In the summer of 2009, the crews of 30 or so Bay Area boats joined in the inaugural Delta Doo Dah, a laid-back Bay-to-Delta ‘rally’ we dreamed up over a bottle of champagne at the company Christmas party. The idea was to get folks sailing in their own backyard, and it worked better than we’d hoped.
The next three Doo Dahs grew in size and scope, taking participants to a variety of destinations in every corner of the Delta. More than 100 boats and upward of 300 sailors have enjoyed escaping San Francisco Bay’s bitterly cold summer winds for some delightfully warm downwind sailing up-Delta.
The one downside about the event that always bothered us was that we were forced to limit the fleet to 50 boats. While the Delta itself might be large, its marinas and anchorages aren’t. Every year, our waiting list grew and grew with folks wanting to join in the fun, yet we had to turn them away.
So this year, as we do every year, we’re playing fast and loose with the structure of the event. Instead of restricting the entry list to just 50 boats and telling them when they have to leave, anyone can join and they can go whenever they want. There will be no formal itinerary, no limit on fleet size and, best of all, no entry fee!
We’ve dubbed this year’s event the Delta Doo Dah DIY, and we’ll have more details as the year progresses, but we can share that we’re planning a Kick-Off/Meet & Greet Party for May and a Reunion Party in the fall. Officially, the window of opportunity for enjoying the sizzling pleasures of the Delta will be May 24-September 9, but if you’re off by a few days — or even a few weeks — we won’t mind. So long as everyone has a fantastic time, it’s all good. We plan to collect your photos and stories for a feature in the October issue of Latitude 38, and our deadline for contributions will be September 9.
Registration for the event, which will get you listed on the website and eligible for discounts from Delta businesses, will start April 8 around noon and will end on August 30. Official swag will also be available for purchase. The Doo Dah forum will be the go-to spot for anyone seeking info on all things Delta, from anchoring tips to hot fishing holes to the best restaurants. It’s also a great place to coordinate with friends — and future friends — to cruise upriver in company.