Now that you know about the Potomac River’s amazing waterfront neighborhoods, Marinalife invites you to explore the local history by joining this summer’s Presidential Challenge Contest.
As you cruise from National Harbor to Washington’s Georgetown waterfront, you’ll encounter 7 landmarks that are named after United States presidents and are visible from your boat. Can you find all of them? As a bonus, also locate the landmark that’s named for a U.S. First Lady. To enter the contest, here’s what to do:
When you locate each landmark, take a selfie of you and your crew at the location and note the U.S. president’s name.
After you find all 7 landmarks, go to marinalife.com/PresidentialChallenge to submit your answers and photos.
Send your submissions to Marinalife by Monday, August 14, 2023.
If you can’t visit Washington this summer, play along virtually with a map and submit your findings as an e-contestant without photos.
Winners will be announced in the 2023 fall issue of Marinalife, our monthly newsletter and website. Prizes will be announced soon. Good luck! We hope you enjoy the presidential scavenger hunt!
Marinalife's 2023 Presidential Challenge Contest
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Premier marina owner and operator, Suntex Marinas, expanded in the mid- and southwest by scoring two expansive properties. Reserve your spot at the 258-slip Roosevelt Lake Marina in Roosevelt, AZ, or Port of Kimberling Marina in Kimberling City, MO, boasting 1,000 wet slips and 400 dry slips. Guests can enjoy upscale amenities, boat rentals, lodging accommodations and stunning lakeside views at both locations.
Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina in the Bahamas is known for amazing attractions, watersport excursions, top-notch fishing, delicious seafood and tons of events. This fall, the marina hosts two world-class fishing tournaments attracting anglers and visitors from around the world. Be sure to catch the new Viking Yacht Owners Wahoo Weekend Tournament November 9 – 12 and The Slicker Wahoo Tournament on December 9.
Climb aboard the newly renovated Hampton Queen and cruise past buildings that date back centuries. Enjoy all-new sunset tours and sightseeing excursions traveling from downtown Hampton to the destroyers, subs and aircraft carriers stationed at Norfolk Naval Base. Sit back and relax in climate-controlled comfort or step out on the deck for a front row view of Hampton’s highlights including Virginia Air & Space Science Center, Hampton University, The VA Medical Center, Fort Monroe, Fort Wool and Old Point Comfort Lighthouse.
If you sail south this season, cruise to Key West and dock at Conch Harbor Marina to enjoy onsite amenities including a large pool, fuel dock, restaurants, a West Marine, plus a convenient walk to Key West’s top attractions. Book your stay around fall events such as the Key West Fantasy Fest extravaganza October 20 – 29, Offshore World Championship speedboat race November 5 – 12 and Key West Film Festival November 15 – 19. Mention Marinalife for 10 cents off per gallon of fuel! To book, visit Conch Harbor's website.
Walking into a scene of chaos — sunken piers, demolished structures under mountains of debris and millions of dollars in damage — is the ultimate nightmare every marina owner fears. Businesses do their best to prepare for natural disasters, but even with the highest quality materials, no dock is indestructible.
In September 2022, Category 5 Hurricane Ian swept across the Atlantic, devastating regions from the Bahamas to the Carolinas. With nearly 148 fatalities and miles of damage, Florida’s southwest coast endured the most loss, especially the Fort Myers Beach, Pine, Sanibel and Captiva Island regions.
While Florida regions have made excellent progress in the aftermath of Ian, many island towns farther south have taken years to fully rebuild from past hurricanes. The following marinas celebrate triumphant stories of resurrection and the journey to welcome back boaters.
Fort Myers marinas prevail in record time
When Hurricane Ian swept through Estero Island in Fort Myers Beach, FL, Dave O’Connor, dockmaster at Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina, felt helpless as he watched live updates of docks disappearing underwater sent by employees who stayed onsite through the storm. O’Connor has worked at Pink Shell since 2012 and says he never anticipated experiencing something of this caliber.
“From the pictures I could see maybe two-to-three feet of the pilings were left, and I knew what I was going to see when we came back to the property,” says O’Connor. “The hardest part was walking around to assess, and all I thought was, how are we ever going to clean up all this stuff? It was so overwhelming.”
O’Connor returned to three feet of water in his office and a heartbreaking scene at the marina. Despite obliteration to the docks, the buildings remained unharmed thanks to breakaway walls and top-notch construction in the early 2000s.
Pink Shell expedited a speedy recovery over the past year with plans to fully reopen the marina this fall with new docks from Golden Marine Systems, a Fort Myers company. O’Connor credits the marina’s longtime relationships with electrical and plumbing companies and industry partners he’s worked with for more than 20 years. He says just a few weeks after the storm, Pink Shell was the first marina on the manufacturer’s production queue.
Amenities such as the Octopool, fitness center, breakfast at Jack’s and the Bar & Grill at Pool Deck are now available for guests. The recreation areas, Aquagene Spa, Bongos Bar & Grill and Rae’s Real Italian are still under renovation with plans to reopen this season.
“They’ve dredged the entry channel into Fort Myers Beach and cleaned the debris so boaters shouldn’t have any worry about navigational depth or obstructions,” says O’Connor. With support from guests and the community, he remains optimistic about moving forward.
Just a mile down the road, family- owned Moss Marina is another property with a speedy recovery story even more miraculous than Pink Shell’s. Despite significant dock damage and disheveled debris, the marina’s core elements sustained minimal damage from Hurricane Ian. The property was left with detached structures and demolished utilities, but the team rebuilt the floating docks to their original layout and reopened in an astonishing two months.
Communities unite to rebuild the Bahamas
In 2019, Category 5 Hurricane Dorian demolished the gorgeous Bluff House Beach Resort & Marina at Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas. When the marina began rebuilding, COVID hit, forcing another shutdown in 2020. After prevailing through supply shortages, sick staff and no electricity, the marina finally reopened thanks to help from the United States, local communities, volunteers and organizations such as the Green Turtle Cay Foundation that rebuilt the destroyed hurricane shelter.
“Winds were clocked at 225 mph, so homes on this island were flattened and gone,” says Bluff House Beach Resort & Marina general manager Molly McIntosh. “We were prepared — we don’t take hurricanes lightly as we’ve had some strong ones. But I don’t think there’s been anything like Dorian since maybe the 1930s.”
The island suffered food and water shortages, and no docks were left to bring in food. From September 2019 to the end of December, Green Turtle Cay had no power and ran solely on generators. Chef José Andrés from World Central Kitchen visited the island to supply food via helicopter during the recovery stages.
Though the 40-slip marina is fully rebuilt and open for business with 12,000 square feet of Ipe docks (a Brazilian teak), they’re still working on getting back their fuel dock. Guests can stay at the charming villas and enjoy the marina’s newly renovated private showers and upscale amenities including a freshwater swimming pool, drinks at the Tranquil Turtle Beach Bar and gorgeous secluded beaches and surrounding cays. Play volleyball on the private white-sand beach, kayak, paddleboard or relax in hammocks under palm trees. Don’t miss the annual Cheeseburger in Paradise community fundraiser event held in the summer.
Turning a new chapter post-hurricane
In 2017, Category 5 Hurricane Irma swept through the British Virgin Islands (BVI), taking down 100 buildings in just two hours. Family-owned Bitter End Yacht Club (BEYC) resort marina, located on the island of Virgin Gorda, feels like a little nautical village, so when the storm decimated the destination, it felt like an entire community was lost.
After four years of rebuilding and pushing through COVID and supply chain shortages, BEYC finally reopened in December 2021. The first two years were spent cleaning and remediating the property. The team remained environmentally conscious in the recovery by burning, upcycling or recycling every piece of rubble onsite.
“The property has evolved into maintaining a sense of history and legacy,” says BEYC President Kerri Jaffe. “The place feels like it’s been there for a really long time, because we used materials that have been at Bitter End for over 50 years, and we were really lucky to salvage interesting artifacts that somehow survived the storm,” says Jaffe. “Whether it be signage from old cottages or a piece of maritime history, we created art galleries throughout our space to showcase what we were able to save.”
The staff refers to the new chapter of BEYC as Bitter End 2.0 as they currently thrive with new amenities, restaurants, attractions and top-notch services. Watersports are the heart and soul of the marina, and they offer everything from sailing and windsurfing to winging, and even provide lessons.
Reeftique, the onsite retail hub and boutique, curates fashion and jewelry from around the world and has become a premier BVI destination. In tandem with Reeftique and the community, the marina launched Bitter End Foundation after the hurricane, hosting fundraisers, events, auctions and environmental initiatives. With each BEYC retail product purchase, a dollar is donated to the foundation.
Marinalife is pleased to announce the winners of our 2023 Photo Contest. This year’s three finalists and five runners-up come from a pool of 265 extraordinary photographs from around the globe. Most images are in color; some opted for black and white. All of them reflect a love of life on the water. They share common themes that celebrate the joy of family time together, unique land and sea creatures, adventurous journeys, beloved boats, the power of water, and nature’s unpredictable beauty. We extend our appreciation to all the participants who sent shots about their experiences beyond the shoreline, and we offer our congratulations to the talented photographers who placed in the winner and runner-up categories. Hats off to you all!
Photo By Naing Tun Win
A rare glimpse of the Salon people of Myanmar. Also known as Sea Gypsies or Men of the Sea, this indigenous group in the Myeik Islands does not live in a specific place. Instead, their nomadic culture fosters a hunter-gather lifestyle of roaming the water for food in traditional wooden boats called kabangs near islands in Kawthaung, Myanmar.
Photo by Michelle Fountaine
When her husband lost his job during COVID, Michelle Fountaine packed up her family and set sail on their boat, Lemonade (named after the saying, “When life gives you lemons...”). They dropped anchor in the marina at Patmos Dodecanese, Greece, where a shepherd named Benatos herded his goats every day, to the delight of her young daughter and son. They soon discovered that Greek life is about slowing down, watching the goats go by and listening to the sound of their bells echo across the gentle slapping of the water against your hull. Turning lemons into lemonade taught them that life on the ocean is complete and a pure beauty that’s achievable by taking risks and making leaps of faith.
Photo by Parker Denton
The smile says it all. On an extremely hot day, Parker Denton and his friends were at Islamorada in the Florida Keys fishing for bonefish. The water was clear and calm, which made the fish spooky and a challenge to catch, even using fly rods with flies resembling small shrimp. Once known for growing to an impressive weight, a large bonefish is now rare, so any size of this species is exciting. They are called the “grey ghost of the flats,” because it’s difficult to see them in shallow water. Bonefish are also ranked among the top 10 fastest saltwater fish, so when you land one — big or small — there are smiles all around.
Photo Contest Runners-Up
The waters were rough the day that Blue Water Maui Boat Tours took Deborah Gibson and friends on a whale-watching excursion near Maui, Hawaii. The captain’s patience paid off when he finally found a group of male humpback whales competing for a female. Within a few feet of the boat, the amorous males put on a spectacular display, jumping out of the water and waving fins at the astonished charter boat passengers. Despite the rocky seas, Gibson managed to snap a few shots of an unforgettable aquatic courtship.
—Photo by Deborah Gibson
The locals at Rudder Cut Cay in the Bahamas recommend that low tide is the best time to visit The Musician, a full-scale underwater sculpture of a mermaid and baby grand piano. Unfortunately Skip Miyamoto and his family arrived late in the day on their catamaran, Scooby. His daughter Finley loves mermaids and wanted a close view to verify if the mermaid was real or not, but the distance at high tide presented a challenge for a young swimmer. So, this dutiful dad strapped on his flippers and snorkel gear and became Finley’s underwater scooter that would safely escort her to the magical exhibit below. Ah, the things we do for love.
—Photo by Skip Miyamoto
This stunning shot shows the FV Cascade Mariner, a 108-foot tender operating for Silver Bay Seafoods during this year’s salmon season in Bristol Bay, Alaska.. A tender supports the fishermen, in this case gill netters, by taking fish from each boat and transporting the catch to a processing plant. It also supplies fuel, fresh water, refrigerated seawater and groceries while at sea. The season can last from 30 to 60 days, and fishermen are often at sea the entire time in all weather conditions without coming ashore. This dedication to the well-being of the fishermen gives new meaning to the words tender mercy.
—Photo by Patrick Stewart, an engineer who works for United States Seafoods aboard the tender FV Alaska Endeavor
Captain Ryan Carson allowed photographer John Fallon to join his crew and shoot the action on Kara C when they headed 30 miles out of the Shark River Inlet off the coast of New Jersey to fish for tuna. For a while, John had been thinking about a tricky shot, and the captain agreed to let him give it a try. They attached the camera to a pole, hid down behind the transom, pushed the camera out above the water at just the right angle and started shooting. When the photo was downloaded, the result was a success. Lesson learned: Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to push the limits for a great photo.
—Photo by John Fallon
When a dolphin or other aquatic creature comes near his dinghy, Kirby becomes the happiest, most excited wheaten terrier in the world. But Debbie Daigle managed to capture a rare moment of a calm water, dog and husband John while standing on her 1976 Hatteras LRC, named AfterMath. The three have lived aboard the boat at Brunswick Landing Marina for the past four years, enjoying the busy social life and activities. Her photo was inspired by the superb, smooth water that day, and it acts a reminder to see the peace and beauty of the water, while taking time to appreciate the small things in life, like a simple reflection of loved ones.