Delta Rat Scrapbook - March 2019

Dave Ward

I correspond with Dave Ward from time to time. He spent over 45 years in and around the Delta, Walnut Grove, Stockton, Sacramento and the Elk Grove area and had several boats during that time. Dave was a friend of Hal Schell and says he misses the days when they would hang out together and quaff a few beers. He has since moved to Sun City, Arizona but still subscribes to the Bay & Delta Yachtsman, so he can keep his finger on the pulse of the Delta by reading the Delta Rat Scrapbook.

Last summer he was able to cruise on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) aircraft carrier from Pearl Harbor to the North Island Naval Air Station on Coronado Island. Dave′s son in law is a Master Chief aboard the ship with 300 people reporting to him.

The ship has 50+ F-18 fighter planes, 22 helicopters and other aircraft make up a total of about 100 flying machines. There are close to 6,000 sailors on the ship. Ship′s company - 3,532; Air wing - 2,480. Dave says, “the flight deck is over three football fields long, if you stand on the bow you can barely see a person at the stern.”

Dave called me on the phone after he returned and was very excited, he says this “was the trip of a lifetime.” Due to security concerns there is a lot he is unable to talk about, but I agree that had to be a great trip. USS Carl Vinson is 1,092 feet on deck and 101,300 long tons. By comparison I was aboard the USS Ranger (CV-61) which was 1,046 feet on deck but only 56,300 long tons. Ranger at the time I believe was the largest non-nuclear-powered warship in the world. Carl Vinson is powered by two Westinghouse nuclear reactors and can go about 25 years before refueling. I remember the first time I went aboard Ranger, she was anchored in San Francisco bay and we went out by shore boat from Naval Air Station Alameda. I remember when we pulled along side and looming over me was the most massive structure I had ever imagined. There was a floating dock for disembarkation and from there we made it to the hanger deck and then to our bunks directly under the flight deck. I can only imagine what a thrill it must be to go aboard USS Carl Vinson.

The ship made history earlier in 2018 when it paid a visit to Da Nang Viet Nam. She was the first U.S. aircraft carrier to visit the country since the end of the Viet Nam war. She was accompanied by her strike group the cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG - 57) and destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG - 108). They arrived March 5th and stayed for four days to the delight of local residents and the crew alike.

Dave shared some photos with me, he said Bay & Delta Yachtsman was a hit on the ship too.

Stockton Yacht Club

I jumped the gun a little bit a while back and announced the incoming officers for the Stockton Yacht Club. They held their change of watch on January 5th. We joined them for another excellent dinner from the galley followed by the change of watch ceremony.

After dinner Commodore Lucy Hamilton introduced Staff Commodore Jorja Ivie who was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Jorja introduced Nita Rienhart who delivered the invocation. This was followed the presenting of the colors by the color guard of local sea scouts which was organized by Don Rienhart. Staff Commodore Ronda Beasley led the Salute to the Flag.

Larry Brown was sworn in as commodore and Christel Schneider was sworn in as vice commodore. New directors joining the board for 2019 are: Cliff Kenst, Paul Rioux, and Robert Willis. They join Donna Clausen, Bob Cain, Mark Jantzen, Linda Libician-Welch, Darren Beasley, Roger Beebe, Jim Fenelon and Randy Welch.

Marina West Yacht Club (MWYC)

The MWYC held their change of watch in beautiful downtown Isleton at the fabulous Peter′s Steakhouse. We were in the upstairs banquet room and a great prime rib or salmon dinner was enjoyed by all.

It was a fun party with about 50 folks attending. MWYC is a who′s who of the Isleton Delta Loop area, a bunch of fun-loving great people. They called upon your correspondent to swear in the new bridge. Officers for 2019 are: Commodore-John Romero, Vice Commodore-Mary Geranio, Rear Commodore-Paul Cameron, Treasurer-Debbie Cameron, Port Captain-Bill Long. Directors are Bill Power and Charlie Marwedel. Marina West moved to Ox Bow Marina a few years back and it has been good for both the marina and the club. They have one of the best clubhouses around and there are some good cooks at the club that prepare some delicious meals from the galley. They have a liquor license and moved their bar from their old location, so it is almost like a neighborhood cocktail lounge. The marina is in a harbor with no current with plenty of guest docking. There is fuel available and hot showers for guests.

Pacific Interclub Yacht Association (PICYA)

The PICYA held their Commodore′s Ball in late January. It was at the Four Points Sheraton in San Rafael. William Gargan took over from Winston Bumpus as commodore for 2019.

A couple of my good friends received awards at the event. Bob Cain is not only on the board of directors of the Stockton Yacht Club, he was the commodore in 2012 and served in many other positions at the club including setting up their point of sale system and as the club′s webmaster. He also served as commodore of the Tower Park Yacht Club in 2008 along with being webmaster, fleet captain, PICYA delegate and several other positions. In 2000 he was commodore of the Marina West Yacht club where he was also a very active member and served on many committees. If you have ever met Bob, you will remember him for his sartorial elegance. He has a new wild outfit at every event.

It was not much of a surprise when at the PICYA 27th Commodore′s Ball on January 26th Bob was awarded the Silver Star Award. Congratulations Bob!

Lenora Clark is another delightful person that I am honored to have as a friend. She has served on the Board of Directors of the PICYA from 2008 through 2015. She was elected Commodore/President in 2014. In 2017 she was awarded the Robert S. Olsen Memorial Award “whose recipient has selflessly given of their time and efforts for the greater good of the boating community without consideration or recognition.”

In 2006 she received the PICYA Silver Star Award for her contributions to the boating community. She was featured in the BoatUS Magazine as one of the Ten Top Women in American Boating and was also spotlighted in the September 2015 of Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine′s 50th Anniversary Edition.

She was not content with simply serving PICYA, so she also provided her expertise in serving as a Commissioner on the State of California, Department of Boating and Waterways Commission from 2004 to 2012. She was appointed to the Board of Recreational Boaters of California in 2001 and continues today as a member of that Board. She served as the RBOC President in 2007. As President of RBOC she also served on the BoatUS National Advisory Council and she remains a member of that distinguished Council. In addition, she is a member of the National Recreational and Fishing Foundation Board of Directors. Locally she served two years on the Delta Vision Stakeholders Coordination Group and the California Water Plan 2009 Advisory. She continues to work with the San Francisco Bay Spill Prevention and Preparedness Council. She has served on the State appointed Delta Advisory Committee and now participates on the local advisory group on Aquatic Invasive species working with local, State and Federal elected officials on these issues.

She is a member of Ebony Boat Club where she has worked tirelessly to develop a Scholarship program and coordination of wholesome boating activities for inter-city youth.

And that my friends is why Lenora was awarded the Pacific Coast Yachting Association′s (PCYA) Charles A. Langlais Award at the PICYA Change of Watch. This award is presented annually to the person that PCYA feel is the most deserving individual yachtsperson on the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to the Mexican border. Congratulations Lenora!

Thanks to Russ Robinson, Patti Brennan, Bob Cain, and Dedrick Denison who all keep me informed of the bigger picture involving PICYA and PCYA.

Classic Yacht Association (CYA)

The CYA International change of watch rotates from fleet to fleet. Every five years the Northern California Fleet hosts the event. In the past we have held it at many venues around the Bay area. It has been held in San Francisco, Sausalito and Tiburon over the years. For 2019 it was held in Sacramento for the first time. This idea was spearheaded by our 2018 fleet commodore, Gerry Kamilos who lives in the Sacramento area. Of course, others of us lobbied for Sacramento as there are many possibilities here and there is a lot of maritime history. Sacramento is ideal for any event as it is at the intersection of two major freeways, there is Amtrak service to downtown Sacramento and there is an international airport just a few miles out of town. There are plenty of museums and historical venues to visit and Old Sacramento is a museum in itself. Add in great restaurants and watering holes and you have the perfect formula for a successful event.

The committee met several times throughout 2018 in preparation for the celebration. Finally, on Jan 17th it all came together. Folks started arriving, many stayed at the Delta King which is permanently secured to the wharf in Old Sacramento, others stayed at the luxurious new Kimpton Sawyer hotel just a couple of short blocks away. Thursday evening many of us met at the bar aboard the Delta King for a cocktail and to listen to Irish music by the live band. Afterwards, several of us headed to a nearby pizza parlor for dinner. George and Candice Homenko cruised their boat Catherine E to Old Sacramento and tied up at the wharf. Patrick Welch accompanied them as crew. When they arrived back at their boat, they were invited to join an impromptu party on the dock.

On the morning of Friday, the 18th, a bus pulled up to the Delta King in for a trip down I-5 to Stockton and a private tour of the Haggin Museum. This is not only a fascinating museum but also home to the Stephens Brothers boat archives, many CYA members own Stephens boats so the archives are especially interesting to them. Everyone enjoyed the visit and then in the early afternoon they boarded the bus again and took a short Delta tour along State Route 12 to Rusty and Julie Areias′ Orchard Gables estate in Walnut Grove. The visitors were treated to a scrumptious lunch hosted by Rusty and Julie.

Rusty had arranged for his boat Miss 102 and Bill Parker′s Stephens yacht Merganser to arrive at his Sacramento River dock prior to the lunch. Unfortunately, after making the trek from Antioch the boats encountered the Georgiana Slough Bridge which was stuck closed and the boats could not complete the trip to Walnut Grove, they did heave to at the bridge and after the lunch the bus driver brought the guests by to see the boats from the road. They managed to stop by and have a look at the historic town of Locke as well.

Friday evening folks made the short trip from Old Sacramento to the Sutter Club. It is the oldest private club in Sacramento dating to 1889. It was originally located on the corner of 4th and J Street. In 1930 it moved to its current location on 9th Street near the Capitol. Many prominent figures belong to the club and most California governors have belonged. It is a beautiful building with historic artworks, excellent ambiance and great food.

CYA members from all over the United States and Canada attended the event. We enjoyed cocktails and some excellent appetizers. The service was impeccable, every time you turned around there would be a server with a crabcake, lamb chop, stuffed mushroom, or some other exotic hors d′oeuvre for you. Gerry introduced a representative of Mayor Steinburg who welcomed the group to the city and thanked us for choosing Sacramento for our meeting.

Saturday morning the club officers met aboard Delta King for their annual meeting. Other attendees were free to wander the streets of Old Sacramento and take in the historic buildings. Many went to Sutter′s Fort, the Railroad Museum and the Automobile Museum. After the meetings a tour of the Sacramento Underground was available and later a charter boat took attendees for a cruise upstream on the Sacramento River.

They arrived back at the Delta King just in time to change clothes and head into the Paddlewheel Room for the dinner and change of watch ceremony. We had more appetizers and a cocktail or two before we sat down for an excellent meal. Some of us had steak and others had salmon, it was all good and I ate every bite of my steak. Local wines were served with dinner and after there were several desserts available.

At our table we had Jim and Kathy Hackworth, Kim Korth, Les Cochren, Cindy Breninger and Amanda Benitez. It was a great group with a lot of chatter on a myriad of subjects. A couple of glasses of wine with dinner and it all gets a little hazy, but I think it was Jim that proposed we have a shot of tequila. Now not everyone at the table was on board for this but I think it was Jim, Cindy, Amanda and me that had a shot along with a fresh lime slice. Anyway, it seemed to be the perfect finishing touch to the delicious dinner.

After dinner the change of watch ceremony was held. Gerry started things off and introduced Jim and Margie Paynton who led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave the Invocation. Gerry introduced outgoing Commodore Scott Andrews. A new tradition was introduced. Ever since I have been involved in boating organizations the change of watch has involved some variation of a naval change of watch. Martin McNair, a retired Navy Captain and SEAL team member, has conducted many of these ceremonies for the CYA. The new ceremony involves a paddle with two holes drilled in it slightly smaller in diameter than a shot glass. Shot glasses are inserted and filled with tequila and the incoming and outgoing commodores share a mutual drink.

Scott Andrews, the outgoing commodore, is from California and was recently sworn in as the commodore of the Northern California fleet of the CYA. Incoming international commodore Garth McBride is from British Columbia where he and his First Mate, Doreen, cruise their 60-foot 1926 J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding yacht Olmaha.

On Sunday morning another round of meetings were held aboard Delta King. Some folks headed for home while others continued the tour of the Sacramento area. Everyone I spoke with said they had a great time in Sacramento and were impressed with Old Sacramento and the waterfront.

California Boating Congress (CBC)

This year′s annual California Boating Congress is set for March 5th and 6th at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The Marine Recreation Association is again sponsoring this important event and has posted the CBC agenda and registration information at their website

For the fourth year in a row, the CBC will bring the marine industry and boating community together to advocate for issues affecting this important part of our state′s economy and culture and chart the future of boating policy in California.

This year′s Congress will kick off at 1730 hours, Tuesday evening with a cocktail reception for attendees at the Hilton Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade Hotel, 100 Capital Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814, giving attendees an opportunity to meet and mingle before the main event on Wednesday.

Assembly member Jim Wood, CA District 2, will welcome attendees to the CBC at 0830 hours on Wednesday morning at the Embassy Suites Conference Center. Robert Newsome, Sr. Vice President of Strategy, Engineering Standards and Membership for the National Marine Manufacturers Association will be the keynote speaker and will provide an important overview of the economic and recreational impact of boating in California.

A summary of legislative and regulatory issues affecting recreational boating in the state will be presented by Bret Gladfelty from the Apex Group and he will hand out schedules, along with guidelines and instructions, for the afternoon meetings with legislators.

Breakout sessions focused on specific boating issues and valuable updates and information about critical legislative and regulatory topics will follow the morning coffee break. These morning sessions will cover a variety of topics, including the flood of current and pending regulations, the State Lands Commission′s programs to remove abandoned vessels, the current audit of BCDC and an opportunity to meet with leaders of the applicable state regulatory agencies.

Lunch will be served at the Embassy Suites, and attendees will then proceed to the State Capitol for meetings with individual legislative representatives throughout the afternoon. Call 209/334.0661 or email at for more information.

Bethel Island

Katie Senior, Jack Hanna and a few other folks have advised me that a company has applied for a land use permit for a fish processing operation on a 400-acre plot in the center of Bethel Island. The Bethel Island Municipal Advisory Council was asked to comment on this proposal and invited public feedback at a heavily attended recent meeting. Apparently, the application submitted proposes a 35,000 square-foot fish processing plant, a 5000 square-foot fish nursery, 100 acres of fish ponds, 20 acres of compost a 168-acre orchard, six semi-trailer truck docks and a 40-car parking lot. I am confident that someone will fill me in with more details on this in the upcoming weeks. From my point of view constructing a fish processing plant on an island that is primarily recreational and residential is not a great idea.

Tower Park Fire

The West Coast Canvas shop and the Delta Marine Sales offices at Tower Park Marina were struck by fire on the evening of February 5th. Fortunately no one was hurt and the fire was confined to just one building. Boats at the dock were moved safely away thanks to the quick actions of Mike Garner and his crew.

Flames shot 100 feet into the air and could be observed miles away. Fortunately there had just been several days of heavy rain so things were on the wet side which helped contain the flames. The wooden building dated to the steamboat days when small vessels loaded with produce would pull up to the docks and offload their cargo which would then be loaded on to railroad cars and shipped throughout the United States. For the last 50 years or so Tower Park has been one of the premier marinas in the California Delta and the efforts of now owners, Yogi Bear′s Jellystone Park are committed to keeping it that way for the next 50.

Delta Marine Sales will operate as normal at the main location in Stockton at 1302 West Freemont Street as the Tower Park location was vital but served as their second location. The staff is happy to announce there will be no interruption of customer service.

Curt and West Coast Canvas has been servicing Delta customers for over 30 years and expanded from canvas to full service solutions for interiors and exteriors including electronics as a one stop shop. Curt is definitely the retrofitter to the stars. Clients come from all over the West Coast to have West Coast Canvas upgrade their boats and yachts. Even at this point of business interruption, Curt Page of West Coast Canvas has already started the process of opening WCC at a new location. He has vowed that this disruption will be brief and his business will be back better than ever, providing the same level of excellent workmanship that his customers have come to expect over the years.

All contact info remains the same and Curt can be reached at (209) 333-0243. I will update as need be in the following months. Myself and the entire Bay & Delta Yachtsman crew wish Curt the best during this difficult time.

Irish Pennants

Wimpy′s, the iconic restaurant and bar on Thornton Road at New Hope Landing, has new management. Dawn and Monica are two fun-loving ladies that are also excellent chefs and managers. In addition to their regular menu they are serving a prime rib brunch on Sunday from 1000 to 1400 hours.

Blair Hake checks in after a day of wild partying celebrating Truman Townzen′s 75th Birthday. Blair reports there were no serious injuries and friends came from all over the Delta to help him celebrate. While Delta Big Dogs founder, Bob “Jaws” De Wees could not make it, the other founders, Jerry Mathews, and of course Mary Knight were there to celebrate Truman′s big day. Many memories were shared of various adventures throughout the Delta including who met whom at a Delta Big Dog run. It was noted that many relationships came out of a Delta Big Dog poker run. There was plenty of food and the legendary John Giglio tended bar and everyone was well taken care of in Truman′s new man cave. Truman is still living by the motto “If you can′t run with the Delta Big Dogs – Stay Out Of The Boat.”

Blair got a photo of a nice-looking Carver heading up the San Joaquin. He posted it on social media and immediately Marc Bay responded that it was a vessel that he brokered the deal on. Marc says he has worked with this same client and helped purchase and sell a dozen yachts for him over the years. “This one is a Carver 506 MY that we located in Marina del Rey. I had Captain Pat Carson bring her up and deliver her to the yard for some R & R. When finished she′ll spend a little time in the Delta then off to SF Bay. She′s an amazing vessel with factory hard, enclosed flybridge and aft deck and six air conditioners to keep her comfy in every compartment, year-round.”

Tom Troglia has placed his California yacht sales license with Bay Yachts, Inc. While he is busy selling new and brokerage yachts in Florida, he wants to stay close to his California roots and work with his clientele from the Delta and Southern California. You can contact Tom at 619/381.7446.

I have a lot of folks ask me where they can get books on cruising the Delta. Unfortunately, there has been a shortage of recent publications, but Sue and Hale at Books Rio V on Main Street in Rio Vista generally have some vintage books available. Erle Stanley Gardner, Bob Walters and Hal Schell have all written excellent tomes about the Delta and sometimes you can find them at Books Rio V. A couple of recent books about the Sacramento River side of the Delta are The Sacramento River Boating Guide by Bill Corp and it gives detailed information on cruising the waterway all the way from Sherman Island to Knights Landing. Bill invested a lot of time into this work and I highly recommend it if you are new to cruising that area. Another good book, not about cruising but more about the history and ecology of the Sacramento River, is The Sacramento, a Transcendent River by Bob Madgic. One of the fascinating things about the older books is that many of photos show places that looked then much as they look now, 50 or more years later.

Last month we mentioned the passing of David McDonald, one of the greatest yachtsmen the Delta has ever known. I just feel the need to say more about this great American. He was born in 1949, the son of a Presbyterian minister of modest means. His first boat was an aluminum fishing boat. Early on he exhibited a genius for business management and at a young age started manufacturing women′s clothing. Eventually he bought into Pelco, a security camera manufacturer. He turned the company into a powerhouse with 2,500 employees. He sold the company in 2007 and spent his time since cruising his yacht and contributing to charitable causes. Sue and I were honored to be invited aboard Casino Royale twice while David was in Stockton. He made you feel like you were the most important person in the world when you were relaxing over a cup of coffee with him. He had his people give us a grand tour of his yacht, the most beautiful vessel I have ever been on. I remember being in the engine room and trying to adjust my camera′s flash because the plated and polished metal was so bright. As a souvenir he gave us each a beautiful Victorinox Swiss Army knife with the yacht′s logo on the scale. David is survived by his son Blake and daughter, Michelle. As I have said previously David McDonald was a great man.

This year the PICYA Opening Day on the Bay is Sunday, April 28 and they will be using Commodore Cruises based out of Alameda as the PICYA Parade Committee Vessel. Corinthian Yacht Club will be having a big weekend event and have a blessing vessel on station. More to follow!

My new heading photo is by Jack Hanna, he caught me trying to photograph him.

It is shaping up to be an excellent year, let me know what you are up to! Send me your 300 DPI jpeg photos! or 916/869.9141.

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