What The Titanic Was Missing – Boca Grande, Florida

As I have said before, one of the benefits of being a self employed photographer is that you get to meet interesting people and see interesting things. This trip was no exception.

We were asked to go photograph some marinas for an upcoming article that was going to be in our local magazine. All of these marinas were in or near Boca Grande, Florida. If you aren’t familiar with this location this may help, this is where the Bush’s stay when they want to get away. I can remember being on the cross street to the entrance of Boca Grande and seeing the limo with quite a large police escort. The next day in the paper it mentioned that George and his family were back in town. Needless to say, this is one of those places where the water is actually that crystal clear turquoise color and every blade of grass is in place, just like in the movies. It has been said that the millionaires are being pushed out by the billionaires. Gee, what a problem to have. Just to think that a hundered years ago I could have pitched a ratty old tent anywhere I wanted, but I digress…

Anyway, back to the marina. Our last stop was at the biggest marina in the area. All the others we had visited, we were able to walk around the property and take what ever photos we needed and we were on our jolly way. With this particular marina, we showed up at the office and their PR person came out and told us no problem. She just had to get the keys for the golf cart. Golf cart? As we soon found out the size of this place. There were buildings after buildings of boats that were shelved ready for sea. I asked how much lead time one needed to get their boat from the rack to the water. The answer…1 hour! This is a great deal if you are a boat owner. Your boat is safe and secure, it’s out of the water so all the barnacles don’t grow on the bottom and in one hour it’s ready to set sail. Call me Gilligan and get me a red and white striped shirt and a white floppy at!

We had seen these specialized forklifts running around getting peoples boats ready for them to use. This was a well orchestrated team running this marina. The forklift operators would swiftly pull the forklift around to the back of the boat and get the rails under it. In an instant, the boat was up off of the rack and on the way to being put into the water ready for use. I watched this a couple of times and I couldn’t get over how they handle this kind of production. I’m just glad that they didn’t let me at the controls. I don’t think my insurance carrier would want to hear about a multi-million dollar “ding”. The PR rep must have seen that I was intrigued by this as she asked if I wanted to see the “big one”. Being a guy, size does matter! We hopped back in the golf cart and to another building we went, and there it was, the mother of all forklifts! I have said this before, but I really mean it this time. Click on the thumbnail above to see the bigger version. You will see that little person next to the tire is me. I’m 6′ 4″ and a “little” on the heavy side. I love this thing, it makes me look thin! Anyway, this is for taking the gigugunda (is that a real word?) boats out. I believe that this could have saved the Titanic if it was available at the time. I really wanted to pull a Mike Rowe and ask to drive it, but I thought this might be pushing it on our first date.

My father took the photo as I’m standing their like a dork with my camera and tripod in tow. This was shot with available light. The camera did a great job exposing in the “auto” setting. All in all it was a great place to visit and photograph. Having a service like this would really make owning a boat much more enjoyable. If you are ever in the Boca Grande area, you may see the Bush’s enjoying themselves and be sure to bring your snorkel with you.

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean


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