APRIL 1, 2017

Everyone either has the water gene, the mountain gene or the dessert gene. Fortunately I figured out at a very young age that I had the water gene. My first nineteen years were spent growing up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, not Mississippi, and while I loved the Pocono’s, I loved Ocean City New Jersey more. So for as long as I can remember my family and friends and I went “down the shore” every weekend when we could in the Spring, Summer and early Fall. In 1972 when it became time to figure out where I was going to complete my last two years of college, deciding on Miami was a slam dunk. After graduating from college and being transferred with Holiday Inns to Cocoa Beach, my water gene decision was reaffirmed. After a promotion to Memphis, Tennessee, my water dream was once again reaffirmed and I spent the next 28 months, 11 days, 13 hours and 10 minutes trying to figure out how to get back to the water. After an additional nine months in Chattanooga, my prayers were answered.

God knew my plan evidently as I transferred within the hotel business to Gulf Breeze in 1979. From the first day I arrived, I told everyone that I was throwing out the anchor as I would not be leaving the water ever again. Those that have heard me speak, have heard me say that there is no doubt that God spent a little extra time here. The sand, the water, the depth of the water, the abundance of back water to traverse, the lack of no wake zones, the sunsets, the dolphins, the birds, the change of seasons, the wind, the sounds and the smells that are so special here. Having been to forty-eight states I can say that it just doesn’t get any better than this.

I am a pretty busy guy, and some would say that the only time that they see me relax is when I am on the water. I didn’t know that it was that obvious, but it must be since every time I take someone I know out on our boat they say the same thing. I love it all. The wind in my face, the gentle hum of the diesels, the waves splashing as the bow breaks through the water, the dolphins jumping on both the port side and starboard side, and often riding the bow wake. A half a day out on the water in a boat is the equivalent to a week off somewhere. Some play golf, some lay on the beach, some play tennis and or ride a bike. For me boating can be a community at the dock or on an anchor out overnight behind a secluded local island. How do you improve on that? The answer is; you can’t.

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