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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Tribute To Marina

We lost a great woman. Marina Finch passed over the bar last night. I knew Marina for a long time. She was the only woman scalloper in the fleet who ran her own boat. Marina used to crew on Neil Cocker's boat. Neil taught her a lot about scalloping and how to run a boat. She eventually left Neil's boat and bought Gibby Nickerson's little old Grady White. Gibby caught a lot of scallops in that boat, now it was Marina's turn. Marina jumped right in and started to learn how to catch scallops herself in her own boat. She was constantly getting good-natured ribbing from the guys down around the dock seeing she was the only woman in an all male oriented job. But she took all of it in stride and always with a smile on her face and a laugh. She wasn't a quitter. She did very well her first season alone in that little boat. She would always ask me about the wind and how hard it was going to blow and if she could go out scalloping if it was windy. I always told her not to miss any days due to wind. Especially in November. When she stayed tied to the dock because of wind, I would always needle her asking why she didn't go that day. She would always just laugh and smile. Marina fished a few years out of the little Grady White. Then Karsten Reinemo was selling his 23' Sea Ox. Marina couldn't pass it up and bought the boat. Her new Sea Ox was a huge step up from her little Grady. She was nervous. She kept asking me if she was going to be able to handle a big boat like the Sea Ox. I fish out of a 23' Sea Ox as well. I told Marina that it was completely different than her little old Grady. Wider, heavier and much more stable. I told her she could fish in any kind of wind with her new boat. That made her more nervous. I said she could not miss a day due to wind or weather with her Sea Ox. Anyway, I helped her rig the boat for scalloping as did other guys who knew her. We got her all set up so she could run the boat. At first she was scared running the boat and scalloping out of it. But eventually she learned and had a great first season scalloping. She didn't miss many days her first season with the Sea Ox. And of course if she did because she thought it was too windy, I would always pester her and ask her why she didn't go out scalloping now that she had a nice big heavy boat. She would always laugh and smile. Marina's favorite place to fish was Hussey Shoal. She learned every little spot on that shoal. One day this year she caught her limit of scallops on Hussey Shoal. I was fishing up harbor and when I came in, she was already at the dock unloading. That was the first time she beat me in. Of course I told her she couldn't ever beat me in!!! It wasn't right! She laughed and smiled. The waterfront will not be the same without Marina. We all will miss her. Here are a few pictures of Marina I have taken throughout the years-

Marina scalloping in her Grady White off First Bend, Coatue. Circa 2008.
Marina scalloping in her Grady White.
Marina opening her scallops at George Andrew's Shanty on Old North Wharf.
Her first year scalloping out of a 23' Sea Ox.
Her little Grady White.
Her Grady White boat.

Marina scalloping out of her Grady White off Moneymoy.
Where Marina kept her scallop boat on Straight Wharf. Empty now.

Flowers left for Marina where she used to keep her scallop boat on Straight Wharf.

41 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i am sorry for the loss of your friend. she seemed like a great, tough lady. love the header photo of her. she'd be proud that you honored her...

Anonymous said...

Marina was also a wonderful and caring EMT. Thoughts and prayers to you all. xo Teal

Deirdre said...

Marina was my cousin. Your shared memories touch my heart. Thank you for the photos and "scallop" tales.
Deirdre

Deirdre Farley said...

I am in shock at the news I just received from Marina's mother. I've known Marina all her life from Hanover to Nantucket and I am at a loss for words now. She was like a sister to me. Our fathers were best men for each other. I don't know what else to say but just wanted to say how blessed we all are to have known her.

Lynne said...

We are friends of Marina and her Mom, living in Hanover, NH and 'Sconset. Would you please share with us what happened? We are so sad and shocked. Marina was a shining light in our little town, doing good, giving, and smiling all the time. Lynne Stahler and family

Martie said...

Details of Marina's passing are very limited at this time. I'm sure we will all learn in due time.

Stephanie Henke said...

Martie,

That was really nice. I didn't know her, but how nice of you to give us some details about her life here as a "lady scalloper."

BP said...

Nice job, Marty. Neil just told me yesterday. Shocker.

Blair

Linda Davis said...

My thoughts to you Martie at the loss of your dear friend.

Meg Glidden said...

Martie, David told me last night. So sorry. She will be missed.

Rosie LaBonte said...

Great Photos of Marina - Thanks for posting

Lorraine and Swede said...

Thank you for posting this beautiful tribute to Marina. We are so sad to have lost this wonderfully spirited woman. She brought much passion to all her endeavors in this life, many smiles, hearty laughter and a great empathy for others. We stroll through 'Sconset today with very heavy hearts, grateful that she has touched our lives.

Lorraine and Swede

Matt said...

Marina was one of our best and Martie is right when he says the waterfront will not be the same without her. I say this with tears in my eyes.

Robert Farley said...

Marina was my "twin". We were born hours apart in the same hospital here in New Hampshire. Our mother and fathers were dear friends of each other and we have been "connected" in a special way ever since. I feel somewhat responsible for Marina's venture into the fire service as I have over thirty years of fire service duty including being a member of the Nantucket Fire Department. In the beginning of her fire service carreer she would call me nearly after every call she went on. When she told me of the stories of her fire service experiences, her eyes twinkled in a special way and I knew she was hooked as many of us are.

My heart aches thinking of our special "twin" bond which has been broken. I will miss her and think of her often. Rest in peace my dear. We will carry your legacy on.

(Martie: Thank you for this special tribute to Marina. It is very touching.)

Emily Henry said...

Marina was my aunt. And I know about that twinkle in her eye that you mentioned. She was a role model of a strong woman for me. Thank you so much for sharing these stories and pictures. I know that her spirit touched many people. We all carry her memory in our hearts.

Diana Finch said...

Marina's sister. I wanted to share the Facebook announcement here as well: With sorrow as deep as the oceans she loved, from which she earned a living and after which she was named, the family reports that Marina Sammons Finch died on Monday March 5, ten days after her 55th birthday, at 8:15 pm at Mass General Hospital in Boston following a brief illness of fever and still-to-be diagnosed infection.

We gratefully thank the Emergency Medical community and Fire Department members and volunteers of Nantucket Island for their steadfast courage and skill that saw no limits in her time of need, as well as their colleagues in air transport, Mass General Hospital Emergency and the Boston medical examiner's office.

We pray that her soul found peace and release in her final flight NNW at sunset over her beloved Nantucket Sound.

Thank you Martie for your beautiful post and the photos that capture Marina's spirit so well.

Catharine said...

She was a treasured friend, always a joy to be around. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

TP Lord said...

Marina was a very smart, funny, tough and wonderful woman. I feel so lucky to count her a friend, and to have gotten a chance to fish Hussey Shoal with her two days before Christmas. We almost caught her limit. It was a day my twin brother Charlie and I will never forget. Spending a day with a true wonderful person and hoping it would be a tradition....all best to Marina's friends and her Mom and rest of the family.....

Anonymous said...

So so sorry to hear about the loss of this wonderful 'Sconseter: open, welcoming, friendly, going the extra mile. I miss you already, Marina!

Georgia Raysman and all the Raysmans

Kristal Moffett said...

Sending so much love to Marina and her family. Marina was usually one of the first people I would bump into once I arrived on island. Either at the Casino or at the Bookstore or in front of the Sconset Market. The one thing for sure was that she would always greet me with a wide, warm smile and ask me how my winter had been and how my family and I were doing. We would then discuss what happened over the winter and usually end up laughing. Last summer she shared some of her EMT adventures with me. I found myself going into the Bookstore more than usual last summer to find out about the happenings at Nobadeer or asking her if the Great White sighting was true. Then standing there trying to think of some shark related questions or comments to make to have a few more minutes with her. I know you will be deeply missed Marina. You were a generous and tender soul. You make me wish I had reflected on all these moments, thoughts and feelings earlier. I hope you can feel my love for you.

Kristal Moffett Topanga, California

Julia Ogilvy said...

We are friends from Scotland and Sconset - we will miss her terribly. She was a truly wonderful woman who always took such an interest in our children as they grew up and in all our lives - we can't imagine Nantucket without her. We send our deepest sympathies to her family, with love the Ogilvys

Martie said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Marina is up there somewhere reading them smiling and laughing.

Julia Wilson Foulk said...

Thank you Martie for the photos of Marina. Your pictures make it easy to remember her wonderfully original spirit.
Julia Wilson Foulk, Saint Charles, Missouri

**David** said...

What a loss for Nantucket. Scalloping is a tough way to make a living, but it never seemed to faze Marina.

JK said...

Martie, thanks so much for the pictures. Marina might be "gobsmacked" by the lovely comments but she deserves all of them. Marina had moxie / gumption - and she made the most of her time. I enjoyed being her boss during my stint at the Casino and her friend during that time and beyond. Our whole family misses her terribly.

Anonymous said...

Marina would be bemused by the outpouring her untimely passing has unleashed. And normally I would be delighted to share in her bemusement, any other tales she might have to pass on and perhaps a suggestion as to a future wine purchase. But sadly I cannot look forward to my next extended chat with Marina, so like everyone else sharing our fond memories and love for this extraordinary women, a posting seems as good a consolation as any to be had. Martie, you are wonderful to provide this space. It is the essence of what Marina loved about the Nantucket community. May we all read about and feel the love Marina so generously (and sometimes irascibly) shared around her world, may we take a bit of her "I can help" attitude and do something for someone in need, and may we never forget how special she was and how much she is to be missed.
Mary Lathrop Will, Andover and 'Sconset, MA

Anne Longley, Oxford, Connecticut said...

Such WONDERFUL photos of Marina, Martie -- it's still such a shock...

Marina's cousin Melekealoha said...

Saddened to hear the news of Marinas unexpected passing. I have always cherished my memories hanging out with "cousin Marina" on Nantucket island during a fun-filled, summer back when we were teenagers. It was quite some time ago, but I vividly remember those spirited, sparkling eyes of hers that many have commented about in this memorial. Loved seeing her recent photos posted here. She will always remain in my heart.

Jennifer Hoadley, Douglaston NY and Nantucket MA said...

I am so saddened to learn of Marina's unexpected death. We grew up together during glorious summers in Nantucket. Our families met each day for fun and sun at Ladies Beach. I'll never forget our fun family BBQ's, Marina's beautiful smile and laugh. How Marina took me under her wing when I visited Dartmouth in High School, and she was a Sophomore there at the time. When I started there as well , I loved having a "big sis" on campus and so enjoyed our college times together. She so loved her scalloping career and I was so in awe of her. We have lost a great lady and my love and prayers go out to her family...her lovely Mother and sister and her wonderful brother John.

James Holt said...

I am so sad to hear about Marina's passing. It comes as quite a shock to me. I knew her as a Fazzone in college and we would try to see her when we came to the island.


Jim Holt, Boxford, MA

Rick Carpenter said...

Marina was my friend, our friend. Like in her scalloping group, Marina was the lone female in the "Fazzone!" group in college. Dead concerts, Jamieson's, crossword puzzles--she was always with us and will always be with us.

Every summer when I visted, I would ride around the Sconset circle shouting "Fazzone!" until she came out. Never did she greet me with anything other than "Carpe Diem!" I will miss her favorable take on life and the possibilities.

Rick Carpenter

Brooks said...

[S]he was born with the gift of laughter and the sense that the world was mad. --Rafael Sabatini

I remember like it was yesterday when I first met Marina. It was the summer of 1979, on Nantucket. Through a friend I was introduced to this young, tanned beauty. She had a smile that went from ear to ear and was wearing a short flowered skirt that hinted at her Polynesian heritage and accentuated her skinny legs.

After that initial impression, I quickly learned that there were many facets to Marina. She could easily debate politics, economics and social policy with a world view that open and honest. She could debate the merits and drawbacks of the designated hitter rule. She was a Sox fan and a Mets fan. She knew the difference between Bushmill’s and Jameson’s. She taught me that the Peace Corps was not some relic of the 1960s, but a way that young Americans could still make a difference to the world in the 1980s.

Marina introduced me to people who have since become my fast friends. She compelled Maggie and me to visit New Zealand – still the best trip of my life. She liked bluefish! She grew up in Narnia! She could mix with both the elite of the Sconset Tennis Club and the brave souls that fished for scallops in the wintery cold of Nantucket.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Mike Johnston said...

Just wanted to register my shock and sadness at the loss of Marina and send my condolences to her family and current close friends. She was a college buddy and although I haven't seen her since 1979 she is not the sort of person you forget! Just left a remembrance of her at the newspaper site. I really always imagined I would meet up with Marina again someday and see her again. Maybe this is a reminder to connect with other old friends, that would be just the sort of message that she would approve of.

Mike Johnston, Milwaukee

emily puanani fermandez said...

Marina was my cousin. I fondly remember her visiting us in hawaii. She shared stories about her Peace Core adventures which fasinated me. We we're both very very young than. We lost touch over the years. Its so sweet to hear how much she was loved. And YES she was always a sparkling adventurous soul. With a ready laugh and mischievous twinkle in her eye. Lol

Ann and Julius said...

We are devastated that Marina, so full of the joy of life, has left it so suddenly and so untimely. We think of her and remember a young girl on her way to teach in Kiribati and it seems impossible that enough time has passed for her to have thoroughly tasted all the wonders that life held for her. Her wonderful smile and generosity of spirit will be terribly missed. We send our sincerest condolences and love to her family and friends. Ann and Julius Blumenthal

Alison said...

A fine, fine woman. A huge loss to the world. She was loved by so many. She inspired so many of us to live our lives in an authentic way. Never to be forgotten. Kia kaha my friend :(

Deb Hoadley said...

No words can express the loss of someone so vibrant and full of life. Childhood memories playing in the surf with Marina and her family, lively dinner conversations, watching her succeed in scalloping and become a valued member of the EMT team, seeing her charm an NPR interviewer with her scalloping stories, and enjoying her twinkling eyes and hearty laugh. We love you Marina and our heart goes out to your family and friends. We will miss you. May the stars guide you as you navigate your celestial journey. With deep sadness, Deb Hoadley

science 26 miles from America said...

I am so sad to hear this news; I was out of the country when it occurred and it is a complete shock to hear Marina is gone. Thank you so much Martie for your heart-felt tribute. Marina was always so kind to me; offering encouragement, lots of wisdom, and indomitable spirit and a big smile every time I saw her. What a loss for our community. Rest in Peace sailing smooth seas Marina.
Sarah OKtay

Ted Wilson said...

Mrs. Finch, Diana, and JF, my heartfelt condolences. I am truly saddened.

Dear Marina, Ivy grad, firefighter, EMT, avid traveler, much-loved employee of the Casino and Bookstore, Kiwi schoolteacher, relief volunteer, bay scalloper . . .

Can many say they lived as adventurously?

Mihi ki te hunga, mate. Haere, haere, haere . . .

Sincerely, Ted Wilson
Encinitas, California

sari cutter white said...

I am in shock with this news of Marina. We grew up as neighbors and classmates - walked to school together many days! I am sorry that we lost touched for some years - how interesting that we both became EMT's, firefighters, and loved tennis. i wish we could share stories. Many wonderful tributes on here to a beautiful woman who obviously touched many people in many special ways. May she rest in peace and may her family find solace in knowing she made a difference in many parts of the world. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Ed Horton said...

Fly well, Marina. Yours is a fun, strong and generous spirit. Wasn't it just now that we ran down high school halls laughing after some minor transgression? I always thought we would do that again. I miss that chance and the chance to know you again. You who adventured in faraway places and brought happiness to so many. You are marvellous.