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Tales of the Delta, Part 2

Welcome to Bradford Island!

© Rob Sesar

The Delta Doo Dah X cruising rally’s last official event of the season was held on August 11 at Bradford Island. The friendly folks at Bay View Boat Club invited a small contingent of Delta Doo Dah sailors to join them for their annual big blowout BBQ bash on their rustic property along the San Joaquin River.

No shortage of water toys were in use off the dinghy docks. The swimming was great, with warm water but a strong current, so caution was needed.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Larry White is the commodore of BVBC, and he also happens a member of past and present Delta Doo Dahs with his wife Kathy aboard their O’Day 37 Namaste. The intersection of BVBC and DDDX seemed like a good fit.

There was no food shortage. Old sails were repurposed for shade over the dance floor.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"This has been the best Delta Doo Dah ever," observed Rob Sesar, a vet of several, mostly aboard his Olson 30 Mental Floss, with Roberta Manell. This year, Rob turned the Olson back into a race boat, as he bought a vintage Stockton-built Stephens motoryacht, Skål, for cruising.

Also joining the party were rookie Doo Dah’ers Kevin Clancy and Joanne Goodsell of the Sacramento-based Catalina 22 Miss Irene. They trailered the boat to Brannan Island State Recreation Area, launched there, and sailed through Three Mile Slough to Bradford Island. They said it took about an hour and a half.

The crews of Skål (left) and Miss Irene both used two-person inflatable kayaks to get between their boats and the nearby dinghy dock.

©2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Dave Cowell arrived late as he had stuck around Owl Harbor for the marina’s Dinghy Poker Run and potluck. Dave said the band at Bradford was still playing at 3 a.m. — and they had started early, before 7 p.m.! The Third Thursday Band is one of BVBC’s ‘house bands’.

Although the party went later than we did, the distance from the tule berm where the Doo Dah boats were anchored and the bandstand down behind the levee was adequate to mute the noise and allow weary sailor-dancers to catch some zzzz’s.

"Enjoy this. This is how things used to be," commented one Doo Dah sailor a tad wistfully, referring perhaps to the undeveloped island environment, or perhaps to the barefoot dancers swaying to an excellent variety of live music.

Sunrise over the San Joaquin. Skål headed out with the ebb early on Sunday morning, destined for breakfast in Pittsburg. Stink Eye, the red Laser 28 in the background, slipped out a bit later, also with the ebb, headed for an overnight in Benicia. With fore and aft anchors set in line with the current, bows pointing into the prevailing westerly breeze, the holding was good, and comfortable.

© 2018 Rob Sesar

Delta Doo Dah registration remains open through the end of August; after that we’ll collect more stories and photos from the sailors themselves and publish them in the October issue of Latitude 38. We’ll have more tales from the Delta in an upcoming ‘Lectronic as well.

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