Seas the Day

By David Perloff / Photos by John Mireles

C

arpe diem. Such was the instruction boarding school teacher John Keating ( Robin Williams , 1951-2014) gave to his students in the 1989 film Dead Poets Society. Life is fleeting, so just do it, go full-throttle, seize the day.

 

Blind daters Tracey and Derek met for the first time in the Epic Limo that's about to drop them off at Seas the Day, a speedboat rental and tour company based at the Chula Vista Marina. Before they arrive for a water-bound adventure, let's review the predate interviews.

PacificSD: Where are you from and where do you live now?

TRACEY:

I am from the Chicagoland area and currently live in PB. I just moved to San Diego last November, so don't make fun of me when I call soda "pop."

DEREK:

I'm from San Diego originally, but have been living in Sydney for the last 5 years. I just moved back to be closer to family. I live in Bird Rock, but I'm thinking of moving to Little Italy.

What do you do for a living?

TRACEY:

I tend bar and live the dream.

DEREK:

I work in commercial finance and am currently setting up an investment company.

Why are you going on a blind date in Pacific Magazine?

TRACEY:

For an adventure, to see more of beautiful San Diego... and for a free meal. And hopefully to meet someone awesome, of course.

DEREK:

A friend asked me if I'd like to do it and, based on my success rate on Tinder, I figured Pacific Magazine couldn't do any worse.

What do you do for fun?

TRACEY:

I love to go dancing, to concerts - Dave Matthews Band and EDM all day - drinking with friends, people watching, spider solitaire, anything outdoors, hanging out with my cat and watching reality TV... my guilty pleasure.

DEREK:

I enjoy all ocean activities, diving and surfing. I also enjoy golf, which I played for my college for two years.

What are you best at?

TRACEY:

Making guacamole, practical jokes and influencing people to get them to do what I want. Some may call it "peer pressure."

DEREK:

Enjoying life to the fullest and being around great friends and family.

What do you suck at?

TRACEY:

Spelling and technology.

DEREK:

Driving in traffic and finding the right girl to date.

What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?

TRACEY:

I am looking for someone taller than me, even when I'm wearing heels, a good smile - someone who can make me laugh and who can handle my sh!t-talking as well as give it back.

DEREK:

On the inside, I'm looking for someone ambitious and driven like I am, yet still kind and caring. I also value someone who is cultured and worldly, who likes to try new things and explore the world. On the outside, I'm looking for a model.

Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.

TRACEY:

Cute face, little waist with a big behind... flexible.

DEREK:

"Home-cooked meal with wine," usually works for me.

What do you like least about yourself?

TRACEY:

That I wear a size-10 shoe.

DEREK:

Being impatient.

Rate yourself on a scale from one to 10 for looks.

TRACEY:

I'd say an eight at first glance, but my personality gets me some bonus points.
DEREK:

Nine.

Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 for personality.

TRACEY

: Ten, unless I'm hungry.

DEREK:

Ten.

What's your biggest fear?

TRACEY:

Distracted drivers and tsunamis.

DEREK:

Growing up.

What traits could your date exhibit that would be complete deal-breakers?

TRACEY:

Being rude to strangers, taking selfies, excessive "ex" talk. And smoking cigarettes, though not a deal-breaker, is just a turnoff.

DEREK:

Smokes cigarettes, out of shape, can't carry a conversation, no manners, things of that nature.

How many people have you slept with?

TRACEY:

Whoa, what kind of magazine is this? Guess it doesn't matter since I'm saving myself for Luke Perry.

DEREK:

A gentleman never tells.

Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?

TRACEY:

Who knows where the night will take us... or what he looks like.

DEREK:

Que será, será.

What's the most important thing in the world?

TRACEY:

Being true to yourself, family and friends. And my cat.

DEREK:

Health and happiness.

THANK YOU!

SEAS THE DAY
550 Marina Parkway, Chula Vista
619.665.5760, seasthedaysandiego.com

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ZOOM WITH A VIEW
Just add water

 

As the daters disembark the limo, they're smiling and laughing together and appear to be getting along well. After watching a brief instructional/safety video, they walk down the dock and board a 15-foot speedboat, which Derek navigated out of the marina and into open water. Beyond the "No Wake" zone, he guns the engine and rockets north.

At speeds approaching 40 miles per hour, the couple hurtles toward the Coronado Bridge, saltwater spraying their faces as the front of the boat bounces along the choppy water. After a few minutes at the helm - the boat fully airborne at times - Derek appears to have gained confidence in his driving, which he demonstrates by jerking the wheel and whipping the boat into 180-degree turns, drenching himself and his copilot in the process.

After passing the San Diego Symphony's Summer Pops stage at Embarcadero Marina Park South, the boat slows, and Tracey takes the wheel. In an instant, the couple is off again, speeding toward the USS Midway Museum. When they reach Harbor Island, they turn around and race back to the port, the sun fading behind them.

Back on land, Tracey and Derek change out of their wet clothes and hop back into the limo for a breath of fresh fare - dinner at Don Chido (Spanish for "Mr. Cool"), the Gaslamp's new gourmet/casual Mexican grill helmed by chef Antonio Friscia and RMD Group (FLUXX, Side Bar, F6ix, Ciro's Pizzeria, Broberto's). Once they've had a chance to taste their appetizers, the couple is split for mid-date debriefings.

PacificSD: How's the date going so far?

TRACEY:

It's actually a lot of fun. I'm pleasantly surprised. Derek seems laidback and has the same mindset as me. He doesn't take himself too seriously.

DEREK:

Tracey's a really cool chick. We connected right away. She seems like she likes to have fun.

What were your first impressions of your date?

TRACEY:

They were good. He's cute. I didn't think he was going to be cute. And he's easygoing.

DEREK:

Tracey seems like a laidback chick. She had that tie-dyed dress thing on, which was more hippie-ish, but she's really cool, outgoing and witty. There's good banter.

Is this the type of person you'd normally date?

TRACEY:

Yeah, actually he is.

DEREK:

Yes and no. I've always ended up with the higher-maintenance types, aesthetically speaking, but I prefer Tracey's style, personality and wit. I'm an open-minded guy.

What do you think of the way your date is dressed?

TRACEY:

Pretty standard. It's not really impressing me, but I'm not like, "Eww... what is he wearing?"

DEREK:

Now that she's changed, it's a one-eighty. She's dressed like what I'm used to. A nice cocktail dress. You can't go wrong.

How was the boat ride?

TRACEY:

Well, I wasn't expecting to get as wet as I did. I mean, I did my hair, I took time to get ready, and then I was a wet mess. And afterward, I didn't have anywhere to plug in my crimper. I also lost my glasses during the ride, but they were cheap, so it doesn't matter. Derek was making me very nervous. He was driving a little crazy. I kept wishing I was wearing a life jacket. But the boat ride was amazing. I'm definitely going to recommend that place. Going there was a great idea.

DEREK:

Amazing! I'm definitely going to give that guy business because I haven't had that much fun in a long time. And Tracey and I both said the same thing: that this was the best first date either of us has ever been on, hands down.

Which of you is the better driver?

TRACEY:

I preferred to be driving, only because that way he wasn't driving. But I probably wasn't much better.

DEREK:

Obviously, I'm going to say I was. Tracey was a little nervous. I might've gone a bit overboard. She lost her sunnies, but I was a gentleman and gave her my sunglasses. When she was driving, she didn't slow down. She went for it. I was impressed.

What's your date's most attractive quality?

TRACEY:

It's stupid, but maybe letting me wear his sunglasses after I lost mine. He had RayBans, so I think they were kinda expensive, so that was nice of him.

DEREK:

Her personality, hands down. I click with her.

Least attractive quality?
TRACEY
: At one point, he did start to talk about his ex, but not to the point where it was annoying. It made sense in the conversation, so I let it pass.

DEREK:

I feel she's not as driven, career-wise, as I am. Just based on what she's doing for work, I can tell that we're at very different levels.

Rate your date, physically, on a scale from one to 10.

TRACEY:

I'd say like an eight and a half. That's good, right?

DEREK:

Let's give her an eight.

How about for personality?

TRACEY:

I would say a nine. He's cool; I like him.

DEREK:

Ten out of 10.

Do you want to kiss your date now?

TRACEY:

I don't know about that.

DEREK:

Whatever happens, happens. The limo driver already gave me permission and said "anything goes," so I think we'll have a great time.

Does your date want to kiss you now?

TRACEY:

I think so. We'll see how the tequila flows.

DEREK:

I would say with a 99.9-percent certainty, yes.

Is there any long-term potential for the two of you?

TRACEY:

Yeah, I think we kinda click. I wasn't sure I was going to do this, but he's fun to hang out with. I'm having a good time.

DEREK:

I'm sure we'll hang out again, but marriage-wise, nah. I'm going to have to get to know her better and find out what her goals are. If she wants to keep doing what she's doing now, it probably wouldn't work. We're at opposite ends of the spectrum.

THANK YOU!

EPIC LIMO
858.270.LIMO (5466), epiclimo.com

COORS LIGHT
coorslight.com

REDD'S APPLE ALE
reddsappleale.com

DON CHIDO
527 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp
619.232.8226, donchido.com

GO FISH
Getting hooked on fresh seafood and other Mexican faves

 

Don Chido is hoppin'. The tables are full and people are toasting margaritas at the bar while the blind daters talk over dinner for nearly an hour. When Derek spots a friend in the crowd, a DJ he's known from way back when, he and Tracey walk over to say hello. Once they've returned to the table to finish their entrees, they walk to the new Tin Roof San Diego (formerly Rock Bottom Brewery) on Fourth Avenue to see live music.

With a high-energy cover band performing spot-on renditions of Nirvana hits and other pop/rock favorites, the couple sips a final cocktail before the magazine crew finally leaves them alone to enjoy the rest of the evening away from the camera. The next morning, we call to see what we missed.

PacificSD: How was dinner at Don Chido?

TRACEY:

Don Chido's was a lot of fun. We had margaritas and some really good food. The fundido appetizer with shrimp was amazing. The atmosphere was very upbeat and lively. It's a perfect place to grab some food and drinks before going out for the night.

DEREK:

It was awesome. I had the watermelon margarita and Caddy margarita. Both were great, but I was really impressed with the whole baked fish with mango and other tantalizing flavors. It's big enough for two people to share, and I'll definitely be going back for that.

What did you think of Tin Roof?

TRACEY:

Tin Roof was a good people-watching spot. It was pretty chill and the live band played good songs.

DEREK:

The music was really good. I love live bands.

Where did you go afterward?

TRACEY:

We had a drink and a shot and left. We had the limo drop us off in PB and just hung out there drinking and what not.

DEREK:

We decided to slowly head back home. It was time to see what fun activities we could enjoy away from the public eye.

What time did you get home?

TRACEY:

Not too sure, to be honest.

DEREK:

Tracey had to go to work, so I think I left her place around 11 a.m. It has been a very long time since I've done the walk of shame, but this was probably the worst one. I put on my shorts from the boating part of the date, a half-buttoned shirt and grabbed my other clothes from the evening and walked to a friend's house a few blocks away. My phone died, so I couldn't call an Uber. I got some funny looks, which I figured was normal considering my state, but when I got to my friend's house, he asked what happened to my shorts. There was a huge rip down the back, and my ass was hanging out. That explains why people were staring at me strangely.

Was there a kiss or romantic exchange during or at the end of the night?

TRACEY:

I'm a lady and never kiss and tell.

DEREK:

A gentleman never tells, but based on what time I got home, one can imagine how the night progressed.

How will your date answer that question?

TRACEY:

Honestly.

DEREK:

Not sure. She seemed like a pretty open and honest type, so she may elaborate more than me.

How did the date end?
TRACEY
: Date ended well and at my front door. We talked about how much fun we had and he asked for my number.

DEREK:

An exchange of phone numbers to possibly go out for drinks again sometime, but my phone died before I could save her number.

Will there be a second date?

TRACEY:

Not sure. We didn't make any concrete plans before he left, so we'll see.

DEREK:

I don't think there will be a second date with the potential of a committed relationship. Her free spirit would probably not be the best influence on me staying focused on my professional life, but it would take my party-life to new levels. Plus, I don't have her contact details to have another wild night out.

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AFTERMATCH

While some say it's the size of the boat that counts, others swear it's the motion of the ocean. Perhaps neither is true, and it's really all about if (and/or how) the hand touches the throttle. Whatever happened between the neo-nautical blind daters behind closed doors last night, there's at least one thing that definitely got grabbed: life, and by the horns.

Carpe diem, y'all. And R.I.P., Robin Williams.

THANK YOU!

TIN ROOF SAN DIEGO
401 G. St., Gaslamp
619.230.8606, tinroofbars.com

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