Bananas will no longer be allowed onboard…

We recruited five unsuspecting crew for this epic down wind race from Richmond to Stockton.  The full crew list for this epic down wind race consists of Aaron, Calvin, Eugene, Janelle, Keith, Mark and Robert.  The Delta Ditch race starts in Richmond then run through the northern part of San Francisco bay, passing the Brother’s Island to San Pablo Bay, through the narrow, twisting channels of Carquinez Straits to Suisun Bay, passed the mothball fleet then snake through the meandering San Jauquin River to Stockton.  We had conceived this race as a fun (and fast) way to tour the Delta for some of the naive, wide-eyed crew that have not been “up the river without a paddle” and to take advantage of the long downwind run to imagine what it’s like to dawdle in the Delta. This was designed to be one part race, one part tour and one part adventure – our plan is to race the Delta Ditch Run then turn around and motor sail back all night back to Coyote Point Harbor.  The key to the success of this (ad)venture is to time our itinerary to transit the Carquinez Straits at optimal current going up the river as well as back down to SF bay. So plans were made to cast off at 07:00 sharp to make it to the starting line at 10:00.  Weather forecast for the weekend was a bit conflicted.  NWS predicted strong Northerly winds at 8-15 knots and hot weather (90°+) for the weekend.  However, the TV forecasters were predicting mild winds from the east and cautioned on record high temperatures. In either case, it’s really ideal sailing condition albeit a bit unusual wind direction for the Delta Ditch.

Bright and early at 06:30 on the fateful Saturday morning of the Delta Ditch, the crew of S/V Mist assembled at the Coyote Point Yacht Club dock with provisions for the weekend for the 10th Annual Delta Ditch Run of 2010.  As we put away the provisions, we noticed that someone had brought a bunch of bananas onboard.  After several denials, we found the culprit and teased the crew member about being ignorant on the sailing superstition that bananas onboard brings bad luck to the boat.  The crew member took the ribbing in stride and attempted to eat as many bananas as possible before departure, but after ingesting two bananas in quick succession, he left the remaining bananas in the galley for later consumption.

We pulled out of the dock and immediately noted the low tide marker at the harbor master’s dock to be  -1.5 feet – not a good sign, but we’ve managed to get out of the harbor before…  Sure enough, as we motored out to the main basin, we started to drag bottom.  As we headed out to the harbor entrance, the depth sounder showed less than three feet below our hull and then, we were firmly stuck at the harbor entrance.   We order all the crew to sit to starboard to heel the boat, but no avail, then we hoisted the main to get the morning breeze to put further pressure to heel the boat to pass the shoaling that had developed gradually at the mouth of the harbor – all to no avail.  So when the going gets tough, the tough gets going:  we call on the heavy weights to get us out of our dilemma: we put Keith on a bo’sun’s chair and cranked up the spinnaker pole to 90° starboard and with the rest of the crew putting their weight on the starboard rail and the main sail drawing from the morning breeze…

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fly like a sea bird…

Ever wonder what it’s like to fly like a sea gull? Aboard Mist, we often entertain children onboard by sending them out on the bosun’s chair. It keeps them occupied with playing with the waves and keep them “tied” up so we don’t have to keep an eye on them constantly… Here’s a few videos of swinging on bosun chair while sailing… <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-gallery/SwingingBosuns1.mp4″><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-gallery/SwingingBosuns1.mp4″ border=”0″ /></a><br /><i>here, Amy from D&B demonstrate how it works…</i> <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-gallery/SwingingBosuns2.mp4″><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-gallery/SwingingBosuns2.mp4″ border=”0″ /></a><br /><i>Michele shows the crew how to launch from the boat</i> <a href=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-gallery/SwingingBosuns3.mp4″><img src=”http://shipslog.sightinc.com/wp-content/wp-gallery/SwingingBosuns3.mp4″ border=”0″ /></a><br /><i>here, Amy shows what NOT to do when swinging on the bosun’s chair – teabagging it in the bay!!</i>