Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Prodigal Screen

Some two years ago, I wrote in our ship's log that we lost Kokomo's port side window screen overboard while trying to put it on while on the water and after dark (lesson learned!). After some research, we ended up contacting the Canadian company who manufactured the custom screens for Rosborough boats, and found it was $80 + international shipping, or about $115 total. I was hesitant to pay that, though I knew that before we went back to the PNW, we'd have to do something about the screen. The bugs are plentiful there!

Thus my wife and I went back to that cove at Craig's Saddle regularly, slowing down to a 'putt' and searching for the missing screen. We knew the chances that we'd find it were slim, but I'd estimate 7 or 8 searches, in our 21' ski boat and on Kokomo, were spent with hopes that the lake (Lake Oroville, Oroville, CA) would receed to the point that we'd be able to see and retrieve our screen.

Then, in August, we were escorting a group of sailboats and kayaks from Chico Yacht Club, which we've since joined, and were passing by the cove where we'd lost the screen. Almost as an afterthought, I switched the autopilot off and steered into the cove for another search.

We got down to idle speed and trained our eyes on the rocky coastline. About 5 minutes into the search, I said to Lee, "Look, is that it?", and pointed to an item just above the waterline. Sure enough, it was Kokomo's long lost (and expensive) screen, exposed only the night before as the lake (a reservoir) let another 2' of water flow through the dam and down the Feather River. Lee Ann went for swim and I kept the boat close and before we knew it, we had the screen back aboard.

You'd think that two years of submersion would at least require re-screening, if not having ruined the screen frame completely. But the custom screen was probably worth what they charge for it, because with a little washing away of sand and wiping the mesh down, the screen (finish included!) was in the same condition it was when we'd inadvertently dropped it in the lake! Boy, we're happy to have it back.

Monday, July 9, 2012

8 Days On The Lake for the 4th!

Lake Oroville is diverse along it's 167 miles of shoreline. One can find what feels like a different lake by simply changing locations. In eight nights, I spent my days wandering the lake (and meeting new folks), and each night in a different anchorage "out there".

During the July 4, 2012 season, I met several new friends on Lake Oroville. Neil and Sandy Mitchel from Yuba City are houseboaters ("Full Moon"), great musicians and wonderful hosts. Herb Clark and Carolyn Paul are (married) sailors who are involved with Chico Yacht Club's July 4th raft up (we took several of these folks out to the fireworks on the 4th) and friendly fellow yachtsmen with whom I enjoyed several conversations and comparisons of special places in the Pacific North West we've cruised/sailed.

I briefly met Don way up at Feather Falls, when he putted by to say that he was following and liked this blog. That revelation thrilled me and I wished I had gotten his last name or had more time to speak with him. Don't forget to visit, Don, as I think you'll like the boating info there, too.

On this second 4th of July with the boat, it has found it's way into my heart and Kokomo's comfort, steadfastness and dependability have become a bit of legend in our family. I feel so fortunate to spend time with and on this particular yacht, and am so grateful to call her ours!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Memorial Day on the Rivers

We launched at the Centimudi Launch facility near the Shasta Dam near sundown on Friday, May 25, 2012, and after prep'ing the boat, found a nearby cove to call home for the night. Saturday morning was a beautiful mix of rain clouds and sunshine, and we made our way up the McLeod River, enjoying the sites along the way.

We stopped near the Mcleod Bridge to feed a hungry bunch of Canadians (Geese and precious Goslings), navigated beneath the bridge and then headed back downstream. KOKOMO found her way up the Sacramento River before the day was through,  and we settled in a nice cove well before sundown for a nice evening on the river.

The next morning found us headed for the Pitt River, with a stop at Silverthorn Resort and really close observation of wild life (students on houseboat rental), and an espresso drink for Lee. We opted not to do the pizza and pub (clean and friendly but unremarkable pizza made on crust that was store-bought) and returned to the boat for Thai salad and had a nice lunch before heading up the river and all the way to the navigable end before reversing course. We spent the night on the Squaw Creek Arm of the lake and found a nice cove, and a mother Merganser and her 14 chicks to watch. We also spotted Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles during the day.

Monday (Memorial Day) we explored Squaw Creek and then made our way back toward civilization. Lee Ann swam (66F!) and suntanned on this, the sunniest of the three days, and the trip was topped off by a chance encounter of Bill & Jo Truby at Bridge Bay Resort. We sat in the cockpit and caught up on the last, tumultuous two years of our lives.

The ramp was a zoo on Memorial Day and so it took some time (and patience) to get the boat out and readied for the trip home. We stopped in Anderson at Mary's Pizza Shack for dinner with Ray and Donella Underwood (beloved 2nd cousins) which split the trip up a bit.

San Quentin Prison

San Quentin Prison
One of the more 'captivating' sites along the Corte Madera channel . Rowers from Corte Madera are practicing in the foreground.