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Friday, September 24, 2010

9/24/2010 - Hangin' in California

The weather has been great since we arrived in Benicia on Tuesday. Nice and warm during the day and cooling off nicely at night for sleeping. On Thursday (yesterday) my aunt Lea and uncle Gino drove down from Citrus Heights to Benicia to loan us one of their cars for the duration of our stay. Awfully damn nice of them if you ask me. We drove them back home and then set our for parts previously unknown: Hidden Harbor Marina in the Sacramento River Delta.

Getting there was quite a feat. The directions given are either from Sacramento or Rio Vista. But the road in from Sacramento is closed, so that leaves Rio Vista. So, first, you have to find Rio Vista. Using the map and a few road signs, we managed and on the way found Walnut Grove and Isleton, both of which need further exploration (although we'll not likely get to it). Finally getting to Hidden Harbor required a ride across the river on the Real McCoy Ferry.

This ferry is run by CalTrans and runs year-round. And it's free. Well, technically you Californians probably are paying for it in taxes but it didn't cost us anything to ride.

So, why, you may ask, were we trying to get to Hidden Harbor Marina? Have we decided to winter over in the Delta instead of Mexico?


We were going there to look up some folks we (sort of) know but had never met. We've been following Pat, Ali and Ouest's blog ever since we first heard about it. If you haven't checked it out, you really should. The recent entries are geared more to keeping their families informed of their activities, but if you go to the archives you can read about how they circumnavigated the globe in a catamaran starting out with virtually no experience. Later, they took part in the Great American Race in a vintage Porsche and then drove a restored '58 VW bus from Washington to Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego to Argentina before having it shipped to Europe where they continued their trip.

We've been hoping to meet up with them some day and, when we found out that their new boat was in the Sacramento Delta area, it seemed like the right time. A couple of e-mails were exchanged and they graciously agreed to let us invade their privacy.

Knowing Pat's affection for pizza, we stopped off in Rio Vista for an extra large pizza and a box of PBR for "lunner" (read their blog) and headed for the marina. This marina is the funkiest (in a good way) little place you ever saw. Lulu wants to find its twin in Mexico and just settle in. We had a great afternoon on the new s/v Bumfuzzle. Pat and Ali were very warm and friendly and we felt like we've known them for a long time. And Ouest was just as cute as she could be once she got over having been woken up from her nap a bit early (thanks to us).

At Ali's suggestion, I'll try to include more photos in my blog entries. And, Ali, I know the above photos are cheating since I didn't take them myself but, as you know, I didn't have my camera with me. I do think I'll get a smaller camera that I can have along all the time.

After we left Bumfuzzle, we headed to Bill, Jen & Juliette's house in Sacramento. Bill's an old friend from high school (over 40 years ago) and lived across the street from me for 6 years when we were teenagers. He fixed some delicious BBQ'd ribs and accompanied them with a whole bunch of vegetables from his garden. We had a very nice visit and spent the night in their guest house. This morning we had breakfast at the Tower Cafe. Very cool place.

Now we're back in Benicia living the glamorous yatista lifestyle: doing our laundry.

Okay, enough for now.


Anonymous said...

The Delta might not be such a bad place to spend some time. Give it some thought for another time after you have given Mexico a chance. Have a good week. Love, Mom

Rowan said...

I have read a bit of the bumfuzzle blog as well, it is pretty interesting. I keep meaning to go back and read about their VW bus days, we recently sold a 1974 VW bus we converted into a camper. Lots of fun but the boat won out.

You mentioned getting a smaller camera so I thought I'd give a plug for the one we have. It is an Olympus Stylus 720 SW. We've had ours a few years now so I think the latest version is the 1050 or something. Anyway we really like it because it is small and (best of all) waterproof. Supposedly it is shockproof as well (meaning you can drop it) but we haven't tested that (yet). We got it for our first trip to Hawaii, it has been there with us 3 times now and we always take it when we go snorkeling. It isn't good for SCUBA though (it won't be waterproof at the higher pressures of deep water). It is definitely a point and shoot camera so not a great choice for the serious photographer but it does have lots of useful modes for different situations. We love having it on the boat since we don't need to worry about spray ruining it.

Have fun in the bay area and I hope the great weather holds (we'll be flying down there in the morning to visit some family in Berkeley so I really hope the good weather holds ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey ... I too have now gone to the bumfuzzle blog.... very interesting and fun to read... thanks for the suggestion. Glad to hear that you are doing great and having some fun along the way. That... of course... being the point to it all. Smiles to you both. FI