I thought Port Harvey was going to be simply a place for the night, breaking up a long trip down Johnstone Strait, a tiring ride.
That little port had lost it’s floating restaurant and store when it sunk a couple of years ago, possibly due to foul play, and they were struggling to rebuild. The owners hadn’t had it for long when the foul play occurred, so it had to be discouraging, and pretty impossible to keep the marina going in good fashion while in recovery mode. My expectations were low.
Right from the beginning, I could see I might be wrong. We were heartily welcomed to docks that were in great shape, offered a form to fill out for what kind of fresh-made pizza we’d like that night, and what we would want from a selection of fresh cinnamon buns and bacon/cheese croissants for the morning.
Owner George Cambridge was amazingly upbeat for someone who faced such a difficult hardship when he and his big blond dog Sandy greeted us and helped us dock. I asked how he did it. He said, “It happened. We move on.” He smiled and waved as he trotted on down the dock to grab lines for a big trawler headed in behind us.
We joined the usual marina potluck at five at a huge covered area at the end of the docks. It was full of people including our host. He was waving a big red and white burgee with a red shoe, tipped as if it were sinking, in one corner. By time we arrived with our melted Brie and ginger marmalade, he’d already convinced a couple next to us to join the Port Harvey Yacht Club.
“It’s open to anyone visiting the marina,” he announced. “One time dues of $45 for lifetime and there is only one meeting a year on July first.” Boaters were scrambling to pay the dues and fighting over who got the next burgie! I think George’s wife was making them in the owner’s quarters as fast as she could.
Everyone in our little boating group of three boats is now flying a red and white flag from Port Harvey Yacht Club with that sinking red shoe in one corner. Once the restaurant again rests on it’s barge ready to serve guests, the burgie will feature a red shoe that is level, not sinking. Burgies with the sinking shoe will belong only to charter members.
We have an invitation to the club meeting held by PHYC on July 1st of next year where we can play, not Horseshoes, but Whoe Shoes (pronounced ‘hoe shoes’) in honor of the red high heels worn by women of a certain ancient profession and the symbol of both the old restaurant and the new yacht club.
Running into George made it a little easier to come out of the back woods of the Broughton’s I loved so much.