Cruising Through the Delta, on Land
What do you do when the summer is almost over, and you still haven’t got your sailboat ready to the point at which you can get off the dock and go sailing up the Delta? We’re sure we’re not the only sailors who have had to deal with this, but back in March, when the Delta Doo Dah registrations opened, we thought, “Of course we’ll be ready. Let’s do it!” April, May and June went by, as did July, August, and now September. And while we’re closer to completion than we were, we’re still landbound for now. So on Sunday we decided that by hook or by crook, we were heading up the Delta.
One of the first things we noticed, apart from the hazy sky — presumably from wildfires — was the warmth. Despite the Bay Area’s promising summer-style temperatures right now, it was nice to get out of the cooler air and feel the sun’s heat on our bodies. Next, the landscapes quickly flattened out and broadened to present acres upon acres of fields of corn, grapes, fruit trees, and cows. And then came the waterways.
After turning off Highway 4 and onto 160, we encountered our first bridge, the likes of which we hadn’t seen since motorcycling through Alaska. After crossing through Sherman Island we were treated to views of the Sacramento River as we continued north(-ish).
Our first stop was in Rio Vista. We found our way to the waterfront, where we found a picturesque view of the river from the western side.
Just up the road is the Delta Marina. While in this particular marina sailboats were outnumbered by powerboats, we still found it to be a quaint and rather relaxing location.
Our next stop was Owl Harbor, a marina that has been on our ‘must-visit’ list for some time. And we were not disappointed. The first thing we noticed when we stepped out of the car was the silence, and the birds.
Owl Harbor also stocks Latitude 38 magazine.
The Delta’s waterways are also a place where, as locals put it, sailboats come to die. We saw dozens of seemingly abandoned boats, sail and power, and it again raises the question: Why?
Overall we found the Delta to be a peaceful, relaxing and very attractive region. The miles upon miles of waterways upon which to sail or motor along gently were appealing. And just when we thought we’d seen the the last of the sailboats, suddenly there were more.
Although we experienced on only a small part of the Delta region, if we achieved nothing else, our explorations have spurred us on to finish the work on our own boat, so we too can enjoy the lazy life of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.
Great article, Monica! A trip up the delta and nothing broke!
Thanks Rich. We consider ourselves pretty lucky 🙂
Most Wednesdays there are a number of sailboats that launch at the Delta Marina. You don’t see them at the marina because they are all on trailers. Most of the sailors are Potter Yachters. We have at least 7 West Wight Potters in Rio Vista.
Ah, we’ll have to head up on a Wednesday next time!