Winter Update in the Delta
I schedule most of my boat maintenance for the winter. This year I have missed out on some great cruising weather because I was changing oil, lubing bearings, and other mundane things. I plan to have the old Ranger hauled out and the bottom serviced within the next several weeks so that should let me cruise all summer without worrying about overdue projects.
My boat has gate valves and a system of pipes that make it easy to drain the oil into a pan but I found a device at a marine store that allows me to insert a tube into the dipstick hole and use a vacuum pump to extract the oil. I like this system as it puts the oil into a container that I can easily drain into a larger can and transport it to a recycling center. My motors each hold six quarts of oil so I can put the oil from both motors into one five gallon container easily and even put in the 1.5 quarts of oil in each transmission if I happen to be changing that oil at the same time. My boat uses the old fashioned oil filters that look like a roll of toilet paper, they are a little hard to come by nowadays but a while back I ordered a case of them so should have enough to last a few more years.
There is still plenty to do in the Delta winter even if you are not boating. Parties are going on everywhere. February is the month for local crab feeds and we attended two, the first one was at Marina West Yacht Club with about 150 people attending. The tickets were only $40.00 each but we sat with the Hahns and Lynn always shares some very expensive wines with us so when I weigh the price of tickets and the money we spend on raffle items we are still ahead financially.
The Delta Loop crab feed was excellent too. I did not do a head count but it looked like at least 150 people were there and probably more. Assemblyperson Jim Frazier was on hand and donated some raffle prizes, I was pleased when Sue won one of them. Jim is a noted defender of the Delta and uses his position to ask state officials a lot of hard questions about the BDCP plan to divert the Sacramento River around the Delta.
Assemblyman Frazier conducted a hearing in February to discuss the financial aspects of the plan. It seems like the more information that comes to light about the BDCP the more it looks like a bad deal for all Californians. You can view the hearing at this link: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=1810
Laura King Moon, Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Water Resources was the first speaker, I would say that her testimony was enlightening. She even had Dr. David Zippen a consultant with ICF International to coach her during her piece but still managed to look like a buffoon.
The public comment period for the BDCP has been extended for two months until June 13, 2014. It is important for all Californians to fight this scheme that will wipe out farmers, and a large part of the Delta. You can make your own comments at this link: http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/PublicReview/HowtoComment.aspx
The Pittsburg Yacht Club will hold the first opening day parade and blessing of the fleet in the area on March 29, 2014 starting at 1100 hours. The event is open to all boaters and the public call Ken Esse at 408-605-7919 for reservations or information.
Opening days are a tradition in the area and there will be several more in April. The PICYA Opening Day on the Bay will take place on Sunday April 27. This is a great event that I attend every year you can learn more about it at www.picya.org my good friend Lenora Clark PICYA Commodore will be on hand along with many other fun folks.
About Bill Wells - A retired yacht broker, Bill is currently the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor's Bureau. He is an active member of the Northern California Fleet of the Classic Yacht Association. In their spare time he and his beloved wife Sue cruise their 1937 Stephens cruiser Ranger to boating events throughout the Delta. Bill is active in matters helping to preserve and protect the California Delta. He chronicles his adventures in the monthly Delta Rat Scrapbook column for Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine.
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