Delta Rat Scrapbook – by Bill Wells

Delta Rat Scrapbook

Discovery Bay Lighted Boat Parade

Bob Clappier checks in from Discovery Bay. Their formal parade was cancelled like many others, but the intrepid folks there made the best of it and held a parade anyway.

Bob says, “This year was different, of course. There was no party at the Discovery Bay Yacht Club afterwards, no judging and awards and very little formal organization. There were about 30 boats, which was a lot more than in other years. Either boaters like the more casual format or are looking for something else to do with their time this year.

Pirate ship in the Discovery Bay Parade. Photo courtesy of Bob Clappier.

“Although I was one of the primary decorators, I was not on the boat during the parade and thus have no photos of the other boats. The parade did not come into our (Lido) Bay this year, but the Milnes family cruised by on the way home and I took this photo from our deck.”

The pirate ship has to be one of the most interesting lighted boats to come down the sloughs! Bob says it is a 40-foot cruiser that they used as raw material to build the pirate ship.

Classic Yacht Association Change Of Watch

Sue and I attended the Classic Yacht Association change of watch on Dec. 6 via a Zoom meeting organized by Staff Commodore Gerry Kamilos. Master of Ceremonies Jim Sweeney called the meeting to order. Nancy Clothier led the invocation and your correspondent was called upon to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. An eight bells ceremony was held for our shipmates that crossed over the bar in 2020: Gig Owen, Mavis Engfer, Janis McNair and Christine Rohde.

Jim Kopshever, Tony Kopshever and Chief Warrant Officer Craig Ross. Photo courtesy of Jim Kopshever.

Next Commodore Bernadette Sweeney called the business part of the meeting to order. Alan Almquist gave the report from the nominating committee. Following a change of watch ceremony dating back a few centuries, Rob Sesar was sworn in as commodore replacing Bernadette. David Cobb was installed as vice commodore, Dan Hunter is rear commodore, staff commodore is Bernadette Sweeney, Recording Secretary – Erica Hammarlund, corresponding secretary – Nancy Clothier, treasurer – Bill Adams. Before COVID hit the change of watch was planned for the Cove Room at the San Francisco Yacht Club. Well, hopefully for 2021 we can get together in person.

Jim, Michelle Wixom, Andrea Kopshever, Kennedy Kopshever, Tony and CWO Ross. Photo courtesy of Jim Kopshever.

Ebony Boat Club Change Of Watch

I attended the Ebony Boat Club change of watch via a Zoom meeting on Dec. 12. It is just not the same as being in a nice restaurant or their clubhouse, but the club made the best of it and kept a good sense of humor.

Jennifer Duhon called the meeting to order at precisely 1230 hours, James Mack led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Eddi Jo Mack leading the invocation.

Then the change of watch ceremony was held. The 2021 officers are Commodore – Dane McCoy, Vice Commodore – Sheila George, Rear Commodore – Jennifer Duhon, Staff Commodore – Frank Whitehead, Training Officer – Kerry Davis, Port Captain – Reggie Kelly, Treasurer – Otis Brock and Parliamentarian – James Mack.

The Ebony Youth Foundation awarded three college scholarships. Kayleigh Simmons, Amnesia Franklin and Mika Millan were all grateful recipients.

Closing comments were offered by Commodore McCoy and First Lady Pamela McCoy.

Village West Yacht Club (VWYC) First Annual Toy Drive

From Sonia Mountjoy of the VWYC: “During this past COVID year, the Village West Yacht Club saw many friends and family members affected emotionally, financially, and/or socially, but through it all, Commodore Clint Krueger led us with the camaraderie and support for one another and with the spirit that we were in this together.

“However, as the holiday season began, we discovered that the majority of the San Joaquin County homeless shelters lost most of their community donors, leaving the homeless children with a very bleak upcoming Christmas morning. So, the VWYC decided to help with a “grass roots” community effort and held a toy drive from Nov. 1 to Dec. 4, spearheaded by Sonia Mountjoy, VWYC board director. Due to the county COVID restrictions, we were only open for Friday night dinners, and had a limited number of participants. But we were able to collect awesome tricycles for toddlers, assorted toys for boys and girls, games, sports items, electronic devices and many cute stuffed animals.

“For the teens, 30 Target and Walmart gift cards were collected for a $605.00 value. We proudly delivered everything to the appreciative Gospel Center & Rescue Mission, located in Downtown Stockton so the kids could enjoy their Christmas during this tough season!”

Tony Kopshever

Tony Kopshever has been a member of the Stockton Yacht Club since he was twelve years old. His family is active in the club too. His mom, Jeanne, is a past commodore of the club (2011.) His dad, Jim, keeps his boat Final Final at the club. Tony has also been a member of the U.S. Coast Guard for 18 years.

In December he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer and was also awarded the Surfman Badge which is an exclusive Coast Guard award. “To be awarded the Surfman Badge, a service member must undergo training in actual surf and breaking bar conditions, accumulate a minimum number of hours operating in these conditions while conducting practical exercises and undergo a rigorous underway check ride as well as an oral review board. The process to qualify for a Surfman Badge requires at least eight years of training and experience.” Tony is the 468th person to achieve that qualification.

Tony has spent much of his career operating boats off of the west coast. He is currently at U.S. Coast Guard Station Golden Gate in Sausalito having transferred there from Depoe Bay, Oregon a while back. It is good to have him and his beautiful family back in California. Congratulations Tony!

39th Annual Lynn Hahn Memorial Boat Parade

My correspondent, Daniel Witte checks in from the San Joaquin River: “Every year, Stockton Yacht Club hosts the Lynn Hahn Memorial Parade on the first Saturday in December. Due to COVID-19, the official parade was cancelled since the tree lighting ceremony at Point Weber in downtown Stockton was also cancelled. However, Blair Hake helped put on an unofficial parade that took place on Dec. 5.

Lighted boat parade in downtown Stockton. Photo courtesy of Daniel Witte.

“The parade began at Windmill Cove and proceeded to Downtown Stockton. There were about 31 boats of all types, including houseboats, cabin cruisers and ski boats. Many of the boats had holiday music and a lot of decorations.

As the parade proceeded up the river everyone on the boats and on shore was cheering. As the boats cruised along, they blew their horns which got the crowds cheering more. There were lots of people by the water to watch the parade and enjoy the holiday season.

Lighted boat in Stockton parade. Photo courtesy of Daniel Witte.

“Roger Hahn said that the excitement and giving back to the community are what his mother always liked about the parade, especially seeing how much children enjoy seeing the extravaganza to bring in the holidays. Hahn rode on Lil Tip Sea which was Lynn Hahn’s boat, formerly the Lynn E. Hake was on the lead boat, Tip Sea Too, captained by Krista Haxby.”

Blair, who was a major player in helping to pull off this event, adds, “those of us who participated enjoyed bringing some Christmas cheer to the greater Stockton area!

“It was a perfect evening for the lighted boat parade, no wind, rain or fog!

“We all had a great time!  Lynn would have been proud!”

Lynn Hahn was the spearhead behind this event for many years. Originally when the Marina West Yacht Club was at Riverpoint Landing, it was a great spot to plan and use as a launch area for the parade. Then the club moved to Tower Park Marina which caused some logistics problems by being so far away from the parade route. When Marina West made their final move to Ox Bow Marina and coupled with Lynn’s passing, Roger Hahn negotiated with the Stockton Yacht Club for them to take it over which they have done for the last few years.

As you can imagine, an event like this involving 30 or so boats and probably over 120 participants takes a lot of planning and organization. I miss the days when Lynn would be calling out orders over Channel 68 on the VHF and Nita Rienhart giving the invocation over the radio.

Waterfraud Update

The Delta Conveyance Authority (DCA) is still moving forward with their mother of all boondoggle plan to divert the Sacramento River around the Delta. I have been working for over a year now to ferret out what is going on with the DCA’s Community Benefit Funding. I have mentioned before that it appears someone in Bethel Island was offered $300 million while a fellow in the Clarksburg area was offered $150 million to drop opposition and go along with the boondoggle. Obviously, there is a huge discrepancy here. I asked the executive director of the DCA, Kathryn Mallon, a couple of times about this and she said they would discuss it at the Dec 2020 meeting. They did discuss community benefit funding, but only in very general terms. It was brought up that perhaps as a reward for going along with the tunnel broadband internet access could be provided to the northern part of the Delta. These communities need broadband access now. Some of the SEC members can’t even participate in the online meetings because they only have intermittent access to online services. Also, students in the Clarksburg and the upper Delta can’t attend classes reliably because of the internet problems. This is a disgrace that the government would allow this to happen. But it looks like our friends at the Delta Chambers might possibly be able to come up with a solution.

The one thing we have asked for ever since this boondoggle was announced during the Arnold Schwarzenegger regime in 2007 was for the Department of Water Resources to give us a few examples of where a diversion like this has not destroyed the existing waterway. They still won’t even respond to the question. One time we did get a partial answer from a DWR director that “we have to trust them.” Well, there is no trust, these people will suck the lifeblood out of Northern California if they are not stopped.

Very Delta Holidays

In spite of all the challenges, I think most of us had a great Christmas and holiday season. Tom Palacioz and Brenda Jackson held a Christmas party in their vintage downtown Stockton home. There was a feast and I am confident no one went hungry. Brenda had nine Christmas trees, each one with its own theme. They were all decorated to the theme except for one ornament on each tree that did not belong. I think Sue figured out most of them. I had a hard time; I did finally figure out (with some help) the tree dedicated to Bob Palacioz. It was decorated with all kinds of things relating to being on the beach. I finally found a grand piano ornament (does not go with the beach theme, get it?). I am glad I figured that one out as Bob taught me how to make tacos some years back at the Village West Yacht Club. I felt I owed him.

Gerard and Tom.

Many famous local Delta people were born in December (including yours truly) so there are always birthdays to celebrate and parties to go to. My birthday is on Dec. 19 and Cindy Breninger’s is on the 20th. For the last few years Sue and I have gotten together for brunch at the Grand Island Mansion with the Breninger family and a few friends for our respective birthdays. Due to the COVID restrictions we could not do it this year, but Cindy came up with a solution that would let us still celebrate. She invited Sue and I over to join her and her son Brandon so we could exchange presents and maintain distance. She had individual cakes for each of us and instead of having to blow out the candles she supplied fans to extinguish the candles, very clever indeed. Cindy actually lives in Area 51, so we found some Area 51 signs that will look great on her front door. She gave me a beautiful leather covered journal to keep my notes in while I am working on my articles. It is a nautical theme naturally with compass roses. She also gave me a nice bottle of Chardonnay dressed up like Santa.

Sue and Brenda.

I grew up with large family gatherings with my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins all sitting around a big table for holiday dinners. Well, actually my cousins and I had to sit at the children’s table until we were in our 40s. The only way you could move to the adult table was when one of the adults passed away. Finally, after years, we were all there and had our own children at the children’s table.

Cindy and Bill with Area 51 signs.

At maybe our last big family get together for Christmas a couple of decades back at my uncle Dallas and Aunt Ruby’s home, my cousin Gary brought his new 12-gauge pump action shotgun and was showing it to me in the living room where we were all gathered after dinner. He could not get the action open and then said you had to pull the trigger first. Naturally, there was a shell in the chamber and it blew a hole right through the ceiling and out the roof. The whole room filled with smoke and it set off the smoke alarm. His dog ran into the bedroom and would never come into a room full of people again. I was standing next to him and I fell on the floor laughing so hard I could not breathe. My poor mother sitting on the couch cries out, “oh my God, Bill’s been shot.” That just made me laugh harder. My uncle kept repeating “oh Gary, oh Gary.” Eventually someone opened the front door and the smoke cleared out and I was able to pick myself up off of the floor. The story has gone into the book of my family history and I am confident it will be passed on to coming generations. After a few years I was able to tell the story without breaking into laughter.

Here’s hoping that Christmas 2021 will again see us all enjoying our large family gatherings and parties once again.

Landing 63

If you have been through Walnut Grove lately you will have noticed that there was a lot of activity at Landing 63 on the west bank of the Sacramento River a few hundred yards upstream from the bridge.

Work going on at Landing 63.

The marina has been an eyesore for years, but fortunately Walnut Grove resident, Rusty Areias has acquired the property and has embarked on an improvement campaign. He has removed the old rotting docks and the collection of derelict vessels tied to them. He has also removed three sunken boats and various other flotsam. I drive through Walnut Grove at least a few times a week, and cleaning up this one marina has dramatically improved the look of the community. New docks are scheduled to be installed in the spring and Rusty has had his tree trimmers come over and level off the tops of all the pilings.

The Foulks Family

The famous local yachting couple Thom and Wendy Foulks are not only noted international cruisers and divers; they are tied to the history of the Delta region too. I have driven by Foulks Ranch Road a few hundred times when I drive on Highway 99 between Sacramento and Stockton and never thought about a connection. Come to find out, Thom’s family was among the earliest settlers of the Elk Grove area and their home is recognized as the oldest existing residential structure of its kind in Northern California. The restored 1853 Foulks home was recently dedicated by the Elk Grove Historical Society and the Native Sons of the Golden West (NSGW) Parlor #41. There is also Foulks Elementary School in Elk Grove.

Wendy says, “Historic artifacts, including items that belonged to the Foulks family more than a century ago are on display. Those items include the ox yoke that was paired with the covered wagon that carried the family to California when they arrived in 1853. The family lived in the wagon until their home was completed during the following year.

“Thom and I feel very honored to maybe be the only ‘Foulks’ there from the original family roots. Lots of other relatives, but none with the actual name as far as we know.”

By the way, we hear that Thom has been in sick bay with some knee trouble. We wish him the best and hope he gets better by the time you read this.

Jule Farrow

Joe Faso opened his home for a memorial to Jule Farrow and hundreds of Jule’s and Adam’s friends were there to say goodbye to her. It was at once sad and heartwarming. A slideshow was shown highlighting Jule’s very adventurous life. It seemed like half of Stockton was there and many people came from out of state to honor her life. Jule will certainly be remembered in the annuls of Delta history for her contributions to the Delta lifestyle and for her charming personality.

Fred, Ida, Terry, Suzanne and Sue at Jule’s memorial.
Adam Farrow at Jule’s memorial.

Eight Bells

Dick Stephens was a few months into his 100th year, when unfortunately he passed away in December. I felt good that Sue and I were able to spend some time with him recently, he was still demonstrating his quick wit and sense of humor. Dick had an illustrious life and I was happy that I was able to know him and learn things from him. Dick will certainly go down in the history of American Yachting. Not only a world class designer, he was a world class sailor too. Rusty Areias was close to him and posted this tribute to social media. There is literally nothing I could say that would improve on Rusty’s comments, here is his statement:

Dick Stephens and Rusty Areias aboard Miss 102.

“I received word yesterday of Dick Stephen’s passing. Upon hearing of his loss, I was overwhelmed with emotion as Dick and my friendship developed when I lost my own father, and he unknowingly filled a void in my life. Dick and I shared a lot in common besides both being sons of the San Joaquin Valley and #209 Proud. We shared a love of boats and an appreciation for the quality and style that a boat designed and built by Stephen’s Brothers had. Most of which were designed by Dick himself.

“Besides being one of the world’s best marine architects, Dick was a cattleman and rancher, and regular visits with him and Donna were never short on things to talk about. He was my North Star for all things Stephen’s and the Stockton community; our state and nation are better for his and his family’s life work. This confident, quiet, humble son of California became world famous for the artisan handmade quality and style a boat built by Stephen’s Bros represented. Rest in Peace Mr. Stephens!”

Irish Pennants

Every year I hear of avoidable boating incidents that have occurred. Pat Carson does a great job educating people with his column but I thought I would share some things that I have encountered over the years. At the Delta Chambers we try to answer the phone seven days a week and do a pretty good job. One call we get frequently is from people making their first boat trip to the Delta and asking for a map. A map is good, but what they really need are the NOAA navigational charts for the Delta. I think NOAA has stopped printing hard copies but you can get the file and have it printed or you can purchase the Yachtsman Magazine Chart Book. Charts 18661 and 18662 cover most of the Delta. These charts are also available on GPS equipment. Personally, I always like a hard copy. When you get lost these are the documents you need to refer to.

ShoreMaster/HydroHoist Acquires Neptune Boat Lifts.

Make sure you have a working VHF radio. I am amazed at the number of people that rely on a cell phone for communicating in the Delta. I think the system is better but it used to be that 911 calls went to the highway patrol and they would have to try to figure out where you were. With a radio you have a direct line to the Coast Guard on channel 16 and a direct line to most bridges on channel 9. Also, TowboatUS monitors channel 16 if you ever need help. I would strongly suggest you get a subscription to the service. It is very reasonable and if you need a tow or other service without it, this will be expensive.

If you are totally unfamiliar with the region, think about hiring Pat as a captain for a day to give you some pointers.

Delta Coves on Bethel Island has your new home waiting for you. The waterfront community’s builder partner, Davidson Communities, was recently awarded seven MAME Awards by the Building Industry Association (BIA) of the Bay Area, including “Community of the Year” citing excellence in interior design, architecture and marketing at this one-of-a-kind waterfront setting on the California Delta.

This pandemic is a disaster for local businesses. My heart goes out to these mom-and-pop enterprises that are struggling to stay in business and get little or no help from the government. Sue and I have been doing our best to patronize local restaurants that have take out and other businesses that are staying open. You might try yoga to help you relax during these stressful times.

DeWitt Christie Sagastume is an Angelic Reiki Master, a CA State licensed massage therapist – graduate of the prestigious National Holistic Institute, and a Holistic Health Practitioner. You should contact her for a massage or for some energy healing. She has two locations in the Lodi area, one at 321 W. Lodi Avenue, Lodi and the 2nd at her Farmhouse Studio – 23721 Brandt Rd, Lodi serving clients located in the Sierra Foothills as well as the eastern Lodi countryside. Check out her website at

Lori Lopez is a yoga master. She is based around the Discovery Bay area, but she can help you with her online classes also. She is a 62-year-old Reiki Master. She has 200 hours with core power yoga, been teaching for In-Shape 6-9 classes a week for years and is a certified mediation instructor. You can reach Lori at and

John Garza of Pacific Coast Water Rescue Foundation has started a new Delta service. PCWR Captain Services has partnered with Diotte Divers and Alex’s Vessel detailing to provide full care and maintenance during the off season. They will check and run your vessel and also keep it clean and buttoned up during the winter. They can provide bottom cleaning and full detailing as requested.

John says, “It is recommended that your vessel is checked at least monthly and especially after storms. Finally, we will ensure if there is mechanical failure you can choose the vessel technician of your choice. We will ensure your vessel is safe and ready for you!

“We are collaborating with Protector Service Richmond to perform Commercial Small Vessel Tow with full licensed captains running the tow operations on the Bay and Delta. Also, we can get your boat to fully certified boat technicians (ABYC) at J&H Marine Stockton or for outboard motor services at Protector Service Richmond.

“We can keep your boat running and maintained at a high level. We will ensure your vessel is ready for you when you want it, and checked and run by USCG captains at least once each month. Also, we will check all client’s vessels after storms or wind events to ensure the boat is safe. Finally, all vessel checks will be documented with a checklist and live video for full documentation.” Contact John at 925-337-2294 for details or to sign up.

ShoreMaster, LLC, which merged with HydroHoist, LLC in 2019 announced recently the acquisition of Neptune Boat Lifts, Inc., the premier salt-water boat lift brand based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Collectively, these three market leaders provide the most comprehensive suite of waterfront products in North America. With the acquisition of Neptune, the portfolio of brands will now cover all fresh and saltwater marine environments. The combined product offering covers the broadest spectrum of product categories in the dock, boat lift and accessories markets while accommodating all boat types, sizes and applications in the industry. Don Hurley, ShoreMaster’s Chief Executive Officer said, “Neptune is a leading brand in the salt-water lift market, one of the most important and fastest-growing markets in the industry. Neptune offers unparalleled quality and service, and in their market has exceptional brand recognition and customer loyalty. This is an exciting addition and a great fit to our portfolio of brands.” Founded in 2007, Neptune is the leading manufacturer of marine lifts, dedicating its efforts to exceeding customer expectations while utilizing the finest materials and engineering. Neptune has been a pioneer in the salt-water marine environment, focusing its design and manufacturing on product safety, performance and quality. The Neptune team collectively has over 100 years of real-world experience, with every lift designed and engineered in-house, then independently evaluated and certified by structural engineers. David Humphreys, president of Neptune said, “We are excited to join ShoreMaster and HydroHoist, two dominant brands in the industry. We are confident in the future and this merger places our team, our dealers and our products in ideal positions for continued growth and success.”

“The addition of Neptune, and their dealer network allows us to reach additional customers in Florida and other U.S. markets, as well as provide new product offerings to our existing dealers. Our combined network of dealers, marine contractors and marinas means that we have the reach to serve every marine market in North America,” added Hurley.

Information on HydroHoist boat lifts can be found at or by calling 800-825-3379.

Okay, we have nine years left of the roaring twenties. We need to make up for 2020 and live our lives to the fullest in the coming years. I am confident this current disaster will be over soon, let me know what you are up to! or 916-869-9141