Delta Rat Scrapbook - April 2019

Superduper Super Bowl Party

Joe Faso has a secret man-cave somewhere in downtown Stockton. He invited a hundred or so of his close friends to his Superbowl party. Everything Joe does is way over the top, this applies to his man cave as well as the party itself. This was the mother of all Superbowl parties. In an unassuming building from the outside you walk by the El Grullense truck selling tacos and other Mexican food at the entrance, once you enter you were met on the left by a huge buffet table with just about every type of food you could imagine. When we walked in Russ Robinson was filling some containers with exotic foods. On the right you find Joe′s collection of hot rods and Henry J automobiles. Now these are not just your stock four banger powered Henry J cars. Each has an out of the ordinary V8 motor with a modern drive train and colorful paint job. Compared to the stock Henry J, these are what Tom Wolfe would call a “Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby,” I mean they are cool. In addition to the Henry Js he has a rail dragster and a couple other custom cars on display along with a motorcycle or two. They are all beauties and classic examples of modern American folk art. In fact, you could say the whole facility is a museum of modern 21st century art.

He asked participants to bring some food to share so it ended up there was a feast that would have fed half of Stockton. The drink was flowing too naturally. Joseph Antonini and others served as bartenders during the day. Every room had at least one large screen TV to watch the game. The big TV with a screen measured in square feet was on the main floor with people sitting in auditorium chairs probably retrieved from some theatre.

You must see his cave to believe it, there are not only custom cars and motorcycles to admire, literally everywhere you look there is some interesting artifact. The bar is upstairs, and Joe Antonini and crew kept the drink flowing freely. Joe will probably kill me for disclosing this but there is a secret door upstairs that leads down a staircase to the lower floor. Probably an escape route in case of a raid. Murals cover walls and even the floor in the head is an artistic collage. Joe is probably the coolest person in the entire Delta. Oh yes, it was a great game and as we all know, the Patriots won.

Weibel Family Tasting Room

The new and larger tasting room has been open for close to a year now. It is one of the most popular spots in downtown Lodi. We met for a Delta Chambers mixer there on a chilly Wednesday evening between storms. Fred Weibel had another engagement so the vice president of the Weibel Family Winery, Judy Weibel, was in charge. Judy was assisted by local bon vivant and gourmet chef, Lisa Hallow. Lisa prepared a gourmet feast of lasagna, veggies, and everything else. Being a wine tasting room, naturally there was plenty of drink available. We had a great time and a lot of folks took home wine to replenish their personal stock. When we left, the weather had improved, and we made it home without incident.

Windmill Cove

Jerry Wolfe has taken over the Windmill Cove Bar & Grill. We attended his grand opening on a recent Sunday. Over the years we have had many great parties and events at The Cove, and it is good to see it back in business. Many employees and guests were wearing “Make Windmill Cove Great Again” shirts, I tried to get one, but they had run out. Jerry says they have more coming in.

Tom Palacioz staff commodore of the Village West Yacht Club arrived by boat accompanied by current commodore Bryon Beck. Blair and Mary Hake also came by boat with their canine family member, Luna. Even that old Delta Rat, Bill Conner was there. The parking lot was packed with cars, it was a fitting party to kick off the boating season.

The owners of the resort, Dave and Marsha Theis have done much to get it ready for the upcoming boating season. The building has been freshly renovated and the kitchen and dining room have been totally remodeled with new appliances and fixtures. Jerry has a lot of experience in the Stockton area where he owns the Whiskey Barrel and a successful catering business. I am confident that it will be a fantastic summer at Windmill Cove.

Stockton Yacht Club Crab Feed

We must attend at least one crab feed each year given that crab is Sue′s favorite food. We missed the Stockton Lions Club crab feed but managed to make it to the yacht club for theirs. We started with pasta and salad which made you realize you needed to save room for the crab.

Let us say there was a large crowd there and I don′t know for sure how much crab was consumed but a hush went over the crowd when the crab was served, and it looked like everyone was hunched over their plates eating.

The Point Weber Sea Scouts did a great job serving and keeping the food flowing. I managed to save a little room for some cake after the meal.

Stockton Yacht Club Safety Day

On February 2nd, the Stockton Yacht Club had their annual Safety Day. The Club′s Charter states that they support boating safety and education and they chose to lead by example by requiring all boats berthed at the club′s marina to have Safety Checks annually along with other education. The day started at 0730 hours with the usual health food breakfast, safety briefing and slide show from club members, captains Pat and Leslie Carson.

Pat Carson and Garry Rogers of the Power Squadron conducted the inspections through the morning and by noon, 39 boats had successfully passed inspections with no one failing this year! Lunch prepared by Leslie Carson and Janelle Carlson was served to the 47 folks present.

After lunch, Tony Kopshever of the U.S. Coast Guard had a great interactive presentation discussing vessel boardings, the role of the Coast Guard with recreational boaters and a very active question and answer period. Members reported to have had over 50 boardings by the USCG however everyone reported pleasant and professional interactions.

After lunch there was hands on training with the club′s spill response kit and recent review of actions in a boat explosion and sinking. The Fish & Game Officer, Sherriff and local Fire Department stated that the Stockton Yacht Club was the best prepared marina they had dealt with in recent memory. The training was followed up by more hands-on training with the club′s portable fire pump and dewatering system.

Okay, your correspondent was supposed to attend this event but had gone to Emeryville to the Classic Yacht Association meeting and was having troubles with my truck stalling going down the freeway. We decided it was best to head for the barn and not take a chance of it stopping totally. After a few week′s saga and the Ford dealer giving up on it, we finally got it fixed and back in reliable service. Thanks to Dave Breninger for filling me in on how the safety event went down.

St. Francis Yacht Club

I gave my presentation about Delta boating to the club at their Wednesday Yachting Luncheon. It was a lot of fun and in addition to SFYC club members, quite a few folks from the Delta attended. They have been holding luncheons with guest speakers for 51 years. They have had some fascinating speakers on a wide range of subjects from cruising, to racing, to finance and many other fascinating subjects. I would say these are some hard acts to follow. Ron Young is the guru who arranges and choreographs the presentations. The last time I was here it was to watch Rusty Areias′ excellent presentation about the history of Stephens Yachts.

We had just been hit with an ARC storm and there was a lot of rain and flooding in Sacramento. I was putting the final touches on my slide show when my power went off, luckily, I had saved it on my laptop, so it was not much of an inconvenience. I dragged Sue out of bed at the crack of dawn and we got out the door at 0730 hours. We stopped for a quick bagel and coffee (my home power was still off) and made it to the club by 1130 hours, just in time to set up and enjoy the club′s buffet lunch.

Quite a few folks from the Classic Yacht Association, Stockton Yacht Club, Delta Chambers and other friends attended. Randy and Linda Welch came from the Stockton Yacht Club. Blair Hake and Patti Brennan arrived by limousine, one of my friends that I rarely see, Captain Phil Delano, came. Phil is with TowboatUS. If you ever need on the water assistance, he is your man. Claude Pellarin and Tim Fontaine came from Village West Marina & Resort. Ken and Laura Scheidegger also made the trek. Ty came along for the fun too.

After my presentation there was a Q & A period with a lot of good questions, some were about the scheme to divert the Sacramento River around the Delta. I met several folks with their own anecdotes about the Delta that were very interesting. Now the Spaulding Center in Sausalito has asked me to do the presentation for them in March. You can see my presentation and many others on the St. Francis Yacht Club Facebook page.

IOBG Induction

We headed to the Pittsburgh Yacht Club for a luncheon meeting and induction ceremony for the International Order of the Blue Gavel. Paul Clausen called the meeting to order and George Iaconis led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Linda Breninger conducting the invocation.

After the opening we sat down for a buffet lunch of several great tasting soups, salad, and a desert table. The general membership meeting commenced at 1400 hours with District 19 President Paul Clausen and District 14 President Charlie Thome making opening comments. This was followed by the usual reports and an update on the IOBG Humanitarian Foundation by Joan Marsh.

Following this the Induction Ceremony was held bringing new members into the organization. This was a combined District 14 and District 19 event. District 14 inductees were; Robert Kuttner Barbary – Coast Yacht Club, Tim Taylor – Barbary Coast Yacht Club, Karl Hoppe – Richardson Bay Yacht Club, and Jennifer Neuman – Coyote Point Yacht Club.

District 19 inductees were: Patricia Atkins – San Joaquin Yacht Club, Robert Babo – Sportsmen Yacht Club, Benjamin Blair – Pittsburg Yacht Club, Richard Boltz – Benicia Yacht Club, Jan Cutaia-Iaconis – Pittsburg Yacht Club, Rich Dooley – Delta Bayliner Yacht Club, Linda Gordon – South Lake Tahoe Yacht Club, Craig Scanlon – Capital City Yacht Club, Carol Whitehead - Ebony Boat Club, Jim Davi – Bridge Marina Yacht Club Richard Hardy – California Carver Club.

It is always a pleasure to visit the Pittsburg Yacht Club, they have one of the best club houses in the region, the members are charming, and there is always good food and drink available. They are right on the Pittsburg marina water front, so it is also ideal for visiting cruisers or a yacht club cruise in.

California Carver Club

The California Carver Club held its Change of Watch at Bridge Marina Yacht Club in Antioch. Officiating was the 2006 Commodore, Paul Clausen who swore in the 2019 Officers. Richard Hardy is Club Commodore for 2019 (he also served as Commodore in 2018). Officers for 2019 are: 2019 Flag Officers Richard Hardy – Commodore Joan Marsh – Vice Commodore Mac McInnis – Rear Commodore Marsha Beaty – Fleet Captain Jim Beaty – Treasurer, Gina Zink – Secretary.

Opening Daze

Tis the season to start boating again for those that don′t boat all year long.

Discovery Bay Yacht Club has their opening day scheduled for April 6 starting at noon. Register online at

Stockton Yacht Club will hold their opening day on the Delta parade on April 6. This parade typically goes from about Windmill Cove up to McLeod Lake and return. There will be a dinner and awards at the clubhouse. Contact Commodore Larry Brown at the Stockton Yacht Club for information. I plan to ride with Captain Ron Malmquist and his crew on this voyage. Check with the club for their springtime membership deals.

The San Joaquin Yacht Club will hold its opening day on the Delta on April 27th. This parade circumnavigates Bethel Island followed by a party at the clubhouse, it is always a blast. Contact the club at 925/684.9985 for information.

The 102nd Opening Day on the Bay will be on Sunday April 28. You can enter your boat in the parade or ride on the Commodore Cruises committee boat. The Commodore cruise includes lunch, no-host bar, hanging out with officials, and a narration of the parade by David Breninger or another luminary. Learn more at or contact committee chair Robert Willis at

The Corinthian Yacht Club will be blessing vessels as they pass by the classic yacht MV Aurora which will be stationed offshore from the club beginning at 1030 hours. The God Squad is made up of local clergy who volunteer their time to conduct the blessings as boats pass by. This will be a whole opening day weekend starting on Saturday the 27th with a member cruise in and decorated boat contest. There will be a big party at the club all weekend.

Sacramento Yacht Club will have their opening day parade on May 5th. You can contact them at 916/371.5058.

You should participate in at least one opening day event. This is a tradition in the Bay and Delta that dates back over 100 years, you will be part of history.

West Coast Canvas

While recovering from the devastating fire at Tower Park, West Coast Canvas has had very little interruption in their business and are already up and running in their new location.

You will find Curt Page and West Coast Canvas providing the same high-quality level of service and satisfaction as always at 1242 West Fremont Street in Stockton. The building is located next to Delta Marine Sales and J&H Marine.

With a spacious shop area, adequate in-water dock space and plenty of parking area for customers with trailerable boats, Curt is very excited about all the possibilities the area provides to his past, current and future customer base.

Once his new equipment is in place, offices are built to spec and work areas completed, I am confident that Curt will hold a huge open house that will go down in the annuls of Delta history as one of the biggest parties ever.  Curt/West Coast Canvas can be contacted at 209/333.0243 for all your custom canvas needs and much more!

HydroHoist Names Western Sales Manager

HydroHoist Marine Group has named Rob Sanford as its Western States Sales Manager. HydroHoist CEO Mick Webber says, “we are pleased to be expanding our sales team in an effort to keep up with increased demand for our product, particularly in California and in the Mountain Time zone area. I am confident that Sanford is the right person to grow our western region presence.”

Sanford′s immediate focus will be on building the California market as it relates to creating new partnerships and opportunities for all HydroHoist boat lift and HyPower power pedestal products.

“I am pleased to be representing HydroHoist as the global leader in the hydropneumatic boat lift industry. The opportunity to expand markets in the area of the country where I am most familiar creates a synergy that will enable us to meet customer demand and successfully grow the business,” Sanford said.

Sanford brings to HydroHoist more than 20 years of experience in the marine industry including roles in sales management and training, general management, boat dealership and marina operations. During his marine dealer career, he experienced selling and servicing HydroHoist products.

The announcement of Sanford′s employment comes on the heels of HydroHoist′s latest product introduction, the HarborHoist, a free-floating lift designed specifically for salt water markets, with capacities to lift 25,000 pounds. Check them out at

Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop

Vivian Matuk with Boating and Waterways advises me that there is a workshop on Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) at the Aeolian Yacht Club in Alameda on Tuesday, April 30 (You must register to attend by Friday, April 26). It runs from 0845 hours to 1445 hours. The club is at 980 Fernside Blvd., Alameda. Free parking is available at the facility. You can purchase lunch at a nearby restaurant or bring your own.

“AIS pose serious threats to water delivery systems, hydroelectric facilities, agriculture, boating, fishing, and the environment. Recreational activities, including boating and fishing, can spread AIS from infested waters to uninfested waters. Therefore, everyone accessing waters should take simple actions to avoid spreading AIS each time they leave a waterbody. Participants in these workshops will: Gain an understanding of the impacts AIS have on the economy and environment, learn to recognize AIS in their region, learn how to take action and prevent spreading AIS by inspecting and cleaning equipment and watercraft.” I am sure you remember just a few short years ago when much of the Delta was covered by water hyacinth, we can′t let that happen again.

You can register, by contacting Vivian at 415/904-6905 or vma

A Problem

We will have no shortage of water this summer, hopefully things will start drying out soon. It should be a great boating season. People have been sending me photos of rivers flowing over their banks and boats that have broken loose from their moorings and drifted onto the banks or hit waterside structures.

A big problem all over the Delta is people setting up permanent camps along the waterways. This is happening all over the Delta region. They dump sewage and trash into the water, and it drifts downstream to people′s homes and docks. Adam Farrow who lives on the Calaveras River near its confluence with the San Joaquin recently took a boat trip up the river to see where all the junk is coming from. As he traveled up stream, he filmed tents, boats, appliances, junk, garbage, you name it. You would think you are cruising up the river in a third world country. Of course, this is happening all over, the American River in Sacramento is one big hobo jungle from Discovery Park for at least a couple of miles upstream. There are people living on derelict boats tied to the banks and some are even squatting at marinas. This cannot be allowed to continue; public safety is at risk. Garbage and sewage are being dumped into our beautiful Delta. Someone sent me a photo of people dumping sewage into the San Joaquin River right next to the city water intake.

There certainly is no easy solution to this crisis and it is not just the waterways that are impacted. The downtown and residential area of many cities are impacted with people living on the streets. We certainly must have compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves, but they cannot be allowed to drive civilization back to the middle ages when we have so much technology and expertise available. One of the big factors is the drug crisis that has enveloped the country.

Every city seems to have an excess of vacant shopping malls and other buildings. Sacramento has a huge vacant arena since the new arena was built downtown. It would take some funds and work but some of these buildings could be retrofitted to house people.

The current non-solution is not sustainable. At some point the trash and junk will start clogging rivers and with the lack of sanitation it is only a matter of time until there is a communicable disease outbreak, anything we do now will seem inexpensive compared to the alternative. I know many folks that could help craft solutions to the crisis if our elected officials need help. One great idea would be to pay folks to bring in bags of trash that they have collected. I am confident that would help at least reduce the amount of trash and garbage. Remember we beat the water hyacinth a few years back when it was choking our waterways, this crisis can be solved too.

Irish Pennants

I told you a while back about my friend Sam Arditi and his automatically deploying fenders. I recently had lunch with him, and he showed me the actual product. They are neat and will stow horizontally when not deployed. They use GPS information so if you return to a particular dock, they will automatically adjust to the dock height. This is one of the most innovative products I have seen in years. They have no electrical connection to the boat (solar powered) and they look good. Just imagine, no more ordering your crew out on a slippery deck to drop or raise the fenders. Sam manufactures them locally, I plan to pay his factory a visit soon. In the meantime, you can learn more at

On Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 0900 hours to 1400 hours at East Marina Green Triangle, 200 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks, California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, the California Coastal Commission and the San Francisco Department of Environment will conduct a pilot collection event in San Francisco to get rid of expired or unwanted marine flares. There is no limit on the number of flares accepted, however, an appointment is recommended, and they request that you provide the number of flares you plan to bring. Attendance is limited to San Francisco residents and boaters who keep their boats in San Francisco only. The types of flares accepted included: hand-held, aerial, parachute, and smoke. For more information or to schedule an appointment for the event please contact Huy Le at 415/355.3760 or email at

My agent Patti Brennan advised me that there is a new PICYA yacht club in the Delta. The Willow Berm Yacht Club was officially welcomed into the organization at a recent meeting. As you have probably figured out, they are based at Willow Berm Marina. We look forward to interacting with them.

Try to attend the 25th annual Walk on the Wildside, Saturday, May 18, 2019. The event is open to the public from 1000 hours to 1600 hours. It is located just south of the town of Freeport at Beach Lake Park. You will enjoy wildlife, entertainment, guided and self-guided tours of the refuge, educational demonstrations and displays, children′s activities, food, live music, and more. Walk on the Wildside is held outdoors in beautiful lush surroundings bordered by riparian trees and nearby wetlands. 8301 River Road, Sacramento, 916/875.WILD.

The Delta Chambers has announced that the 18th annual Taste of the Delta will be on August 3rd at Village West Marina & Resort. You can learn more about it at Do not miss this spectacular showcase of local foods and beverages at one of the Deltas premier resorts.

One more thing: The Stockton Yacht Club Classic Car and Boat Show will be on September 7. The Classic Yacht Association will bring their boats and I hear the Pantera Club will be there along with many other classic cars. This is a great show with a barbeque lunch and dinner available. I will see you there. Contact Randy Welch at for information on how you can participate.

Oh, we almost forgot, Blair Hake recently celebrated his birthday!

Got dirt on your friends? Call or email me: 916/869.9141 or H

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