sandy bottom of the marina


Senior Member
Mandarin; Shanghainese
A line from Chapter 20 of Swamplandia! by Karen Russell,

"Sawtooth was watching the ocean. Wave after wave covered the sandy bottom of the marina. Jade squiggles alternated with blue and black inky ones wherever the sun hit depth."

Are these red marked words talking about the sand pavement of the marina, or the sandy sea bottom along the marina? I have this question since the following sentence seems to be describing the water streak in the sea.
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Sandy sea bottom. And I assume that the "squiggles" also refer to the patterns in the water or the shadows the eddies leave on the sea floor.


    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Wait, isn't the marina actually a body of water itself? Like how a harbor could refer either to the structure along the edge of the harbor, or the water part where the boats go?


    Senior Member
    English - US
    Wait, isn't the marina actually a body of water itself?
    If you knock the piers/docks down, the marina magically disappears. There are even floating marinas that can move to another place.

    The shape of the land defines a natural harbor. There are no natural marinas.


    Senior Member
    English - American
    A marina is an area of water which is being used to dock boats. Without the fixtures (piers and wharfs - the dock* is the area of water where you "park" a boat, alongside the pier) there is just water.

    The water around Florida is very clear. He is watching the pattern made by ripples on the water surface as the bending of the sun's rays cast bright areas and dark areas on the sandy bottom. This effect is more pronounced in the shallow water near the shore.

    * A dock is like a berth, and docking is like berthing. See the threads on berth and dock, but be aware that the ones I looked at leave some confusion as to whether a dock/berth is the water alongside a pier, wharf, jetty, etc., or the structure itself. I assure you that the standard meaning of both of those terms, as used by people whose business or passion is nautical, is: the area of water where the ship is tied up or moored, notwithstanding the secondary and tertiary meanings which simply recognize that many people use those words wrongly.