Letters – by Our Readers


Greetings Captain Pat,

I enjoy reading your column in every edition of the Bay & Delta Yachtsman. Even though it’s been a year since you signed me off, I’m still learning a lot from you. I particularly learned a great deal about navigating in significantly reduced visibility. I haven’t had to do that yet but I’ll feel more confident if I get into that situation.

Attached are two photos. I don’t know if it’s significant enough for your right or wrong column, but I thought I’d send them anyway. My next slip neighbor always has his fender cover lines hanging in the water and sometimes he builds up quite a collection of sea life as he does not use his boat very often. So I attached a picture of his fender and mine, clean and everything up and out of the water.

Also, I have a question about keeping your distance. Say a cruise ship is coming into port and I would like to get a look at her. If I’m traveling alongside the cruise ship, how far away should I stay to be considered safe and not piss off the ship’s officers? 500 feet, or what? Also, if I’m in Oakland going by the docked cargo ships anchored, how far away should I stay from those ships that are anchored? I do not know if you’ve done a column on that or not, but I couldn’t find that information in my Mariners learning course.

Hope all is well with you and your family.

Dr. Scott Lingen

Dr. Scott,

Good to hear from you and I am happy to hear that you are enjoying that fine Motoryacht.

Keeping distance from the moored ships at the port of Oakland, ships anchored in the regulated anchorages south of Treasure Island, a cruise ship underway, bridge abutments among others are all regulated by the USCG Captain of the Port and have established fixed security zones in specified areas of San Francisco Bay. To answer your specific question there is a 100-yard security zone around all moored or anchored cruise ships, tank vessels and any other vessel the Captain of the Port has designated to be of high interest.

When underway and if escorted by a USCG small boat, the security zone around these high value targets is generally 500 yards. Every cruise ship has a USCG escort while underway in San Francisco Bay, so keep well away or the security boat will come over to have a chat.

I do have in work an article on security zones. Look for that in the near future.

Thank you for the “Is It Right Or Is It Wrong” submissions. They will be in the next installment.


Hello Ty,

I was just browsing through the 2020 Marina Guide and noticed that there are still entries for Herman & Helen’s Marina and Lost Isle on Page 25.

Now maybe you want to keep these two listings in the Marina Guide for historical reasons, and that would be a great idea, but you probably don’t want to show them with phone numbers and such. Heck, Lost Isle has been closed for over a decade now.

Are there any other zombie listings that I should be aware of?

Terry Hillyer

P.S. I love your magazine and have been a subscriber for a while now.

P.P.S. I’ve been boating in the Delta for 13 years and still have not been to a lot of it. Is there any way to have Bill come up with different cruises or destinations stories to convince us to go outside our comfort area? I boat out of Whiskey Slough Marina.

Hello Terry,

Thank you for subscribing and reading our publication.

I am aware of the two properties and believe me, they cause headache every year.

Regardless I will address both properties in the production of the 2021 guide. We will probably take out the info but leave in the headers, if in anything just to keep the hope alive of each opening one day.

It is really a shame in that H&H used to be at one point in time, considered by many the epicenter of the Delta! Again, I keep hope that one day it will be returned to its former glory.

Thank you for the suggestion of other areas that could be covered and I will pass this on to Bill and the likely possibility of giving attention to other areas of the Delta such as the Whiskey Slough area.

I can send you a little piece that may shed some light on other areas and the intent of future writings that I hope you will enjoy. I have got to say I did not include Whisky Slough but that was kinda my idea with the piece, as it was wrote with the idea (hope) in gathering interest of people to ask about other areas just as you have. There is a Ton of the Delta to explore and with you having been in it for 13 years Terry, I would be in remiss if I did not kid you a little, in saying that you are behind the curve in your exploring haha. The point however, is no matter what area of the Delta you call your own, is to have FUN and Enjoy it!


Hello Ty,

I read your story about the Delta and your experiences there. Very nice article. I think you should run it in the magazine.

You mentioned that you would be in remiss if you did not kid me a little about not exploring much of the delta in 13 years. Sad, but very true. I am a bit of a chicken. I know the area between Whiskey Slough and Bethel Island and Discovery Bay and also between Whiskey Slough and Village West and Stockton. I am pretty weak on anything north of the San Joaquin.

It’s funny. I’ve learned in the last year how to stern dock at Windmill Cove. It’s not that I’m any good at backing in, but there are usually helpful people willing to lend a hand.

I’m still too intimidated to try docking at Moore’s Riverboat. One is that the docks don’t seem very large and they are always full, and second is that the river current would seem to be fighting you.

I’ve only been a mile or two upstream of Stockton on the San Joaquin, but it would be interesting to see how far upstream is safe to boat in.

I need to get further west past Moore’s Riverboat and Bethel Island to begin exploring the Sacramento River and the Antioch area.

Do you have a good route to cover the highlights when I take out new people to the Delta? One area I try to go is the SFYC Tinsley Island lagoon, but I am not 100% sure that is allowed?

Terry Hillyer

P.S. You might consider changing the Bethel Island map in the Marina Guide to reflect Delta Coves project.


I have enjoyed our correspondence quite a bit, but I did not realize exactly how long it had become. I will finish up the conversation in our next month’s issue.

Ty H

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