Monday, October 17, 2016

2016 / 32dn Annual Down Bay Cruise

32nd Annual Down Bay Cruise:
Notes on a Great Time Had by All

Our intrepid Caliente Cruisers have only recently returned from this traditional outing, getting back into our slips on Sunday, October 9th.  The fleet was a bit smaller than usual this year, with a couple of boats dropping out shortly before departure as life interrupted plans as it sometimes happens. But in the end, five boats made the trek. Joining in the fun beside ourselves were the Curtis-Browns on Dream Catcher, the Ritters on Sue ZQ, Joel Panzer with Linda and a couple of relatives on Happy Pappy, and, of course, Vern and Caro Green on Southern Bell -- participating in their 32nd consecutive Down Bay cruise!  Over the 10-day voyage, most of the boats had family and friends join in along the way meaning that there were plenty of folks on the docks for the many walks, bike rides, hors d'oeuvres, BS sessions and the like.  CIYCers Jack and Rosalie Di Bartolo joined us a couple of times along the way.

No need to go into the daily agenda, but there were a number of very cool sights along the way and visits to interesting spots, seemingly most of them eating establishments. I ease my belt as I write this.

While at Alameda’s Encinal Yacht Club (2 days), we bumped into that club’s annual Oktoberfest event. Lots of German food offered for pretty much small change.  Then there was the beer.  You could buy tickets in increments that went into large change.  The following day we all Ubered or taxied off to spend the day on the nearby U.S.S. Hornet. This ship has a history which took the entire day to soak in and walk through.  Adding to the nautical collection, the ship has a growing number of privately-owned,  restored, vintage aircraft from the era.

While in San Francisco’s South Beach Harbor (2 days), we bumped into the San Francisco Giants as they played a one-game, do or die game against  the Mets, the other wild card challenger for a chance at the World Series. They won and we were 100 yards away at the South Beach Yacht Club, watching TV and listening to the crowd’s frenzied craziness.  Earlier, we were watching other, truly crazed fans in the water behind right field chasing baseballs with fishing nets while paddling kayaks.

While in Richmond’s Marina Bay marina, we made our way to the 2-year old Rosie the Riveter Museum.  It brought back memories for all of us and the role our parents played in WW II, especially of the work of America’s women in the shipyards. It’s a great story, one well-told at this museum. While at the museum, Colette Curtis-Brown emailed her father, a shipyard worker (as was mine and JoAnne’s) telling him about the collection we were viewing. He immediately emailed back his memories of selling newspapers the day the war ended. “Women were screaming and crying to get a newspaper to read," he wrote, going on to say that "most of their husbands were military and overseas.” That meaningful image of women starved for some kind of really good news after years of war is not hard to visualize.  

One of the continuing stories of the Delta shortly before the our departure was the sinking and recovery of the old, 88’ tour boat Spirit of Sacramento. This thing was a wreck before it became a wreck, bought by some hapless soul for $1,000 at auction a couple of weeks before. Several CIYCers heading around Franks Tract the day we returned from Commodore Island came across the hulk, on its side, sunk in False River. When back in our slip, we could see the recovery effort clearly as it wasn’t more than a quarter of mile away from Willowest Harbor. The day before we left for down bay, a huge crane on a barge arrived all the way from Seattle, along with helicopters and TV crews.  It settled in right over what was left of the Spirit and was soon lifting the upside down wreck, tipping it over to rest on its bottom.  Then the slow lift, so slow that you couldn’t see movement at all.  Yet, by the next  morning the Spirit had risen and there it was, on the surface with water pouring out of every orifice. This is not a sight any boater wants to see, even if its owner is a slacker still missing from the scene.

Later that day while we were all on the deck of the Benicia Yacht Club, here comes downstream  the crane on its barge--but no Spirit.  The following day, as we approached Richmond’s Brothers Lighthouse, there it was in front of us having moved in the middle of night.  Pushed by a tug, it was making its way to Sausalito to meet its final demise at the docks of the Army Corps of Engineers.  The pictures of the Spirit and everything else of this cruise will soon be at the photo tab of  Take a look!

Hope to see you all at the General Meeting and BBQ fest at the Rusty Porthole October 22nd.

Ted Lyman

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Update on 'Adventure'

Adventure has an Adventure

Most of you know that David and Helen Oates have moved from San Jose to Oak Harbor in Washington’s Puget Sound. If you were at Commodore Island a couple of weeks ago, you may have heard of a blue water trip being discussed on Adventure by a handful of CIYCers. That voyage ended, happily, yesterday.

The original idea proposed by David was a delivery of Adventure from Antioch to Oak Harbor for permanent berthing. That trip would have taken a couple of weeks and we would have departed on September 13th. Plans changed a bit but the idea held firm of an ocean voyage of some duration held firm. Captain Oates assembled his original crew and a few days ago we headed off-shore for a five day, round trip excursion on the Pacific instead of the longer voyage.

Jack DiBartolo, Diane Shoff and yours truly joined David for the trip. Helen, perhaps thinking the worse, headed for Fresno or some valley town far from deep water. We left from Antioch on Monday, 9/12, and headed for SF’s South Beach Harbor where David had reserved a slip. The trip was eventful as the daily log said something like “gitt’en wet on the enclosed fly bridge!!!” Strong winds, unusually out of the southwest at 25 mph, had stirred up the seas for the entire trip. We were happy to get in the lee of Angel Island and then on over to the city- front where things were a bit more calm. The log entries for this segment were little more than scrawls as the boat was pitching every which way. But once tied up, all was well.

We departed the next day for Bodega Bay as planned -- even after Jack admitted that he had brought a banana on board! Mariners have known for centuries that bananas are bad luck on a boat (something immortalized by Harry Belafonte in his song “Day O” remembered the Captain.) Fortunately, we got out the Golden Gate in near perfect conditions and around Point Bonita without sinking. The first whale sighting was a humpback’s huge tail rising directly ahead of us before diving out of our way. Jack’s banana faux pas could have caused us to hit the beast but somehow the whale (and Adventure) survived the close call. Whales were sighted several times along the 47 miles to Bodega Harbor where we settled in early in the PM.

Bodega Bay is a quaint, fishing-oriented harbor. There were fisher people all over the docks doing what fisher people do, working on their gear, telling stories and drinking beer. They were a friendly bunch with one guy taking our lines as we entered the slip, seemingly worried that his dirty hands would mar Adventure’s pretty blue dock lines.

It wasn’t long before Jack and Diane were posting on Facebook with pictures of menacing looking birds hovering and diving all around. Diane brought up an interview with Alfred Hitchcock about the filming of The Birds. Jack then posted that there "seemed to be some kind of commotion in town" adding in a segment of the movie with birds attacking everything in sight. Great fun!

We had dinner in a little place that was to close at 5 PM, one of two near-by restaurants closing that early. We got in just as the dinner rush started. It turns out that fisher people eat early, very early. We figured that they do so because they wake up early to go fishing. Not so. The next morning broke with the finest weather imaginable. How many of the large fishing fleet went out? Maybe two.
This was to be our lay day in Bodega Bay and it was very relaxing. We walked the docks and chatted up the fisher people. It seems that fishing wasn’t all that great. One guy said he brought in 900 pounds of salmon the day before. That’s a lot of fish in my book. Why were all these fishing boats sitting at the dock?

Our Thursday return trip was to depart at 9 AM, which we did quite promptly. Heading out the long channel, we heard an unwelcome engine noise. Thinking the worst because of Jack’s banana, we turned back and got on the dock for a look see. Sure enough, a bolt had broken off on the port engine causing the belts to loosen—squealing, no tachometer, no juice from the alternator. This was not repairable unless we had the right replacement bolt and the tools to get the broken bolt out. What to do? With Jack’s curse upon us we needed to deal with this thing and get back home without more mayhem.

I found a bit of wood in the bilge (no comments here) and we managed to MacGyver a repair that took us all the way home. Jack redeemed himself on the return by scoring reservations at the glitzy Corinthian Yacht Club -- no charge, terrific showers, pass card to the bar and their daily hors d'oeuvres gig.) We were very happy to be in such a fine place until we saw that David’s drink cost $16 (an apparently very rare Scotch.) We could have bought several bottles of what the rest of us were drinking but sitting out on that deck, watching the sun set to the west, the full moon rise to the east and the city lights coming up, we were happy.

Dinner was in Tiburon at a couple of food trucks stationed at the downtown Farmer’s Market. No doubt because it was Tiburon, and a few yards from the courtly Corinthian Yacht Club, one food truck was selling Maine Lobster dishes and the other Moroccan falafels (you can’t make this stuff up.) Wallets and energy drained, we headed back to the boat and further gazing at the remarkable nighttime view.

The trip back to Antioch was uneventful. For you gear heads and navigators, we put 16 hours on Adventure’s engines, traveled 220 miles through the water and burned 223 gallons of fuel. It was a fine trip. David and Helen are now thinking through the options as they live in Puget Sound and the boat is still in Antioch. Their crew on this adventure hope that they keep the boat, enjoy it this Fall and next Spring from a distance and consider again the boat’s delivery to Oak Harbor. We would all be up for the trip.

Ted Lyman

From the Fleet Captain

Another summer boating season has come and gone with a spectacular event for Caliente Isle Yacht Club on Labor Day weekend. While CIYC doesn’t stop cruising just because it is fall or winter, one of or our last big events for the year was held at Commodore’s Island. We were hosted by Curt and Marsha Hayes and former members Dave and Sherry Peck, both members of Cruiser Haven Yacht Club. Kim Sechler did a wonderful job at coordinating the entertainment and such for the long weekend. Christine Christopher hosted a Sangria appetizer afternoon while Chip Maguire and Michael Christopher hosted a cold cut lunch. We had a full dock with maximum participation for CIYC and Cruiser Haven boaters. Each night, Curt and Dave fired up the coals for a BYOM and side dish pot luck. Needless to say, we never had enough to eat. 

Michael Christopher organized a Bocce Ball competition which lasted two days. After all was said and done, Michael Christopher and his partner Chip Maguire took home the prize money obtained from the $5 entry fee. There were two movie nights with the big screen tv on Delta Moon (thanks Gary and Janice Page) with many of us huddled on the dock with chairs and blankets. Bernie Billen was instrumental in providing the movie goers with popcorn. The ‘swimming pool’ was opened each day after a safety check of each boats’ power by our resident expert on Electric Shock Drowning, Curt Hayes. Sunday our 6th or 7th annual Jungle Cruise was held and 13 of our heartiest and fearless members braved the indigenous peoples of the delta along with the many critters known to habit this area of the state by riding their floaties in the cool waters. Thanks to Bernie, Chip, our commentator, and Phil Calderoni for accompanying me on the tow boat and great thanks to those little inflatables used for safety piloted by Dave Peck, Dave Oates, Mark Sechler, Mike Daniels and anyone else I may have neglected to mention. The Jungle Cruise always is a highlight of the Labor Day weekend and it takes a village to git r dun! 

Kim and Mark Sechler had the ship’s store on display available with CIYC items to purchase. Kim did a wonderful job with a game of treasure hunt which ended up with a ride on the ducky for the tie breaker. We were all treated to a special hula dance by the Ritter guys sister, Nancy accompanied by Phyllis Ritter. The Panzers dropped by with little Amelia who stole the show and Don and Erlynn Payne also came by for a visit.  Many of us met our newest members Jon Jamieson and Karin Vogel for the first time. It was nice to see them mixing and many of us getting to know them better. And, did I mention, they have MY BOAT! At least the one I have always wanted. Alas.

Next up is our annual Downbay Cruise. This year we are doing the trip backwards, if you will, from almost every other year ending up in Petaluma Turning Basin. All members are encouraged to come by land yacht and join in the fun at any time during the 10 day cruise. Give Ted and Jo Anne a call if you are coming by. In October we have our General meeting cruise out to Rusty Porthole, more on this later. It’s been a great cruising season and we aren’t done yet!

Diane Shoff CIYC Fleet Captain

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Feet Captain Report - August 2016

Two very successful events were held in the month of August for the members and guests of Caliente Isle Yacht Club. First up, The Maguires, the Christophers, and Sechlers hosted the now becoming annual Surf and Turf cruise. 11 boats rafted up out at Mildred Island and from what I hear a great time was had by all. 

The 16th Annual Glen Scrimger Memorial GoFast cruise was held on August 20th. This cruise was the brain child of Past Commodore Glen Scrimger who decided that since many members had slow cruisers and also faster smaller boats, it would be fun to incorporate a poker run with a faster cruise. Judy Scrimger, Past Commodore and Lifetime member, rode with Michael Christopher and Chip Maguire on Michael’s gofast boat. There were 6 boats and 24 participants for this annual event. The weather couldn’t have been any nicer with a cool breeze and low (in the mid 80s) temperatures. We started the trip at our favorite Rusty Porthole at 10am.  Next we cruised on over to an old stop which we haven’t visited for some time, Heidi’s Outrigger Marina. While the docks at Heidi’s weren’t in the greatest shape, we had a very warm welcome from the bartenders at this establishment. And yes, the gnarly old sturgeon is still on the wall. From there we cruised to the Sacramento River off of 3 mile slough, only to turn around and high tail it back to the safety of the slough due to rough conditions. No real surprise there. Our next stop would be the Spindrift Restaurant for lunch. While the service was slow the food was good and we all had a leisurely lunch, with beverages, of course. I even had a double Shirley Temple! Our last stop was Sugar Barge Bar and Restaurant where we all collectively decided to end the adventure and see what kind of poker cards we had all drawn. Rosalie DiBartolo took second place  with 3 Jacks (no pun intended), and Mae Gerencher guest of Bill Eck won first prize with a straight. For second place Rosalie received a bottle on Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mae collected the fifty fifty pool of $60. The remainder went to CIYC’s treasury. 

Thanks to Ted, Joanne, and Jody Lyman for leading the way during this adventure. A few of us had an awfully hard time keeping up with Green Hornet in the chop and we were saying bad things about Ted only to find out the driver had been Jody ‘Leadfoot’ Lyman. No one got lost and we all had a great time. If you have never joined us for this annual event, you might think about putting it on your calendar for next year. Even if you don’t personally have a gofast boat, there are always empty seats aboard other member’s vessels.

Next up, is our annual Labor Day Cruise to Commodore’s Island for the long weekend. This event will be hosted by committee this year with participation by several members of CIYC. There are plenty of fun things planned. I hope to see you all there. 

Diane Shoff   CIYC Fleet Captain