Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Grande Dames of the Delta: Exploring Moveable Bridges

One early Saturday morning I took a self-guided tour of several moveable bridges in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Walnut Grove Bridge. Photo by Aleta George

I drove across four of the narrow, steel beauties on State Route 160, and sat in the shade on the river to watch the Mokelumne Bridge swing open at its scheduled time.

Here's a link to my article in Estuary News, "The Grande Dames of the Delta." Check out the video I took of an opening of the Walnut Grove Bridge below.

Walnut Grove Bridge opening by Aleta George

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Jack London on the Carquinez Strait

The unseasonable rain on June 5, 2022, didn't dampen the spirits of the 30 passengers aboard the Pacific Pearl for a Jack London-themed boat tour of the Carquinez Strait.

Gail Yamamoto Seymour, Tarnel Abbott (London's great granddaughter), and Jack London Society president Jay Williams take in the stories and views from the bow.

As tour guide, I told stories about London and his lifelong relationship with the San Francisco Bay, with a focus on the Carquinez Strait.


The chartered tour started at the Vallejo Yacht Club, where London was a member. We then motored up the Strait to Benicia and back. 

"I learned many facts," said Jack London State Park docent Wendy Byrd, "but best of all, I can visualize my readings of Jack London with a context of where events took place. I, too, will never cross the Carquinez Bridge without thinking of Jack in the water."

This event was planned in coordination with the Jack London Society.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Sturdy Sturgeon

A sturgeon's toothless, telescoping mouth sucks up clams, crabs and shrimp like a vacuum. Wikimedia Commons. 

White sturgeon have been cruising San Francisco Bay’s murky bottom for thousands of years, and the species has been around since before T-Rex. 

Scientists believe that the fish may live to be over 100 years old. For this article I asked the question: What is the life expectancy of white sturgeon in the San Francisco Bay?

Read "Sturdy Sturgeon" in Estuary News to learn more about this fascinating fish.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Suisun City is No Island

The daily waterfront walk

Suisun City, a small town about an hour northeast of San Francisco, has always had the waterfront and nearby wetlands at its heart. But that which is a big plus for trade and tourism now places the city in the path of sea-level rise.

In this article I delve into the challenges and opportunities of sea-level rise in my hometown.

"Suisun City is No Island," KneeDeep Times

The Magic of Winter Light


Turning In, Sergio Lopez
Turning In, Sergio Lopez

Winter light is less assertive than its summer counterpart. Hues are softer, and leafy shadows tat ephemeral quilts on the wall. More than a visual phenomenon, this subdued light affects all living things including poets, plants, and landscape painters.

"The Magic of Winter Light," Bay Area Monitor 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

On the Bay: DFW 150 Years on Patrol, and Work Still Dangerous

Photo courtesy of the CDFW

This year marks the sesquicentennial of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Patrolling the San Francisco Bay has always been dangerous work, and continues to be risky for those protecting the natural resources of the bay today.

"DFW 150 Years on Patrol and Work Still Dangerous,"

Estuary News

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Jack London's Wheel?

The Roamer wheel
Hugh and Jeremy Wire grew up in a house on a hill overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach, California. In their yard was a wheel said to have come from one of Jack London’s boats.

I learned about the wheel from Hugh’s daughter, Annette Williams, who has inherited the house and the wheel.

Curious about whether or not the wheel actually did come from one of London’s boats, I asked her to send me a photo of the family wheel for comparison.

The family wheel
It seemed a straightforward investigation. Aside from the rowboat and centerboard skiff London skittered about on as a youth, he owned only four boats during his lifetime: the Razzle Dazzle, the Spray, the Snark, and the Roamer. We have photos of all but one wheel.

You can read about the wheel and the boat she came from in an essay I wrote for The Call, The Magazine of the Jack London Society (Spring/Summer 2021).