Port Washington native Matt Meyran, 53, has been working on the water since he was a boy. Each year, he takes hundreds of people out on Manhasset Bay through his business, Port Washington Water Taxi. The boat tours offer unique views of the Execution Rocks Lighthouse, the former Marine Air Terminal site and the Gold Coast mansions that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, “The Great Gatsby.”
When did you start working on the water?
“I’ve been working on the water since I was 12. I started doing striped bass fishing and selling to the restaurants. Then, I worked at the yacht clubs when I was a little bit older and stayed with it.”
What inspired you to start Port Washington Water Taxi?
“People actually just coming down who couldn’t get out on the boats and wanted to go out on the water and had no other way to do it.”
During the tour, you provide many historical facts and stories about the various sites on the bay. What type of research did you have to do?
“I love talking to the old timers down on the dock. They would tell stories of when they were growing up who was here, what stars were out there and what mansions were here. I would sit and listen to it and it’s so interesting, so you pick up all the information from them. It’s people who have lived it.”
What do you love about Port Washington?
“The water was always my love. Even going to school, I was always one of the ones in marine biology where the teacher would ask, ‘Matt could you dissect this for us?’ and I’d come in with my clam knife and open up everyone’s projects for them. It was always the water and fishing and being around the people around the water. They’re just different. I think the saltwater affects everyone a little differently.”
How many generations of your family lived in Port Washington?
“My brothers and sisters were all raised on a house barge underneath the Whitestone Bridge called Clawson Point. There was six of us altogether and I was the only one raised in Port Washington.”
Why do you enjoy giving these tours?
“I love the people that come out on the boat. Everyone’s a little bit different. When they come they feel like they’re on vacation. They’ve lived here 40 years some of them, some even longer, and they say they’ve never seen Port Washington like this.”