By Jessica Pelligra
Photos by John Mireles
Back in grade school, they taught "Sea Fever." It's a poem by Masefield - I don't remember it either. But the first couple lines are hard to forget, and somehow I've managed to retain them yet:
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
Masefield died way before his time. In homage to him, we'll use nautical rhymes to tell the story of tonight's blind date, which hopefully meets a happier fate. Amber and Wyatt met moments ago. Now they're set to arrive in an Epic Limo. The evening's first stop: Catamaran Hotel. Will it be a connection? Only time will tell. But before we find out what's to come of these two, let's see what they said in the pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: Where are you from and where do you live now?
AMBER: I'm a Wisconsin girl, born and raised. Moved to Pacific Beach about a year-and-a-half ago.
WYATT: From Reno/Tahoe, Nevada, and currently live in South Park, San Diego.
What do you do for a living?
AMBER: I'm an occupational therapist. I love helping people.
WYATT: I'm aspiring to be a professional speed walker and I will soon be practicing law. I also do some freelance photography work and will be taking the California real estate exam next week.
What do you do for fun?
AMBER: I love exploring San Diego, which I've decided is the best city in the world. Being by the ocean, yoga, brunch is always fun, shopping, watching football - I'm the biggest Packer fan ever. I also paint.
WYATT: Travel, hike, volleyball, surf, staring contests, thumb wrestling, et cetera.
What are you best at?
AMBER: I feel like I'm good at being there for others.
WYATT: I give great high fives.
What do you suck at?
AMBER: Basically any organized sport. It's pretty bad.
WYATT: Bowling... and answering these questions seriously.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
AMBER: Someone who can hold a conversation, knows how to dress, is motivated and has a sense of humor. Humor is key.
WYATT: I'm a sucker for good posture and confidence.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
AMBER: Girl next door.
What do you like least about yourself?
AMBER: The fact that I'm really good at procrastinating.
WYATT: The fact that I suck at bowling.
Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 for looks.
AMBER: I don't know, this is tough.
WYATT: I don't own a scale.
Rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 for personality.
AMBER: I'd say at least a solid nine, for sure.
WYATT: Borderline eleven.
What's your biggest fear?
AMBER: Birds. Weird, I know.
WYATT: Sneezing with my mouth full.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be complete deal-breakers?
AMBER: If they are cocky or only like to talk about themselves.
WYATT: Habitual complaining, doesn't like Frisbee.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be "blank" and "blank."
AMBER: Funny and intriguing.
WYATT: Vibrant and genuine.
What's the most important thing in the world?
AMBER: Finding what makes you truly happy, and then doing more of that.
WYATT: Flossing before brushing, and love.
Down the Hatch
Dinner's gourmet and overlooks Mission Bay
Oceana is Catamaran's new "Coastal Kitchen." It has incredible food and a view that's bitchin'. When the couple arrives, they walk arm-in-arm to a booth by the water that has casual charm. As appetizers show, they make a toast. The sun is setting just over the coast. Before entrees arrive, Wyatt must feel bolder - he puts his arm around Amber's shoulder. He makes his move as dinner is served. Amber seems into it but a little reserved. After their dinner and then the dessert, they walk to the koi pond for a quick little flirt.
Then the limo arrives to take them downtown, for a dating adventure that's to be water-bound. When they arrive at the docks, their chemistry's showing. We pull them aside to ask how it's going.
PacificSD: How's it going so far?
AMBER: So far, so good. I'm having a really good time. I think that this was a good match for a date.
WYATT: It's pretty good so far. She's pretty, she's personable; it's just been a really fun time. She's really great company.
What were your first impressions?
AMBER: I was pleasantly surprised. I really didn't know what to expect but I thought he was really cute. He seemed like a gentleman, too, because he brought me a rose and opened the door, the whole works.
WYATT: She's very pretty. She's tall and she's really outgoing, but I think she's being a little reserved on the date. But I understand; it's cool.
Is this the type of person you'd normally date?
AMBER: That's hard to say, because I don't necessarily have a type. But, getting to know him, he's definitely someone I could see myself with.
WYATT: I would say, yeah, she's definitely my type.
What do you think of the way your date is dressed?
AMBER: He mentioned that he bought a raincoat specifically for this event, and I thought that was really cute. I totally approve of the way he's dressed, which is saying a lot because I'm usually a pretty harsh critic of that.
WYATT: She's got good style. I noticed that she has some awesome pants and her blingin' necklace.
How was riding in the limo?
AMBER: Who doesn't like taking a limo? I could definitely get used to being picked up in one of those. Plus, he had a rose that he gave me when the limo showed up to my place, which was sweet.
WYATT: The limo was cool. I had plenty of room to stretch my legs, and there were lots of complimentary beverages.
What did you think of Oceana Coastal Kitchen?
AMBER: Our server was incredibly friendly, and the atmosphere was really inviting.
WYATT: They had a really cool jellyfish tank as the restaurant's centerpiece, gave it a great ambiance.
What did you have to eat and drink there?
AMBER: I had one of the specialty sushi rolls. It was fantastic. My favorite part of the meal was the appetizer; we had mussels and clams. I also had the Blood Orange Margarita, and it was super refreshing.
WYATT: I don't drink, but the food was incredible. I had the filet. It was cooked to perfection. Dessert was awesome, too. I had the chocolate-filled donut.
What's the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
AMBER: He's an awesome conversationalist, and that goes a long way for me.
WYATT: She's been really personable and kind.
What would your parents say if you brought your date home?
AMBER: They would be very pleased.
WYATT: My parents would really like her.
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
WYATT: She's a ten.
How about for personality?
Do you want to kiss your date now?
AMBER: I would definitely kiss Wyatt, but it's not really in my practice to kiss on the first date.
WYATT: Yes, she's pretty.
Does your date want to kiss you?
AMBER: I don't know. I mean, I hope so.
WYATT: I have no idea.
Anything else you'd like to add?
AMBER: I'm really glad I decided to do this. I'm surprised that it took a magazine to finally set me up on such a successful date.
WYATT: No, I think we covered it.
Oceana Coastal Kitchen at Catamaran Resort Hotel
3999 Mission Blvd., Mission Bay,
Taking a Bow
Leaving the dock as eight strikes the clock
Amber and Wyatt will now jump aboard a boating adventure that strikes a chord. It's the Neon Nights Yacht Party on the big bay - a floating nightclub for one evening in May. They sit at a private VIP booth, nestling in, getting into the groove. They nod their heads to a beat that's dropping. The waters are calm; the dance floor's popping.
It's north to Point Loma, then south to the bridge. The night's kinda rainy; it's cold like a fridge. As the daters stroll to the bow of the boat, Amber is chilled; Wyatt offers his coat. Out there in the dark, who knows what we're missing? But fingers are crossed that the couple is kissing.
When the ship reaches shore, we must leave the daters. To get the scoop, we call a day later.
PacificSD: What did you think of Neon Nights at Sea?
AMBER: Seeing the San Diego skyline from the water was awesome. I'm obsessed with city lights at night; it's one of my favorite things. The DJs did an awesome job, but it was hard to talk to my date.
WYATT: It was like a floating party bus, but better. More like a club on water. The music was great, the dance floor was poppin' and everyone seemed to be having a good time.
What did you do for the rest of the evening after the boat docked?
AMBER: Sadly, I was beyond exhausted from working all day long, so the date ended with the limo ride home. I would have loved to go somewhere else, but needed to postpone that 'til next time.
WYATT: After Neon Nights, we just got in the limo and took the scenic route home.
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
AMBER: I don't kiss and tell.
WYATT: We had a romantic exchange of phone numbers to cap off the evening.
How and when did the date end?
AMBER: He knew I was getting tired and had Tim, the limo driver, take me home first. We had already exchanged numbers, and have been in touch since.
WYATT: The date ended when the limo driver took us home. It was past my bedtime, so we called it a night.
What's the funniest thing that happened during the date?
AMBER: People-watching at Neon Nights.
WYATT: Some guy managed to put his head through the roof on the boat.
What was the best part of the date?
AMBER: He was so easy to talk to, and I loved that.
WYATT: The best part of the date was sitting down to an amazing meal together, because we had a chance to chat and get to know each other a little better.
What was the worst part of the date?
AMBER: I felt awful for how tired I was. Other than that, everything was great.
WYATT: The worst part of the date was when I didn't get to finish my dessert, because we had to rush to catch the boat. I love dessert.
Will there be a second date?
AMBER: I'm going to leave that up to him. If he asks me, I would love to hang out again.
WYATT: Maybe. I had a good time. We'll see where things go.
AFTERMATCH: Wyatt revealed, "She's definitely my type." On the ride home, did she live up to that hype? Because Amber said, "I don't kiss and tell," but we suspect that they did, and that's just as well. The couple retreated but got digits first, a budding romance between lawyer and nurse.
The daters, they had such a wonderful time, it calls for another Masefield rhyme:
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.
For the couple to connect, Wyatt's wild call will be key. Will he dial her number? We'll just have to sea...
Neon Nights at Sea
1800 North Harbor Dr., Downtown