Monday, March 27, 2017

2017-03 Down the River then over to Vallejo

Monday, March 27, 2017: Riding the Ebb Tide Downriver

For Monday's breakfast it was Della Fattoria, Petaluma's downtown bakery and cafe.  Excellent breakfast and it's busy so come early.  Later Alex's old college roommate Willie Benedetti came by for lunch, again at Sugo Trattoria.  Willie, of fame, grew up on the family ranch just outside Petaluma and, as always, he brought along a cooler of WillieBird products for the Wild Blue's stores.  During lunch Alex realized the boat would miss the 1:15PM "D" Street bridge opening.  A call to the Petaluma Public Works Department allowed us to begin our downriver cruise at at a 3:15PM opening.

Once past "D" Street and after 3 miles further, we needed the Haystack Bascule-Bridge opened as a train had passed.  The bridge tender didn't respond on VHF Channel 9, but immediately raised it after a cell phone call to his station.  Then we started moving, as our 8 knots of boat speed, 1+ knots of river flow, and the ebb tidal current combined to get our ground speed above 10 knots!  The Wild Blue was making a fast exit back to mostly salt water.  A semi-boring but short video,with a corny name, and excellent music, displays the downriver highlights.

Once back on San Pablo Bay, the afternoon westerlies kicked in with gusts over 20 knots.  The wind was from our stern, but the ebb current on the bow built up some nasty chop.  The autopilot struggled to keep a straight course and the seas pushed and overtook the stern.  We zigzagged our way along until Lone Tree Point, about two miles before the turn into Mare Island Strait, where the seas flattened.  We turned to port into the Strait and videoed our entry into the Vallejo Marina on the east side.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard was the first Navy yard on the west coast.
It was opened in 1854 and shuttered in the 1996.
Vallejo to San Francisco passenger ferry takes about an hour
in these 30-knot catamarans.
This doesn't look good for any size prop.
Northern end of the Mare Island Naval Yard
It was still quite breezy after we tied up.  We dined near the marina and hit the hay early.

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