Sit Right Back, And You’ll Hear a Tale

by Nancy Bestor

boatI’ve never been a lover of boats. I don’t know how to water-ski, I’ve never been fishing and I’ve never really had the urge to go sailing. I suppose that makes me a landlubber. But last weekend when Bob and I were out on a friend’s boat in San Diego Bay, sipping a cocktail with the wind whipping through our hair (or, let’s be real, MY hair, as Bob has very little hair), I thought to myself, “this isn’t so bad.” That’s right, I got so comfortable on “The Quartet” that I contemplated changing my name to Lovey…as in Lovey Howell…wife of Thurston….aka “the millionaire.”

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Our friend’s boat is docked at the Coronado Yacht Club, and we were fortunate enough to enjoy a boat ride that offered up-close views of the U.S.S. Midway, a pod of sea lions sleeping and sunning on the San Diego Bay bait dock, and near (but not too near) Naval Base Coronado. We finally anchored in an idyllic spot off Point Loma, where we overnighted with views of elaborate homes along the Point Loma shore. In the distance we could see the base and Naval helicopters regularly taking off and landing and I imagined Navy Seals underwater, tracking our EVERY movement. The Quartet’s radio blared out a few messages over the course of our adventure, and although those messages may really have been akin to “there’s great fishing to be had by Shelter Island right now,” I can’t be certain that they weren’t saying “we are tracking members of Isis off the shore of San Diego AT THIS MOMENT.” Of course, I have always had an active imagination.

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Everything looks a bit more exciting from a boat. With its different perspective, things like neglected docks, abandoned boats and otherwise indistinctive bridges all take on a nostalgic aura of adventure, history and even a bit of mystery. And San Diego Bay is particularly enticing, partly due to its idyllic blue skies, its beautiful shoreline, and its fish and wildlife scattered throughout. But you don’t need to be out on a boat to enjoy it. We sat one evening on benches in Shoreline Park on Shelter Island Drive, eating snacks and drinking beer while watching the sunset over the boats and Bay. It too was lovely.

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I don’t see myself buying a boat anytime soon—one reason being that we don’t live near water. But I sure enjoy the opportunity to play the part of a seasoned boater when I can. I’m certain I am believable in my role too, for as Thurston Howell III once said, “No one can pull the wool over my eyes. Cashmere maybe, but wool never.”

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