Should you ever venture north to San Francisco Bay, here is a lesser-known cruising ground that offers a “Delta experience” without going the extra miles. You will have all the same challenges (winding waterways, drawbridges), but spend less time getting there and back.
Why bother? Well, once one has sailed San Francisco Bay with its “brisk” winds, fog, cool temperatures, and hefty currents, the thought of kicking back in warm, sunny weather and light breezes is eagerly anticipated. Add to that the visual appeal reminiscent of sailing the rural canals of Europe.
This most enjoyable cruising experience begins by heading north of San Francisco Bay to San Pablo Bay and anchor off China Camp (state park).
The next day you enter the Petaluma River which will take you all the way to the Petaluma Turning Basin (your end point). The distance is approximately 22 nm and is ideally done with a rising tide ─ just in case one kisses a mud bank along the way.