DELTA DOO DAH 9 I
Lucky Mud — Pearson 323 John Speck, San Francisco I own a 1978 Pearson 323 that's about as distant from a racing boat as you can get. I made the Delta Ditch Run with a tool-filled V-berth and a mainsail that only stays in its track due to a large amount of duct tape on the track latch. About the only thing I did was make sure to have the hull scraped of all the yucky stuff a couple days before the race. I was very excited when I read about the cruising division; that's what made me decide to put in the effort. After having a new baby a year ago, I hadn't been able to do much sailing. My wife and daughter declined the trip, but I was blessed that my wife understood it was a chance to do something I'd never done before. My Pearson is very difficult to sail singlehanded, however. The mainsail is raised at the mast. There's no autopilot or windvane. Even adjusting the mainsheet (attached to a jammed-up traveler) and jib sheets can't be done from behind the wheel. I talked one of my friends into it who had previously daysailed with me Page 86 •
• October, 2017
a dozen or so times. My crewman, Chris, and I set sail out from the Pier 39 Marina Friday afternoon to head up to Richmond to stay at the Brickyard Cove Marina. Once we got there, we managed to make our docking attempt look about as graceful as a sumo wrestler. The wind was up and our slip was about three inches wider than Lucky Mud's beam. I noticed there was a lot of water in the bilge. Time to do some inspection.
Thirty minutes later I found the leak in a likely place: the packing nut on the shaft. I had a new shaft and engine installed the previous season and had assumed that the yard would have repacked the stuffing box. We left early Saturday morning to get to the starting line for cruisers. The wind was around 10-12 knots. The cruising division boats, 18 in total, most with their sails up but some with just engines, were jockeying around the starting line.
Top: The Walnut Grove Bridge on a still night in July. Bottom: The same bridge opens for a sailboat motoring up the Sacramento River.
t's official. The ninth Delta Doo Dah cruising rally was the hottest on record. The last one that even came close was the inaugural edition in 2009. Not only was the Delta even hotter than usual this summer, it was less windy. The Delta breezes were downright balmy. Delta Doo Dah 9 kicked off on May 13 with Craig and Ann Perez's Delta Cruising Seminar, hosted by Richmond Yacht Club and featuring guests Bill and Sue Evans. Bill is the executive director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor's Bureau. Door prizes included six bottles of Pinot Noir donated by RYC, several Delta maps and shirts donated by the Delta Chambers, sailing gloves donated by OPB-YC, DVDs donated by Latitude 38, and, donated by Owl Harbor, a stylish turquoise canvas bag stocked with Owl Harbor hats, tops and coffee mugs. Next up was the Delta Ditch Run, with a cruising division nicknamed the 'Doo Dah Ditch Run'. Hosted by RYC and Stockton Sailing Club, the 67-mile run to Stockton was held on June 10. A week later, on June 17, Owl Harbor Marina on Isleton's Delta Loop hosted a fabulous afternoon BBQ. Unlike previous years, partygoers favored the airconditioned indoors over the outdoors. Among the prizes raffled off were six Sailaway sailing simulator games. At the end of the season, fleet members checked in with reports of their adventures.
The October 2017 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.