Ventura West Marina has about 500 slips total. Around half of those are live aboard slips. They are divided up into two sections, the first is inland and next to the marina office and a couple hotels. The second is an expansion dock that is about 500 feet from the ocean, a quick turn into the harbor and you are there. We live on the side closer to the open water.
We weren’t sure what to expect when we first arrived, but without exception all of our dock mates have been a joy to interact with and helpful in countless ways. From catching lines when your boat arrives, sympathizing with your latest project gone awry, to throwing an impromptu party to celebrate almost anything – the community here truly makes it a fun place.
Often, when stuck on something – a neighbor just walking by will have the answer or a helpful hint on who to check with on a subject. That coupled with the local chandleries (namely, Beacon Marine) and a knowledgeable yard make this a tough harbor to leave!
Recently a couple on the other side of our dock had a baby, and so their neighbors decided to put together a potluck for them. Turns out there was ANOTHER party going on as a reunion for a completely different event – yet everyone that showed up got along famously. Four days old, and this kid already has been to his first boat party. The more the merrier!
These little get-togethers are a great distraction from what can seem like a never-ending list of projects and surprises ones boat has to offer. One neighbor had recently hauled out her boat in a yard at the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, the next port south of us. It’s a quick sail back, but multiple individuals thought nothing of driving down to help deliver her boat back up to her slip. It’s the kind of community that only a few short years ago was commonplace, and sadly seems to be disappearing all over. Meeting and spending time with a group like this makes messing about in boats even more worthwhile. Cheers!