Setting Sail on the Winding Waterways of California’s Delta

In spite of the pandemic, the general manager of Delta Windsports, a Sherman Island-based windsurfing and kiteboarding gear rental and sales business on Sherman Island, said that business was booming.

Because of Sherman Island County Park regulations, we were unable to provide lessons for a time. “Selling 20 $500 boards doesn’t really fulfil us,” she said. Although we had a lot of work to do, it was a great experience.

Indoor and outdoor establishments alike lacked masks in large numbers. In May and June, it felt like an illegal thrill, but when we returned in July, California’s coronavirus cases were on the rise, and it became more complex. It was while we were sipping our Bloody Marys at Wimpy’s that one of our fellow patrons loudly railed against the potential for mask mandates. Ms. Walton of Mei Wah didn’t hesitate to share her anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine views when I interviewed her in August about her business (it’s worth noting that Mei Wah does have an outdoor beer garden).

Uncertainty reigns.

The only certainty after a year and a half of uncertainty is that things will continue to change. When it comes to the pandemic, travel and even the Delta, having a constantly shifting target may be the best way to move forward in the long run. It’s because the Delta, like so many other places in the West, is a bellwether for the choices people must make as climate change threats such as rising sea levels, destructive tropical storms, or rising temperatures increase. It’s a unique place in terms of its aesthetics, character, and sheer importance to the state of California. The Delta, as well as the rest of California, is becoming increasingly vulnerable to devastating wildfires and smog.

A professor emeritus in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Peter Moyle has been studying the Delta for decades. On the Suisun Marsh, Dr. Moyle’s research has focused on the endangered Delta smelt and other fish. He has said that it “most resembles the original Delta.” He’s certain that no matter which way things go, a lot of change is on the horizon.