John Dunaway

Houston, TX

Meet The Most Interesting Man In The World

Talented hunter, angler, cook, father, and merchant mariner.

John has been a good friend of Turtlebox since the very beginning and we think you’ll enjoy getting to know him.

Favorite movie?
Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Favorite book?
Atlas Shrugged.

Most inspiring quote, piece of art, saying, or advice that has impacted the way you live today?
“No matter how important a man at sea may consider himself, unless he is fundamentally worthy the sea will someday find him out."-Felix Riesenberg

What is your profession? Did you always know this is what you would end up doing or was it something you "stumbled into"?
Merchant mariner. After a decade at sea, I am now a harbor pilot in Houston. Ships have always fascinated me, but the path wasn’t clear until my junior year in high school. My mom questioned what I wanted to do and when she said this was an option, it became full speed ahead. I knew I’d work on ships, but reaching this point was always a lofty ambition.

When you're not working, what are you doing for fun?
That just about changes as much as Houston weather. I am not shying on being a jack of all trades, but master of none. With that, if someone pitches a good time, I’m probably in. Waterfowl hunting is my main pursuit during the season, but I’ll hunt just about anything, fly fish, surf, snowboard and shoot photography in the gaps. Cooking has become another creative outlet that I can do several times per week for friends and family.

Coolest place you've ever traveled?
I’m giving two. New Zealand had quite the spread for its size. We spent nearly 3 weeks for our honeymoon driving the South Island and partaking in stuff from wineries to bungee jumping, jet boats to hiking. While at sea, my most memorable place was Freetown, Sierra Leone. I wouldn’t go for vacation, but seeing this war torn country with its immense poverty changed me. Truthfully, it was the people there that changed me. A whole story for another time.

Bucket list destination you haven't been yet?
How many lifetimes do I get? A weeklong boat trip chasing waves in the Indian Ocean has been on my list since high school.

What advice would you give an 18-year-old that wants to do what you do?
Get your Coast Guard license, outwork your competition and have the strongest resume possible so nobody questions your work ethic.

Any guilty pleasures?
Ice cream and Negronis. Not together though.

Favorite wild meat/fish to eat? And in what kind of meal do you prepare it/eat it?
My favorite is elk, but I cook a whole lot of duck! For that, I’m doing pato de la cazadora which is a dish we had on a hunting trip to Mexico last year and subsequently have cooked it over 10 times now. Think of fajitas meets carne guisada with bubbly cheese in the mix. Give me a real fire and we can make any of that game fun.

In what ways has Turtlebox been useful in your life?
You name it and one of my Turtleboxes has done it. Cutting board, flotation device, paperweight, distraction in an awkward situation. Last year I played over 80,000 minutes of music so there is always a tune being the soundtrack to my life and that is where TB shines.