I discovered this little ferry a couple of miles upstream from Rio Vista on the Sacramento River. It goes to Ryer Island, one of the delta islands. It's run by CalTrans, is free, and holds around 8 cars.
Last Edit: Sept 14, 2010 20:52:41 GMT -8 by Kahloke
some fresh pics of the Real McCoy II from my recent trip down to California last week. We took both Ryer Island ferries - Real McCoy II from Rio Vista to the island, and J Mack (the cable ferry) from the other side of the island.
Last month, I got a break after work in Oakland and took a short drive up to the Delta to check out the two ferry operations there. Once you get to Rio Vista, it's a relatively simple task to get to both ferries. And as a pleasant extra, it took me just around an hour to get back to Oakland, arriving at 4:30PM on a weekday without getting into much traffic, much to my surprise.
First up, I went north along Highway 84 to the Cache Slough Ferry - or maybe it was the Ryer Island Ferry. Or was it the Real McCoy Ferry? It is universally referred to by all three names. Either way, the new Real McCoy II replaced the 63-year old Real McCoy in early 2011 on the 800 foot route. I had it in my head that this boat was a cable ferry, but it certainly isn't. It's, ah, the real McCoy. Yeah, I just did that. Anyhow, after watching the boat make one round trip, I queued up and took the next trip across. The boat makes its 800 foot journey across Cache Slough three times an hour, leaving the Rio Vista side on the hour, and at the twenty and forty minute marks as well. It leaves the Ryer Island side after unloading and reloading.
Real McCoy loading on the Rio Vista side. The new boat was designed to prevent RVs from boarding, due to problems with them bottoming out on the old boat.
After riding the ferry across, I stopped to take a few more photos as the boat made its way back across the slough. If memory serves me correctly, this new boat was built up in Freeland, WA. Am I right about that? According to one web posting I found, the old boat was sold to a private owner and now resides on Mare Island near Valejo, CA.
Leaving the Ryer Island "terminal" with another load.
And an overview look at the entire route and both docks, taken from Ryer Island.
After watching the Real McCoy II complete its journey, I made my way across the island to the J Mack ferry on the opposite side. More photos to come!
I opted to take Ryer Road along the south shore of the island rather than cutting directly across on highway 220. On a pleasant spring day, that turned out to be a very good choice. And I still made the drive in all of 15 minutes. When I got there, the little J Mack cable ferry was stretching its way across Steamboat Slough after departing with a single car. Unlike the Real McCoy, the J-Mack runs on an on-demand basis. If there are cars, they'll go get them.
The ramps getting from the road, which runs along the levee, down to the dock, provide some interesting angles for photos. Here, I am at the junction between the two as the J-Mack makes its way across to Grand Island, which is then connected back to the "real" world by a bridge.
As it came back across, I got down a little closer so I wouldn't miss the boat.
And a closer look at the 41-year old J-Mack as she gets closer to shore. I am reasonably sure that this boat has been upgraded or modernized at some time in its history if it is truly 41 as the newspaper article I found on the route stated.
After getting these photos, it was time to take another short ride. More photos to come!
The ride across Steamboat Slough is somewhat shorter - about 400 feet - but still far better than a boring old bridge.
The J-Mack has room on her deck for about six cars, though she never got close to full during my short stay. Here we are on our way across with two cars, including my rental.
And after unloading, I took a moment to watch as the J-Mack headed back across with another island-bound car.
All in all, this was a great way to spend an afternoon. The mid-March spring day was extremely pleasant, and the only two state-operated ferries in California are within easy reach of both Sacramento and the Bay area. I was exceptionally glad I made the trip. I hope you enjoyed!
Great photos of the Sacramento River ferries Jody. I've been on both the J-Mack and Real McCoy II a couple of times. My aunt moved to Rio Vista a few years ago and I've been down there a couple of times. The river delta is quite beautiful, and the last time I was there, I took the river road from Rio Vista all the way up to Sacramento. That is a very scenic and beautiful drive.