Plenty of Summer Left

Jerry Brown

San Joaquin County exhibit at the state fair

State Fair

Every year I go to the state fair mainly to see the great San Joaquin County exhibits.  They typically feature Delta agriculture and the maze of waterways we love.  Frequently they make a political statement also.  A few years back they featured then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as the “Delta Terminator”.  This year in addition to showcasing their agricultural products they had an educational piece showing the destruction that will be caused if the twin tunnels diverting the Sacramento River around the Delta are ever built.  They even had a figure of a crazy looking Jerry Brown flying over the exhibit in some kind of Moonbeam contraption.  The exhibit got a blue ribbon for the best agricultural exhibit and a gold ribbon for county exhibits.  I was honored as they used a few of my photos (including one of my granddaughter driving my boat) to depict life on the Delta.

chunnel tunnel

San Joaquin County exhibit

The Two Tunnels

Jerry Brown announces plan to divert Sacramento River around the Delta

If you have not been asleep for the last few weeks then you heard of Governor Brown’s announcement on July 25 that he is going to proceed with plans to destroy much of the Delta by building the $50 billion twin tunnel diversion to take Sacramento River water around the Delta.  He has the backing of the Obama administration as well as many Southern California politicians.  Yes, this is the beginning of the great California water war.

Bethel Island 50′s Bash

Don’t forget the Bethel Island 50′s Bash on August 11 and 12. This year marks the 25th anniversary of this fun time.  There will be hot rods, classic cars, boats, and motorcycles as well as plenty of food and drink along with some great live music.  The fun will be all over the island, don’t miss the golf cart parade, catfish races, dog show, crowning of the queen, and the piece de la resistance: the rubber ducky race. Check it out at

Honoring our veterans

Honoring our veterans at the Forget Me Knot festival

Forget Me Knot

Commodore Les Cochren has been putting on the Forget Me Knot classic boat parade and wreath laying along the Sacramento Waterfront for several years now.  The parade is to honor all veterans and their families.  This year it will be held on Saturday September 21.  Good vantage points are anywhere along the water in Old Sacramento.  The parade typically begins at noon or thereabouts.  This year there will be a job fair for veterans on Friday September 21 at the Sacramento Marina from 0900 hours to 1400 hours.  If you are interested in participating or helping to sponsor this worthwhile event contact Les at 916/932-6052 or

Steamboat at B&W Resort

Steamboats frolic at B&W Resort


On the weekend of September 28, 29, & 30, 2012 twenty or so steamboats will gather at B & W Resort ( in Isleton for their annual rendezvous.  This event has been held each year for over 30 years.   It is a blast to watch these craft chug around Georgiana Slough and the lower Mokelumne River.  It is especially fun for me as these are some of the few boats I can beat in a race.

The owners of these vessels take pride in their craftsmanship and the boats are immaculate.  Some of the jewel like engines and boilers are over 100 years old.  They all have a steam whistle naturally and you will hear them all over the area during their stay here.

A friend of mine Jim Sweeney had an early 1900′s steamboat, Leviathan that had originally been a tender for one of the ships in Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet.  Jim kept her in the Bay Area and would bring her up to B & W under her own power.  He made his children work in the engine room stoking the boiler and keeping things lubricated.  Jim said they had to make frequent stops to take on fresh water as they could not use the water out of the river.  Leviathan carried a one pounder cannon mounted on the foredeck.  Jim and his family have now moved up to a 1929 Stephens cruiser Elizabeth with gasoline power.

Wine & Art Faire

Wine & Art Faire at the Old Sugar Mill In Clarksburg

Delta Wine & Art Faire

The third annual Wine and Art Faire will be held at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg on Sunday, October 7th.  This is a popular event and this year will be the biggest and best.  It features Delta wines and foods as well as live music and many local craftsmen and artists.  This is a “do not miss” happening in a beautiful venue.  For more information or to reserve a spot to show your artworks email Marnie at or Bill at

There is still plenty of summer left.  I hope you are enjoying it!  I will see you out in the Delta.

About Bill Wells - A retired yacht broker, Bill is currently the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor's Bureau. He is an active member of the Northern California Fleet of the Classic Yacht Association. In their spare time he and his beloved wife Sue cruise their 1937 Stephens cruiser Ranger to boating events throughout the Delta. Bill is active in matters helping to preserve and protect the California Delta. He chronicles his adventures in the monthly Delta Rat Scrapbook column for Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.