Fellow Woody Boater Ron Stevenson sent us this great story about a group of very dedicated classic boaters in the Great Pacific Northwest who recently gathered at a historic island in British Columbia, Canada. An island with a secret or two… (Remember – you can click on the photos to enlarge them)
A Secret Island Feast!
Story by Ron Stevenson
Photos by Marsha & Curt Erickson
Secret Island is in the British Columbia (Canada) waters in a group of islands known to us here in the Pacific Northwest Salish Sea as the “Gulf Islands.” God forbid you call them the Canadian San Juans which is what the same islands in the US are called. Hmm, maybe the Canucks should call our San Juans the US Gulf Islands!
Secret Island is a small little island, maybe 200 feet across and about ¼ mile long divided into 38 lots, which could never be done today. It was originally bought for – get this – Norma Jeane Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe), back when she was working in a defense plant, by a photographer who “discovered” her. But that story is a book. It is totally off the grid and smart phones aren’t even very smart there. Hence the delay in this story.
We do love our Canadian counterparts and there is always a great deal of ribbing going on between us. A lot of ribbing takes place at the “Third Annual Classic Yacht Association Secret Island Feast” at Curt & Marsha Erickson’s little A-frame on the island.
Last year it included crabs, but the crabs this year evidently migrated north or south for warmer or colder waters, who knows? So we only had salmon instead, and of course RIBS!!! Lots of ribs, like, send people home with extra ribs, Those Canadians are always getting ribs one way or the other.
What does this have to do with wood boats?
The Erickson’s are avid Woody Boaters, and are founding members of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the ACBS. They are also members of the Classic Yacht Association. They truly have varnish in their veins, and tentacles of woody boating friendships throughout the country, built by their graciousness, kindness, and infectious love for people.
They have taken a new tact in life since they recently bought there little A-frame spending summers there and inviting guests up to join them. (It’s a relatively new concept to West Coasters). The guests staying with the Erickson’s were Sam & Trish Bass (ACBS members) who came all the way from Georgia.
Another of the guest invitations included the Classic Yacht Association as they ply the Salish Sea waters heading to different boat shows during the summer.
This year, the top billing for boats showing up to this event goes to M/V“Olympus” a 1929 97′ Fantail Motor Yacht owned by Diane Vanderbeek, and “Deerleap” a 1929 85′ Fantail owned by Richard “Slim” & Carolyn Gardner. You will never guess what brand of diesel engines Slim uses….
Some other outstanding classic showed up for the feast, so it is kind of an impromptu boat show on its own, with both the Canadian and Pacific Northwest chapters being represented:
Besides the rib and salmon feast, there was a roaring fire, a gas powered blender, and a quartet played. There was some late night guitar strumming by George Rollins and harmonica humming by island neighbor Derick McKay. George wrote an original blues tune about Curt & Marsha’s “Hokey Pokey” , a 1948 24′ Hacker Craft, aka the official “cocktail cruiser”.
A great time was had by all (50-60), by people from both sides of the border, including the neighbors on Secret Island and the three sisters who own the neighboring island – Prevost Island, truly another story.
I know that I speak for all who attended; to extend thanks and gratitude to Curt & Marsha Erickson for their hospitality. This is not an easy task when you live off the grid and the closet store is a 20 minute boat ride away. These truly are wonderful friends to a lot of people, which is a great benefit of being a Woody Boater!
Thanks Ron for sharing your story with us here at Woody Boater today. It’s just fantastic to have the opportunity to see these beautiful classic yachts out being used in the Great Pacific Northwest and all the enthusiastic (and dedicated) boaters getting together to share some time together at Curt & Marsha Erickson’s hideaway on Secret Island.
And as always, a special thanks to Curt & Marsha for your continued support and innovative ways to enjoy this great hobby.