Delta Rat Scrapbook - November 2018

Sacramento River Cruise

We met Emil Gagliardi, the owner of a new cruise boat business based out of the Clarksburg Marina on the Sacramento River. He has only been open for business for a few months but he is already getting fully booked up. Sue and I, along with local writer Barbara Steinberg, newspaper editor Galen Kusic, Clarksburg business owner Kathleen Van Diest and another friend, all met at the Clarksburg Marina to check out this new venture.

Emil greeted us at the dock and told us the history of his boat. It is an actual east coast lobster boat built in 1979. A previous owner used it as a picnic boat. After a month’s long search Emil found and purchased her in Bridgeport, Connecticut. After some yard work there he trailered the vessel across the country to Clarksburg. I will let Emil tell you the adventure of the cross country trip when you are on a cruise with him.

He made a few changes like adding a second bimini top and installing a table in the cockpit area to make her more suitable for his use. She has a cuddy cabin and a large cockpit; the two bimini tops keep the sun off passengers and crew. She is diesel powered and moves right along with her semi-displacement hull. The boat is very dry as you cruise along. The river itself was pretty calm but we hit a few good sized boat wakes and she rode them with no splashing of the passengers or crew. Keep in mind we were sipping wine as we traveled and did not spill a drop. I think it is because of the design of her chines and the high freeboard that lets her ride so well.

Emil has a six pack USCG captain’s license which allows him to carry up to six passengers. We cast off from the dock at the marina and headed upstream on a beautiful evening. This stretch of the Sacramento River is really picturesque with tree lined banks and the occasional dock. We cruised several miles upstream passing the town of Freeport and going under the Freeport Bridge then anchoring a mile or so upstream from the bridge past the giant East Bay MUD water intake. We had enjoyed a flight of wine on the way up and after Emil got the anchor set he broke out the cheese, Prosciutto, nuts, and crackers along with honey and other spreads. It was great, there was almost no breeze and the sunset took place as we were anchored. We were under a grove of trees on the west side of the river about 30 feet from the bank. Throughout the whole trip Emil kept up a great line of patter about the boat and his business.

After enjoying the local wines Emil broke out some local craft beers for us to sample. It was all great while we relaxed and talked with Emil and watched the sunset while sipping a cold beer.


If you have a group of six or less and want to have an intimate enjoyable cruise, you should check out the Sacramento River Cruise. It is a lot of fun and Emil is a great guy filled with interesting stories. He has a day job too, working in a high end restaurant in Sacramento. He also has extensive experience crewing on boats of all sizes. Bring your sunglasses and a jacket as river weather is changeable from warm, sunny days to cool Delta evenings. Emil is planning to operate all year long.

Make this a day trip; stop by Husick’s Taphouse in Clarksburg. Take a quiet drive down the River Road to historic Walnut Grove and Locke before or after your cruise. Other nearby options for food and drink include the Freeport Wine Country Inn, Freeport Bar & Grill, Hood Supply Company and Steamboat Landing. The nearby Old Sugar Mill offers a variety of wine and olive oil tasting options, too. Check it out or make a reservation at: sac






Marina West Yacht Club

John Romeo commodore of the MWYC checks in with an account of their latest adventure. “On the weekend of September 21st through 23rd, the Marina West Yacht Club navigated some very smooth waters to join our friends at Sportsmen Yacht Club in Antioch. They packed us in just right on their newly refurbished guest dock and we enjoyed the sunshine and their great hospitality. On Saturday they held their annual Rib Cookoff and we were treated to some seriously great baby backs with a variety of rubs and sauces. We even had cooked to order omelets on Sunday morning before we got a museum tour of their grand old ferry boat for a clubhouse. We shoved off just before noon as we had enough water under us to get out and head under the Antioch Bridge for our leisurely trip back to Ox Bow Marina.”

We also hear that Marina West Yacht Club is looking to have their own Christmas parade on Georgiana Slough by Ox Bow Marina.


Stockton Yacht Club

There is plenty going on at the Stockton Yacht Club, not the least of which is the pending completion of their replacement docks project. Their Wacky Wednesday dinners are also a real hit.

Dave Breninger advises us of Donna Clausen’s efforts on the new docks, “Donna has coordinated the financing package as well as project management of the removal of old sheds and the installation of new sheds at the Club. September was set aside for removal of old sheds and October begins the new month-long phase of installation of the new Meeco Sullivan sheds. All is being accomplished under her capable leadership. It is always nice to bring to your attention a boater and yacht club member who steps up, steps forward and places service above self for the benefit of recreational boaters.”

Stockton Yacht Club has been having some popular events every Wednesday. They call them Wacky Wednesdays and have a different member crew prepare the meal each time. Sue and I attended on September 5th. Randy and Linda Welch served their secret enchiladas with rice and beans. Linda said Randy stayed up all night making his special brownies for dessert. At the dinner we sat with Ken and Jo Horak, who own a 37-foot Avanti with one of the coolest boat names ever, Just Jo-Ken.

On the evening of Saturday, September 22 the club held its Member Appreciation Party at the clubhouse. As you can imagine there was quite a crowd there. We dined on Chicken Marsala, scalloped potatoes, salad, and a great cobbler for desert. Guy Wood and Erianne Haglund were manning the bar so no one went thirsty. Sue and I were honored to sit with Robert Willis and Marc Bay so we were filled in on gossip about many local happenings around the Stockton area.

The highlight of the evening was Ed Stetson presenting Nicole Foster of Make a Wish Foundation a check for $14,000 the club had raised for the charity.


37th Annual Lynn Hahn Memorial “Delta Reflections” Lighted Boat Parade

Marina West Yacht Club has sponsored the Stockton area Christmas lighted boat parade for the last 37 years. Originally they were located at Riverpoint Landing right on the parade route. Then they moved to Tower Park Marina for a few years before moving their clubhouse to Ox Bow Marina. With the parade starting near Windmill Cove and heading up the San Joaquin River from there it was quite a haul from Ox Bow so Stockton Yacht Club stepped in and volunteered to host the parade. This will work out well as the Stockton yacht club is right on the parade route, well close to it anyway.

For 2018 the parade will be on Saturday, December 1st starting at 1700 hours. There is an entry fee of $25.00 all proceeds go to benefit the Stockton Women’s Center. For information check out stocktonlight, stockton or contact Bob Cain at or 916/806.9200.

Roger Hahn works hard on this event in honor of his mother. Bob Cain is the coordinator at the club. It is a fun time with many area businesses and organizations donating prizes. Entry fees are collected and after expenses all monies go to benefit local charities. The celebrity judge panel for this year’s parade will be: Steve Kubitz from Big Valley Ford Lincoln Mercury, Joelle Gomez from Children’s Home of Stockton, and Jill Faso Antonini of United Cerebral Palsy.

There will be a pre-parade decorated boat show on the guest dock at Village West Marina on Friday night November 31. This was a big hit last year and I imagine it will be a bigger hit this year. This is a chance to see many of the boats in the Christmas parade up close and talk to the crews, and children are definitely welcome. We hear Santa will be there and they will have a cookie decorating contest as well as plenty of other fun. Proceeds from Friday night benefit the Children’s Home of Stockton. Proceeds from the parade on Saturday benefit Women’s Center Youth and Family Services. Support your community this holiday season and have a blast too.


Yacht Club

SYC Rear Commodore Phil Chovanec reports in the club newsletter that their Labor Day weekend Commodore’s Cruise was a success. They had fifteen boats, six land yachts and a few shipmates that drove in for the day to Delta Marina in Rio Vista. Commodore Chovanec reports that, “Margie Gonzales once again decorated the patio with a Hawaiian theme. Kathy Teresi and a crew of many, Deb Ramirez, Monique Smith, Kay Montgomery, Linda Garrett on food, with Jim Montgomery on BBQ. New members Karen and Greg on their first cruise with veterans Tommy and Magic Keller were on Rum Runner detail. Commodore Phil was coerced into native Hawaiian attire.” (Note: the Hawaiian attire was a grass skirt and coconut shell bra). Rear Commodore Sam Teresi and Kathy Teresi put the cruise together.


Discovery Bay Yacht Club (DBYC)

Bob Clapper reports in from DBYC, “Fifteen boats made the 1- to 2-hour trip from Discovery Bay to Willow Berm on Friday, September 28. Actually some of us went on Thursday in order to spend a quiet day at this great destination. On Friday we had a potluck dinner at the beach sandbar. Most of Saturday was spent playing Bocce Ball.  Saturday dinner was at Moore’s Riverboat, a short walk from Willow Berm. The sunrise photo was taken from the back of our boat Friday morning.”


DC Mixer At Village West Yacht Club

The VWYC went all out for the Delta Chambers mixer at their newly renovated clubhouse. The place was packed and the food just kept coming. Fred McAvoy was there. Fred, ever the joker said “I bet you thought I was dead.”

Claude Pellarin showed a few of us around the grounds of their new RV Park. It is your basic luxury park with every space right on the water. There is a concrete walkway around the perimiter, Claude pointed out the rope hand rail between the walkway and the water. It is something like 700-feet of hawser. It looks to be about 4-inches thick. It would make an anchor line for a small ship. It looks great, very nautical. The RV spaces and the bungalows were all filled up on this day. I am confident they will be extremely popular throughout the year. Now when a yacht club cruises in, their friends and family traveling by land will be able to stay in the RV spaces or the bungalows and be close to the boats.

During the mixer Fred Weibel, Delta Chambers President awarded Village West Marina an appreciation award for the Taste of the Delta. Claude Pellarin accepted the award on behalf of the marina.


Village West Marina Harbor Party

The management of Village West Marina held their tenant appreciation party out on the point on a balmy late September Saturday. There was a big crowd. They rented a huge tent for the occasion and had tables and chairs set up inside. An eight piece salsa band kept the crowd dancing and tapping to the music all afternoon.

At 1330 lunch was served and thick ribs, pork roast, pasta, salad, rolls, soft drinks, and cookies. It was a feast and the food just kept coming, I think they served over 400 meals. I saw some folks going through the line twice. After getting my food I was wandering around like I was lost when Tom and Brenda Palacios invited me to sit at their reserved table right near the band.

The band Latin Magic was great and had an excellent horn section. Throughout the set, members would leave the bandstand and walk out to the crowd for a solo to the crowd’s delight. They played all afternoon with hardly a break. I am confident they will be invited back again. By the way, the new 72-foot Meeco Sullivan covered docks at Village West Marina should be ready for occupancy by the time you read this. There is a definite shortage of larger boat slips in the Delta and these, located in a prime marina, will be popular.


Corinthian Yacht Club

The Corinthian Women’s Club hosted the Classics at the Corinthian event. It was on September 29 at their club in Tiburon. The event brought in six classic yachts that were held open for viewing during the day. This annual event has become a Classic Yacht Association tradition spearheaded this year by Bernadette Sweeney. Jim Sweeney has been in sick bay as of late, it was good to see him up and around and showing (along with Bernadette) the classic 1929 43-foot Stephens yacht Elizabeth. Other participating yachts were: Triple Crown, Flamingo, Skal, Eslo, and Northstar II.

Commodore Kamilos took the occasion to hold the final bridge meeting under his tenure as leader. After the show many of the participants enjoyed dinner at the club. Sue and I had business up the river so we were not able to hang around for the entire day.


Margot Brown Wheelchair Regatta

September 29th was the 22nd annual wheelchair regatta. I was unable to make it this year due to other commitments but Freda Lucido gave me a link to her album of photos.

This event brings a fleet of boats from yacht clubs throughout the Bay and Delta to the Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda. They take disabled veterans from all over Northern California on a days outing; including a boat ride and a shore side party at the club complete with a barbeque lunch and live entertainment. U.S. Navy Sea Cadets were on hand to help get the veterans from the buses to the dock area. From there local fire department personnel got them aboard the boats.

New this year the John A. B. Dillard Jr. an Army Corps of Engineers catamaran was used to transport some of the veterans. This is a large vessel with very high freeboard, 87-feet long with a 26-foot beam and 97 tons of displacement. It is a debris removal vessel and takes an average of 3.7 tons of debris per day out of the Bay. The firemen had their work cut out for them getting veterans aboard this vessel.

The food looked like a feast, plenty of cookies and fresh fruits and plenty of fresh condiments for the hamburgers. I don’t think anyone went hungry. Count me in for next year.


California WaterFraud Update

The whole twin tunnel project seems to be unraveling, at least from my vantage point. The cast of characters fielded by the state and the water exporters provide a lot of amusement if you don’t think about your dollars being squandered on this mother of all boondoggles. Previously we told you about the plan to locate a toxic waste dump on Bouldin Island (owned by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California) across from Tower Park Resort. Now it looks like they plan to move the proposed dump on Bouldin Island (for the third time) to a new more southerly site. It looks like it will not be directly across Little Potato Slough from Tower Park but will be directly across from Grindstone Joe’s, Devils Isle and the ski club island. Michael Brodsky, Captain Frank Morgan and your correspondent have testified at the water board twice regarding this matter. The first time we pointed out that the proposed barge landing on Bouldin Island would greatly interfere with pleasure boating on Potato Slough so the tunnel rats came back with a proposal to move the barge landing east and the dump northeast putting it in proximity to Tower Park Resort. We went back to the board and pointed out that the prevailing wind would blow the stench and dust from the dump onto Tower Park. Now they have come back with this new plan to move the dump to the south. If you conclude that these people have no idea what they are doing you would be correct. Why don’t they just reach out to us and we can all sit down and figure out where to put it with minimal impact to the people of the Delta, seems like that would be far cheaper than having their lawyers and experts returning to the water board repeatedly.

Dan Bacher, a friend of ours and a noted Northern California investigative journalist was recently recognized by the Sacramento News & Review as “the most dangerous man in the Delta” for his work reporting on the fraud taking place with the Department of Water Resources and with the water barons. Dan does an amazing job ferreting out thievery and mis-management in California’s Natural Resources Agency. He shows up at many water, oil, or wildlife related news conferences and meetings. You can see the water exporters and DWR officials cringe when they see him coming. He has been a thorn in the side of Jerry Brown for the last seven plus years and prior to that he kept Arnold Schwarzenegger on his toes. Keep up the great work Dan.

If you have been following the saga of the Oroville Dam spillway you know that the project started out as a $117 million repair job and it has now blossomed to a $1 billion fiasco and the final price tag has not been determined yet. Think about this, the DWR claimed the twin tunnel water fraud would cost about $19 billion but if repairing the spillway is costing $1 billion how much do you think twin 44-foot diameter tunnels 150-feet underground and 35 miles long will cost. I think the original estimate of $75 to $100 billion is way too low.


John Silva

I stopped by 5 Star Marina to check on another matter and talked to John Silva the harbormaster. John is a great guy who is always smiling. He runs the day to day operation of the marina. I knew that he had been there for several years but he said he just celebrated his thirteenth anniversary there as harbormaster. I think he is going to make it a career.


Eight Bells

Katie Senior advises us of the passing of some well-known Bethel Island folks:

Dori Anderson 4/21/1950 - 8/18/2018. Dori lived on Bethel Island where many knew her as President of the Bethel Island Chamber. She belonged to many of the local groups on the island, was a Bethel Island Lion, worked on the Delta Waterway Cleanup and was so dedicated to the Delta Restoration she bought a few small islands. She worked at Kraft for 31 years from 1974 to 2005 before semi-retiring with partner Hal Hutchens to sell homes with their business Cypress Lakes Realty Affiliated Brokers.

Dori was, and always will be, a bright light to so very many. To her daughter, she was a role model, mother, confidante and best friend. To partner, Hal, she was a soul mate, a partner of many countless adventures and his dose of brightness plus feistiness every day. To her many grandchildren and great grandchildren, she was the perky, fun, tequila drinking adult they loved to be with. To endless others, her quick laughter, bright smile, and endless charity will never be forgotten. When she found out of her illness two weeks before passing, she again put family first as she battled a cancer diagnosis with a grace most will never possess. Dori was 68 years old. (In loving tribute by her Daughter Corey Carter Collier.)

She will be missed by so very many. Her smile and kindness to others will not be forgotten. We will never see a Cazadores tequila bottle without thinking of her! Any remembrances, flowers or donations can be made to the American Cancer Society on her behalf.

Ralph Wallace 4/6/44 - 9/16/18 (Bethel Island) Ralph Wallace lost his battle with his medical complications on 9/16/18. He went in his sleep with no pain or suffering. It started on May 5th with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Since then there has been numerous complications. Yet he never lost hope for another 10 years of life. Never lost his smile, his passion for the love of his life Ardith, his caring for others, nor his sense of humor. He enjoyed many years with family and friends on the Delta, Bethel Island, Frank’s Tract and Spanish Harbor at Lake Berryessa. Once you became his friend, he was your friend for life. His earliest friendship was with Wayne Barker. They had known each other since they were 5 years old! They married sisters (Karen and Ardith) and their family’s lives were always lively to say the least! Years and years of gregarious family gatherings filled with love and laughter. Ralph was “that guy.” Strong, yet gentle, loved his football and hockey and could fix about anything! He leaves behind an unscathed legacy of respect along with a slew of friends, clients and family who loved him so much. (In loving tribute by son Chris Spellman and niece Kimberly McFarlane.)

Ralph was involved with property management prior to taking ownership of Boyd’s Realty on Bethel Island, was a Bethel Island Lion and belonged to numerous Island organizations. Ralph was an amazing man and he will be missed dearly. He was very well known and respected throughout this community and beyond.


Irish Pennants

Nita Rienhart, the Sunshine Lady at the Stockton Yacht Club who sends get well wishes to members that are under the weather has had a mishap. She was filling her hummingbird feeder when she fell down and broke her hip and wrist. Get well soon Nita!

Hydro Dave Hernandez moved to Arizona a few years back. I don’t hear too much from him but he checked in from Lake Pleasant, 40 miles north of Phoenix. According to Hydro, it is a medium-size lake and 200-feet deep at the dam. Hydro shares some Arizona humor with us: “What did the fish say when he got to the wall? Answer: Damn!” Anyway here is a photo Hydro took of his friends enjoying a day on the lake. According to Hydro, “It’s hard to believe there are local lakes in Arizona.”

San Joaquin County’s Public Works Department participated in the Coastal Cleanup Day in September. Six hundred volunteers collected trash and junk along local waterways. Along with the normal trash, tires, junk, refrigerators and flotsam the team found an ATM machine. One wag said it might have become submerged when San Joaquin County’s economy was underwater a while back. There was no mention of whether or not money was found in the device.

A lot of folks think boaters sit around all day sipping champagne wearing white pants and double-breasted blazers while discussing the latest stock market trend. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is all about being a grease monkey when needed. Here is Richard Dunn making some repairs to his Stephens runabout assisted by Rob Sesar.

Tom Palacioz and Brenda Jackson check in from Paris, boating on the Seine and spreading the word of Bay & Delta Yachtsman around the continent. They are traveling with Glenn Williams and Janet Gerrard. Judging from the photos they are posting, they are having a spectacular time not only boating but visiting the Eiffel Tower, local nightspots and sightseeing.

The holiday parties and change of watches are coming up. A big one will be the Classic Yacht Association change of watch on the Delta King in January. Folks from all over the United States and Canada will be attending.

The folks at Snug Harbor are reporting some big salmon are being caught at the confluence of Steamboat Slough and Cache Slough.

Let me know what you are up to! or 916/869.9141. H

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