Tag Archives: marina life

That’s A Lot Of Sushi

Rhonda and I had just finished dinner and were sipping some wine in the cockpit, enjoying the cool stillness of the early evening, when a commotion at the end of our dock caught our attention. Moments earlier, we’d watched as Born To Run, one of those colossal and ridiculously expensive sport fishing boats favored by those with an overabundance of wealth, had glided into the marina (much too fast in our opinion, but then no-wake-zones are for the little people), spun around, and side-tied to the end of our dock. The group of loud young men onboard were now struggling to get something off the boat and into a dock cart. Finally succeeding in their task, they wheeled the loaded cart past our stern, and we saw that it contained a really big tuna. Probably the largest we’ve ever seen.

“How big is he?” Rhonda asked the young man pushing the cart.

“166 lbs,” he replied, as he wheeled the cart toward the dockside fish-cleaning station.

We followed the gaggle of fishermen to watch them clean the huge fish. One carved large lengths of flesh from the carcass, and slid them to another to cut into thick red steaks.Tuna1 Tuna2

A small crowd began to gather, watching from the porch of the restaurant above. “How far out did you catch him?” someone asked.

“About 120 miles,” an older gentleman standing to one side quietly sipping a beer replied.

“Wow. How much fuel did that take?” I asked.

The gentleman thought for a moment. “About $4,000,” he replied.

Yikes. At current prices, that’s probably at least 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel. For a single tuna. Oh well, spend it if you’ve got it, I guess. Help stimulate the economy, and all that.

And I’m sure it will make a lot of sushi.  🙂

A Truly Extraordinary Place – An Update

The pixels were barely dry on our post A Truly Extraordinary Place when I encountered this scene:


It just reinforces my notion that we live in a truly extraordinary place. After all, how many times has an artist set up their easel to paint your front yard? 🙂

Her name is Theresa Laird, and if you’d like, you can see her work and read her story at www.theresagrillolaird.com.


A Truly Extraordinary Place

We used to live in a large custom home that we designed and had built. It was a very nice home, with a great deal of what realtors call curb appeal. We lived there for over 17 years. But as nice as it was, I can’t remember a single time when someone stopped to use our home as a backdrop for a photo session.

Now that we live in a marina, however, it happens all the time. Hardly a week goes by that we don’t have photographers lining the railing above our slip, quite often at sunset, using our boat, our dock and the marina as a backdrop. We’ve seen countless couples pose for pictures, apparently celebrating an engagement or wedding or other significant life event. In the spring, it was high school kids and prom pictures. A few months later, it was cap and gown shots.

Marina At Dawn

The Marina At Dawn

One time while Rhonda was in town having dinner with her sister, I heard thumping in the cockpit. Sticking my head up to investigate, I found a photographer who had somehow gained access to the dock (we’re behind a locked gate, but the code is Pensacola’s worst kept secret) posing three young women on our stern. He apparently thought it would make a pleasant picture.

Returning recently from a long weekend at anchor, we discovered that the local Morgan Stanley brokerage was holding a dinner for their clients in our backyard.


It wouldn’t have been much of a reach to help ourselves from our cockpit.


And then there was the wedding. A couple of weeks back, a trawler pulled up to the dock. A few days after, a small crew busily decorated it. Curious about the goings-on, I struck up a conversation with the boat’s owner. He told us he’d brought the boat down the Tenn-Tom waterway from northern Alabama to get married in Pensacola.

“Well that’s cool,” Rhonda and I said to ourselves. We haven’t seen that before.

It was a beautiful event. While the minister waited for the betrothed on the upper deck…


the guests gathered on the upper walkway directly across.


The groom awaited the arrival of his bride at the foot of the marina ramp…


and then they boarded the boat for the ceremony.


We couldn’t help giving a celebratory toot of our air horn as the newlyweds departed to start their new life together.


So why write about this? Because it’s important that we not focus solely on the destination, our eventual departure for a Life On The Hook™. Each step on the journey is part of the trip, and our time spent living at a marina in downtown Pensacola has created some truly special memories. I imagine that someone whose daily view consists of the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty eventually stops seeing it as something unique. But these continual reminders that others view our current home as a suitable backdrop for life’s special events helps us continue to appreciate how, even with its challenges and inconveniences,  we’re living in a truly extraordinary place.