John’s Story-Part Three

MV Poseidon’s current home base is Ventura, California, a harbor ideally located to explore some of the most spectacular island anchorages to be found anywhere.

Click here for Brief Specifications of MV Poseidon

Having at last found our dream boat, we instructed the broker to get the deal done at a certain price, and threatened inhumane body damage if he didn’t succeed.

 Naturally, he did.

 We had fallen in love with Poseidon more or less as she was but while all the mechanical systems were in an excellent state, our view of the interior and the layout quickly became jaded.  No matter, we thought, love conquers all, and we began to make remodel plans and drawings even while the broker was doing his best to avoid injury and secure our dream.

Finally, the day came when we brought Poseidon to Ventura with the help of several of our friends, who enjoyed the ride from San Diego with an overnight stop at Catalina Island. I couldn’t wait to start the rebirth of Poseidon, so much so that Linda had to stop me from initiating the remodel of the galley by tearing out the appliances while still underway.  After all, she had ten people to feed and that is paramount to Linda.

As we approached Ventura Harbor, I rounded up the whole crew to instruct them as to our landing procedure at the dock where I knew our friends, family and dock neighbors were waiting, champagne in hand, to celebrate Poseidon’s arrival. My instructions were not quite as poetic as Nelson’s.

“I have never docked as large a boat as this,” I told them.  “The marina has assigned us a very tight spot and, in addition, we have to back into the slip.  So each of you fender handlers should stand by your assigned location, fender in hand ready to ward off any potential collision! However there will be no yelling, panic, worried looks or Chinese fire drills. Should we bump the dock, we will all act as if that was the plan”.

I believe there are two boat paramount boat rules: ‘no yelling,’ and ‘stay on the boat.’  Yelling will turn the most idyllic voyage into a nightmare, as may a ‘man overboard!’

(I had, in fact, made two or three practice dockings in San Diego, which went quite well but I wasn’t going to admit that to the crew!)

And so we made our first Ventura Harbor mooring in MV Poseidon. We did not hit or even touch the dock, much to Linda’s relief.  She had been quite nervous. As she stepped off the boat and wrapped a line on the cleat, a bunch of the boaters wanted to help her but I calmly stated that Linda did not need any help.  We two would complete the maneuvers just as we would have to for as long as we cruise Poseidon – and, to this day, we politely and appreciatively refuse all offers of assistance.  When someone is kind enough to comment how well we handle Poseidon, I tell them that the boat drives herself; I just point.  Poseidon does indeed handle better than any other boat I have piloted.

The renewal of Poseidon started immediately and continued for about two years.

And I will write more about that process as this story continues  next week …