Delta Rat Scrapbook – by Bill Wells
PICYA Change Of Watch
The Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association held their change of watch on March 12. It was held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon. I don’t think there was an empty chair in the house and everyone wore their finery. The women had elegant gowns and the men had black ties or formal yachting wear.
Liz Allison conducted the invocation, Bob Cain led the Pledge of Allegiance and the joint masters of ceremonies were Dave and Linda Breninger. Several guests were introduced including Captain Taylor Lam, the recently installed Coast Guard Commander of the San Francisco Sector as well as Sue and I, J Mills and Trish Krush and John Ardnt and his lovely wife (Latitude 38 Magazine).
We sat with J and Trish, Thom and Wendy Foulks and Kevin Roesler. Thom created the beautiful place tags for everyone in his shop. They were amazing and works of art on their own. Thom and Wendy planned the event and they had plenty of help, but they deserve plenty of recognition for everything they did and the way everything came off like clockwork.
Jackie Philpott says I always talk about food, and that is true. The Corinthian is another spot with great food and a stellar staff. Sue and I both had the sirloin steak and it was delicious. Sue likes her meat as well done as possible, so she compared mine to hers and we traded. She was sitting next to Trish who likes rare meat, so Trish offered to trade her steak with Sue which was more well done than mine. We all ended up happy. Most people got mashed potatoes with their meal, but somehow I got wild rice and mushrooms. It was fantastic.
Joan Marsh was sworn in as Commodore for 2022. This is her second term as Commodore since she held the position back in 1997 also. Commodore Marsh is a good person and a great leader; the organization will be in good hands. The theme for 2022 is “Leadership in Boating.” Commodore Marsh says, “we will spotlight the captains and crew that lead by example, the instructors who inspire others and the community of boaters, both power and sail who cherish our sport and the spirit of sportsmanship that imbues all we do.”
Jennifer Neumann is vice commodore and Jan Lucas is rear commodore. The directors for 2022 are Glenn Bigelow, Wendy Foulks, James Haussener, Richard Holden, Jillian Humphreys, David Jackson and Marilyn Sperling. Colleen Strauss completes the bridge as Secretary/Treasurer, along with Patti Mangan as junior staff commodore.
“It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Pacific Coast Yachting Association (PCYA) has awarded the Charles A. Langlais Trophy to Dick Loomis posthumously,” announced Winston Bumpus, staff commodore of PICYA and PCYA. “The Pacific Coast Yachting Association recognizes that every yacht club and boating organization depends upon willing and eager volunteers to promote the wide variety of programs that boaters enjoy.”
Jillian Humphreys received a standing ovation when she spoke about Dick Loomis. She said, “I was honored when I was asked by my PICYA family to say a few words about Dick tonight, so with Kelly’s blessing I did. And as Commodore Joan Marsh said to me, “you nailed it and he would be proud.” I second that, she did a great job.
PICYA Leadership Conference
My roving reporter Karen Mann from the South Delta reports: “We had 48 people in physical attendance and 12 people in attendance via Zoom for the Annual Spring Leadership Conference. This conference is an excellent resource for flag officers of each yacht club, as well as the newly appointed PICYA delegates. The conference provided the latest information regarding the new ABC liquor laws, which require that anyone who is involved with selling liquor (via a bar) must have taken a class and received a certification number. We also received updated information from the Coast Guard Auxiliary about new requirements for life preservers, fire extinguishers and reminders to obtain our Boater Card by 2025. This day covered the duties of a delegate and what Coty Points are. Finally, Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) lobbyist Jerry Desmond provided very important and up to the minute information of what RBOC is doing to remain a watchdog on the State Senate and/or Assembly bills. It was an informative day with lots of interclub interaction.”
Discovery Bay Yacht Club (DBYC)
Karen also reports on the DBYC: “I thought you would like to see what’s going on at DBYC. Last Saturday evening was the annual DBYC Appreciation Dinner to honor the DBYC volunteers. We have been doing this for years! We honor the Cruiser of the Year and the big award of the Chet Loveland Perpetual Trophy is awarded (Staff Commodore 2003.) Chet became a personal friend of Scott and mine and our families got very close. His passing was devastating to the DBYC family, as well as his own family. He passed away on February 2, 2013. Chet Loveland always thought of others before himself. He was a “selfless” yachter with a Corinthian spirit above all. Chet and his wife Linda donated a beautiful working bell to Delta Yacht Club. Chet was a Commodore at DBYC and specialized in mentoring anyone (who would listen) to board members going up the chairs. I listened and embraced his teachings… We brought back the Blessing of the Fleet and knocked it out of the park with cruises and events. Yes, I was a Commodore in 2011, but I attribute my successful years to the mentorship of Chet. It was profound and humbling to me to receive this award in recognition of my service to the yacht club and Delta. Thought you would get a kick out of this… as it was a HUGE event for me personally.” Congratulations on your award, Karen, very well deserved.
John Garza never sleeps. Just about every day I get word from him about some new project he is working on to better the lives of Delta people. His Pacific Coast Water Rescue (PCWR) organization has trained many skippers and fire department personnel and found boats and equipment for them over the last several years.
A few years back, he got to thinking about a Sea Scout Ship for Discovery Bay. Now, John is very modest and gives credit to people around him, but I am confident this would not have happened without his involvement. Here is what he has to say about the project. “In 2019 the Discovery Bay Marina staff and the Eldam Family, along with PCWR captains began research to form a Sea Scout Troop. We then met with the local Discovery Bay Scout Troops and also the Diablo Region Boy Scout managers.
“In 2020 it was decided that because of the pandemic we would let the idea wait till a better time. In the fall of 2021 we began talking about Sea Scouts and Merchant Mariners once again! Finally, in 2022 the Giles family in Isleton informed us about the Sea Scout Ship captained by Marc Grimm that was housed at their private slip on the Mokelumne River. We then made contact and surveyed the Ex-Navy vessel.”
The rest is history. On a recent Sunday, John and his crew invited me to join them at the Discovery Bay Yacht Club for breakfast and to meet some of the folks involved. John told me that Denise and her brother Tony Eldam were both Sea Scouts in their youth and were excited to have Ship 2017 at the marina. You can see her at slip B-24.
After breakfast we went down to the dock to inspect the vessel. She is a 40-foot Admiral’s Barge that formally served on the USS Abraham Lincoln. She has been aptly named Shoemaker after Vice Admiral Shoemaker to whom the boat was assigned.
Here is the history of the craft as I saw on a plaque attached to her. “This vessel is the primary training and adventure craft of the Sea Scout (BSA) Ship Polaris 2017. She is a 12-meter (40-foot) US Navy personnel boat configured as an admiral’s barge. An admiral’s barge is used by a flag rank officer commanding a Navy ship of the line, battle group or major Naval facility for transport between vessels of the fleet and shore facilities. It is also used by an admiral to transport foreign dignitaries during diplomatic visits to ports of call, as well as U.S. dignitaries including the president when visiting the command.
“This vessel bears the name of Vice Admiral Troy M. Shoemaker, honoring his long service to our country and the fact she was assigned to him while he was the Commander of Carrier Strike Group 9. During this time the vessel was carried aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72.)
“The SSV Shoemaker was built by Willard Marine in San Pedro, California in 1993. She has a single screw and is powered by a 300-horsepower Cummins Marine 6BTA diesel that was installed as part of a retrofit in 2013. While the vessel was released by the U.S. Navy in good condition, the Scouts continue working to restore her to fully operational condition. They keep up repairs and preventive maintenance and make modifications to best suit its new role as a youth training vessel. While the SSV Shoemaker provides the youth with more challenging training opportunities in seamanship, mechanics and leadership, she only remains a viable platform through ongoing youth fundraising activities and the generous individuals and institutions who contribute their financial, material and technical support.”
She is a beautiful vessel, and while a little spartan, the interior fittings and joiner work are yacht like. All the railings were served with proper Turks heads at the ends. Some lads went to a lot of effort to accomplish that. I could not even remember the term for it. I had to break out my old Navy “Bluejackets Manual” to find it. You old sailors might remember the saying, “worm and parcel with the lay, turn and serve the other way.” You landlubbers will have to figure out what it means.
Sacramento Bayliner Club (SBC)
My roving reporter Daniel Witte reports on the SBC cruise to Weber Point Yacht Club. “Sacramento Bayliner Club cruised into Weber Point Yacht Club on March 18-20 to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. The hosts between the two clubs were Geoff and Janice Simcoe from SBC and Dan and Cari Shates, along with Larry Brown and Lin VanMatre from Weber Point. Weber Point’s members made everyone feel very welcome with lots of great food and conversation. Larry was the elected port captain for the weekend and he did an awesome job helping people secure their lines upon arrival on Friday. All of Weber Point’s staff are volunteers rather than hired employees.
“Weber Point’s clubhouse is a little different from most clubhouses. Initially, it was a boat house, but the members of the club closed it in and turned it into their clubhouse. What is now the kitchen used to be a small apartment for the former owner, Gus Marengo many years back. Gus had the place set up this way so he could have close access to his boat. Weber Point Yacht Club was founded in 1967 and their members have owned the facility ever since.
“Throughout the weekend, Dan caught three good-sized bass. They included a 9-pound 3-ounce, a 7-pound 14-ounce and a 6-pound 8-ounce. In fact, as SBC’s members were pulling into the dock, he was fighting one of them. SBC had many activities including celebrating birthdays, horse racing and cornhole games. Sally Johnson turned 56 and her grandson Louie turned 6 the same week. Everyone enjoyed cupcakes and sang happy birthday to both of them.
“On Saturday evening, everyone met in the clubhouse for Saint Patrick’s Day dinner. Larry did a great job on the corned beef and cabbage, and Cari made a wonderful dessert of brownies with ice cream on top and melted chocolate. All the food was delicious. The corned beef and cabbage were so good that I even went back for a second helping, and Cari was so proud of her dessert that she offered me a sample earlier in the day.
“On Sunday morning, Cari prepared a wonderful breakfast of biscuits and gravy, egg casserole, scones and fruit cups.
“Weber Point did a great job hosting this cruise-in. We appreciate all of their work.
“It has been two years since SBC celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day, and from what I have seen so far, the celebrations are back to what they were before 2020. As the weather warms up, the boating community is off to a great season this summer with lots of events on the Delta. Weber Point has several events coming up including a Delta clean up weekend in April and a Memorial Day celebration. The Memorial Day celebration is their first big event of the season. In addition, they also have some cruise-ins in June and July, along with Labor Day where they hold their classic craft auction. Regarding the auction, Cari says, “It’s lots of fun. Dan is our auctioneer and it’s a huge fundraiser for our club.”
The Locke Foundation is a non-profit organization benefiting the last rural Chinese town in the United States. The foundation advises us that the town of Locke will be hosting its annual Locke Asian Pacific Spring Festival in celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage. It will be held on Saturday, May 21 from 1100 hours to 1600 hours at the main street in the town of Locke. This is a great Delta party. You should get there early and enjoy the whole spectrum of events. I try to go every year and it is a lot of fun. Featured are, Lion dance, martial arts, cultural entertainment, food, music, arts and crafts, vendors and demonstrations. There is free admission and free parking. You can find additional information at www.locke-foundation.org or call 916-776-1684 or 916-776-1828.
Tiki Lagoon/Turner Cut
Dan & Annabelle Dumas are expanding their Delta empire. They have recently purchased Tiki Lagoon Resort which is adjacent to their Turner Cut Resort on Roberts Island. It makes a lot of sense to have them under one management operation. This is the first time the two properties have ever been under the same ownership.
Dan & Annabelle are experts in property management and I am confident they will bring their expertise to bear on Tiki Lagoon as they have on Turner Cut. They are off to a great start. Dan says that when they took over they filled 12 40-cubic yard dumpsters with junk, trash and a few sunken boats. They will be installing some new metal docks and are in the process of restoring the wooden docks with new paint, rub rails and replacing the rotten planks. I recently dropped by and the place is beginning to glow.
Dan authorized me to tell you that they have some of the best berthing rates in the Delta. Give him a call at 209-941-8975 if you want a great spot to keep your boat. They are a hands-on family. When you go to either resort you deal with Dan or Annabelle personally. They are there every day and have some excellent employees helping to run things too.
Besides covered berthing for your boat, they have about 140 RV spaces available for weekend, vacation or long-term. They also provide long-term storage for your boat, trailer or recreational vehicle. When you go out to the area by motor vehicle off of State Route 4, it looks as though you are driving through endless farmlands. It is not a bad drive. The road leading to the resorts has recently been repaved and is very smooth. The store at Tiki Lagoon has been remodeled and has many items needed by recreational vehicle owners and boaters such as wine, beer, food, fishing supplies, propane, ice and more. You can get a burger and more at the Tiki Grill which is open for lunch and dinner.
Getting there by water is easy. They are right off of the San Joaquin Deepwater Channel. Just head southerly on Turner Cut at marker 24. If you want to get away from it all in the Delta you can’t beat Turner Cut or Tiki Lagoon. If you have had too much of the peace and quiet and need a little action, Windmill Cove with its live music on weekends is just up the road or waterway a mile or two.
Village West Marina & Resort
Village West keeps piling on the awards and accolades. The latest award they have received is the “Marina Dock Age’s Building and Growing Award for 2021.” Marina Dock Age is a nationwide trade magazine/newsletter catering to marinas and U.S. waterfront facilities. I could not say it any better myself, “With a management philosophy based on customer service, endless amenities, cleanliness, safety and integrity, the (Pellarin) brothers put together a management team and staff willing and able to roll up their sleeves to completely transform the property.” The Pellarin brothers have assembled a terrific staff and have turned the marina into a vacation destination deep in the heart of the Delta. You can come by boat, recreational vehicle or car and stay forever or a few days. There are two great restaurants, Delta Marine Sales, H2O Excursions, Freedom Boat Club of Northern California and the piece de resistance – Sunset Sweets at the resort. Don’t forget the Stop & Shop Store and the EmBARKadero, a relaxing spot for our furry friends to hang out. Village West is certainly one of the best marinas in the Delta. I am concerned that they are running out of wall space for all the awards they are receiving.
Stockton Historical Maritime Museum
David Rajkovich reports that his five-year plan is coming along nicely for the USS Lucid. They now have their 40-millimeter Bofors cannon mounted on the deck of the vessel and have scratch built a splinter shield around it. Something amazing has happened. When I first met Dave and got interested in the project, he showed me a rendering of Lucid moored in downtown Stockton. It showed Lucid moored just east of the Waterfront Warehouse building. The property which has been a vacant lot and an eyesore for decades has been donated to the museum. This will be an excellent spot as it is almost across the channel from the old Colberg yard that built a few minesweepers and likewise the Stephens yard (5 Star Marina) that was contracted to build three wooden minesweepers. There are many other attractions and historic buildings in the area, and of course being just a couple of minutes off of I-5 does not hurt either.
Dave did not serve in the military himself, but his father was a Merchant Marine and Dave has a special bond with veterans. That is one of the reasons he decided to create the museum. He has many veterans that come from all over the U.S. to donate their time, money and artifacts, as well as work on the ship. The San Joaquin Building Futures Academy is working on the ship too. Their students are learning valuable skills to make them ready for the workplace. Every time I have been aboard the ship I have been impressed with these young people. They are all hard workers and have great manners. I think they will all have good futures ahead of them.
USS Lucid will be a great addition to the Stockton waterfront, and maybe she will lead to more development. Stockton has the best waterfront in inland California, and it would be great if it started to get the recognition that it deserves.
In the process of all this, my pal Jillian Humphreys advised me that she is related to the Colberg family that built minesweepers in Stockton. Jillian is the go-to person in Stockton for anything boating. Her father Budge has been a past Commodore of the Stockton Sailing Club (more than once.) Sue and I met her dad at the club. They introduced us to Peter Hines who helped equip the radio shack aboard Lucid. Peter says that he has made ham radio broadcasts from the vessel.
By the time you read this I think they will have Lucid turned around. They have purposely left the shabby side of her facing the river so as to not attract unwanted attention. She will look like a new ship when they have the painted side facing the river. You can help our veterans and our youth by supporting this worthwhile project at stocktonhistoricalmaritimemuse um.org
Ort Loftis of Stockton crossed over the bar at age 96. He led an illustrious life starting out trying to join the military in World War II. He was rejected, but then drafted into the Navy in 1943. He was trained as a gunner on an aircraft carrier based torpedo plane. His carrier, USS Boxer, sailed out the Golden Gate heading to support the invasion of Japan when President Truman announced that the war was over and Japan had surrendered.
After college and a journalism degree, Ort moved to Stockton and started his career managing a radio station. He eventually owned two stations and later became the head of the California Broadcasters Association.
We just found out that Brannan Island State Recreation Area is closed. The vendor that ran it quit when the lease was up. I spoke with a representative from Parks & Recreation and they are actively trying to find a new management firm to run the campground. This is regretful as the campers there would visit local businesses in Rio Vista, Isleton and the Delta Loop. It also has one of the best boat launching ramps in the Delta. We need to get this valuable park open again.
Stockton Yacht Club announced that Bill Thompson is the port captain for 2022.
Christine Weaver checks in with the Delta Doo Dah: “We are planning to have our kickoff meeting at the Richmond Yacht Club on May 21, probably 12-3 in the afternoon.”
The Hilton folks have checked in. They say the Barron Hilton Memorial Fireworks Display will be on July 3 this year at the regular spot, Mandeville Tip on the San Joaquin River. See you there.
Jim Azeltine advises that the Bridge Marina Yacht Club is open again on Fridays at 5:30 for drinks. It is located at 20 Fleming Lane, Antioch, 94509.
Chris Lauritzen advises me that this year will be the 150th anniversary of the city of Antioch. On July 4 they will hold their Sesquicentennial Extravaganza. “This (2022) 4th of July in Downtown Antioch is not to be missed. A pancake breakfast starts off the fun-filled day, followed by craft vendors along the streets, a parade with many participants, two stages with many, many bands playing throughout the day, food trucks with many tasty bites, as well as local restaurants open and ready to serve, a children’s play area with bounce houses, a rock wall, slides, obstacles and more. At night, there will be a nighttime firework show on stage, followed by the spectacular fireworks over the river. Grab your gear and get downtown early. Public transit is the best option as streets will be closed off for all the events.”
I told you last month about attending the Brubeck Brothers Quartet show at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento, thanks to Gerry Kamilos – President of Friends of Sacramento Arts. Gerry took my photo with Chris Brubeck. I forgot to include it last month, so here I am with Chris Brubeck. Notice the glow about us. My daughter Kim is jealous.