My First Overnighter

I haven’t told you about my new anchoring setup yet. That gripping (ha, I’m so punny) tale is meant for this supposedly forthcoming “projects” post that regales you with all my upgrades/improvements/repairs on the boat. So, I guess in the spirit of fulfilling that promise I still won’t tell you about the anchoring setup yet. Still, I hope it doesn’t burst your bubble of anticipation to let on that…it works!

yup, that 45lb piece of steel did, in fact, sink

This past weekend I snuck up into the Delta with Avery and Mike C to do a little gunkholing. It was really a pretty short exploration in the end (we left a lot of Delta for the rest of you to explore) I just like to bandy the term “gunkholing” around as often as possible. For the uninitiated, you are certainly free to look it up, though I can assure you you’ll find it to mean exactly what you suspect. Sometimes language is beautiful like that.

Eastward Ho! under the Carquinez Bridge

We found a cozy little spot in a tributary nestled right up to the bank to lay down the chain. I couldn’t help but laugh ruefully that I can’t get out of the Vallejo Marina at an hour on either side of low tide without beaching on a silt bar but here with the reeds practically tickling Shearwater’s nose hairs my depth meter still read in the mid-20s (feet). Testaments, both, to Classic #Vallejoops and to amazingly torrid currents that really carve out the bottom in places.

Let those be the last bitter words (rueful laugh or no) I utter on this blog about Vallejo. Those around me know that I am a Vallejo Man through-and-through. I’ll not fall party to that fashionable pastime. For shame, Zachary.

The evening was one of swimming, struggling to haul ourselves back into the boat (thank goodness for having my trusted Surf Prescriptions board in tow that we could use as a swim platform…turns out Shearwater needs a new boat ladder solution) attempting to grill, realizing that I had somehow allowed the fuel to expire without ever having actually used the grill, pan searing a beautiful TriTip (Aves, you’re the best), and watching the sunset with beverages in hand. Mostly all without shirts on. I’ll spare you the pics of that, I only mention to corroborate the image of a balmy inland evening.

I slept up in the cockpit to ostensibly catch the sunrise, but the sun was already well up by the time I worked open my dry eyes. Sleeping in prescription contacts always sounds like a good idea at night but that truth is never born through to morning. At first I thought I had slept very late, but it was shortly after 6. After sunrise, yes, but plenty of time left for a morning dip in the refreshing, bracing, but not remotely uncomfortably cold water, a breakfast feast, and the realization that we were looking at consistent 25 knot winds and big chop coming at us from precisely the direction we wanted to go. Part of me would love to tell you that we raised sails anyway and slogged our way windward through the narrow channel, tacking like a metronome on Allegro. We did not, however. This is the reason I have a boat with an engine, I reckon.

What we did instead was motor with sails down for a good while. At long last the aspect of the waterway changed, the sun came out, the wind softened to a consistent 15, and with sails finally up, we were left with a fantastically comfortable, fast, and fun sail home. I was pretty enamored with the whole experience and proposed that I might just lose myself in the Delta waters for the next couple years but Mike C posited that I might just find Mexico and Central America even more thrilling. Huh, go figure.

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