Sunday, June 26, 2016

FLEET CAPTAIN’S REPORT Memorial Day 2016


Caliente Isle Yacht Club cruised over to the Stockton Yacht Club for the hot Memorial Day Weekend. A total of nine boats and some 22 people enjoyed the festivities and the wonderful food of our gracious hosts. The food was excellent and worthy of a premier delta yacht club. Most of us were snugged up to the dock by 2pm on Friday, which made it an easy cruise out to manage. The power is never an issue at SYC and our air conditioners kept our boats cool for the duration of the warm weekend.
Saturday morning was reserved for our horseshoe tournament. It was a pleasant morning, not too hot, to have our contest with a light breeze thrown in to cool down the contestants. It went relatively fast and was completed with Mike Daniels and Jack DiBartolo being crowned as the 2016 Champions. Ted Lyman and I came in second. SYC set up plenty of tables and umbrellas in a nicely cooled area which caught the afternoon breeze. Several people played Mexican Train to while away the time between the pot luck lunch and the big party Saturday night. Almost everyone took part in the game which was introduced at Rusty Porthole, Left, Right, Center. Betty Griffith came out the big winner and took home the pot of lotto tickets. SYC had a great dinner and a fantastic band performed for all our enjoyment. I was pleasantly surprised at the volume of the band. It was loud enough to be appreciated, yet low enough for conversation. Many of our members enjoyed dancing until late in the evening. SYC had the TV tuned to the ‘big game’, game 6 of the Warriors quest for victory, and thanks to Vern Green, who went and changed to his “warriors t-shirt”, the Warriors went on to win in spectacular come back fashion.
Sunday morning came around earlier than some of us wanted, but we all enjoyed the wonderful breakfast served by Stockton YC’s own Giuseppe. Kind of a gruff old guy but a great cook! After breakfast, most everyone participated in a Bocce Ball tournament. It was warmer on Sunday, but the courts were shaded and we ended up using both courts to speed things up. Six teams fought it out in a double elimination format which carried over after the pot luck lunch. George and Carolyn Overturf took the winners bracket, and once again, Mike Daniels and Jack DiBartolo were right in the thick of things winning the losers bracket.  It was mutually decided to call it a day as some people wanted to go swim and others to play more dominoes. So I am officially calling the Bocce Ball tournament a tie. Several people ended up putting on their swim suits and blowing up their floating toys to enjoy the cool waters of our delta. One boat took a number of people out to the main channel to swim around to cool off on Sunday afternoon. Some felt it a little too ‘cool’. Once again Stockton YC had a good dinner for us to enjoy and, of course, the bar was open for our patronage.
Monday morning SYC served us all a final farewell meal and most of us got our boats ready to return to our home ports in an effort to beat the heat. Stockton Yacht Club’s Tiki Luau Memorial Weekend was a great success and well worth attending.  I must say I have never seen so many colorful shirts, blouses, dresses, and shorts as I saw this past weekend. Thanks goes out to Kim and Rob Scott for initially organizing the weekend and a very special thank you to Bernie Billen for stepping in to keep the weekend flowing with games and setting up for our pot luck events. Next up, is a party at Judy Scrimger’s house on June 12th. It should be a great time.
Diane Shoff
2016 CIYC Fleet Captain


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

“Lose It or Lose It” Cruise Tests Caliente Cruisers

The forecast was for mostly steady rain but the cruise was billed as “rain or shine” so it was a “go.” It didn’t shine. Instead, we had three days of everything from broken clouds to heavy rain and occasional wind probably in the 15-18 mph range, maybe gusting up to 25 at times.  Except for the higher winds, it was pretty much what everybody expected so there were few, if any, complaints.  
 
Half of the fleet arrived at Moore’s Riverboat on Friday with skippers having to deal with reasonably heavy rain and a pretty stiff wind. Included were Happy Clown, Adventure, Dream Catcher, Knot Too Fancy and Delta Moon. The other half, all from the Discovery Bay area, arrived on Saturday to showers and wind at 15 mph across the end of the docks.  Here we saw Tranquil Beauty, Hurricane II, Aria and a new couple’s boat with Kristy and Dwayne on board.  These two were terrific folks who really enjoyed themselves, as did all the CIYCers on the docks by Saturday noon. Several couples drove in to join the fun.  In all, 9 boats and 26 people participated. Only three boats decided to not join in after first rsvp’ing. The name of the owner of one of the boats, a recent Past Commodore, need not be mentioned.  To be fair, Chip and Jackie, quite reasonably, thought it unwise to take their new boat out for its shakedown cruise on what was sure to be a challenging weekend.  See www.ciyc.org photo album to enjoy our weekend fun vicariously.  
 
We had an outdoor area for ourselves when the hords came out on Saturday afternoon.  It was warm enough to be out on a nicely sheltered deck just off the restaurant and we ate, drank our fill and caught up with stories of past cruise outs and CIYC parties. As usual we also caught up on recent family changes (Joel Panzer’s son, Adam, and wife Alexis are about to present Pappy with a second grandchild and Rob and Kim Scott have a new dog.)  All this was going on while we watched all kinds of tournament bass boats screaming back and forth doing what that bunch does for fun -- on this day freezing their baits off and clearly not catching fish in that weather All the fun in that area on that day was being had by Caliente’s Cruisers. 
 
We did share some stories about what failed on this Use It or Lose It Cruise. I reported one windshield wiper going south as we were headed east on Friday morning. The best story of failure due to lack of use, however, was told by David Oates (yes both he and Helen travelled all the way from their new home at Oak Harbor, WA for this cruise.)  David told me that his failure was centered between his ears.  Apparently, he couldn’t remember exactly the various gauges, controls, switches, and the like at the flybridge helm.  It was a good refresher for this captain who hadn’t been at the wheel since last September. 
 
On Friday night, two of the five drive-in couples ( DiBartolo’s and Griffith’s), had to climb over a wobbly rail to get from the docks to the restaurant after an unusually high tide flooded the only walkway. On Saturday night Rosalie managed to lose a very nice diamond ring off very wet fingers, only to find it in the morning lying on the dock (which had plenty of holes in it) just outside Adventure, where they spent the night. Lucky girl!  On Saturday night, Membership Director Bernie Billen surprised the group at dinner when she showed off a perfect sample of her proposed 50th Anniversary Caliente Isle Yacht Club burgee. She will present the idea of this burgee to the Board soon and I expect you will be able to order this very cool-looking burgee, sure to be a collector item, shortly. 
 
CIYC has now boldly launched into 2016 with a fine Commodore’s Ball in January and joined Discovery Bay for a Valentine’s Dance in February. With this Use It or Lose It cruise and our upcoming event--keep your eye out for cruise details regarding our next cruise out to Delta Yacht Club on April 1-3—we will have had four events essentially before spring sprongs  It has been a fast and full start to what will prove to be an excellent cruising year. Hope to see all of you on the water! 
 
  Ted Lyman 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Long Range Forecast Nails It -- Summer Time in the Middle of Winter!


February 16, 2016 

Several weeks ago I glanced at the long-range weather forecasts. Looking a month or so out, I saw a weather window of sun and warmth.  Remembering that the boat hadn’t been out of its slip since November, I targeted the good looking weekend of February 12-15 to get on the water, taking advantage of the President’s Day holiday. We got to the boat on Friday, quickly washed off the worst of it and took off for Benicia.  In short, the weather was terrific!  Bright sun, warm days, and no wind.  The evenings were almost balmy.   

I thought of this as a “Use It or Lose It” cruise knowing that boats can get a bit weird when not used. Happy Clown has lots of ”systems” --propulsion, generation, electrical, water, dinghy launch, anchoring, communication, navigation and no doubt some others that I can’t think of.  The idea was to run everything—to see if everything works. I started in the engine room, just checking things out. First problem I came up was with the lighting—one light fixture didn’t come on. I gave it a wack and all was well (first entry on the “to do in the spring list.)  All the fluids checked out ok. I took up a couple of turns on the packing glands and got that small leak addressed, now one drip per 20-30 seconds just like it should be.  Then I noticed dampness at the shaft log.  This may be semi-bad news but can wait till the next haul out (this became the first entry on that list.) Everything else down there checked out ok. 

We left on an out-going tide. On the long stretch after Pittsburg, I started going through more of the systems. Nav lights ok, horns ok, loud hailer, not. I spun the knob and got the fog horn going but got nothing but loud clicks instead of my voice out of the external speaker. Since I’ve never used this thing in the 25 years we’ve owned the boat, I put this on to the “to be done sometime” list.  We arrived at the Benicia Marina, knowing that Vallejo YC had cruised in before us, and were assigned to an empty slip out in the boonies so we launched the dinghy (all that rigging checked ok.)   The boat needed pumping which took a long time (air shrinks in the cold weather, I know, so no air leaks to put on a list.)   

We headed for the bar and were greeted by Bob and Phyllis Ritter (Bill Ritter and Sue keep their boat in Benicia and all the Ritter Crittters use it often.)  Headed back to the boat in the dark and wished that I had more than a flashlight (note to self—create a bungied-on dinghy nav light rig like Curt Hayes’.)  Dinner on board was quite good since the stove worked as it should.  Read my book to fall asleep happy that the overhead light worked, as do all the others on the boat--one needing a soft wack to light up now and then (no need for a fix-it note, just the occasional  heavy touch.) 
Saturday saw the temperature hit 78 degrees.  The various fans in the cabin all seemed to work as built. It was a lazy day with Bill Ritter and Sue dropping by for a beer (Bill) and hours of talk about all of the cars we once owned and the problems they gave us.  After the Ritter's departed, we dinghied around the harbor, me checking out each boat in way too much detail (said Jo Anne) and then headed out into the Carquinez Strait where there was no wind! Unheard of! Hardly a ripple on the water. 

Joel and Colette Curtis-Brown came by on Sunday to spend some time with us in town. That time consisted of first sitting at a bar and then at a sidewalk table watching the Valentine’s Day crowd line up for seating at Sailor Jack’s, the restaurant name of the aforementioned bar.  We caught up on all that has happened since the Down Bay Cruise and laughed again at the memory of Colette running over a seagull off the Berkeley Marina, sucking it into her Wave Runner’s intake and Joel having to pull feathers while hauled up on the Treasure Island’s Clipper Cove beach the following day.  As we were leaving, we bumped into a couple we know from our Berkeley days (he said he recognized my sharp profile, noting my nose; nice touch.)  More fun back at the boat.  

On Monday we expected to see Glenn and Marsha Peck-Fine for lunch but Marsha called to say that Glenn injured his back the day before roto-tilling or doing some kind of yard work. They missed a day of near 80 degree weather, still no wind. We took off in the afternoon for Pittsburg YC and a night on their guest docks. With no traffic on the VHF, I called on Ch 68 for a radio check, heard back from a woozy sounding guy who said his name was Seal (you can’t make this stuff up) and satisfied myself that that important system was working. I tried the loud hailer again and this time it worked.  Now I have something that works well but won’t be used for the next 25 years (fingers crossed.) We filled up with $2.69/gallon diesel, contacted Phil and Sue Calderoni (they live about a spit away) and hit the bar for happy hour. Lots of catch up on the Discovery Bay Valentine’s Day dance the night before well-attended we heard by some very well-attired CIYCers.  Phil mentioned a relatively new brew pub (EJ Phair Brewing) in town and we took off for dinner (and beer.)  It was a great day! 

Tuesday morning broke with a heavy tule fog which we waited out till departing for our Bethel Island berth. All in all, it was a great weekend and all the systems basically worked just fine. Stay tuned for an update on the next “Use It or Lose It” cruise which is generally planned for a March 9-15 window, where the long range forecast says we will be in another summer period in the middle of our El Nino winter.  

Ted Lyman 

Obviously retired....usually looking for stuff to do