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.