For a party at the Coronado Yacht Club, I would be picked up by a dinghy and taken to a yacht. Tourists crowded Coronado that weekend, and I had trouble finding the place. When I found what I thought was the yacht club, I asked a woman walking by. "This is probably it, though, there are lots of yachts around Coronado, so who knows?" I saw someone leaving the parking lot and took their spot, the only one available. I called the guys on the boat, and they told me which dock to walk to to meet the dinghy.
I made a joke about getting seasick as I climbed into the small boat. They didn't laugh. They opened a cooler and handed me a beer. Within minutes, we were at the yachts.
A woman named Rachel was lying on the deck of the boat. I said to a guy standing nearby, "That's a nice look for a boat. It's like Tawny Kitaen in that Whitesnake video." The guy said, "Huh?" I realized I was making reference to a video from 20 years ago. I explained to the teenager, "That was from a time when MTV played videos, most of which had scantily clad women lying around like that. One had a woman on the hood of Jaguar." He said, "They have videos like that now. They're on BET, and they're usually just shaking their asses in front of rappers."
I noticed another teen had a tattoo on his underarm, and I asked him if it hurt. "Hell, yeah," he said, before jumping off the boat to swim. A woman said, "Can you believe he was an Eagle Scout? And now he has tattoos."
Ed, who invited me on his boat for the event, and his friend also jumped over. I noticed Ed's friend would swim to talk to women in nearby boats.
People would stop by, climb onto the boat, and ask to borrow something, such as the woman who needed ice for someone who got burned by a barbecue grill. I was told, "The biggest injuries on boats are hitting your toe on stuff and burns from grills."
Another injury, I assumed, would be sunburns. When I climbed onto another boat, I asked a couple if they ever worried about skin cancer. One woman told me that she'd had breast cancer and her husband had skin cancer. "Now we use three kinds of lotions when we're in the sun for long periods of time."
A guy walking by told me, "Real boaters aren't worried about skin cancer or sunburns. We take off our shirts and embrace the sun."
Turned out that Ed lived on his boat, and I asked him how much that costs. "It's $400 to $500 a month. They charge $12 a foot. Some marinas charge $25. This is a 36-foot boat."
I walked down to another boat -- hitting my head as I slipped on a wet area of the dock -- to watch The Fabulous Dan Band. Several small boats and swimmers had a better view of the band, hanging out in front as they played cover tunes. I was told they play this gig for food and tips. When a jar was passed around, people were stuffing lots of bills in it.
After their set, I talked to Dan. He told me there was another Dan Band, so they added the "fabulous." A guy walked in and offered him $100 to play for a little longer. Dan was tired and declined. He told me that last month he had surgery to remove a tumor from his stomach. He got more tired than he thought he would. We talked about music and fantasy football. He invited me to join his league, which has been playing for more than a decade.
I met a blonde woman named Melissa, who had a pierced tongue. She said her boss doesn't allow her to have the stud in at work, so she has to take it out. When she was on another boat with her friends, I overheard them mention me and yelled, "Don't talk shit! I can hear you from over here." They laughed and yelled back, "No. We were just thinking about inviting you to our party next weekend." I love this job.
I met a boat owner named Woody. I said, "That's a great name for someone who owns a boat." He replied, "Most of my boat is made of fiberglass, though." I had heard he was "almost retired," and when I asked him about that, he said, "No. It's 'almost retarded.'"
When I checked in with singer Dan, he was a sweaty mess. I saw the band breaking down equipment and thought how much more difficult it must be loading gear into a dinghy. When I asked the keyboardist about this, he rattled off 13 "dinghy tips" to getting their stuff onto the boat.
I took a moment to read the boat names. I thought the cleverest was Seas the Day. As I was writing that name down, a guy came over and asked, "Are you giving a speech?" I told him I was writing about this party for the Reader. A woman who had had a few drinks said, "Oh, the crasher. I always check to see if any of my drunk friends are in there. Now, maybe I'll be the drunk chick in your story!"
The guy was a teacher named Mr. Ball. We talked about all the teachers in the news that are sleeping with students. He said, "When I was in my 20s, and there were attractive 18-year-old girls, we called them 'wacs.' That stood for 'worth a credential.'" We talked a lot about playwrights, classic authors, and how kids these days play more video games than read books.
A guy came over and offered me a beer. Someone else said, "I'll take one. Wait. Is this beer kosher?" As I leaned back to watch the sunset, I smelled marijuana coming from a nearby boat. Ed told me they were going to be watching movies on one of the boat's sails. "I'm not sure what it will be. Either Pirates of the Caribbean or Captain Ron. We usually do a lot of fun stuff like that. Last year, we had a water balloon fight. Someone had this launcher that could shoot them 75 feet. A few people complained about that."