The people you meet

Last Friday, after we arrived in Santa Barbara, after we hosted an impromptu cocktail hour with Nick’s friends Paul and Ginger, after we had dinner at the yacht club, after we stumbled upon a high-school football game and watched the dramatic 4th quarter — after all that, we were walking back to the boat when a tall jovial guy came alongside and said hello.

He was drunk, but he was a happy drunk. Our new friend told us that he was crewing on a large powerboat heading north to San Francisco. They had come from Catalina, and on the crossing they caught some tuna. But they couldn’t eat it all and would we like some?

We walked back to his boat and met the rest of the crew.

In addition to tall jovial guy, they had a grumpy gentleman with curly gray hair. He razzed us for our yacht club attire. “If you’re sailors, where are your shorts? Sailors should be wearing shorts.”

There was a short guy with a ponytail. He talked a lot, and very quickly, mostly about food. “Hellyeah, give these guys some tuna. Been marinating since we caught it. Yeah, awesome.”

Finally, we met the boat’s owner. He was tall, lean, tan, and appropriately grave for the leader of an imminent ocean passage. (They planned to depart at 4am so as to round Point Conception near dawn.)

“Where are you taking the boat?” I asked.

“Up the Delta, near Stockton.”

“No kidding.”

I told him that Aegea has spent some time in the Delta; that we love going to Tinsley Island and exploring the area on our runabout. In fact, Aegea had been in the Delta earlier this summer. We spent nearly every weekend in May and June on Tinsley.

The owner went on: “I just bought a marina in Delta. I’m going to keep my boat there.”

“You bought a marina?”

“Yeah.”

You never know who you’ll meet.

— JZ

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