Dan Marks has been a resident of Galveston County for 25 years, sometimes on land, sometimes moored offshore.
Marks is chief mate on oceangoing cargo ships, but would work on a toy boat if it paid enough, he said. His work takes him away from home for months at a time.
He holds a master’s license for any tonnage motor vessel on any ocean, and a 500-ton master’s license for sailing ships such as the 1877 tall ship Elissa in Galveston’s harbor.
He prefers books over movies, rum over whiskey and the smell of pine tar over Axe body spray.
Who’s your favorite seafaring actor on the big screen? Sterling Hayden. He was a real sailor who worked as a crew member on a schooner in “Captains Courageous.” He had the studio buy him a sailboat as part of one of his movie contracts.
Your three favorite ports? Yokohama, Japan: It’s like visiting the future. San Francisco, Calif.: The first harbor I entered by sea. Dubai,: Las Vegas of the Middle East, baby!
Apart from your family and friends, what do you miss most when you’re away from home? A full night’s sleep.
Which marine animal do you compare yourself to? Grampus: Because half of my brain is asleep at any given time.
Funniest thing that has ever happened to you on a ship? My 30th birthday in San Diego. Stripped naked and sent on a scavenger hunt for the pieces of clothing, from the bilge to the masthead. (I met my wife on that boat.)