Wednesday, September 01, 2010
We Loved Petaluma!
My best bud Tex and I headed up the Petaluma River on Sunday for a three day sojourn. We had an very nice early morning sail up the central bay in about 12 knots of wind. I prepared some coffee and scrambled eggs as we went under the Richmond Bridge and Tex took the helm. We pass the two small islands called The Sisters and decided to stop for a swim at McNears Beach. Found a rocky beach and took Kona in for a rest stop. Back onboard we headed for the river entrance. There is a long string of nav markers that guide you into the river mouth. At this point we are motor sailing with just the main up. We enter the river and have a nice cruise with the wind mostly on our nose. Once on the river, its a 10 mile ride through vineyards and farms. There is plenty of depth all the way up and we had no problems. We arrived at the draw bridge at the appointed time of 4:30. You must call Public Works 4 days in advance to have the draw bridge raised on a weekend. It leads right into the turning basin in the heart of downtown. We tied up and almost had the dock to ourselves. We had a fun dinner with a friends sister and her family at Dempsey's which is right on the basin. 6 year old Emma loved the boat. The next morning we took a walking tour of the town. We found a nice book store and the market to restock our ice supply. After lunch, we headed off on our bikes to Lagunitas Brewery for a tour and tasting. About a 3 mile ride, the day was perfect. We arrived and were told the next tour was in an hour. Contemplating our next move, I noticed something on my tires. 30-40 white thorns were in my front tire and it was flat. Same with my back tire. I look at the other bike and the same thing! 4 flat tires. We tried to get somebody to take us back to the basin but no luck. Finally we decided on a cab. Back at the boat, we get the tube repair kit out and start fixing the tubes. We soon run out of patches and decide to buy 4 new tubes. Bummer. Once we are cleaned up and the bikes are back in order, we prepare the boat and food for the arrival of our old friend Denise. She brings another friend and we sit down for stories and a Chinese chicken salad. I had put on a red check table cloth and candles and the boat had a nice glow to it. Some folks from another boat came over and we had some more stories below. Fun night! We are up early the next morning to meet the bridge tender at 8am. Without a hitch, the bridge goes up and we head back down river to the bay. We realize quickly that our water tank is empty. There are a bunch of dishes from last nights party that need to be cleaned. I get creative and rig up the sun shower above the sink. Works like a charm. More eggs and coffee and it's another beautiful day with temps in the low 70's. The river is empty as we make our way down. Back on the bay, we head over to the sandy side of McNear's. Kona and I swim in for a romp in the sand. Warm and lovely! Back at the boat, I dive down to see how close the keel is to the bay bottom. The depth gauge says 6'6". I dive down and its more like 6' or less. Time to recalibrate the depth meter. We have a most excellent sail in the San Pablo Bay with winds in the 12 knot range. Finally make it under the Richmond and soon we are flying in 25 knot winds across the slot. Small jib and main up we are doing 8 knots to finish the trip to Emeryville. What a nice welcome home. We clean up the boat and by 8:30pm we are headed home. It was another outstanding adventure up another storied waterway on the bay!!