Check in with Fernandina Harbor Marina General Manager Taylor Fitzsimmons in Fernandina, FL in this new edition of Port Personality.
What brought you to this marina?
I’ve been working in the marina business since I was 15, and I’ve been with Oasis since May of 2018. In that time, I have overseen operations of marinas in Maryland, Connecticut and New York. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to move south, and Fernandina Harbor was the perfect fit.
What is the most fun part of your work?
I grew up living on the water, and boating is in my DNA. It doesn’t get much better than being able to spend every workday in that environment.
Describe the first time you remember being on a boat.
Living on the water as a child, I was exposed to boating quite early and often. I remember fishing with my dad on the Chesapeake Bay when I was only four years old. Crabbing and fishing for rockfish were regular activities for me.
What is the best compliment a boater said about your marina?
“You have excellent dockhands! They knew just how to handle us getting in. Love the new docks, too!” There’s nothing better as a manager than to know that your staff is providing next-level service at all times.
What is the number one attraction you would recommend for first-time visitors to your area?
Downtown Fernandina Beach is beautiful and offers a variety of shops and eateries, but if you can make it to the beach you will fall in love!
What is the most important item to always keep on a boat?
Describe the perfect meal. What would you eat and where would you be?
Maryland crabs and corn! Possibly a steak and vegetables afterward if I have room. I would be eating on a patio or pier on the water surrounded by friends and family.
What is the strangest watercraft you’ve seen cruise into the marina?
Self-propelled wake gliders. These amazing motorized surf boards glide above the water at up to 30 miles per hour.
You work in paradise. Where do you go on vacation?
I’ve never been out of the country, but would love to vacation in Ireland, Italy and the Dominican Republic.
What’s the best safety tip you can give to a new boater?
Take your time and focus on the task at hand whether it be docking, driving, etc., and you will have less room for error.