Susanne and I wanted to take a little vacation and we wanted to be able to take Rascal (the dog) along.  Not many hotels allow dogs so we found a houseboat rental that would and made the arrangements for the Thanksgiving week 2005.

The houseboat rental was located on the California Delta which is a major system of rivers and estuarys that flow from the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the east to the San Francisco Bay to the west ultimately emptying into the Pacific Ocean through the Golden Gate.  The California Delta is a very impressive system of perhaps thousands of miles of  levees and waterways.  The waterways are further divided by thousands of small islands that create an endless system of interconnecting sloughs that would take years to fully explore.  We did it in four days!

The map below came with the houseboat rental and shows the overall area.  Stockton is to the east, Scaramento is to the north, and way off the page to the west is San Francisco.

Map of California Delta

We loaded up the Toyota Camry and cruised up Interstate 5 from Los Angeles to Stockton on Wednesday November 23, 2005.  The California Interstate system makes it easy to get around.  I swear from our house to the marina included no more than two right turns and two left turns - that covered about 350-miles!


Cuising before the cruise


Rascal sure was excited about going on vacation!


Anticipation


We rented the houseboat from Herman and Helen's Marina.  You can click the picture below to go to their webpage.


Herman and Helens Marina Header


We pulled into the parking/loading zone and were impressed by the good looking and spacious marina.


Herman and Helen's Marina


We walked up to what we thought was our houseboat.....


Our Rental Not Really


But were told that ours was not the big one but was the little one.

The 35 Foot Houseboat


We had a few minutes to look around the area before launching.  The marina is next to the ferry that crosses the slough.  The ferry works by dragging itself across by running a heavy cable through its gears... The cable just lays on the bottom of the slough anchored at each end - no need to steer the ferry when underway.  We saw it cross several times carring large pieces of farm equipment as well as cars.

The Ferry Next to the Marina


We got our first look at the local wildlife at the marina.  These ducks were the first of thousands we saw on the trip.

Ducks at the Marina


Time to shove off.  We eased the houseboat out of the dock and slipped up Little Potato Slough just as dusk settled across the delta.

Cruising out of the Marina

Click Here to go to California Delta Houseboat Trip Page Two