Originally Posted by gweaver
JMann- I'm about 5 blocks from the marina at the Petaluma River- I put in there to get a quick fix or for a test run. I've only owned the boat for a year, so I haven't been too many places- once to the delta, once to Lake Pillsbury. Hoping to get to Lake Mendocino/Sonoma/Berryessa this summer, just to check them out. Day trips are just to the river. The rest of the time, we're going camping for a few days and bringing the boat.
Originally Posted by JMann
I grew up going to berryessa every weekend it was great back then. I have heard it can get crazy sometimes on the weekend (before the water reclamation took over) but haven't been on a weekend in a long time. I did go last year for a Sunday Monday and it was great. Haven't been to Sonoma or Mendocino before. Right now I have young kids 2 And 4 so it's hard to take them for a whole day, berryessa is 1.5 hours away and the delta is under 45 minutes so I go there most times now. I get there by 9 and am having drinks by noon and home by 2. With the delta you can always find glass water so it's hard to beat but no beaches which is tough with the kids. I hope to hit berryessa a couple times this year for some over nighters now that the kids are older. Pm me when you are going we can try to meet up.
I'm in the East Bay as well. We started frequenting the Delta a lot more last summer. As Jim said you can always find glass. I use to go to Berry a lot in prior years. It gets busy early on the weekends and is hard to find smooth water. If you go there it is sometimes worth hulling butt to the northern end as there tended to be few people willing to cross the large body. Typically the wind kicks up by mid day on Berry and the main section can be like the high seas (white caps!). They opened a couple more marinas on Berry towards the norther section so now there are more boaters there as well. Seems like mainly a lake for tubers.
My favorite lake in the area, if you can call a 2 hour drive in the area, is New Melones. Camping is civilized (great place to take the kids), unlike Don Pedro (complete zoo with drunken idiots), and the run out the Stanislaus River arm is pretty nice.
Lake Sonoma looks interesting. But the book "Recreation Lakes of California" says "waterskiing are allowed only in designated areas". If you go there be sure to let us know how it is.