Trip Statistics

Date: 8/23 - 8/25/2002

Crusing area: San Joaquin River and Delta area

Chart: 18661


  • Day 1: 17.5 nm

  • Day 2: 7.5 nm

  • Day 3: 22.75 nm

  • Total: 47.75 nm

Time: 3 days

DSPS Cruise to Devil's Isle
and Village West Yacht Club

This was our first cruise with Diablo Sail and Power Squadron.  There were other cruises while we were members, be we didn't have our boat yet, so we couldn't go.  This was the first one we had our boat.

The photograph above was taken as the sun began to set behind Devil's Isle.  If this photograph looks familiar, you're probably right.  I used a slice of this picture for the "Sunset" picture on the Associations page.  In this full-frame version, you can actually see the stern of offline in the forground.  When I was preparing the associations page, I thought the picture looked better without the distracting foreground.  I'll leave it to you to decide if I was right.


Back to Cruises
We launch offline from Lauritzen's Yacht Harbor (our home base) on Friday, 8/23, at about 1600.  After a smooth trip up the river, we arrived at Devil's Isle at about 1815.  We very quickly learned our first lesson:  
  • Always use a checklist for your pre-trip packing.

It seems that in our haste to get out the door, we forgot to remove our hamburger from the refrigerator and we had no main course for our dinner.  We also learned one of the benefits of cruising with a group:

  • Friends help friends.

One of our cruising companions had some hamburger in the freezer aboard their boat.  We were saved.

The side dishes for our dinner were pot-luck.  We had our hamburgers, and the rest of the meal was delicious.  

The facilities at DI include a side-table where we can spread our buffet.  The picture at left shows some of our group piling their plates high.  

The fine young woman at the far left is my wife, Brenda.  Not exactly her most flattering side, but...

The dining deck at DI has a roof; and, as can be seen, plenty of space for our group to gather for meals.  Normally, all dinners at DI, whether they are pot luck or not, are eaten here on deck.

Between meals, this area is used for socializing, card and board games, puzzles, and meetings.



There is another deck, called the "Mother-in-law deck" (though I don't yet know the reason for this name).  This picture was taken on a different trip, but included here to show the facilities of DI.
We departed Devil's Isle at 0930 on Saturday morning (8/24), for the cruise to Village West Marina.  The flotilla cruised in two groups.  In our squadron, we have several fast boats whose skippers don't like to go slow.  Normally, the slower group leaves first, followed by the fast group.  The "Mosquito Fleet", as the faster boats are called, passes the slower group and usually arrives first, gets set up and is there to help the larger, slower boats dock up.  The Mosquito Fleet normally cruises at about 25-30 kts, so I cruise with the slower boats.

One of the problems with being both the skipper of a boat and the squadron photographer, it is difficult to do both.  This is especially true for a relatively new boater like I was at the time.  As a result, I have no pictures taken during the actual cruise.

We arrived at Village West Marina at around 1230.  After getting settled in and having lunch, we enjoyed our early afternoon.  About 1600, we boarded the harbor ferry (more about that later) for the ride over to the Village West Yacht Club for cocktail hour.

There we participated in (GAME NAME GOES HERE).  It was cute, and the group all enjoyed betting and rooting for the different characters.

The game is run by a "Caller", who rolls dice to decide which of the markers advances, and how far.  When the first two markers make it to the finish line, the round is over, and the players who bet on that "Horse" (or "Pig" or "Cat", or even "Camel") are paid off.
Here is the board after a few throws of the dice.
Village West Yacht Club went above and beyond in putting out a spread.  The picture at left is two of the kitchen staff who put out great food in ample quantity.  No one went away hungry.
Food and good company always make for a good time.
Don't bother me.  I'm eating.  Oh, wait!  That's probably copyrighted.  Uh...  Go away.  I'm hungry.  Okay.  That's better.
Okay, everyone.  Look this way.  Yoohoo.  Well I got some of you to look.
The commodore of the Village West Yacht Club.  He doesn't really look happy, but that's only because I was sneaky in getting this picture.  I don't think he was feeling very photogenic that night.
After dinner, VWYC put out the dessert bar and ...
... we all dug in.
After dinner, the highlight of the evening: Dancing.  A one-man band, with a guitar and a collection of stored MIDI tracks, put out a great variety of oldies.  He wasn't a great singer, but he had the ability to sound very much like the original stars who recorded the songs he covered.

Everyone enjoyed his set..


... and enjoyed the dance floor.
... the slow songs.
The dancing continued into the night, but not everyone stayed for "Last Dance."  As for Brenda and I, we headed back around 2300 and tried to get some sleep.  Little did we know that Garlic Brothers, the restaurant at the Marina, is one of the major party spots in Stockton on a Saturday night.  It was about 0200 Sunday before things finally quieted down, and we could finally get fully settled in.  Ear plugs would probably help for our next visit.

Oh, and another thing.  The aromas coming from restaurant were incredible.  The next time we stop at Village West, a lunch or dinner at Garlic Brothers is going to be part of the schedule. 

The next morning, we boarded the harbor ferry for the trip over to VWYC for breakfast.  It actually is possible to get to the club house over land, but it is about 1.5 to 2 miles around the perimeter of the marina.  It's much easier, and faster to use the ferry.

The ferry is a pontoon deck boat that has bench seats installed on each side.

Seats for everyone.  The guy standing out front is a VWYC member, serving as deck crew on the ferry.

Even with a pontoon boat, they don't want people moving around.  The boat was very tender (heeled easily) as people moved from side to side.  To make the ride more comfortable, most of us (with the exception of the dumb photographer) stayed in our seats.

Oh, and our pilot?  None other than the Commodore of the club.
Once again, the VWYC out did themselves in putting out a fantastic breakfast buffet.
Everyone was anxious to get in line ...
... and get some food.
After breakfast, we had our Captain's meeting, and the cruise officially ended.  Everyone was on their own getting home.  For us, this was an enjoyable 3.25 hour run back down river.  We took a different route home (which is a bit shorter, but narrow), which initially caused Brenda some concern.  I persevered, and the the new route is now our "Normal" route.  Brenda still won't go under sail in this narrow fairway, but maybe this year I'll just head down that way and prove the route to her one more time.

Once again, I have no pictures for the cruise mode of the trip.  Later, as I became more experienced in my boat handling, and Brenda felt better about taking the wheel for a short time, I was able to get pictures enroute.  Unfortunately, not for this trip.

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