Skip to content

Hot Times in the Delta Doo Dah

Delta water wars.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As a heat wave built at the end of last week, a small band of Delta Doo Dah boats made their way to Stockton Sailing Club, some by way of Richmond and Pittsburg Yacht Clubs. On Thursday, the Columbia 36 Miss Conduct left their dock in Oakland to take advantage of the free berth RYC offered to Doo Dah sailors that night. "We came from behind Treasure Island, where we threw a reef in," said Daniel Zempel. "We trimmed some beard off the bottom." They wouldn’t see wind like that for the rest of the week. Sailing with Dan were his wife Michelle and kids Luke, age 16, and Annalee, age 14.

Miss Conduct met up with the crews from the Olson 30 Mental Floss, arriving from Benicia, and the Laser 28 Stink Eye, which was already upriver in Owl Harbor, for dinner at Pittsburg YC on Friday night. (One other boat was expected, but it ran aground just shy of Pittsburg, and had to wait for the next high tide cycle to kedge off — at 1 a.m.!)

En route to Stockton, cruisers from Mental Floss, Stink Eye and Miss Conduct gathered at Pittsburg YC for Friday night dinner.

Stink Eye
©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In organizing this mini-cruise, we figured that Pittsburg YC would make a perfect pit stop, halfway between San Francisco Bay and Stockton. The club offers a hearty sit-down dinner for $17 on Friday nights, making it a destination in and of itself.

On Saturday morning, the sailors awoke to the smoke from distant fires, two counties and more to the north. An odd weather pattern sent the smoke our way. On a dying breeze, the attempted spinnaker run up the San Joaquin River to Stockton became futile by Mandeville, and motorsailing carried the boats the rest of the way. Miss Conduct and Mental Floss buddy-boated, Rob and Roberta from the Olson 30, having lent the family on the Columbia 36 one of their water cannons, caught Stink Eye in the resulting crossfire — a fun way to cool off in heat that was building to three figures.

The day’s destination, Stockton Sailing Club, had invited the Delta Doo Dah to join them for their Hot Summer Nights classic car show. Oldies music played from speakers on the lawn, and the club served up a simple, nostalgic supper of burgers, fries and root beer floats for $8.

Delta Doo Dah sailors Jennifer and Kerry Scott of Alafair brought a different kind of ride to Hot Summer Nights.

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

At SSC, Rob and Roberta from Mental Floss met up with their friends from Vallejo YC, Kerry and Jennifer Scott. But the Scotts didn’t arrive on their Delta Doo Dah entry, the Catalina 30 Alafair. No, they arrived in their 1966 Chevelle Malibu, an entry in the car show, which Kerry has owned for 22 years and lovingly restored. "This is the car I always wanted in high school," he said.

The Scotts’ Catalina 30 Alafair at SSC after June’s Delta Ditch Run. Alafair sailed in the Cruising Division and received a standing ovation on arrival at 9:18 p.m., the last boat to finish the windy race. "We never ran the engine," said Kerry, "but we didn’t fly a spinnaker either."

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Rounding out the Delta Doo Dah gang at SSC were David and Michelle Opheim, who came from San Rafael on their liveaboard Catalina 42 Endless Summer.

Michelle and Dave Opheim at SSC on Sunday morning.

©2015Latitude 38 Media, LLC

On Sunday, the small group departed SSC, with Miss Conduct, Stink Eye and Mental Floss all meeting up again later at Owl Harbor in Isleton, and Endless Summer bound for a week of adventures at Little Venice Island, Potato Slough, Georgiana Slough, and on up the Sacramento River.

Although last weekend’s activities marked the final official events of the 2015 Delta Doo Dah season, there’s still time to DIY. Free registration will remain open until August 28. See

Leave a Comment

While we’re still wrapping up our coverage of this July’s Transpac Race to Hawaii (be sure to read all about it in the next issue of Latitude 38, coming out on September 1), planning and prep for next July’s Pacific Cup is going full steam ahead, with 49 boats already entered.