Wes Birdsong

Deep Water Marina and Boatyard (CLOSED) Apalachicola, FL

Originally from Atlanta, Wes Birdsong and his wife sailed into Apalachicola in 1996. They docked their boat in town at the Deep Water Marina & Boatyard. Soon it became obvious to Wes that the marina needed some attention. He took it upon himself to become caretaker of the place and help service the boats. Deep Water Marina, once the only working boatyard in the area, serviced all of the commercial fishing boats in Apalachicola. It was also a place for recreational boats to dry dock for repairs. In 2006 the Deep Water Marina & Boatyard closed. Shrimpers and fisherman are struggling to find a local place to service their boats. It will be hard for them to afford a water tow to another boatyard in the area, of which there are few. Once a commercial fish house, this marina is now relegated to the past—a story on the lips of the people who relied on it for decades.

Date of interview:

March 25, 2006

Interviewer:

Amy Evans

Photographer:

Amy Evans

Wes Birdsong - Caretaker of Deep Water Marina and Boatyard - Florida
This was a fish house and not a boatyard in the early days. Often, the older men will come by here and say, ‘If I had a nickel for every pound of shrimp that went through this house, I wouldn't have to ever work.’ [Today,] I would think, fairly stated, this yard produces perhaps six man years of local employment that will vaporize [when the boatyard is closed]. In the days of the condo, it will be supplanted by a desk clerk and two cleaning ladies.

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