Date: Sunday January 29, 2006
Event: Martinez, CA, Marina to Grizzly Bay by way of the Reserve Fleet and the USS Iowa (BB-61). 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (7 hours of sailing.)
w/ Just Don Person in "Sarah Anne" and I (in "Lazy Ka")
Winds: 3 to 12 knots with Dead-calm in between . . . lunch adrift, to reefed sails on our return trip . . . Bright sun to total gray skies.
Weather: Started out in shirt sleeves; got some overcast in early afternoon (required a jacket); landed back a Martinez in shirt-sleeves again.
 

A delightful sail in new waters for both Don Person and I. I met Jerry Barrilleaux for the first time this morning. Jerry came to see Don and I off; we traded sailing stories over coffee while Don and I got our boats set up for the day. Once in the water, I was embarrassed with self induced engine troubles . . . I forgot to choke it for the cold start. Thanks are due Jerry for the use of his tools and effort to get this Potter new-be going..Don Person sails past the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) at the National Reserve Fleet on Suisun Bay, awaiting assignment to museum status.

Once out of the marina, we set a course with the tide, East on Carquinez Strait and under the Martinez-Benicia Bridge. Maneuvering was a bit tricky as we had to negotiate the currents and eddies around the bridge piers and construction barges. A new highway bridge, third within a distance of 300 yards, is now under construction; there are several barges moorOn the Carquenez Strait, January 29, 2006 (Photo: Don Person)ed in support of the new construction that add to our obstacles.

On Eastward to sail past the Battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) moored with the National Defense Reserve Fleet (aka Mothball Fleet) on Suisun Bay. For me, this was a highlight of our day of sightseeing. I always thought the Iowa would be bigger. Though almost 300 yards in length, her relative low profile presents an understated presence when compared some of the traffic I've encountered on the bay.

From the Reserve Fleet, Don and I pressed on Eastward into Grizzly Bay for a pleasant picnic lunch adrift. We simply relaxed our sheets, and enjoyed our lunch and conversation driftingThe Reserve Fleet in view (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan)g in the sunshine no more than 10 feet apart. The area around us was populated by many fisherman anchored in the shallows of the Bay.

As we turned back toward Martinez Marina with the tide, the skies began to turn gray, becoming overcast toward mid-afternoon. Back in the vicinity of the Reserve Fleet, the winds over Army Point became quiteJerry Kergan & Lazy Ka closing in on the Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, CA (PHOTO: Don Person) blustery. Don decided to reef, and I followed suit with some instruction for Don. As we came pack under the bridges, the need to reef behind us, we returned to full sail.

On his approach to Martinez Marina, Don had trouble getting his motor started. It took only seconds for Don to get my attention; I set a course to close the couple of hundred yards to his position to offer assistance. But in the short time elapsed, the strong current mad take Done well West of the marina entry. By the time I reached Don, he had managed to get his motor started. I fired mine up as well, and we motored against the current to the shelter of the marinaLunch with Don Person adrift on Grizzley Bay and Mt. Diablo as a backdrop. (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan).

It was a day with weather changes galore, every hour or so. Don and I both learned a lot about currents on the Carquinez Strait, as well. I had planned the day to take advantage of the tides going and coming. And all went fine until Don ventured down-stream of the Marina entrance on our return. Our little motors worked hard against the strong current of the Carquinez Strait to get us back in.