Trip Statistics

Date: 9/11/2002

Crusing area: Antioch and Pittsburg (CA)

Chart: 18652

Distance: 16.0 nm

Time: 8 hours


Cruise to Meet the Niņa

A group of sailing historians got together in 1986, forming the Columbus Foundation.  Their goal was to produce historically correct reproductions of the three vessels which Christopher Columbus used for his encounter with the new world.  With the research involved, and the 500th anniversary fast approaching, they came to the realization that only one replica could be built.  They chose the Niņa.  There is a lot more information at  

The Niņa came to visit Antioch California on 9/11/02 (the one-year anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington).  We used the opportunity as a history lesson for my niece, Lindsay, whose picture is seen above.  For other pictures, scroll down.

By the way, Lindsay also learned to sail, or at least had her first lesson.

Back to Sailing
The crew of offline (for this trip).  In addition to Lindsay, we were also joined by my Dad, and Johnny Trimmer (a close family friend).

Winds were 5-10 kts.  We were close hauled at this point, but as you can see, there is not much heel on the boat.

We had intended to meet the Niņa as she arrived, and sail in flotilla to escort her in.  I called ahead and got the sailing schedule, but the captain must have changed his mind after it was posted.  When we got to the Antioch Marina, she was already tied alongside.

The white "Sails" (middle-right) are a sculpture on the jetty of the Antioch marina.  It is a very striking feature along the waterfront, and makes it very easy to identify Antioch from the water.  There is also a small park with benches, for the shore-bound to rest, dreaming of sailing away.

Our friend, Johnny Trimmer, is a very experienced sailor.  He has taken his 30' Hunter (Serendipity) to Mexico twice, and Alaska once.  As this was one of our first trips with guests aboard, and because of my limited experience sailing at this point, everyone felt more comfortable having Johnny along.

For most of the trip, I let Johnny man the helm, or at least watch over Lindsay as she took her turns at the wheel. 

Johnny's tee-shirt says, "Old sailors never die, they just get a little dingy."  

Rounding out the crew was my father, Clay.  He and I have had some good times aboard offline, and I look forward to many more trips with him on the water.

About two months after this picture was taken, he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, and underwent a six-way heart bypass.  I'm happy to report, more than a year later, he is in excellent health for the 72-year-old man he is.

Lindsay was a very good helmsman, but she occasionally just watched the water go by.  Here, she is trying to be the first to see the sea lions we'd been hearing for several minutes.  At this point, I don't remember if she was first, but I'll give her the credit in any case.  

Isn't that what a good uncle is supposed to say?

The sea lions love to bask on the "NY" bouy.  This preferred channel marker marks where commercial shipping must choose between the Sacramento River (to Sacramento), or New York Slough (which connects to the San Joaquin River and leads to Stockton).

New York Point was so named because a group of developers originally wanted to call the town New York, CA.  The idea didn't fly, but they did name it Pittsburg, CA.  Even though the city name changed, New York Point remains the legacy to one group's attempt at becoming the "California Apple".

On the way back, we got a closer look at the Niņa.  Compared to the voyages undertaken on this vessel, it is very small.  I can't imagine 80-100 people living and working aboard a ship this small.

The building in the background is Humphrey's, one of the better restaurants in Antioch.  Casual to dressy, you may find people dressed to the nines along side boaters crusing in for dinner.  If you're in the area, Humphrey's is worth a stop.  Free tie-up on the public dock (which is where the Niņa is tied up).  There's a bit of history about the name, "Humphrey's," so be sure to check out the site.

After making a circumnavigation of Browns and Winter Islands, we turned for the downwind run home.  Lindsay stayed at the helm for most of the downwind run, and performed several flawless gybes, with Johnny's help.  With Johnny on the helm, I was free to work the sails.  It turned out to be a good combination for this day.  Everyone had a good time.

In the background you can see our last view of the Niņa and Humphrey's as we left them in our wake.  

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