Letters from You - July 2018

Greetings Bill,

In the spirit of your latest issue, here is a picture of our recent April trip to the Mediterranean.   After a beautiful boat ride to Amalfi, we posed in front of Mt. Vesuvius with our Bay and Delta Yachtsman. Spectacular views and a spectacular coastline and we loved Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.   Maybe we will catch up with Blair Hake someday!

Cathi and Tom Sawyer

Fabulous Cathi and Tom!

Looks like you folks had a great trip. I think you are closing in on Blair. If you would have hiked to the summit of Vesuvius, I think you would have beaten him and Liz Zamora.



Hi Captain Pat,

I would like to thank you for your article on ESD. I do not think enough folks are truly aware of these hazards. As a member of the SJ Delta Power Squadron, a couple of years or so ago, I was informed of this issue. I learned of a YouTube video presentation by the ABYC which is the best I have seen explaining the details of the ESD issue at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7-s_mdEPb0#t=984. The presenter was a boater whom lost his son as a result of ESD. He investigated until he learned the source of the problem along with technical recommendations for checking/analyzing for the problem.

Although the first 12 minutes of the presentation are difficult to listen to, it is well worthwhile to see the entire article. Of the suggested checks is the use of a “Clamp” meter to check the current in the shore power cords. I bought the clamp meter and made up a short (about 8-inches long) 30 amp special cord (he calls it a split cord) with a male connector on one end and the female on the other. Instead of checking the entire cord, I split the 3 wires to expose each.  This allows me to check the current in both the hot wire (black) and the return line (white). If there is any difference in the current between these two that is the amount that is leaking into the water looking for a return path to the dock pedestal.

I would recommend every boater view this video and at least make this small investment in order to check whenever they might have a suspicion of a problem.

Thanks again for bring up this ESD issue in your “Lessons Learned” article.

Best regards,
Captain Jack


Captain Jack,

Thank you for being a regular Bay and Delta Yachtsman reader and sending this link. The ABYC produced video, although a bit lengthy does do a good job of explaining the causes of Electric Shock Drowning. In my business we use a clamp meter and split cord regularly to confirm if our boats are safe, especially before the diver gets in the water to clean the hull or replace anodes. As I mentioned in the article, some Bay Area marinas have been aggressively modernizing their shore side power distribution and some boat owners are discovering their boats are of serious concern.



Good Morning Bill,

We meet at a photo shoot some years ago out at Herman and Helens. I have the vessel Chrysalis. I could not go to the Philippines without the current Bay and Delta Yachtsman. I tried to get into the Manila Yacht Club to check it out and could not get past the security guard at the door. I was there with a good buddy of mine, Brad Owings. It’s okay however and I’ve been thrown out of better places. Given it is a third world country, only the super elite have the ability to enjoy the yacht club lifestyle so it doesn’t surprise me I couldn’t get past the door. Now I know that in some parts of the world I’m part of the super elite, LOL. I never realized how much I love the California Delta until I experienced the Philippines. Love your articles and always look forward to your column. I hope this picture comes to you in the proper format. I’m not good at technology.



Thanks for the note and photo Ace. The photo shoot with the models at Herman and Helens was the high point of my life! You didn’t tell the guard at the Manila Yacht Club you knew me by any chance?  I and many of my friends have been banned from many such places.



Dear Bill,

I am researching mid-century motorcycling in Sacramento. There was a group of women called the Sacto Cyclettes that formed in 1937. They disbanded several decades later. According to historical records, they did things with the Sacramento Yachtettes. I dug up a little information on this latter group but not much. Do you have anything on this group’s purpose, activities or members? I am wondering what the tie was between these two women’s groups and if some of the motorcyclists may have also been boaters on the river. Anything that you may know would be much appreciated.

Kim Edwards



Unfortunately the Sacto Cyclettes and the Sacramento Yachtettes do not ring a bell with me. I did know some bikers in high school. Colorful fellows like Wolfman, Bear, Cuddles and Baby Huey. Baby Jesus was our garbage man. Maybe some old timer like Ken Scheidegger will have some memories of the groups.  If I learn anything I will forward it to you.

Bill H

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