An adoptive Miamian shares the good life on Satori with Grace Trofa
I grew up in Chicago. When I was 12, I sold newspapers not far from Montrose Harbor. I’d watch the boats and think, “One day I want one of those.” Fortuitously, I ended up in Miami where I finished undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Miami.
At 24, I bought my first boat – a five-metre open boat that looked more like a bathtub. I sat on the gas tank and it had a little bench across the bow. I managed to take that boat to Bimini twice – it was either courageous or stupid. For the next 20 years I had a Sea Ray, which I took along the Florida coast and to the Bahamas.
In 2004, I fell in love with an 18 metre Horizon. It was my first “yacht-ish” boat and my introduction to the company. Satori, my third Horizon, is an E88 model, which is 28 metres overall. But the 18 metre was my favourite because I met and fell in love with my wife, Wendy, on that boat. The person who fixed us up told me Wendy knew everything about boats. She certainly knew the verbiage, but that’s because she read Power Boating for Dummies the night before we met. We got married barefoot on the boat in Ocean Reef and then left for a 100-day honeymoon, travelling to Chesapeake Bay and all the ports in between. We have been together 24 hours a day, seven days a week ever since.
Our home port is Miami, and our dock is below our condominium on Biscayne Bay. We go away for a week or two on Satori every month during the winter. We also tow a 25ft Intrepid. We go to the Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach boat shows; they’re major social scenes for us because we have so many boating friends. We saw our current boat at Fort Lauderdale in 2016. A friend bought it before we did, but it was fine because, 18 months later, we bought it from him after he purchased a larger boat. He did all the hard work!
I love living in Miami; it’s like being an expat in your own country and we both speak Spanish. In 2017 we took our previous 23 metre Horizon, along with 150 of our closest friends, from Ocean Reef to Cuba. It was fabulous. There were 17 boats in total and we left at 1am so that we would arrive in time for sunrise over Havana. Wendy and I stayed for two weeks. The commodore of the Hemingway International Yacht Club gave us the best slip, right in front of the clubhouse.
This is our 13th year travelling up to Maine for the summer. We stop along the way since we have friends in every port, and it is nice to get to know their families. It’s all about family, friends and lobster. The last boat I had before my parents passed was a 12 metre Sea Ray. One day my mom, who was cooking lunch below, complained that it was so cramped. I said, “Mom, it’s bigger than the apartment I was born in.” We both laughed. I wish they could see this – it is a fabulous life.
First published in the October 2022 issue of BOAT International US. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.shop now