Friday, December 28, 2012

Asparagus Festival

Caliente cruisers,

Reserved berthing at the 2013 Stockton Asparagus Festival is very hard to come by.  Caliente Y.C. reserved 15 spaces for the 2013 festival while we were at the 2012 festival.  If we don’t pay for these berths by February, we will lose them, and we sure don’t want to do that.
That is why we are asking you to send in your $60 cruise fee now. Your check will not be deposited until February 1st.  Please read the attached cruise flyer and send in your check ASAP.  Cruise spaces will be reserved until the cruise is full,based on the date payments are received. If we don’t have all spaces pre-paid by January 31st, we will have to give up any unpaid spaces. Last year, we were totally booked up, so respond early and guarantee your spot on this cruise.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter, and your prompt response.Again, please read the attached flyer for further details.
Curt & Marsha Hayes

Monday, December 17, 2012

Letter to Bill Wells, of the Yachtsman

Letter to Bill Wells of Yachtsman Magazine
Summarizing our Success in 2012
December 16, 2012

Dear Bill,
I thought I'd write to report on the status of Caliente Isle Yacht Club in the year since we left our clubhouse on Taylor Slough, Bethel Island.  You remember that complications of many kinds drove the CIYC membership to leave our clubhouse of 50 years and  chose to become a cruising club. All members of have left that harbor and it is nearly empty.  We are now completing the first year of this change in operations and I must say it has gone well.  We began 2012 with a January Commodore's Ball in Pittsburg.  The club then attended the Bethel Island Crab Feed where we held down tables of our own.  February saw the club cruising to Tower Park to join Marina West YC in a winter event.  In succeeding events, we had up to 20 CIYC boats cruising into the Stockton Asparagus Festival  and a fantastic Memorial Day weekend at Willow Berm.  Our cruisers were at several venues on the water over the long July 4th holiday. In August we held our annual Poker Run and Go Fast Cruise in speedboats.  On Labor Day weekend we had a terrific time at Commodore Island (across from King Island Resort) complete with a long, narrated jungle cruise of gangs of members floating on air mattresses, swans, etc. while holding on to a long rope.  We also anchored out at Mildred Island twice and in October we did a week long "up river" cruise to Old Sacramento with several  stops along the way. 

So you can see that CIYC remains as active as ever,  but now in its cruising mode. Our membership has remained strong and we are pleased to have two new members already as 2013 begins.  Of course, CIYC looks for others who seek active cruising to very cool places with a club that has  a 50 year history on the Delta.  The cruising calendar is nearly full of monthly events for the new year and we would like to share our good times with others.  Folks can check us out at

I hope to see you on the water or at some event in 2013 to further reminisce about historic boats of the Bay and Delta.

Ted Lyman
Past Commodore 2003

Friday, December 14, 2012

Boat Talk

Back when I was Editor of the Islander, I often thought about writing about boats.  So now that I am free of other jobs, I am going to try to do that in our Blog.  David Oates

DIY AIS part 1

A while back, I got a deal (?) on an AIS, Class B, transceiver.  The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is only a couple of years old and provides an on-screen identification of (mainly) commercial vessels in your area.  I’ll save the full description for another time.  Anyway, I purchased the AIS unit and found that it was just a transceiver and GPS.  There is no screen or antenna.  Because I didn’t want to clutter up my chartplotter or RADAR screens, I purchased a separate “chartplotter” screen. 

Next, I noticed that I could share one of my VHF radio antennas with the AIS, and an antenna splitter was cheaper, and easier to install, than an additional antenna.  I purchased an antenna splitter and found that it also put out a signal for an AM/FM radio.  Not bad, I don’t have such an antenna!  I’ll say a little more on the AM/FM system later.

Okay, I have an AIS transceiver, which is a black box with four electrical connectors, a screen with all sorts of capabilities I probably won’t use, and an antenna splitter which must be installed in series with my VHF antenna cable.

The AIS must be installed in a location “with an unobstructed view of the sky” -- because it contains its own GPS -- and it may not be too close to any source of magnetic flux or devices that may be disturbed by magnetism.  I am working on my flybridge deck, so that put the AIS up in the air (on a post) above and to starboard of my existing chartplotter (a location which also keeps it away from my compass).

The chartplotter screen (AISWatchMate by Vesper Marine) comes with its own bail to mount it on a horizontal surface; however, it may be mounted into a panel (and comes with a template and gasket).   I like the idea of panel mount, so I started planning for one.

Now, it turns out that all three of these pieces, AIS, antenna splitter and the screen, have LED indicators or, in the case of the screen, an obvious need to be observed.   On the AIS, that is a problem because the LEDs are on what will be the top – remember the “unobstructed view of the sky” – and above my line of sight.  (Maybe a mirror…)  The splitter can be mounted in the panel, below the screen.

I purchased four 90° antenna connectors, one for the AIS unit and three for the splitter.  I also purchased one 90° BNC connector to connect the splitter to the AM/FM cable.  These will allow me to mount the splitter in the panel with cables exiting down through the flybridge dash top.

I try to do projects like this using items and material that I have in my storage; my supply of available materials.  Some time ago I inadvertently disposed of my lifetime collection of switches.  I don’t know what happened, but they are gone.  They have not turned up in several years, so I gave up and in this case I purchased five switches.  I’ll spare you the details.  I did, however, have four fuse holders, a terminal strip and material to form part of a console and the AIS post.

The post is made of 1 ½ inch square aluminum tube welded to a plate at a predetermined angle.  I cut two pieces of aluminum with a preformed, 90°, angle such that they are mirror images and butted them together to form the uprights or sides of the console. See the photo for clarification.  These two sides are cut at an angle so that the top of the console is about 2 ½ inches and the panel will be angled back for better viewing.

The plan is to mount the AIS on top of the post and route the antenna, control, NMEA2000 and NMEA0183 cables through the square tube, down to and through the front of the dashboard and back up into the console which is also on the dashboard.  The antenna cable and controls from the AIS, the AM/FM cable, the power source and the cables from my port VHF antenna will enter and/or exit the console from the bottom.  There will be LEDs to indicate the position of the switches, also housed in the console.

This is an on-going, low priority project and I need to use my milling machine and lathe to form some of the parts.  Those tools are now located a couple of hundred miles from my home so I have to schedule a trip for that part of the job.  That puts it near Christmas when I will be going up there anyway.  So, the next installment will be in January.  Take a look at the picture of some of the pieces I am using.  That’s it for now.  If you desire to contact me, you may find my address in the CIYC Directory or email me at  DMO.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Eight Bells ...

Leonard Reed recently passed away.  The information was passed along by his widow, Minerva, but without many details. Leonard and Minerva were longtime members of CIYC.  They joined the club in 1976 and remained pretty active members until 2010 when age kept them from making the trek to the clubhouse. They lived on Bethel Island's Taylor Road, just three houses toward town from Caliente Harbor. Their last boat, Minerva IV, was a 29' Sea Ray that remained at their dock for many years without apparent use.  That this boat was the "IVth" tells the story of where boating fit into Leonard and Minverva's lives. Longer term members might remember the Reeds trudging over the bridge on party weekends  after cocktails with Joe and Helen Higgins. They were always in high form even before a couple of nips at the club bar. The Reeds and Higgins' were long time buddy boaters in the Delta and RVers on trips to the southwest desert and Mexico. That the Higgins are in their mid-90s (and still CIYC Lifetime Members), gives us an idea of Leonard and Minerva's ages, not otherwise known for sure. 

Joe and Helen would love to hear from our older members with whom they socialized.  You can call them at 510-582-4097 to say hi.
Ted Lyman