Quick Sail in California

Work travel is starting up again. I flew down to a customer site in California and one day after work I was treated to an early spring sail.

I sent a quick e-mail out to the local sailing club, Vallejo Yacht Club, letting them know I was visiting from out of town and wondering if I would be able to stop by and check things out. The commodore, Matt, quickly responded and we arranged a day where he was going to be there.

Amazing Facilities (and bar) – Source: vyc.org

After initially getting lost I met up with Matt and went on a quick tour of the facilities.

The majority, almost all, of the boats were sailboats. Facilities were fantastic, look at the number of fingers on the docks above. They also have a work area with a crane where people can carry out their boat projects.

I saw one C36t (Traditional) sailboat at the club. And I’m embarrassed to say I was confused. The deck seemed different to me and I was thinking it was a CS36m (Merlin) sailboat. But no sugar scoop. I’m still not 100% sure why it looks different to me other than no dorades.

After the dock walk, we ended up at the bar. The bar at this club was stocked better than any other sailing club houses I’ve ever seen! I was sold right there and started calculating ways of getting Foggy there as her new home port!

While having a beer, Matt had to perform some Commodore duties. One of the members put semaphore flags on their boat and someone took offense to them. I’ll let you decrypt the following message. I agree with the sentiment but understand how someone took offense to the language used.

After a beer Matt turns to me and asks if we should go out on the boat. Well… I couldn’t turn down that offer. We headed back down the dock and jumped on his boat and got the lines ready to leave.

While I was there, Lori sends me a text message. She must have somehow sensed I was up to something. I can never get away with anything. Here’s our text message exchange. I apologize for the profanity, but it is what it is…

We started up the motor and headed up the narrow channel to the Corquinez Strait. I dug myself deeper into trouble by sending Lori this picture.

To the west is the large open San Pablo Bay, which leads to San Francisco Bay and then out to the open Pacific Ocean. We travelled under the Alfred Zampa bridge, did a 180 turn and then fought the current going back.

Along the way back we took a close look at the training ship, Golden Bear, from California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime). It looks like a beautiful college with some interesting programs.

Source: Cal Maritime

There was lots to see along the way. An old shipyard, a few fast ferries. The group of houses along the shoreline looked like a nice place to live. Imagine living on a pier with no traffic near by. Your car would be in a parking lot at the base of the hill. Now if I could tie up a sailboat out front and pay less than a million dollars, I think I’ve found my retirement home!

The weather was beautiful and it was great to be out on the water again. Great experience in the salt water (couldn’t tell the difference) and playing in a few currents. I’m now trying to convince Matt to visit the Thousand Islands this summer!

Thanks Matt, really appreciate the hospitality.

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