Marina Spotlights

Interview With the Dockmaster at Zahniser's Yachting Center - Solomon's Island

Meet Terry Walters


1. Did you think you were going to pursue a career in the marine industry when you were a kid?

I did, but not in the direction I am in now. When I was in college, I planned to get a job as a cruise director on a big ship, like Julie McCoy on the Love Boat. It seemed like it would be fun and you would get to meet a lot of people.

2. What got you into the marine industry?

That's actually a funny story. Our family had just relocated from Idaho to Maryland and my husband went to interview for a temporary job as a dockmaster until he found a permanent job in his field. After talking to the marina manager for 10 minutes, he said, You really need to talk to my wife Terry. She would be perfect at this. I got called in for an interview, and here I am, still at Zahniser's, 15 years later.

3. What's the funniest experience that's happened to you while at work?

Well, the one I remember the most happened within my first few years at Zahniser's. I was docking a small powerboat in a slip, when my foot slipped on the finger pier and I fell right into the water. Thankfully, the captain stopped the boat right away, I climbed out and finished getting them into the slip. They have become regulars, returning once a year, and we get a laugh about it every time, saying remember when ...

4. What do colleagues say is your best quality?

My ability to meet, greet, and get along with anyone and everyone.

5. What has the marine industry given to you?

What I have found is that the marine industry has given me the opportunity to interact with customers who have also traveled the world, cruising, vacationing and living on their boats. Listening to their experiences and stories, I feel like I have been places, seen things explored waterways without ever leaving Solomons Island.

6. What is your favorite seafood?

Salmon stuffed with crab. Definitely. I don't have to go anywhere. My husband has it perfected on the grill, complete with cedar plank.

7. If you could change your career, what would you change it to?

I think I would like to be an elementary school teacher. I love being around people, especially children.

8. Where is your favorite place to visit by boat?

It would have to be St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It is not too far away and there is plenty to do ashore, much like Solomons Island.

9. What is the one song that gets you in your favorite mood?

Feeling Good by Michael Buble. It's very upbeat, and I wake up most days feeling pretty positive about my life. I am surrounded by family and friends, am in good health, enjoy my job immensely and learn something new almost every day.

10. If you were deserted on an island, what would be three things you would want to have with you?

My sunglasses, because I can't be outside without them! A knife, for practical reasons. And, a family member, because I am definitely not a loner.

11. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

The fun side of me would pick a dolphin, because I love anything that has to do with being around the water. The practical side would say an osprey. They have the same partner for life, return to the same home if possible and travel extensively every year.

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