Aurora Restoration Project Part 19
by Christopher Wilson - Published March 7, 2016
From the day this ship entered my life I have seen some of the most amazing sights that one could ever see. I have met many interesting people. Many of these people were good and many are bad and some were very bad.
We are now in the mid summer of 2009 and I have a solid crew making things happen. We have been scraping and painting. Pulling up old flooring and replacing with new. Making areas and cabin suites that have not been habitable for many years habitable once again.
The Aurora was beginning to take shape. The best crew member I had at the time was my best friend Jeff. Jeff had a great deal of skills relevant to this project and was able to teach others these skills. He was here for a while with his girlfriend and could work a few solid days per week onboard.
We both would stay on the Aurora and then travel back to my home to Santa Cruz and to Jin's home in Union City in order make more money. Each month I had a massive overhead of bills to cover at this point in my life due to the Aurora. The rest of the crew would stay behind and continue projects.
While in Santa Cruz I received an email from a friend that asked me if I was selling the Aurora. I replied " no of course not. He then sent me a multiple of links to the ship up for sale on dozens of boat sales websites. All of these were recent. What in the hell is going on I asked myself.
I was grinding my teeth in anger. Did Indy pull a fast one? Did this have something to do with this new Jackass Xavier that claimed interest in the ship? There was something I didn't know about. I figured it was time to investigate.
I had Jeff call the number listed in all of these ads. He tried a few times but it would always go to voicemail. So he left a message. Jeff posed as a potential buyer.
Within a day he received a call back from a guy. I remember his east coast accent very clearly. He spoke like a used car salesman. This guy told him that he had the ship for sale in California and that the ship could move under her own power but needed a general maintenance. He continued go tell Jeff that the ship had a casino onboard and 130 cabins, blaa, blaa.... Everything that came out of this guys mouth was a complete lie.
After maybe a half an hour on the phone with this turd Jeff's ear was hurting. The mans name was allegedly Dr. James Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell soon emailed Jeff a bunch of paperwork about the ship and was demanding a deposit to hold the ship so that one of the other interested parties wouldn't come along and buy it out from under Him. All Jeff had to do to get this ship was to simply make a bank transfer to this random account called Banko Popular in South America and he would put Jeff in priority to get this ship for close to nothing because of a tragedy in the family of poor Dr. Mitchell.
I immediately called Indy and asked him what was up with this Dr. Mitchell character. Indy told me that this man had called him a number of times looking to buy the ship when he had it for sale. It was Indy's understanding that the Dr. used to own the ship at one time.
The bullshit was getting thick. Jeff received an email from the Dr. Giving him a bunch of paperwork that appeared very shady. Much looked like a five year olds handwriting.
Within that paperwork was a California DMV title. Well that's easy. I will just go to the DMV and ask.
As It turned out that this title actually existed. What in the hell did I just get myself into. I needed more information. I wanted everything that Indy had. Was I working on another mans ship? This couldn't be good.
I had Jeff call this Xavier guy as he also had an east coast accent. I wanted to compare notes. It didn't take long to figure out that these guys were the same guy. Jeff immediately had to change his voice so that he wouldn't be recognized. We both spoke with Xavier extensively and were actually able to look him up online and find out some general information. That comes later....
Meanwhile Dr. Mitchell continued sending Jeff emails and voicemails. He wanted his deposit.
Meanwhile back at the Aurora things were going well and the ship was making her transformation from rust to clean white paint.
Indy's new watchman was still pulling his stunts and starting to create pubic concern. Needless to say the local police payed him a few visits but left us alone.
Each day that we worked on the water some of the most amazing sights one could ever wish to see would present themselves. Some moments I have put a pause on and keep them in my memory for later use.
In this story a lot of things happen that show both the good in people and the monsters that greed can turn people into. Everything in this life will deteriorate the older we get and we slowly start to loose focus on what is important to us. My solution has always been to sit on the deck and watch life in all forms pass by. There is a peace in knowing that another day is coming and you can make this day whatever you choose. I would need this peace to deal with the problems that I had to work with in the near future.
This is just the beginning of Dr. Mitchell and his scam will further put a scar on this ships past as if she needed more trouble. The Aurora at this time had so many negatives in her past. Different owners that couldn't take care of business and allowed her to deteriorate. Scam artists trying to make a buck.
Can I change all of this?