Erle Stanley Gardner

Erle Stanley Gardner was a seasoned yachtsman who had a love-hate relationship with sailing the Seven Seas. The hatred came from dreadful seasickness, which he described himself as an expert in. Nonetheless, his adventurous spirit persuaded him to embark on many nautical journeys. He sailed to places such as Hong Kong, Manila, Alaska, the peninsula of Baja California, and into the Sea of Cortez to name a few. He loved the thrill he got from sailing to strange lands and visiting foreign ports.

When he wasn’t seafaring away into choppy waters (and hurling into a bucket), he practiced law and wrote prolific amounts of pulp fiction novels. His writing is best known for creating the fictional lawyer Perry Mason, but he also wrote of his maritime travels for fun. In his later years, he settled for more peaceful ventures on the Sacramento Delta. He wrote three books about his leisurely days drifting down the thousand miles of inland waterways in the Delta: “The World of Water”, “Gypsy Days on the Delta”, and “Drifting down the Delta”. The books are not to be considered travel guides, nor stories of breath-taking adventure, but more of journal entries about a man’s simple days exploring along the smooth waters.

He frequently mentions Giusti’s Place as his favorite Delta hangout because he loved the delicious home cooked meals, as well as the family that owned and operated the restaurant/bar. His books also tell about the early history of the area when riverboats were the means of commerce between San Francisco, Stockton, and Sacramento. As you turn through the pages you will see copious amounts of Erle’s personal photographs of friends, watercraft, and scenery of a Delta past.

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Windsurfing and kiteboarding in the Delta

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