Sailing into Summer: Nautical Fun on the Pontoon


I’m weighing anchor and sailing into summer with a little nautical fun on the pontoon!


The summer boating season is definitely underway on the lake with our warm (hot!) weather.


Towels provide a tablecloth and absorbent seating and pillows keep us anchored for a little nautical fun!


Rope cocktail plates, purchased a couple of years ago from Pottery Barn, are first mate to Tommy Bahama melamine anchor plates, found at HomeGoods a couple of weeks ago. . .


And flatware and napkin rings provide a nautical rope detail to pair with rims of the plates.


 I pulled out my enamel boat dishes to set sail and serve up some summer recipes for some nautical fun. Here are a few recipes that float my boat, click on the links in blue for the recipe and details!


Lemon-Basil Shrimp Salad 

A quick & delicious salad to sail into summer with! Enjoy as a salad or as a marinated shrimp appetizer. Pleasing to sailors & land lubbers alike, basil sails not required ;)

Lemon Basil Shrimp Salad

 Watermelon, Pecan, and Gorgonzola Salad

 A refreshing summer salad with watermelon in season. Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette adds a little sweet heat to pair with the salty cheese and juicy melon!

Watermelon, Pecan, and Gorgonzola Salad

Caprese Stacks with Basil Leaf Sails

An easy summer appetizer! Serve with little balsamic glaze to keep the stacks afloat and flavorful!

Caprese Stacks with Basil Leaf Sails


Summer means enjoying a boat drink at sunset!


Quench your thirst with a creative cocktail inspired by boats at the marina, here.


I found a cocktail oar for our boat cooler at HomeGoods recently. . .


You can see her filled with a flotilla of beverages here.



I picked up some Old El Paso soft tortilla taco boats for an easy and edible vessel to serve a salad. . .


Fill and serve your taco boat with your favorite salad or taco ingredients. . .


We’re setting sail with a southwest salad boat filled with romaine lettuce, black beans, corn, grape tomatoes, chicken and avocado.


A rotisserie chicken from the grocery store makes for speedy salad assembly. Scrapbook paper sails are hoisted with bamboo knot picks as a mast, used here.



Chloe and Gracie are dog gone excited about boating season. . .


Ice cubes are a boating treat in the summer!


The viral “dangerous” ice cube rumor is a myth and exaggeration. While ice cubes that are too hard or given too frequently can lead to broken teeth, crushed ice or partially melted cubes are fine as an occasional treat, which prevents them from becoming a choking hazard if your dog tries to eat them whole instead of licking them.



Chloe & Gracie wish you smooth sailing and calm seas as you sail into summer!


Sailing into Summer and Nautical Fun Details:

Nautical Towels / HomeGoods, several years ago

 Anchor Pillows, Tommy Bahama Melamine Plates, Nautical Glasses / HomeGoods

Blue Woven Placemats / Ballard Designs

Rope Flatware and Napkins / World Market, several years ago

Napkin Rings / Bed, Bath & Beyond

Enamel Boats and Rope Cocktail Plates / Pottery Barn, several years ago

Nautical Pontoon and Salad Boats!

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 Between Naps on the Porch

  36 comments for “Sailing into Summer: Nautical Fun on the Pontoon

  1. Michelle
    June 20, 2016 at 6:47 am

    What a great idea to use soft taco boats to serve salad! Will be using that idea this summer! All your photos are so summer inviting and so appropriate for the first day of summer! Enjoy your week!😎🌴🇺🇸

  2. Diane
    June 20, 2016 at 7:12 am

    This is simply gorgeous, love the dog pics too!

  3. Ellen Stillabower
    June 20, 2016 at 7:43 am

    What an inspiring naval scape..I think my favorite is the boat filled with drinks and the puppies!!! Happy sails to you….🚣🚤⛴🚢🎏🌊☀️

  4. Danielle Giamundo
    June 20, 2016 at 8:04 am

    OMG! This post is so adorable! I too have a pontoon boat and just love to create fun, themed “gourmet” picnic food for the boat. Thank you for the new recipes and décor idea

    • Chris
      July 1, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      I agree. This is the nicest post I’ve seen. We love our pontoon and enjoy our boating, floating & entertaining as well.

  5. June 20, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I’m so happy to see your pontoon out on the lake, Mary! Of course, Chloe and Gracie always put a smile on my face. They are the cutest pups ever!! Yes please, I’d like a serving of each of your boating delights. Your new cooler is a perfect addition to your smooth sailing. Happy Summer, Mary!

  6. Granny Gay
    June 20, 2016 at 8:37 am

    All of your presentations here are wonderful, but this one today is my very favorite! Love everything presented and wish we lived the ‘boating life’ too. The babies are ready for summer in their new groomed cuts…all lookin’ good.. Thanks again for posting such clever ideas. Your readers have fun seeing your creations, but I know you have just as much fun collecting items and putting them together.

  7. Linda
    June 20, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Love the decor, the salad recipes, the table setting…..actually everything about this. When can I come??? :-)

  8. June 20, 2016 at 9:00 am

    You are so clever and your designs are so fun. Thanks for sharing.

  9. June 20, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Anchors Away Mary, I love it when you decorate your boat and sail away! I love love your boat beverage cooler and your new oar is perfect for it! I am crazy for the rope flatware and the life saver pillow too. Home Goods is my absolute downfall, I walk in the door and all sense goes out the window- Your new TB plates will come in handy for your pontoon picnics and all your salads float my boat-I’ve got to try the watermelon with pecans and bleu cheese, that sounds like heaven!

  10. June 20, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Great post! I tend to enjoy anything nautical, so this was real eye candy, and those enamel boat bowls really made me swoon.

  11. Brenda
    June 20, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Your beverage boat is adorable and looks to be a good size to hold numerous drinks. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Sandi Allen
    June 20, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Love this! What fun! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors
    June 20, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I love your boating tablescape. I love all the red, white,and blue. The Summer recipes look most delicious. I will have to try them. I’m always looking for good Summer recipes. Your dogs are precious!!!

  14. June 20, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Happy Summer! Love the new plates, melamine has come a long way, hasn’t it?
    Perfectly done!

  15. June 20, 2016 at 10:20 am

    What a great way to start summer with this post, Mary! Always inspiring, no matter what season. And I’ll throw a little blame your way for going deeper and deeper into the dish abyss, thank you very much. ;) Great pieces you’ve assembled here, all of them!

  16. June 20, 2016 at 10:22 am

    I’m ready to dive in and scoop up that shrimp salad. I’ve been on a shrimp crave for days. It all started with a delicious shrimp, avocado, and fresh corn salad a friend brought me on Saturday. Last night I had a caesar salad with grilled shrimp. Think lemon basal shrimp salad is on the menu for tonight. ‘-)
    Thanks for a beautiful post on the water. You make sitting in front of a computer magical!

  17. Virginia
    June 20, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Love your ideas and recipes. We are having house guests for the weekend of July 4th and I plan to use some of your creative recipes for a dock dinner while they are visiting. We enjoyed a sail yesterday afternoon and anchored in a creek. I prepared a salad using a recipe for Mango Lime chicken I found on Pinterest, so good. Each day on the water is a great day. Thanks as always for sharing your great ideas.

  18. bj
    June 20, 2016 at 10:45 am

    this is all sooo pretty…and your dogs are precious

  19. Marty
    June 20, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Oh my this looks like a feat set in style on the boat. How fun. I love it all.

  20. Christine
    June 20, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Everything looks so refreshingly beautiful. That shrimp salad looks so yummy…Christine

  21. June 20, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Such nautical fun, Mary! Your salads look delicious and the cute little taco boats are neat. I’ll have to look for those.
    Chloe and Gracie look happy to go for a ride. I certainly would love too.
    Wonderful post full of great ideas.

  22. June 20, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Lovin’ that fun RW&B seersucker tablecloth Mary! Looks like The Girls are excited to be back on the water-have fun and stay cool:@)

  23. June 21, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Fabulous photos as usual. I love the blue fabric with white anchors. We live on a boat, but my husband hates nautical themed accessories and won’t let me have them on our yacht…. So I’ll just have to look at your beautiful photos instead!

  24. bobbi duncan
    June 21, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Oh, I envy your lake life…just want to jump in! My son and dil live in Myers Park, just south of downtown Charlotte, and boat at Lake Norman. We so enjoy it when we visit with them. I love everything on your pontoon…using the towels is such a great idea. You always come up with wonderful decorating ideas and great food presentations, Mary.

  25. Melodie Strickland
    June 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Love the nautical theme on your boat. Chloe and Gracie look eager to go boating. The scenery on the lake is lovely.

  26. Paula
    June 22, 2016 at 8:18 pm


    As always LoVe this theme !! while in Ga. went into a HomeGoods and spotted a lot of this , of course now kicking myself :(
    The pups are adorable as ever !!

  27. Cyndi Raines
    June 22, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Love it all Mary! Especially the fur-babies! They actually look like they are grinning! Give them hugs for me. We’re renting a cabin on Houghton lake this weekend. Can’t wait~ I LOVE being by the water. Wish I had your boat! ha ha.

  28. June 23, 2016 at 11:02 am

    So much fun here Mary! Love the pics of the dogs- they truly look like they enjoy the boat rides! I like the new Tommy Bahama anchor plates!

  29. mary
    June 23, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    What fun! would you please tell us about the boat cooler?

  30. June 23, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Mary, you have the most beautful beach towels. I think if I owned a home near a lake or beach I’d be addicted to buy beach towels. They are so much fun! I recently bought one from Vera Bradley that had turtles all over it. I’ve also tried your watermelon, gorgonzola and pecan salad and it was fabulous! Beautiful post!

  31. June 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Just home from vacation in OBX so am catching up on blogs. This is fabulous, I adore your pontoon posts. Love the idea of the taco shell boats! The towels and dishes are great and I love that cooler!!! Happy sailing!!!

  32. July 1, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Mary, I recently saw some towels that said Home is Where the Anchor Drops and of course I thought of you immediately! I remember making your delicious lemon basil shrimp salad and now I’m craving the watermelon pecan, so I think I’ll be making it this weekend! The girls are so pretty all trimmed and fluffed for the summer! Linda

  33. May 31, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    This is so pretty Mary!

  34. Jackie
    June 21, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Love your nautical theme! What do you use for the coffee table on your Pontoon?

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