One month in


My Dad on the Montalvo, 1955 Cortes Bank

My first call came in three weeks ago and I felt great to be called to action!  A loyal Anchors Way customer from many years ago needed a survey for insurance and I was ready to help. He is lucky he called me and not a moment too soon because I saw things on that boat that scared the “bejeezers” out of me.

As I looked at my first assignment I was reminded of a story my Dad told me about my Uncle Warren’s first boat. Warren was one of my favorite family characters. When I was young I thought he was the saltiest guy in the world with a cigarette on his lip, a dark wool Greek fisherman’s cap flopped to the side of his head and the darkest brown complexion no Irishman could ever possess. He had taught me my first lessons how to sail and how to work. “A good sailor never leaves anything undone” he would say to me. He showed me that flying kites and sailing could indeed be accomplished simultaneously along with trolling for Bonita but I digress.

My Dad was working on the fishing vessel Montalvo (Spaniard) in the summer of 1954. He and cousin Art Killion were anchored in Prisoners Harbor and the sun was going low behind the island. It was a typical windy summer evening and the Montalvo pivoted in the breeze on her anchor dug deep into the sandy bottom. Dad was excited because he had been waiting all day for his Uncle Warren and his two cousins to arrive from Santa Barbara in their new powerboat. She was new to them but certainly not new as nothing on the boat post dated the Roosevelt Administration, not even close.  As my Dad recollected, the only new thing on that old boat were the smiles on Jeff and Bryan’s faces as they came bolting around the point separating Pelican and Prisoners Harbors.

As the windy lane’s white caps rolled by atop walls of blue green water, the wobbly wake of Warren, Jeff and Bryan’s little boat spit them down and into the anchorage, followed by her whisping steamy exhaust blowing to leeward down towards Chinese Harbor.

During his life our Uncle Warren had owned many different boats and had sailed to exotic places, but this being his first boat, it lacked many of the attributes we so admire and love about watercraft. She was powered by an old WWII surplus engine and carried a  depression era washing machine spin drum strapped to her transom which had been ingeniously “repurposed” as a live bait well.

Looking at that little rag tag boat as my Dad waved and hollered to his arriving cousins, Art asked him if he thought Warren loved his boys.

“Sure he does”, my Dad replied.

Art shook his head confused and amazed as Warren pulled alongside, cigarette hanging on his lip, Greek fisherman’s cap flopped to the side of his head, tan as a mockasin and a smile that stretched channel wide.

I chuckled to myself and continued on with my survey.

Call me at 805-901-7339 if you need a quality vessel inspection performed or if you just want to know if Warren bagged a bonita on the way across that afternoon.




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