The Fish family name has been associated with things nautical for many years here in the Boothbay region.
For decades, Captain Ray Fish owned and operated the Squirrel Express and the Nellie G, shuttling thousands of visitors and summer residents from Boothbay Harbor to nearby islands. Additionally, his boats introduced many to the beauty of our region through local excursions and I'm sure, candid commentary.
His son, Captain Bob Fish, started out on his father's boats and then expanded what was primarily a local passenger and freight business to a very substantial sightseeing tour enterprise with many boats and varied routes.
I got to know Captain Bob and his wife Jean very well during the '80s when I did much of their brochure work and advertising. During my time with them, the business expanded aggressively to include trips to Eastern Egg Rock, Pemaquid, Bath and offshore whale watches, while still tending diligently to first time Harbor visitors. Captain Fish loved to sell and with the help of Jean, in the ticket booth, they ran a tight ship.
Now, John Fish and his wife Diane have taken over the operations of boat tours and motel management. It's a challenging and sensitive undertaking. Weather and economy can make or break a seasonal business.
But there is diversification under way in the time honored Fish enterprise.
Taylor Fish, John and Diane's daughter, works just as hard as her ancestral captains, but in the acting business. Since she was a small child, Taylor has studied musical theater at the YMCA summer camps and the old Boothbay Playhouse. She attends a high school in Florida with intense theater focus and rigorous excellent training.
Recently, Taylor spent a week in New York City studying, practicing, rehearsing and performing. It's a life's dream as demanding as her family's efforts on the water. You gotta sell it, a trait all the Fishes I have known, share and support.
When you stop by Orne's Candy Store for a fine chocolate or gummy bear, Taylor may greet you. She works there summers. Don't ask her to sing but stay tuned, she just might. And you will know it when she does, but it won't be on the nautical channels.