Letters – by Our Readers


Hi Bill,

I love your articles. Funny to read how you are just filling in for a couple of months. That’s how I feel about life, man, times flies.

When you mentioned visiting Sacramento via the Mokelumne River, you mean to direct people to the Delta cross channel? Of course our boat can’t fit under that bridge, but there is no other secret way from the Mokelumne, right?

Your article makes me want to do that cruise. 

Glad you are well, maybe we’ll bump into each other someday again.

Take care.

Sincerely, Rick Peterson
Senior Broker, Oceanic Yachts, San Francisco/Sausalito


Thanks for the note. I don’t know about you, but time seems to accelerate as I get older. Another thing is that it seems to take me a lot longer to do some simple tasks. Combine the two and I seem to be at a standstill while life charges by.

Yes, the Cross Channel gates are pretty low so only runabouts and maybe day cruisers can get through when they are open.

I meant to mention Georgiana Slough. That is a good route from the Mokelumne to the Sacramento. There are some no wake zones and two drawbridges, so it is good to make it a leisurely trip. The Georgiana is one of the most beautiful waterways in the Delta, so it is a nice relaxing ride.

Here is a link to information on the Cross Channel Gates. I can never seem to keep track of when they are open and closed: 




I enjoyed seeing you on the water during the holiday week with the Barron Hilton Fireworks Show at Mandeville Cut. It was great seeing so many boaters gathered to enjoy our beautiful California Delta. A huge thanks to the Hilton family who continues to sponsor this incredible event each year.

I just finished reading Jillian Humphrey’s debut column in the July issue of Bay & Delta Yachtsman Magazine. Her impressive sailing credentials, SF Bay experience and conversational writing style make her column a pleasure to read. No doubt, she is a welcome addition to the Yachtsman Magazine family. Welcome aboard, Jillian!

After many years of scrounging free copies of the Yachtsman Magazine, I have finally decided to dedicate a very small portion of my boating budget to an annual subscription to your valued publication. Not a month goes by without me reading the latest issue cover to cover. Now I’ll look forward to receiving your great magazine each month in my mailbox.

Keep up the great work!! See you on the water!!


Al Kroger at the tiller of his water taxi at Mandeville.

Hey Al,

It never ceases to amaze me the number of friends that come to me via the Delta that we all love so much. You are no exception, my friend. Who would have guessed that our relationship was sealed over a year ago at Mandeville when you were trying to lure me close enough to your 34-foot Californian to hose me down with a firehose! Thank you for your kind words regarding Jillian. I agree ten-fold in the thought that she is going to make an excellent addition to the Yachtsman family indeed. I hope all of our readership feels the same and takes the time to express it as well.

Thank you for the subscription. That was by design as I know where you picked up your free copy and I have been leaving less copies there for months now. If at worst, you were having to drive a marina over to pick one up, but I am very happy and grateful that you are now a bonified part of the family as well. Don’t get any ideas that you will get a beer out of me as I like the arrangement just fine as it stands right now, you buying me one whenever you see me.

Not sure if you recognize the guy in the photo, but he took pity on a certain someone staying out at Mandeville this past 4th who was without transportation to and from other raft ups. Rumor has it that he may have taken an unexpected swim while visiting Mark Bettis, Cathy Miskow and Jim Gibson’s group. See you on the water again soon, my friend.


Hi Captain Pat,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying the boating season now that things are much better. It is so hard to believe that events that were cancelled last year have returned to the Delta. I took an emergency preparedness class today and was taught how to use a whistle in a land-based emergency such as an earthquake or fire. The signals I was taught were three blasts intermittently for signaling that you need help; if someone responds and asks if you are okay, you should blow two blasts to signal that you are okay and one blast for signaling that you are not okay.

I was told that the above signals are the national system that many people know. Since many life jackets have whistles attached to them, are the above signals the same if you fall overboard and need help, or are they different on the water? If the signals are different on the water, what are they?

Sincerely, Daniel


It is good that you have taken an emergency preparedness class as the information that you have learned may one day save yours or someone else’s life. I am not aware of a similar system for water-based emergencies of using a whistle to signal distress and then communicate condition as you have described. Perhaps one of our readers will have more information on this and would be willing to write in detail.

The USCG Navigation rules do however provide a little information regarding sound and light signals to be used in an emergency aboard a vessel. If we look at Rules 36 & 37, as well as Annex IV, we can find the approved list. There is also a pictograph for ready reference. Thanks for the inquiry.


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