Delta Rat Scrapbook - May 2019

Delta Coves

Delta Coves is a project that has been in the works for some three decades. It was originally permitted in 1983. It went nowhere but in 1989 it got restarted only to fail once more. The levee was breached, and the lagoon created several years ago. Now it has been taken over by DMB Development out of Scottsdale Arizona. I am confident these folks will bring the project to fruition. They have done their homework and learned what they need to know about the Delta. I think they have learned a lot of facts and lore about the Delta that even many of us locals were not aware of. I met Nick Taratsas the general manager and he gave me a tour of the subdivision. I have in the past flown over the subdivision and driven next to it several times. I did not realize the scale of the project until I visited.

The day I was there they were already building the model homes. Nick says the recent storms in the area slowed things down by a few weeks, but they are going full blast now and there should be a grand opening of the project very soon.

This will be a beautiful development and possibly your last chance to purchase a new waterfront home in the Delta. The project will have 560 homes and 494 of them will be single family homes on the water. Each will have its own dock and it looks like most of them will have a great view of Mount Diablo. The lagoon is right on Piper Slough and minutes away from fast water and right around the corner from the San Joaquin Yacht Club as well as having good access to Bethel Island Resorts and waterfront restaurants. You are minutes away from fantastic fishing and hunting at Frank′s Tract. You are less than two hours away by car from the Sacramento Airport or San Francisco Airport.

They have a few different builders for the homes so each should be unique and in a style that is in keeping with the Delta lifestyle. The Island Camp will be the piece de resistance. It is a 4,500 square foot clubhouse located on a private island with every amenity a luxury resort might have. Technically it is not an island as there is a causeway connecting it to the mainland. Here you will have a swimming pool, gym, cabanas, and a great place to hang out.

Mark my words these homes will go fast, check out the Delta Coves website and you will fall in love For you commuters you are a few short miles to Highway 4 and just a few more miles to the Antioch Bart Station. Picture yourself sitting on your patio with your yacht tied to your private dock and the sun setting over Mount Diablo in the distance.

Naming Ceremonies

I am sure you are all aware that if you purchase a boat and change the name you could incur the wrath of the gods. Further, unless you perform a proper blessing and name change ceremony, you could face several years of bad luck in addition to being stuck with others′ bar tabs. Now I am not superstitious, but this is one piece of folklore that is true. Famous local yacht broker Nina Ankele of Delta Yacht Sales Inc. is making sure her clients do not suffer the wrath of angry deities. How many new boat owners follow up and go through the traditional ceremony? Nina, as part of her sales service, offers to perform re-naming ceremonies for her clients as a thank you for their business and it seems to be working well for all concerned. Nina tells me she has done four ceremonies in the last four weeks and the proud new boat owners have had good attendance from friends and family. A couple of the ceremonies were outside in very inclement weather, but it takes more than rain and high winds to keep an intrepid Brit like Nina down! The boat business must be good because Nina says there is an inventory shortage this year so she could do with some more listings. You can reach her at 916/217.0136 or ninamarina@sbc

Delta Protection Commission

The DPC announced the completion of its third Delta leadership class in March. The leadership program is a collaboration between the Delta Protection Commission and the Delta Regional Foundation. It is an effort to develop a new generation of leaders within the Delta community. Participation in the Delta Leadership Program is by nomination and selection. It is a five-month program with the participants meeting at the DPC once a month. Graduates of the class of 2019 are: Alex Wilson (Walnut Grove), Charles Hamilton (Lodi), Chris Rose (Dixon), Christina Fugazi (Stockton), Daniel Leonard (Tracy), Galen Kusic (Rio Vista), Heather Nichols (Woodland), Jasmine Leek (Stockton), John Hospenthal (Herald), Kimberly Warmsley (Stockton), Kristine Williams (Stockton), Mariah Looney (Stockton), Michael Neuharth (Courtland), Michelle Leinfelder-Miles (Stockton), Nate Hershey (Sacramento), Sam Merwin (Clarksburg), Scott Preble (Antioch) and Yolanda Park (Stockton). A graduation reception was held at Bogle Vineyards on a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon. There were several folks I knew, and I met others. Galen Kusic is the editor of the Rio Vista River News Herald & Isleton Journal newspaper. Galen has done a great job over the last decade reporting on local issues especially the various iterations of the Department of Water Resources plan to divert the Sacramento River around the Delta. He was a graduate of the class and this should help him in his endeavors to continue excellent reporting on Delta matters. We enjoyed a glass of wine and some excellent snacks provided by Husick′s Taphouse in Clarksburg. Moni Kondos was also there, and I enjoyed briefly speaking with her. She is a charming lady and interested in all things Delta. Congratulations to the graduates and I am confident all will go on to be staunch defenders of the California Delta.

Discover The Delta Foundation

Ken and Laura Scheidegger have had this project going now for a decade. They have spent much of their family fortune getting the project off the ground. The project began when Ken first started working with the late artist, Marty Stanley, to have signage placed around the Delta. You have seen these iconic signs with the graphic of Mount Diablo and saying, “Entering the California Delta.” The signs were the perfect logo and tagline. Next the Natural Resources agency under John Laird decided to create another logo and change the name of the Delta to the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta. I think this exercise cost California taxpayers about $750,000, a good use of public funds.

Anyway, it is time to move the ball down the field. The Discover the Delta Center will benefit all of California and especially visitors to the Delta. The Delta Stewardship Council budget is $26.7 million annually and their mission states: The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. “Coequal goals mean the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place. (CA Water Code §85054)” I am confident that between the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Conservancy, and Delta Protection Commission we could find a few million dollars to construct the center and get it moving. Once it is open it could almost become self-sustaining with sales of foods and products. It is the kind of project that is worth funding with public money as you will be able to see a benefit.

Spaulding Marine Center

I did a repeat of my recent presentation at the Spaulding Marine Center in March. We drove to Sausalito on a Wednesday evening. Sue′s nephew Kevin Pinegar came along with us. He is an engineer on commercial ships and has a lot of days at sea under his belt. I thought he would help add to my credibility. I had emailed back and forth with Clark Beek the CEO of the center. It was good to meet him in person; he is a great fellow and dedicated to wooden boats.

Eric Chiu a friend of mine and the owner of Park Delta Bay Resort in Isleton came. That was fortuitous as we were having trouble hooking my laptop computer up to the center′s projector TV. After trying several different cables and some sage advice from Eric who in his last life was a software engineer, we got it all working great. I do my fair share of audio/visual presentations and carry literally every type of connector cable I have heard of and still almost every time it is a new adventure.

It was a good crowd and intimate enough that we had a great interactive presentation. These folks are well versed in Delta matters and wooden boats. The last time I was at Spaulding several years ago, the classic sailing yacht, Freda, was semi-dismantled on the floor. Now, after a total overhaul, she was tied to the wharf and regularly sails in the Bay. Freda was built in 1885 and has had several caretakers. She has been restored maybe ten times during her life. The most recent was after she sank and was brought in for a total rebuild. She was re-launched in 2014 and should be good for another hundred years. The restoration of Freda has been performed by the apprentices of the Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding over the last two decades, in several stages. Freda was re-launched at the Spaulding Center on May 31st, 2014.

Freda has a classic look from the 1800s and come to find out her look has a deep history: “The French were already in love with the American centerboard sloop when Freda was launched at Tiburon in 1885. The clippers, as the French called their slightly modified versions of the fast New York sloop, had become the dominant racers at Argenteuil on the Seine River not far from Paris. Through a quirk of fate, they also found their place at the heart of French culture. This was because, by Freda′s time, an only recently maligned and marginalized group of painters known as the Impressionists had become wildly popular. The graceful American sloop, adapted for the conditions on the Seine, graced the tableaus of Monet, Renoir, and Manet, all of them sailors. The boats they sailed and captured on their canvases were just under thirty feet in length, and proportionately beamier and shallower than Freda. They were built with a bit of rocker along the keel to ease tacking and turning on the restricted waters of the Seine,” according to Bob Darr the founder of the Arques school of boatbuilding.

I noticed a large hole in the floor of the center and asked Clark about it. He said they were removing the rudder post from a boat and the only way they could get it out was to bore a hole in the floor and drop it out through the bottom. The building is raised several feet above the ground level. If you are interested in wooden boats, you should pay a visit to the center. It is fascinating with exotic tools and piles of lumber and a few skeletons of watercraft.

The most fascinating part of the evening for me was when I met Lash Dawn. She is writing a book about Freda and showed me a manuscript that she found aboard the vessel when they were working on her. It is a typewritten document complete with photos about a trip aboard Freda to the Delta back in the early days of the 20th century. It is almost like something out of Joseph Conrad, a group of pals sailing around the Delta looking for adventure. They even brought along a paid cook and the manuscript takes some space critiquing him. I am hoping she might publish the entire manuscript as a separate publication. I think it would be a great historical publication for people to enjoy,

Pat Mcintosh

I got a call from Pat when he was going to do a seminar at the Pacific Sail & Powerboat Show and asked if I had any literature about the Delta that he could pass out. He called the right person as the Delta Chambers has a raft of information available that we distribute to visitors, tourist organizations and local businesses. It ended up that Pat lives in Sacramento near me, so I deemed it cheaper to hand deliver them to him instead of shipping.

I met him and he is a charming and interesting fellow. Originally from Stockton, he and his wife Carole are experienced Delta boaters cruising the region the last 40 or so years. I am amazed that I had not met him before in my years of cruising the Delta.

The couple is also well versed in cruising Mexico and have made several boat trips there and spent years cruising. Pat shared with me two books that he co-wrote about cruising the west coast of Mexico. They are fascinating and filled with tips and lore for traveling by boat along the coast and up into the Sea of Cortez.

The first book is Cruising Notes – Things to know before you go. It is a wealth of information packed into 269 pages and profusely illustrated. It starts with a discussion on how to finance your trip and if you are a homeowner whether to sell or rent out while you are away and what do with your possessions including your automobiles. You can′t get more basic than that.

Next, they get into possible boats that can be used for cruising including the idea of buying an older boat versus a newer model and new versus used. It gets into what rigs work best for cruising. I don′t have the space here to go into detail of all the information that is crammed into this publication, but it even has recipes and descriptions of Mexican foods. I would say they have thought of and encountered just about everything you would want to know about getting ready.

Section two is called “Under Way” and gives you tips on cruising the West Coast all the way from Washington to Panama with emphasis on the Mexican Coast and the Sea of Cortez.

The second volume is called Cruising Notes – Underway to Mexico. It is another excellent tome. It starts with a review of things you learned in the first volume and then goes into detail on many things. The great thing about both books is that they bring up just about everything you need to think of before you start your trip. This is critical for someone like me as I can go nowhere without forgetting something and having to purchase it at my destination.

The book also gets into how to recognize a street side food stand that will probably be safe to purchase from. Or how about putting your wine bottles in socks then storing them in the bilge or in a large plastic box.

Downtown Stockton

Chris Magro the manager of the Stockton Downtown Marina has announced that if you purchase four tickets to a Stockton Ports game, they will give you four hours of free docking. Downtown Stockton is happening, it is one of my favorite destinations. There are great restaurants and plenty of entertainment from movies to sports events. Even a walking tour of downtown Stockton is interesting. From the marina you are close to other great spots like Windmill Cove, and Village West Marina & Resort.

Chris says they are going to have a series of concerts at the marina along with other events for the summer. He also reminded me that when they have their home games on Saturdays, they also have a fireworks display.

While I was at the Waterfront Warehouse, I spied a new clothing store that has recently opened. Foxy Clothing lives up to its name with some great lines of women′s fashion. It reminded me of my Mom′s store before she retired so I stopped in to compliment the owner. I met Deborah Tatum the owner. She is a charming lady and a great salesperson. She gave me a tour of the shop and pointed out that she had some men′s items available too. I ended up with a bottle of cologne, she has several fragrances and tests them out on you while she describes them. If you are at the marina you should drop in and meet her.

West Coast Canvas

I dropped by Curt Page′s new location at 1242 West Fremont Street in Stockton, right next to Delta Marine Yachtcenter/Delta Marine Sales. They are up and running full blast. It was hard to get the crew to stop for a few seconds for a photo. I predict this will be a great location and will take Curt to new heights in his business.

Grand Island Mansion Redux

We made another trip for Sunday brunch to the GIM with Dave and Linda Breninger. I am beginning to believe this is their favorite place to dine. This time we were accompanied by Donna and Paul Clausen, Leslie and Pat Carson, and KT and John Baker. This was on Saint Patrick′s Day, so the menu was adjusted accordingly. There was braised corned beef with horseradish sauce and green cabbage and carrots braised with lemon and garlic naturally, along with boiled baby red potatoes in butter and parsley and rosemary roasted leg of lamb with natural au jus and mint jelly. This is only a sampling of the delicacies we dined on, of course there was an entire dessert table to go with the meal. I passed on the Guinness Stout and stuck to a mimosa and black coffee for beverages.

This was also John Baker′s birthday, so he was served his special cake with a candle. He insisted we all share a bite with him. After a pleasant meal and conversation, we got up to leave because Captain Pat had a gig later in the day skippering a boat in the Bay and needed to start heading over there. When we were in the parking lot Pat and Leslie pulled a cute little table out of their car and gave it to Dave and Linda. Come to find out, the Breningers had hired Pat and Leslie′s Company, Bay Area Yachting Solutions, to do some renovations to the interior of their boat. Left over was the old TV stand made for a CRT TV (remember them?). Turned upside down the stand made a great table and a piece of leftover countertop material was cut to fit. A few coats of varnish and voilà, a cute new table that matches the interior of the Breninger′s Carver.

Meals On Wheels

Katie Senior informs me the 31st annual Meals on Wheels golf tournament will be held on May 18 at the Brentwood Golf Course. The cost is $100.00 per person and includes 18 holes, golf cart and the awards dinner later at the San Joaquin Yacht Club. If you are not a golfer, no problem, you can bowl at the Harvest Bowl, including shoe rental and the awards dinner for $50.00 per person. Or for $20.00 per person you can just attend the awards dinner. The event is open to the public, call Geri Marshall at 925/684.9837 to make your reservation. You can have some fun and help the needy at the same time. Meals on wheels of Contra Costa County has delivered well over 5,000,000 meals to needy seniors over the last few decades.

Irish Pennants

Do not miss the Locke Asian Pacific Spring Festival on Saturday May 18 from 1100 hours to 1700 hours. This annual event is always a blast, it has everything, food drink, dance, art and fun demonstrations.

Holland Riverside Marina has new owners, Darren and Angela Clow. You can contact them at phone 925/322.4084 or email hol

USS Lucid was featured on local TV news. You are probably aware that many Delta buildings have a resident ghost and apparently this extends to Lucid too. A psychic team is investigating the ship and trying to contact deceased shipmates.

Barron Hilton has announced that his 61st annual Mandeville fireworks display will be held on Thursday July 4th this year.

Make sure you get your tickets to the 18th annual Taste of the Delta scheduled for August 3rd at Village West Marina & Resort in Stockton. Food, wine and fun will be the order of the day. Check it out at

Speaking of Village West Marina. Good word has it that they will have a new tenant on property. Delta Marine Sales will be calling the marina home for its second location. Of course, the first location on Freemont Street will remain but I have been told it will house the many trailered boats that are for sale and their second location at Village West Marina will handle all the in-water and larger boats offered for sale. I understand that by the time you read this, all the boats will be moved over and if not, for sure by May 1st. Soon, there are plans in place to have brand new sales docks as well as a brand-new yacht sales office. I will do my best to keep you up to date as more info comes in.

We attended the Delta Chambers St. Patty′s mixer at The Point Restaurant in Rio Vista. It was a good affair, Cass Gimbert a friend of mine has some uncanny knack of winning hats at the mixers and this was no exception as he won a nice St. Patty′s hat.

Well as I finish this piece, I am getting ready to make a quick trip to Honolulu. I am only going to be there for a few days but hope to take in some sights. I really want to check out the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. It was in disrepair the last time I was there. I want to see if the rumors are true and they have been fixing it up. The harbor was originally built in 1935 and is the largest yacht harbor in the State of Hawaii.

By the way, did you know the Transpac Race was conceived by King Kalakaua in 1886? I was in Honolulu for the finish of the 1969 and 1971 races. This was back in the day of yachts like Blackfin and Windward Passage, it was amazing watching these beautiful boats round Diamond Head and cruise down the coast of Waikiki. Blackfin was owned by Kenneth DeMeuse who had previously owned one of the most beautiful yachts in the world the 1916 Alden designed Lawley built 83-foot schooner Serena. She flew a fisherman′s staysail (gollywobbler) the size of a circus tent.

Okay, with the summer season upon us the business at local bars is going to pick up. If you own a bar or restaurant, make sure you have professional bartenders and servers. Every year I get emails from people complaining that they cannot get served in Delta watering holes, I have experienced this myself many times. It is maddening, some people bring flasks so they will have something to drink while they are waiting to be served.

The season is here, let me know what you are up to! 916/869.9141 or commodore H

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