Marina Spotlights

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

Meet Terry Walters

MID-ATLANTIC
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By
Marinalife

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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Port Personalities > Tom Ryan
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Tom Ryan, Marina Director

TOM RYAN
Marina Director
Provincetown Marina
Provincetown, MA

What in your life prepared you for a job in the marina industry?

After working in the boating industry for 20+ years and staying in several marinas while owning and working on vessels, I feel like I can anticipate the needs of boat owners and I am well-equipped to accommodate them.

 

Tell us about your experience captaining the Roseway for the World Ocean School.

My experience was life changing. Being in charge of an historic schooner vessel like Roseway taught me patience. Making a positive daily impact on the kids at World Ocean School was some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever been a part of in my life. 

Where do you like to send people for an authentic dining experience when they arrive at your marina for the first time? 

I like to send people to the Lobster Pot. It’s a Provincetown institution that’s been in operation since 1943. From its iconic neon sign to the lobster rolls — it can’t be beat!

Where is your favorite place to relax on your day off?

I would definitely say Long Point Beach is a favorite. The shuttle from MacMillan Pier drops you right in the sand. You plop your chair down and relax while watching boats exit and enter the harbor.

 

Name your top three favorite boating songs on your playlist.

“Chan Chan” by Buena Vista Social Club, because it’s just a relaxing song and it reminds me of my early days in Key West. “Second Hand News by Fleetwood Mac — this song, to me, screams summer! But if you’re out boating here in Ptown, you can’t go wrong with “Old Cape Cod by Patti Page.

If you could walk in anyone’s shoes for a day, who would it be? 

Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer of the early 1900s. Having the courage and resolve to lead his team from certain death to safety was a remarkable and inspiring story. 

 

What is your favorite part of the day at the marina?

“The Golden Hour” – when all our guests are situated and relaxing means we’ve done our job!

 

What is the one thing that everyone should do or see in Provincetown?

This artistic town is known for its nightlife, so catching one of the many shows that are offered here is a must-see! Also, if you miss them on your way in, WHALES! The best way to see them is by jumping on one of the whale watch boats that head out daily to the feeding grounds on Stellwagen Marine Sanctuary.

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Steelpointe Harbor Marina
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Perched on a peninsula in the heart of Bridgeport, Steelpointe Harbor sits along the tranquil shores of Long Island Sound. The 2.8 million square-foot waterfront development boasts a newly constructed harborwalk lined with dining, shopping, luxury residences, and a state-of-the-art marina and service facility. 

All types of vessels up to 300’ (including wide berths for catamarans) can dock at Steelpointe Harbor Marina while steering clear of bridge passes to Long Island Sound via a 35’ channel. Built in 2019, the new marina features top-of-the-line concrete floating docks in a protected harbor with deep channel access. 

The full-service marina offers 200+ slips, storage and haul-out. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, 30, 50 and 100 amp electric, a fuel dock and boater’s lounge. Repairs, painting and refurbishing services are available at Bridgeport Boatworks located across the harbor. 

Walk right off your boat to enjoy a delicious dinner on-site at the award-winning BOCA Oyster Bar that serves fresh Atlantic and Pacific oysters and traditional New England cuisine. Experience outdoor waterside dining and live music throughout the season.

“Enjoying a sunset dinner on the patio at BOCA while watching the ferry cruise in and out of the harbor is a must-do,” says Dockmaster Robert De Nigris.

“We’re committed to providing you with everything you need from dockage, repairs and fuel to local restaurants, shopping and entertainment — so you will not be disappointed here.”  

Venture into town across the bridge for local provisions, retail, attractions and venues such as Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater and Total Mortgage Arena, home of the New York Islanders hockey team. For traditional Italian cuisine, check out Ralph –n- Rich’s famous “Sunday Sauce” or Trattoria ‘A Vucchella’s wood oven pizza. 

Just a few miles from the marina, you can enjoy lovely parks and greenery such as the state’s largest zoo, Connecticut’s Beardsley Park Zoo to the north, and Seaside Park’s beaches to the south. 

Be sure to catch popular events and festivals such as the Steelpointe Yacht & Charter Show in June and the Sound on Sound Music Festival in September with headlining acts including Stevie Nicks, Dave Matthews Band, The Lumineers and Brandi Carlile. 

The marina plans to add more amenities such as airport and event shuttle service, as well as developing 420 units in a new residential area. Stay tuned for updates at bldsteelpointe.com

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Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek, VA
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MORNINGSTAR MARINAS AT LITTLE CREEK, VA, a great cruising destination, has reached a new level of excellence with major renovations that every boater along the Atlantic Seaboard will want to stop by and see.

Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek

After acquiring the marina, Morningstar received permits to not only replace all the wet slips with new Bellingham docks but also adjusted the configuration to better suit coastal boaters. The upgrades included widening the slips, installing full-length fingers, and achieving 100% clear main walks using tri-frames for dock box placement and cantilevered mid-basin power pedestal bump outs. When you consider they also replaced the fuel and electrical systems, Morningstar Marinas Little Creek will become a premiere marina on the East Coast.Morningstar will exceed all boaters' expectations by offering 350 dry storage spaces in its fully enclosed building, 180 wet slips ranging from 25' to 75' and 400' of side tie. Amenities include a bath house, laundry room, and showers. Other upgrades include a new Toyota forklift, Wi-Fi, pump out, and new fueling stations with ValvTect gasoline and diesel.

As a backdrop to all these improvements, the location is a dream for recreational boaters and anglers. "Being nestled in the back of Little Creek gives boaters a protected basin from weather, but they're only minutes to the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, James River and the entrance to the ICW," says Michael Quinn, General Manager.

Stony's Dockside Waterfront Bar & Grill allows our boaters to enjoy a wonderful meal within minutes of stepping off their vessel. Within walking distance are COVA Brewing Company, Longboards East Beach, and other local favorites. The warm waters at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay create a fishing paradise for anglers, and miles of easily accessible beaches entice visitors to dive in for a swim or just soak up the sun.

Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek

"The proximity to Norfolk and Virginia Beach's restaurants, shops and entertainment gives marina guests the conveniences of a big city backed up to an abundance of open water," notes Quinn. Regardless of whether you plan to stay annually or for a couple nights, a visit to Morningstar Marinas, next to Norfolk International Airport in the up-and-coming East Ocean View Section of Norfolk, presents endless opportunities and your gateway to all the Chesapeake Bay has to offer.

Make sure you schedule your trip around one of the many festivals in the area including Harborfest, Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival, and Neptune Festival. If you plan a spring visit, don't miss the Patriotic Festival Norfolk for family friendly activities, concerts with national performing artists, and celebrations for all branches of the U.S. armed forces.

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