It’s hard to beat a marina in the summer

Over the winter, a friend and I tried to outdo each other with the weather.  It was a perfect back and forth for on a Monday we got a foot of snow, on Tuesday he got a foot of snow, and on Wednesday I got a foot of snow.  It was a race to the bottom and by April you could have stuck a fork in us, we were done.

During one of those talks we reminisced about marinas in the summer and how they can’t be beat.  We talked about boats getting a splash and then filling up slips.  We talked about fish moving into the harbors, and boats heading out for the First Light Bite.  There were fishing tournaments where the winner took all, and kids fishing derbies where there was more of a focus on learning than on the prize.

The pro shop, the tackle shop and the gas dock was like a bakery after church on Sunday.  The folks in the shops were picking up last minute items for a day on the water and the chatter at the gas dock was about fishing, tubing, swimming and crabbing.  I spoke with a friend who sailed out of a harbor this morning and she promised me that she’d have some blue crabs for dinner.  I’ll hold her to that just as I’m sure you will, too.

Our local marina offers square dancing every Wednesday night, free of charge.  About 50 yards away, just past the boat launch and the slips is a clam shack and ice cream stand.  So think about it: where can you boat, dance, have dinner and ice cream and not travel more than 50 yards?  A marina, that’s where.

I won’t lie.  On Saturday nights my wife and I will get a pizza and sit by the boat ramp.  They’re more fun than a comedy at the drive in.  And in the end, after all the hooting and hollering has subsided, a more experienced boater will pull aside the rookie and teach him or her what to do the next time.  There isn’t any malice.  Marinas are fun.

The summer is just kicking off, so be sure to get your boat in the water.  And if you don’t own a boat then head to a marina and rent one.  Marinas are the place where you can get your boat on the water and have a summer to remember.  But don’t take my word for it.  Head to the water and see for yourself.

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at