August 17, 2013
We drove down to Oxnard from Santa Cruz to take a look at the Westsail 32 “Pablo”, which was docked at the Vintage Marina in Chanel Islands Harbor. We had already been poring over the specifications in the sales writeup and knew just about everything about her. We had studied her water maker system, engine, lighting, whale gushers, sails, etc. If she was everything we had read about her we knew we were going to be boat owners before long. The five hour drive down the coast was quiet with only nervous chatter about what we should look at and the right questions to ask. Reminding each other not to look too eager. How would we signal each other about our feelings? Something big was about to happen and we could actually feel our reality changing.
We met Paul, the owner of “Pablo”, who was a really great, no bullshit kind of guy. The boat had been his Father’s, and then his and he had spent part of his childhood sailing and living on the boat. We could sense that he wasn’t selling her because he wanted to. It was more that he wasn’t taking care of her the way he should and could not give her the time and money necessary to keep her up and to be honest it showed. The poor girl looked droopy and sad. The engine was working but was held together by bubblegum and rubber bands (not really, but kinda). Her dodger was dirty and falling apart. She had varnish peeling off and just looked dirty and neglected.
However, when we went below deck and felt her warmth we knew she was ours. This was a boat that would take us to far away places and keep us safe. Her well vanished interior glowed under the dirt. Her port lights let in rays of sun that must have beamed themselves to us from the lower latitudes and her gentle rocking whispered of anchorages both beautiful and exotic. She stole our hearts.
We left that day with a handshake and a promise that if she sailed well and passed inspection we would gladly pay the asking price. We skipped all the way back to our car and starting dreaming BIG dreams, which became the central topic of all conversations between ourselves and anyone who would listen. I think our friends started to duck us because we had that glazed silly look in our eyes and our conversations were becoming a bit boring as they always turned toward “Pablo”. Oh well, we didn’t care. We had “Pablo” and each other and our dreams. Life got very blissful for a while.