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Old 13-11-2011, 16:53   #1
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Lightbulb Sailing from Sausalito to Petaluma

My wife and I are planning to sail from Sausalito to Petaluma next week. Any tips and hints as to what to avoid or track down. I see the river depth drops to 5' in some areas.

Thank you,

Moby
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Old 14-11-2011, 14:29   #2
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Re: Sailing from Sausalito to Petaluma

I went up to the Petaluma Marina with friends a couple months ago, on their boat. We stopped at Lakeville for Pappa's Taverna. I think the reason was for "Greek Iced Tea" Check their website for special events on weekends.

The channel starts right where a tower is, I think it is a pump house. Once past China Camp, find 15 or so feet of water and continue north, you can't miss it.

Remember to stay to the outside of turns for depth, but one set of turns has markers, red, I think, in the middle, stay closer to them. With about 5' draft, on a rising tide we had no problems, except tide and wind both took us on the nose after the Lakeville stop. That last bit of river was a real slog that day.

In any case;
go up on a rising tide, I'd try to hit the channel at 2' of better, be aware there can be cross current or winds as the channel winds around, no shortcuts, stay in the middle of the channel, which is nice and wide by comparison to the San Rafael Channel I deal with.

I'd try to start the outbound about an hour before high, then you'll get some help from the ebb in SPBay.

Once out of the channel and heading SSE, I've found good results to set course towards Point San Pablo, the east bay side of the Bay, then tack back across, I end up pretty close to my home base past the Marin Islands.

Seems like we spent about two hours from the time we hit the channel to the Marina, Lakeville should be about 30 minutes from the turning basin.

Lots of good eating in Petaluma within a short walk of the turning basin, one of my favorites is Trax It is across the tracks from the turning basin, opposite downtown.
Traxx Bar & Grill

Friends of the Petaluma, Friends of the Petaluma River | Celebrate and Conserve
to get you into the proper spirit River Heritage Center Home

enjoy!
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Old 15-11-2011, 22:45   #3
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Re: Sailing from Sausalito to Petaluma

I suggest you pay extra attention from petaluma approach marker 8 to 20 at the river entrance.
That's where most people without an active chart fail to look BEHIND them
You need to stay in the channel and watch the slow curve to the left by looking behind you to stay between markers in channel.
It's 2' or less on either side in spots, at anything but high tide you can run aground very easily.

It's all soft mud and safe so you should be fine.
I found that area to be trickier for first timers than the river itself

Have fun.
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Old 16-11-2011, 06:14   #4
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Re: Sailing from Sausalito to Petaluma

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Moby.
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Old 16-11-2011, 07:54   #5
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Re: Sailing from Sausalito to Petaluma

I travel to Petaluma at least once per year, and my boat draws 7'. No problem as long as you time the tides. You clearly want to go on a rising tide.

Call ahead to arrange an opening on the D street bridge. They're very accommodating but they like to have plenty of notice.

Watch the no-wake zones on the way.
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Old 16-11-2011, 15:18   #6
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Re: Sailing from Sausalito to Petaluma

Quote:
Originally Posted by emagin View Post
I suggest you pay extra attention from petaluma approach marker 8 to 20 at the river entrance.
That's where most people without an active chart fail to look BEHIND them
You need to stay in the channel and watch the slow curve to the left by looking behind you to stay between markers in channel.
It's 2' or less on either side in spots, at anything but high tide you can run aground very easily.

It's all soft mud and safe so you should be fine.
I found that area to be trickier for first timers than the river itself

Have fun.

Thank you so much - I appreciate the info and will keep an eye behind as suggested!!
Moby
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Old 18-11-2011, 15:08   #7
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Re: Sailing from Sausalito to Petaluma

Moby, we've got a touch of rain Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock in San Rafael, the fern on the porch is once again motionless, a state it has been in far too often this year. Point Blunt is reporting 13K winds SW, so you may get some sailing in, and rain predictions seem to be a bit less than this time yesterday.

Best wishes for a successful trip, looking forward to hearing about it next week.

I'll be thinking about you while I am in the bilge running some wire for the new fresh water pump.

Mike
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