Delta Rat Scrapbook – by Bill Wells

Delta Rat Scrapbook

Classics At The Corinthian

The Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC) and Corinthian Women (the decades old club within CYC dedicated to the support of children’s programs) teamed up with the Northern California Fleet of the Classic Yacht Association (CYA) for the tenth annual Classics at the Corinthian event. On Oct. 1 some of the finest classic yachts in Northern California entered the Corinthian Yacht Club harbor. The next day their caretakers graciously opened their vessels to members and guests of the Corinthian Yacht Club and Classic Yacht Association.

Bernadette and Jim Sweeney in front of their classic 43-foot 1928 Stephens yacht.

It was a perfect weekend on the Bay, sunny with no wind and gentle ripples on the water as the Classic Motor Yacht Show was held in the Corinthian Harbor from 1400 to 1700 on Oct. 2. Both CYC and CYA members and their guests were invited to tour these 10 magnificent yachts representing decades of yacht design from the 1920s to the 1970s. The participating yachts were Elizabeth, a 1929 Stephens; Flamingo, a 1962 Chris Craft; North Star II, a 1928 Stephens; Pat Pending, a 1929 Lake Union Dry Dock, Sirenuse, a 1955 Stephens; Simpler Time, a 1941 Chris Craft; SKAL, a 1928 Stephens; Tiverton, a 1927 Stephens; Triple Crown, a 1972 Stephens and Tule Lady, a 1928 LaBruzzi. Aurora V, a 1969 John Trumpy was scheduled to attend, but she was still undergoing some maintenance and was unable to join the party. Skipper Jim Staley, the caretaker of Tule Lady was celebrating his 91st birthday during the event. He looks like he could go for another 100 years.

Lawson and Mel Owen aboard their flagship Pat Pending.

On Saturday evening, members of the CYC and CYA and guests got together to celebrate the day and preservation of classic bespoken yachts. Corinthian’s executive chef, Cris Rosemond and his staff prepared the following for our dinner: Salad: Butter lettuce with Sebastopol apples, aged Welsh white cheddar cheese, toasted walnuts and cider-honey vinaigrette. Entrée: Filet Mignon with wild mushrooms and red wine reduction, Grilled Wild Salmon with saffron butter sauce, whipped potatoes and grilled asparagus. Dessert: Port wine, poached pear with vanilla bean gelato and hazelnuts. Yes, it was an outstanding dinner. After dinner, Mel Owen always pulls out his harp and plays a couple of songs. Recently, he was banned from playing it at Corinthian, but they reconsidered and now he is able to serenade us once again with his lively tunes.

Jim Staley aboard Tule Lady.

Presently, Gerry Kamilos, CYA’s international rear commodore took the podium and recognized the participants who brought their vessels and thanked the members and officers of the two clubs for their contributions to this great event. The Corinthian Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in California, dating back to 1886. It is still located in the original Tiburon waterfront property where it was founded. The Classic Yacht Association was founded in 1970 by a group of enthusiasts at the Long Beach Yacht Club. The CYA is now an international organization with hundreds of members throughout the U.S., Canada and beyond.


Al The Wop’s

The Delta Chambers held its October mixer at Al’s Place. The place was packed with chamber members and friends. We enjoyed lots of cold drinks and snacks. Many folks ordered dishes off the menu. Chris Menke and Fritz Keith, two of the owners were pressed into service cooking and they did a great job. The crowd was excited to be there and all were impressed with the new/old look of Al’s. I told you a while back how they had photographed the interior, took everything off the walls, cleaned everything and then replaced it all back where it was originally. It is great to have Al’s open again and I am confident they will continue to do well. Railroad Cut is right out the back door so you can cruise in there or pull into Boathouse Marina on the Sacramento River side and use their guest dock for $10.00. Either way, all roads lead to Al’s. Oh, you can come by land yacht too.

Tanya, Robbie and Christine at Al the Wop’s.

Sacramento Yacht Club Commodore Bon Voyage Circus

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the clubhouse and perfect for an outdoor, on the lawn event. The circus was a party for outgoing Commodore Matt Smith. I was glad to be there. Some say I am always clowning around anyway. It was a true circus with hot dogs, hamburgers, cotton candy, cupcakes, you name it being served. I met my friends Dave and Linda Breninger who are new members of the club there. They let me join them at their table and we caught up on things since I had not seen them for several months. We stood in line and loaded up on goodies.

Pat and Jessica Cummings at SYC Circus.

A stage was set up at one end of the field with a PA system, and of course what would a circus be without a bounce house? They had one set up on the lawn. The most amazing part was that they took all the furniture out of the clubhouse and set it up on the lawn. It was an amazing feat of logistics.

Pat Cummings was the master of ceremonies, assisted by Danielle Rawlings.

Danielle proceeds to roast Commodore Matt.

Presently, the roast began and Commodore Matt’s friends came up to tell colorful stories about him. They were fairly merciful which goes to show what a good person he is. At the end of the afternoon, I would say outgoing Commodore Smith was well-roasted.

Dave and Linda Breninger at the concession stand.

With the pandemic under control, the SYC is on the move. They have held recent cruises to Willow Berm Marina, Pittsburg Yacht Club and beyond.

John & Marnie

Mr. and Mrs. John Carvalho.

Two of Sue’s and my best friends exchanged vows in October. John Carvalho and Marnie Stiles are now John and Marnie Carvalho. The beautiful ceremony was held outdoors in the pavilion at Bing Mahoney Golf Course in Freeport. About 100 of their friends and relatives attended. The weather was perfect and I am sure it served as an omen for many good times ahead for them. After the ceremony we walked a few hundred short yards to their Freeport Wine Country Inn where we enjoyed a delicious dinner and plenty of Carvalho wine. They have been together for as long as I have known them, 15 years or more. They are both delightful and charming people, and fun to be around. We spoke with some of the other attendees and found out that they came from all over California to help celebrate this special day.

Stockton Sculling Center – A Most Beautiful Thing

Sue, Ty, Jillian and I were all invited to the dedication ceremony for the Stockton Sculling Center’s two new boats, Alvin Ross and Patricia Etem, along with their partnership with “A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund.”

The event was held at the Stockton Sailing Club and emceed by Sacramento King’s announcer Kyle Draper. Special guests were author and motivational speaker Arshay Cooper, Arshay’s close friend and rowing mate Alvin Ross, Olympians Patricia Etem and David Banks, Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln, Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman and other local luminaries. Thanks to this grant the Sculling Center will be able to give more young people in the Stockton community the chance to reap the physical and intellectual benefits of the sport of rowing.

Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln addresses the gathering at the sailing club.

Arshay Cooper wrote a book that was turned into a documentary film about his experience growing up in western Chicago and how rowing changed his life and those of his teammates for the better. The event at the sailing club was to celebrate the Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund that was given to five clubs nationwide.

Pat Tirone, the director of Delta Sculling applied for and received one of these grants. You can search online for The Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund to get more information about it. The goal is to get kids that don’t typically become rowers out on the water. The grant included the Hudson rowing shells that were dedicated on this evening.

If you get a chance, check out the film “A Most Beautiful Thing.” I think it is on a streaming service and also YouTube. You will be inspired.

Rio Vista Bass Festival

We popped into the 73rd annual Rio Vista Bass Festival and Derby on the opening Friday night. The festival was not held last year due to the pandemic, so for 2021 there was a new level of anticipation and excitement. Things were just getting set up, but you could still feel the excitement and positive vibes in the crowd. I specifically wanted to see Jake Kimbrell’s artworks at the Rio Vision Gallery. His work was there, but not him. Next, I headed to the California Striped Bass Association’s (CSBA) weigh-in center to meet Ken Baccetti who has been writing the Delta Chambers fishing report ever since Jay Sorensen passed away. He has been doing it for over a year, but we have yet to meet in person. Alas, he was not there. Most of the action at the festival takes place on Front Street. We walked down the throughfare and caught Kathy Graham Neace who was setting up her “man cave” booth with the help of my good friend Charli Jacobs, owner of the Terminus Market. Kathy specializes in draft beer tap handles. She has a large collection of historic handles for sale which are great for your home bar.

Kathy, Charli and Sue at the Bass Festival.

We could not leave the city without stopping by Kelli Pearson’s Art and Music Center at 219 Montezuma Street. It has really grown since I was there. You can still get art and music lessons there, but they also have a few hundred stringed instruments for sale. It is a great place to explore. You can see works by local artists and admire the collection of guitars, basses, mandolins and ukuleles. Kelli, by the way, still has an inventory of her recent Delta map available. You can get your copy at the center or call her at 925/600-0940. She did a great job. They are nice maps and would even look good framed on your wall.

Daddy Doug Pearson demonstrates a steel drum at the Art & Music Center.

Winners of the fishing derby were: Striped Bass ($3000) Carlton King, 25 inches, 6.61 pounds, Salmon ($1000) Don Jefferies, 23.7 pounds, 35.66 inches and Sturgeon ($1000) Steve Nicholas 50.79 inches 36.7 pounds.

Weigh-in station staffed by the Isleton Chapter of the CSBA.

The local Boy Scout troop took first place in the parade. The Grand Marshall was Jay Huyssoon, former chief of the Cordelia Fire Protection District.

The Bass Derby and Festival is one of the best events in the Delta. It is good to have it back. We will see you there in 2022.

Weber Point Yacht Club

Weber Point Yacht Club recently held its annual Change of Watch and the Stockton Yacht Club provided its clubhouse for the affair. Weber Point Yacht Club’s clubhouse is on an island and the only access is by boat, so it works out well to have a venue that can be reached by land yacht. Outgoing Commodore Terry Silva reports that they “had a great time and included a nice lunch.”

Weber Point Yacht Club Change of Watch at Stockton Yacht Club. Photo courtesy of Terry Silva.

Officers for 2022 are: Commodore Sue Silva, Vice Commodore Marylin Cutting, Rear Commodore Terry Silva, Staff Commodore Dick Jamison, Treasurer Grace Overton and Secretary Rhonda Wetzel. Directors for 2022 are Teri Davis, Josh Overton, Hal Whitlow and Jack Cutting.

World Of Wonder Museum

Christine Hammer has not let any grass grow under her toes since she recently retired. When she is not cruising her yacht or keeping Gerard Hammer in line, she has been volunteering for the World of Wonders Science Museum in Lodi. The museum got its start in 2004 when Dan Ingrum of Lodi got the idea to create an Exploratorium, similar to the one in San Francisco that could be easily accessed by people in the Central Valley. Some like-minded folks got together and the WOW Museum was born. It is located at #2 North Sacramento Street in greater downtown Lodi. If you plan to do a little wine tasting while you are in Lodi, the Weibel Family Tasting Room is close by at #9 North School Street.

Christine Hammer addresses the WOW party.

Christine put together a most excellent event for the museum. She held a party at the Village West Yacht Club. It was complete with a dinner, disc jockey, auction, prizes and everything you could ask for at a party. The clubhouse capacity is 120 people and the available tickets sold out quickly. Everyone appeared to be having a fabulous time and there were a lot of smiling faces. There were a lot of VWYC members attending and many folks I did not know that I assume were involved with the museum. Overall, it was a great event that brought a lot of good people together for a great cause.

Lynn Hahn/Delta Reflections Lighted Boat Parade

The Lynn Hahn Memorial Delta Reflections Christmas – Holiday Season Stockton Lighted Boat Parade is officially back after a year off. Saturday, Dec. 4 will be the big day. This will be the 40th annual parade. Please sign up with this year’s host, Stockton Yacht Club and get your official entry number. You could be the big winner. A $25.00 donation is asked for each boat. Money raised in the parade will go to Ebony Boat Club’s Youth Foundation, a very worthwhile charity. For more information contact Jill Stevenson 916/847-8959 or You can visit the website: to register. Boats will line up on the San Joaquin River in front of Windmill Cove at around 1700 with the parade passing by Weber Point at about 1830. There it will reverse course and head back downstream. This year’s Grand Marshall duties will be served out by none-other than our very own Bay & Delta Yachtsman’s Co-Publisher, Ty Mellott.

This event was originally sponsored by the Marina West Yacht Club when they had their clubhouse at RiverPoint Marina. They moved the clubhouse to Tower Park and still sponsored the parade. Eventually, the club moved to Ox Bow Marina and they decided it was too far to downtown Stockton to sponsor a parade there. They turned it over to the Stockton Yacht Club which has sponsored it for the last few years.

A couple more lighted boat parades are on the schedule also. Delta Marina Lighted Boat Parade will be held on Dec. 4. The Point Restaurant provides a perfect vista, or if you wish to participate you can call the marina at 707-374-2315 for more information.

San Joaquin Yacht Club will hold theirs on Dec. 11 starting at 1700 at their clubhouse. Call 925/766-0690 for details.

Marina West Yacht Club’s decorated boats will meet at the Ox Bow Marina guest dock on Dec. 11 at 1700 for a Skipper’s meeting before venturing out into Georgiana Slough and heading upstream past the homes. Call or text Paul Cameron at 916-612-2891 for more information.

Rancho Marina Fire

Another tragic fire has struck the Delta. This time, the Rancho Marina Recreational Vehicle Park at 295 Brannan Island Road was almost completely destroyed. More than 40 trailers and RVs that were people’s homes were destroyed, and many people lost all of their belongings. The fire spread across the nearby farmland, destroying about 30 tons of stored corn and a corn field. It also came close to other resorts. Thanks to a huge response from local fire districts led by the River Delta Fire District and a tanker plane that made several passes dropping fire retardant. People of the Delta have pitched in to help them by donating clothes, furniture and all types of household items, plus cash and gift cards. Robbie Ann Gabriel made a plea for help at the Delta Chambers mixer and folks donated over $2,000 to the cause.

Eight Bells

Dewey Hines, one of California’s greatest yachtsmen has crossed over the bar. I first met him when he took over Perry’s Yacht Harbor a decade or more ago. He was a great guy and had a lot of interest in classic boats. He turned Perry’s into one of the beautiful spots of the Delta. When he first came to Perry’s he removed a few hundred tons of junk and trash from the island and cleared out acres of blackberry vines. Perry’s went from being an eyesore to a beautiful garden under his stewardship. Dewey was an expert sailor and raced in many classes. He was well-known all over California and beyond. He had a keen interest in classic boats, both sail and power. He owned one of the most beautiful vessels in Northern California, Ocean Queen, a 55-foot yawl designed by Phil Rhoades and built by Abeking and Rasmussen in Germany in 1951. He kept her at Perry’s when he owned the marina. He actively raced Ocean Queen in the Bay, most notably in the Rolex Big Boat Series. Dewey let me go aboard Ocean Queen and look around one time. She was truly a beautiful vessel. Dewey said he had had his eye on her for many years and was finally able to acquire this beautiful yacht. As a tribute to him, the St. Francis Yacht Club held a boat parade in the Bay on Oct. 17. Rusty Areias reported that weather-wise it was one of the best days in history on the Bay. Dewey will be missed by everyone in the California boating community and beyond.

Eugene Selwyn Tyson

Sully was my cousin and part of the last wave of my family to migrate to California from Iowa in the early 1960s. He was like me and interested in boats and SCUBA diving. He visited me two times when I lived in Hawaii. We sailed my catamaran many times on Kaneohe Bay. Later, when I moved to Maui, he made a return visit and we made several SCUBA expeditions around the island. Things were a lot looser in those days, so before I was certified he would rent two sets of equipment – one for me and one for him. I was later certified by both NAUI and PADI. We made many dives on Maui from the shore and from an inflatable boat I owned that was powered by my old Seagull motor. We would go a mile or so offshore sometimes to dive. One time we came up from a dive to see half of the boat deflated because I left a valve loose. It was pretty exciting, but luckily I had the pump with me and we managed to blow it back up. Sully is survived by his wife Vivian, son Patrick Hapeman, grandsons Patrick Jr. and Harrison Burgess, daughter MacKenzie Smith and granddaughter Sarina Smith.

Irish Pennants

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced that it will keep the West False River salinity barrier in place at least until Nov. 2022. Many Delta folks were confident that the DWR would try to keep the barrier in place. It allows for more water exports from the Tracy pumps while river flows are slow. They will try to keep it in place permanently, so boaters will need to find other routes in the area. The DWR still has not released the draft Environmental Impact Report on their plan to divert the Sacramento River around the Delta. I can help out here; never in human history has a project like the Delta Conveyance not destroyed the parent waterway. The Delta will be destroyed if Wade Crowfoot and Karla Nemeth are able to bring this boondoggle to fruition. You need to tell your elected officials that the project is unacceptable and we need to create new fresh water, not take it from one area and ship it to another.

Dan Bacher reports that “for the fifth September in a row the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has caught zero Delta smelt in its Fall Midwater Trawl Survey of Northern California’s Delta. Once the most abundant fish on the entire estuary, the species is now near extinction (editor’s note: they might be extinct) in the wild. UC Davis continues to raise the fish in a captive breeding program. The Delta smelt population has plummeted over the decades since the State Water Project began exporting Delta water to San Joaquin Valley growers in 1967.”

Dave Breninger checks in from the PICYA management conference with an update on Alcoholic Beverage Control’s (ABC’s) Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Program. “RBS training under the requirements of CA Assembly Bill 1221 will become mandatory on July 1, 2022. This new state mandate will require on-premises alcoholic beverage servers and their managers to successfully complete an ABC approved RBS training program and exam no later than Aug. 31, 2022. Beginning in July 2022, any ABC licensee who has an “ABC On-Premises License” will need to have their staff (alcohol servers and managers of alcohol servers) trained and certified in RBS within sixty (60) days of the date of initial employment. This includes, but is not limited to restaurants, bars, fast casual dining, tasting rooms (including off-sale locations), hotels and stadiums. RBS certification means that the alcohol server has successfully completed training by an ABC approved training provider and passed the alcohol server certification exam (hosted by ABC). ABC On-Premises License means that an ABC license that grants the privilege to serve alcoholic beverages to customers who then consume them on the licensed premises.”

Dave and Linda Breninger have also just celebrated the 36th anniversary of their weekly Old Radio Theater show on

The B Dock people from the Sacramento Marina are legendary around the marina for the parties and events they put on. They recently held the 5th annual Rio Vista Rendezvous organized by Matt Kovanda. Six boats made the trip and the balance of the 20 or so attendees made the trip by motor vehicle. Looks like they had a great meal at The Point Waterfront Restaurant.

A nice Riva at B&W Resort. Photo courtesy of Ray Bradley.

My agents Nancy Immekeppel and Ray Bradley spend considerable time in their shore boat searching for good photo opportunities. Here is a photo Ray recently shot of a nice Riva at B&W Resort. Check out this vintage outboard boat too. The Antique and Classic Boat Society recently made their annual cruise to the Delta.

The International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) will be held at Cal Expo in Sacramento on the weekend of Jan. 20-23, 2022. The expo was cancelled this year due to the pandemic. The ISE is by far the best outdoor show in Northern California. There is literally something there for everyone. There will be plenty of Delta businesses represented, as well as the Delta Chambers.

There are plenty of out-of-state and out-of-country outfitters. Before you go galivanting thousands of miles for a fishing trip, think about the Delta and its world class fishing. Check the Delta Chambers Facebook page for Ken Baccetti’s excellent monthly fishing reports. If you are a hunter or fisherman, do not miss this show. My friends and I will be there all weekend at booth 3317, so drop by and say hello.

Ray’s favorite boat from the ACBS event. Photo courtesy of Ray Bradley.

Sail America and the California Yacht Brokers Association are in the final talks regarding the planned boat show in early 2022 to be held at WestPoint Harbor in Redwood City. As more details and dates come to me I will make sure to pass them along.

Stockton Yacht Club held elections. Here are the winners: Flag officers for 2022 are Commodore Bill Jones, Vice Commodore: Marina Faconti and Rear Commodore (Open.) The Board of Directors for 2022-2024 are John Contreras, Cliff Kenst and Terry McGregor. The club is open for business and is having some popular events.

Please remember that many area businesses are understaffed. If the service is slow, please give them a break and be patient.

I hope you get those automatic fenders for Christmas. They will make the life of your crew happier. If you get that new phone or camera, please don’t forget to set the resolution for at least 300 dpi so you can share your photos with me for potential inclusion in the publication. We have all come back to life after a couple of bad years. The twenties are definitely roaring! Let me know what you are up to.
Contact me at or 916-869-9141.