Hello, friends and neighbors. Not much to report on this week, so I thought I might talk about the days when a marina was much more than a place to launch your boat.
I remember growing up at Branch’s Fishing Camp. My father pretty much started from scratch. We had the hoist and one small floating dock. As I grew up, I learned how to drive one of the Jeeps we kept at the camp; my brother Bobby Branch taught me when I was 9. I would back the folks’ boat under the hoist for those who couldn’t back up a trailer. Well, my father added the floating docks on the right side by putting in more footage, gasoline and electricity and extended to the left of the hoist with the same service.
I remember my dad putting up the big orange arrows showing how to get to Branch’s Marina from the Intracoastal Waterway. He also put a big Gulf Gas and Branch’s Marina sign where marker 125 is on the Intracoastal. I am not sure if that had been done before. All I know is that we had a lot of big boats roll in off the Intracoastal and dock at our marina.
One in particular was supposed to have been a large sailboat. The guy who was building it ran out of money, so the story goes. The 82-foot boat was purchased by a retired admiral. They came in with a female staff. That was a fine boat and a nice crew. I made some good tips that week. I think they stayed for about four days.
A lot of folks would stay more than overnight. I remember some of the same people year after year. Sometimes, my folks would let them use a vehicle to go to Midway and eat at the Cherokee Restaurant. The one thing that stands out is, if you went fishing out of Branch’s and did not return by a certain time, you could be sure my father and somebody would come looking for you. Those were the days before cell phones, and not everyone had radios. Just a memory from my past. Hope you enjoyed it.
Until next, Ol’ Tight Line says get out there and go fishing, and if you do, remember to keep a tight line. I say hit the docks, keep a sharp eye and watch that cork go down.
Until next week, smooth sailing, friends.