November 2, 2020
This story by deckhand Marina May has been republished from the City of Westport’s Experience Westport website. Marina splits her year between deckhanding out of Westport and teaching the next generation of veterinary technicians.
Many thanks to the Westport Marina Master as well as to Margo Tackett, City Clerk-Treasurer, for giving us permission to share Marina’s story from the Hooked on Westport blog.
Let me introduce myself. With a name like Marina, you can imagine I was born into my love of boats and fishing. My first salmon experience, I was only two weeks old, and my parent’s catch was bigger than I was. When I was three, my parents bought a boat better suited to ocean fishing, and my love for Westport was born.
Growing up, every weekend was spent trekking down to Westport in the wee hours of the morning to make the most of the salmon and tuna fishing, sleeping on the deck of the boat, and wandering the docks dreaming of a life working and living in this fishing town.
As I got older, my family didn’t get as many opportunities to fish together, so I started exploring charter boats to get my ocean fishing fix. I was hooked – the excitement of witnessing a first-timer reeling in their first fish, catching crazy colored rockfish and unique bottom-fish, the lack of clean-up afterward (you mean I didn’t have to fillet my fish or wash the boat?!), and sharing fishing stories with folks from all over.
Westport continued to be my go-to place on weekends to fish, clam dig, storm watch, beach walk, and relax and I vowed that if anyone ever offered me a job on a charter boat, I’d quit my job and move. Four years ago, that dream came true after a halibut trip with a good friend on his newly purchased 6-pack boat. I took the plunge, quit my veterinary technology career of almost a decade, and started deckhanding. Now I split my year between deckhanding and teaching the next generation of vet techs and couldn’t be happier.
Over the last several years, I’ve learned what being a deckhand truly means. It goes beyond baiting hooks and cutting fish. It’s introduced me to a community full of fascinating individuals making a living through charter fishing and an ocean full of fishing opportunities. Now, I’m excited to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experiences fishing in Westport with all of you, at Hooked on Westport!