 31-05-2006, 22:17   #12
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Comaderie

Oh, I imagine most any of the places would be just fine. I think the Camraderie is the key. When it comes to pretty spots, Sausalito comes to mind. It would be close to the gate and fairly protected. The city, grocery , restaurants and laundry are pretty close. For raft ups, there are some nice places back in the delta, but they're some 70 miles upstream from the gate.
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Old 31-05-2006, 23:05   #13
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OTOH, In October, HMB has the Pumpkin festival, the seas are usually no too bad, and that is one of the few months where the fog is not too bad. It is free to anchor, and close enough to dinghy in. It is also not too far to walk into town.
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Old 01-06-2006, 16:26   #14
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What about both? Trip to Sausilito in September and then another to HMB in October. Sausilito is a little dodgy about bringing the dinghy in there are a few places wehre you can but they are further from town center. Anyone have dates that are good for them?
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Old 01-06-2006, 19:46   #15
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I am flexible, but the later in the year, the better as I will take all the time I can to get the tri in the water. Plan B is to sail up on Kittiwake, so either way... I am up for multiple trips. I much prefer free anchorage to moorings.
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