Delta Rat Scrapbook - October 2019

Ten Years After

Owl Harbor celebrated their tenth anniversary in August. They held a huge party over a three-day period, and it was like the mother of all parties. It started on a Friday with participants decorating their campsites and or boats. I got there in the evening just in time for dinner of barbecued hotdogs, polish sausage and other exotic treats. Wine and beer along with some refreshing fruit drinks were available too. Jeanne Mathews a long-time Delta person and a friend of mine is the harbor master and a friendlier person you will not find. I came by land yacht, so she buzzed me through the gate.

Each participant received a gear bag packed with all kinds of interesting SWAG: t-shirts, key chains, food, and jewelry. Everyone received a blank wooden name tag that we were encouraged to customize and wear around our necks. I thought I was being very creative with some designs and beads on mine. I strung the beads to represent the sea, the land, the sun, and the sky. After working on my badge for half an hour I commented to someone that I wondered what my granddaughter would think about me spending the day sitting around stringing beads. My creation was nothing compared to many of the others, as usual the children come up with the most interesting designs.

The band “Mere Mortals” began to play. They were excellent with old time rock and roll flowing through amps almost driven to distortion that got a lot of folks up and dancing.

On Saturday, they held many contests and races throughout the day. They held a three-legged race, tug-o-war, dingy poker run (you could use any type of human powered craft), potato sack race and a balloon walk. Sue and I arrived in the late afternoon and the party was still going strong although the outdoor games seemed to be over. The caterer, Hannibal’s out of Sacramento had arrived and was assembling a delicious looking meal but first Devery wanted to get a photo of the entire crowd so everyone assembled on the grassy meadow with the levee in the background.

As you can imagine the photo op turned into a cat herding operation, Finally, after much cajoling Devery got everyone reasonably assembled into a group. Threats of holding dinner until the image was taken seemed to have helped expedite things. We got a couple of good images, the folks at Owl Harbor seem to have a thing about group photos as when I look at their website and Facebook page there are others.

Owl Harbor recently won an award from the Delta Protection Commission/Delta Conservancy for being voted the best marina in the Delta (second year in a row). It was very well deserved the grounds are beautiful and the staff is great.

I spoke with many of the folks, not only were there year-round berthers but many folks who brought up their boats from the Bay for the summer.

The grand finale was to be on Sunday morning with a breakfast and awards ceremony. I would have loved to attend but just can’t drag myself out of bed that early.

If you are a sailor Owl Harbor is a great spot to keep your boat. It is close to the San Joaquin River and the Delta breeze wafts through the area regularly. It is right off the deep-water channel and a very manageable distance to the Bay and from there to the ocean. There is a huge area for camping on the gated grounds. The entire resort covers 20 acres, plenty of space to get lost.

Taste Of The Delta

The eighteenth annual Taste of the Delta is history. It was the best with fifteen participating wineries and an equal number of restaurants and food purveyors. There was a selection of artists and artisans and a few local businesses participating too.

It was held at the fabulous Village West Marina & Resort in Stockton for the second year in a row. The marina owners, management and staff all bent over backwards to help make this event a success. The tremendous amount of planning and work that goes into this event begins almost a year in advance. The entire Delta Chambers board is involved from day one. It is a lot of work too for the participants to bring wine or food to the event then set up and serve all day. There are permits and licenses to obtain and many logistic challenges to overcome. The Korth family has loaned their tents to the event every year, the marina supplied a few more and the chamber has several popups. Tables and chairs are rented, and everything is brought to the venue the afternoon before the event.

A bunch of us met and set up the tables and chairs along with the popups and put up the signage. Our member and friends at New Image Sign Company make the signs for us every year and we do our best to give them plenty of lead time, but it never fails we have a few last-minute stragglers that we need, and New Image always comes through. It was a warm afternoon and we set up 60 tables and over 100 chairs. The linens were reserved to go on first thing in the morning during the final setup.

A few of us were pretty worn out after a couple of hours work and even though we had some bottled water we were dying for a cold drink of anything else. Daniel Fernandez who was bartending at Village West Yacht Club saved us. We headed into the club bar and Daniel made sure we each had a cold drink which was like the nectar of the gods after working outside on a hot afternoon and okay, I stuck to a soft drink as I had to get up early again the next morning.

We arrived early the next morning to complete the final setup. I had stayed up half the night working on our balky point of sale system and was concerned about its reliability during the day, but Mary Knight and Sadie Saling were both working at the front desk and knew exactly what to do to make it work. Local Sea Scouts from the ships Point Weber of Stockton and Polaris of Elk Grove came and helped all day. The Scouts helped with parking control and ran errands throughout the day. They did an excellent job. If you are having an event and need help consider the Sea Scouts, they look sharp and operate with military precision. A lot of folks came by boat including the Sausalito Yacht Club that cruised in. Jim Gabbert cruised his beautiful Stephens yacht Defiance up for the occasion.

The party kicked off at 1300 hours and the crowd flocked in. The Pellarin brothers had secured the parking lot on Benjamin Holt Drive just below the marina.

From there guests could walk up the hill and catch a boat from Garlic Brothers to the event or take one of the two available shuttle busses to the event the long way. Oh yes Mr. Pedicab was on hand for those that wanted a human powered ride.

Our favored band, Tressa Gaye and Friends, provided some great music throughout the day and there was a belly dancer group performing along with a live snake. We had lived and silent auctions with many exotic items and received compliments on the great wine and food served. At 1600 our liquor license expired so people started folding their tents and taking down displays. Afterwards most of the stragglers headed into the Village West Yacht Club to cool off.

A tremendous thank you to everyone involved. This event is a fundraiser for the Delta Chambers to help carry out their work of supporting local businesses and working to stop the destruction of the Delta by outside forces.

Tom Patti

Tom Patti, San Joaquin County Supervisor held a fundraiser for the Delta Chambers at Windmill Cove. Tom is a rising force in San Joaquin County politics. As a supervisor he is obviously very active in Delta matters. He has used his own crane at times to remove derelict boats from local waterways.

He put on a good party, live music and plenty of good food prepared by Jerry Wolfe. It was good to see a lot of important Stocktonians attending.

Ebony Boat Club White Party

This was the 4th annual EBC White Party and the best yet. The floating clubhouse at the Stockton Downtown Marina was packed with attendees. You were requested to dress in all white. It was billed as the EBC Enchanted Forest. It was a hot afternoon but somehow the club air conditioning was able to keep things cool with the enthusiastic crowd attending. Niecey Living Single and the Obamah$ were the featured entertainment. I have seen the group perform a few times. I would say I am a big fan. Niecey reminds me a little of a young Tina Turner. She is moving every second. We sat with Dane and Pamela McCoy and their daughter Kim and her fiancé Derek. Kim and Derek arrived a little late as they had just signed papers on their new home.

It was a great party. Ok, the invitation said heavy hors d’oeuvres would be served. That was a misnomer as there was a lot of food. They were all appetizers, but the collective result was we were all stuffed quickly as if we had eaten a several course dinner.

Niecey and the band played all night with hardly a break. Many folks were dancing, and everyone was enjoying the music. The party was a benefit to support the Ebony Youth Foundation Scholarship Fund.

PICYA At Stockton Yacht Club

The club hosted the Pacific Interclub Yacht Association for their awards dinner in early August. I had previously mentioned my granddaughter receiving a scholarship, two other young folks also won scholarships. Each year PICYA awards $2500 scholarships to graduating high school students or college students wishing to continue their education in approved institutions of higher learning. To be considered, applicants must be students whose parents, grandparents, guardians or mentors are members of a yacht club belonging to PICYA.

Applicants must be graduating high school seniors of the current year, or college students continuing to pursue their educational goals. Scholarships are not renewable; however, previous recipients are eligible to reapply provided they still meet all other qualifications

Thirteen Applications were received. This year’s winners are:

Devin Anderson – Golden Gate Yacht Club & San Jose Sailing Club

Hayden Lahr – Richmond Yacht Club

Daisy Lewis – Classic Yacht Association

The evening also involved member clubs receiving awards for their participation. Morris Lum accepted an award on behalf of the Sacramento Yacht Club.

It is always a pleasure to dine at the club and this was no exception. The galley and chefs are first class. The bartenders are always Johnny on the spot too.

Tower Park Waterfront Grill

We were at the TPWG for the August Delta Chambers mixer. This was a joint meeting with the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta Conservancy and the Delta Protection Commission to award the winners of this years Best of the Delta awards. Stacy Hayden of the Delta Protection Commission represented both organizations and made the presentations. Winners were: BEST WATERFRONT RESTAURANT - The Point Restaurant, Runner-up Giusti’s Place; BEST HAPPY HOUR - The Lighthouse Bar and Grill, Runner-up Moore’s Riverboat Restaurant; BEST MUSIC AND DANCING - The Lighthouse Bar and Grill, Runner-up Mei Wah Beer Room; BEST WINE CLUB - Bogle Vineyards, Runner-up Grand Island Vineyards; BEST VACATION LODGING - The Bartlett, Runner-up B&W Resort Marina; BEST RV CAMPING - Ko-Ket Resort, Runner-up Lighthouse Resort and Marina; BEST MARINA - Owl Harbor Marina, Runner-up Willow Berm Marina; BEST BAIT SHOP - Bob’s Bait Shop, Runner-up Hap’s Bait Shop; BEST BOAT SALES AND RENTALS - Delta Kayak Adventures, Runner-up - Delta Yacht Sales; BEST SOUVENIR AND GIFT SHOPPING - Chinese Cultural Shop, Runner-up Korth’s Pirates Lair Marina; BEST DELTA TOUR - Delta Heartbeat Tours, Runner-up Delta Kayak Adventures; BEST HISTORIC BUILDING - Locke Boarding House Museum, Runner-up Antioch Historical Museum.

Congratulations to all the winners, I have patronized all these businesses and recommend them all.

Waterfront Grille manager Flora Jackson and her team have done a fantastic job with the restaurant over the last couple of years. I was amazed when I walked into the ballroom, it has been totally redone since the last time I was there. The stage was moved to the opposite side of the room and there were new tables and chairs. The bar and restaurant look great.

A bunch of us stayed after the mixer and had dinner. The food has always been outstanding, and this was no exception. We each had something different ranging from burgers, to steak, to pasta, I had the barbeque shrimp BLT, it was on focaccia bread, I highly recommend it. Thom and Wendy Foulks, Terry McDonald, Blair Hake, John Bento and Bob Light joined Sue and me. It was an eclectic group of very interesting people. The conversation ranged from the government of Portugal and Madeira to SCUBA diving the Seychelles Islands with stops in the Delta and Hawaii. It was a nice evening.


I think I am starting to go crazy. Just in the last few weeks, I have had two different people call me that were stuck out in the middle of the San Joaquin River in a broke down boat and did not know who to call for help. Okay one thing that happens is that over the years I have answered the Delta Chambers phone and the local operators when they can’t find a place to send the call send it to me. That is fine and we are happy to help but dang it is maddening that people are out there risking their lives and don’t know what they are doing. I asked if they had called the coast guard and they answered in the negative. Neither of them had a marine radio. After admonishing one lady to not go out in the Delta without the necessary safety, I directed them to TowboatUS. She was unfamiliar with the service, so I explained that it is like AAA but for boats. She said, “oh I can just call AAA then?,” so I explained that it was a different business but they would come and rescue them. Of course, if you buy the annual service agreement it is far, far cheaper than paying for one service call if you need assistance. Neither of these groups had ever cruised the Delta before.

WaterFraud Update

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has announced on their online blog through the “August Delta Conveyance Update” that they are moving forward with plans to divert the Sacramento River around the Delta. Now they are saying things like: “No one knows the Delta better than those who live, work and play in the region. Through dialogue and feedback, the community can give voice to the Delta’s unique character and help guide the project to provide local benefits. Forums are being organized to provide an opportunity for a meaningful exchange of ideas and information geared toward identifying solutions that respect the Delta’s history and support its future, including footprint considerations, design concepts that help create community benefits, measures to avoid or minimize construction effects, opportunities for economic and social benefits.” There is a lot more on the blog, just search for “conveyance” on the DWR website. In my opinion the only footprint consideration should be if they are going to build a tunnel to extract water then build it at Sherman Island where it will enhance the flow of water through the Delta. I cannot think of any design concepts that create community benefits that will be interesting. The only way you can avoid construction effects is to not do the construction. I see no opportunities for economic and social benefits. The communities along the river will be severely impacted by the construction. Already, at times, traffic is a disaster in the Delta, and it will become far worse when all the semis start carrying muck up and down local roads.

The Natural Resources Agency and DWR proved in the last go around that they are too inept to handle a project of this scope. They do have the almost unlimited funding from California taxpayers so they can grind us down with unlimited meetings and huge data dumps. I remember Jerry Brown talking about the BDCP project and how the 40,000-page document would not be read by taxpayers. They were giving people the document on a portable drive. I think printing 40,000 pages would wear out most home printers. At this writing Peter Robertson of Recreational Boaters of California and I are scheduled to meet with some of the folks from DWR and the Delta Conveyance Design & Construction Authority to discuss the tunnel. It should be interesting.

San Joaquin Delta Neighborhood Watch

Tracie Glaves and her team are making a big impact around Stockton cleaning up the local waterways. Recently Adam and Jule Farrow loaned them a floating dock and they took it up the Calaveras River to pick up debris and junk left by vagrants. Roger Kelly, Frank Rauzi, Roland Bod, Brad Hellwig and Tom Patti conducted the operation. The city helped and carted away two dump truck loads of rubbish. Citizens and elected officials in San Joaquin County and the City of Stockton are all pulling together to start solving some of these serious problems. I spoke with Tracie and Roger and they are very pleased with the involvement of elected officials as well as law enforcement and state agencies. It is all complicated because as you go upstream on the Calaveras you encounter Caltrans, San Joaquin County and the City of Stockton jurisdictions.

The next location they are going to tackle is the Smith Canal. Roger has already made some scouting trips there and reports that the bottom is covered with shopping carts and other junk. It is too bad that our waterways and outdoor areas have been allowed to deteriorate to this level, but they can be restored with a lot of hard work. So far, the only one missing in action in the Stockton area is the mayor.

Roy de Lis Joins Twin Rivers Marine Insurance Agency

Roy de Lis, of Huntington Beach, has joined Twin Rivers Marine Insurance Agency. Roy’s family history around the boating community extends from sea to sea. His grandfather was affectionately known as the Captain by his immediate family. Roy’s grandfather was a tugboat captain in NY harbor prior to and during WWII. Roy’s father and uncles worked in the merchant marines prior to WWII.

As a young boy, Roy’s attraction to on the water activities came naturally. Roy began sailing at the age of 10 and completed the Annapolis sailing school program when he was 14. He began his career in the marine industry at the Jensen Marine plant building CAL sailboats through a regional occupational program in High School. Before entering college, he worked for a few local boat builders too.

While in college he stayed connected in the industry working with a local marine surveyor and yacht sales broker in Newport Beach. Roy began his career in the Marine Insurance industry as an agent about 18 years ago.

As a “Marine Insurance Specialist,” Roy has written and maintained policies for all kinds of vessels, from classic yachts to mega yachts worldwide. Roy truly enjoys his past clients he has helped over the years. He looks forward to his new voyage working with the friendly staff at Twin Rivers. Give him a call to discuss your client’s marine insurance needs, you’ll be glad you did. Thanks to Gary Clausen for this update.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

A lot of folks had some good adventures this summer. Al Kroger made a few trips and checked out all the drawbridges in the Delta. The Areias family toured the Azores and Portugal visiting friends and family. A group of Classic Yacht Association members went to Canada and cruised the Rideau Canal in a bareboat charter they call themselves the Canada gang. Liz Zamora and Ryan Gauger came up to help at the Taste of the Delta and celebrate their first anniversary together. It looks like this is getting serious. Sue and I went to San Francisco to celebrate her birthday. We went to the Museum of Modern Art to see the Andy Warhol exhibit. It was well worth it there were a lot of obscure pieces you don’t normally see. Sue’s favorite color is red so I got her an authorized print of a Warhol tomato soup can. My son Conrad dropped by for a few days. He still lives in Mexico City and comes back every six months to renew his passport. Granddaughter Daisy has moved into the dorms at UC Berkeley and has started school. There is still plenty of good boating weather out there, I think we will have a late winter.

Eight Bells

Joseph “Joe/Joey” Russo, 60 passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home on August 19th. Joe was born in Pittsburgh, California in 1958, to Joseph and Joanna Russo. He graduated from Liberty High School in 1976. Joe is survived by his mother, Joanna Russo of Bethel Island; two children, Nicole Russo of Antioch, and Brian Russo of Minnesota (daughter-in-law Shannon and granddaughter Gina), three brothers, Chuck Russo of Knightsen, Steve Russo of Florida (sister-in-law Bertie) and David Russo of Bethel Island, long-time companion, Kathy Henriques of Concord and many nieces and nephews. Joe is preceded in death by his father, Joseph Russo of Bethel Island.

Joe was an accomplished tractor driver and burn pile supervisor (family joke) at Russo’s Marina, where he dedicated himself to the family business for over 45 years. Joe was a witty, happy-go-lucky man with a great sense of humor. Joe’s family, friends and Russo’s Marina customers fondly remember his big smile, kind words and humorous “Joeyisms.” During his free time, Joe enjoyed hunting and fishing, watching San Francisco 49er games, traveling near and far with Kathy and sharing stories about their adventures.

A celebration of Joe’s life was held on Saturday, September 21st at Russo’s Marina in the campground area. Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516. Thanks to Kim Cronin and Joanna Russo for this information.

Irish Pennants

Delta Marine Sales is pleased to announce that D. Craig Santos has joined their sales team. Craig comes to DMS from the Real Estate profession where he has excelled for many years.

A long-time boater, Craig recently purchased a 65-foot Destination Yacht from Delta Marine Sales and decided to join the team. I am most certain whether you are listing your vessel, or you have decided on a new purchase from Delta Marine Sales you will be handled professionally by Craig or any of the other very courteous sales staff you decided to deal with.

Contact Craig at 209/470.1459 or

Ox Bow Marina has a new manager. Matthew Ceryes recently started. He comes from Vallejo Yacht Club where he was the manager for fourteen years. He comes highly recommended and I am confident he will do well in this position.

Tom and Wendy Foulks forwarded another photo from the recent luau at Village West Marina. This is Byron, the club commodore.

Let me know what you are up to! Send me your 300 DPI jpeg photos! It has been a great year and it is not over yet! or 916/869.9141.

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