A friend to all cruisers passes on.
Most all of us who have visited the Broughton Island Archipelago stayed at Lagoon Cove Marina and enjoyed the company of Bill Barber and Jean Barber. They went the extra mile to provide a safe, fun, and helpful place for cruising boats to stay and enjoy. We stopped there many times, sometimes twice in one trip. It’s that kind of spot.
On April 6, 2013 Bill passed away. He will be missed greatly.
The last time we stopped at Lagoon Cove it was on a rainy day in June, 2011. We radioed ahead on the VHF and got confirmation for an available space. It was our first stop after arriving via Johnstone Strait and Cracroft Channel. We had not been to Lagoon Cove for three years.
We arrived at the dock and sure enough, there was Bill standing ready to grab our stern line. I motored carefully alongside and Mary tossed him the line and stepped off to secure the bow. I shut down the engine and jumped to the dock. Bill handed me the line, looked me in the eye and said, “Good to see you Curt, how have you been? Thanks for stopping by.” It was as if we had been there just the day before. Either he remembered our boat and our names from our past visits (among the hundreds of boats that come by each year) or he took the time to look us up after we called in by VHF. Either way, that simple gesture immediately made us feel welcome and at home.
That’s the Bill we all knew.
We stayed two nights, catching up on Bill’s bear stories and eating the free prawns he provided at the evening pot luck dinners. All the cruisers brought their favorite dishes. We ate like kings and enjoyed the warmth of the big shop that gave us respite from the cold drizzle.
We left Lagoon Cove and stopped at Potts Lagoon for one night then we carefully transited Beware Passage to Crease Island. The wind came up from the unprotected east and we rocked and bounced the night away on our big anchor with lots of scope.
The next morning we woke to the sun peaking through the clouds and a hint of warmth in the air. Without thinking about it I suggested we return to Lagoon Cove to relax among friends for another night. It just seemed like the right thing to do and it surely was. The sun came out that day and we got the opportunity to enjoy Bill’s company one last time. We left the next day with a happy shout of “See you again, Bill” and off we went to enjoy four weeks in the Broughtons.
Sadly, we will not get to see Bill again. But I have him firmly pictured in my mind as he waved us goodbye from an all time favorite place.
Lagoon Cove will continue the tradition of great service and a happy atmosphere under the management of Pat Kukuruz and Bob Ness, two of the friendliest people at any marina anywhere. Be sure to stop by on your way to or from a trip north.
Lagoon Cove Marina is a special place and always will be. Bill will no longer be there in person but he will surely be there in spirit. Just look closely to the end of the dock to see his big smile as he waves goodbye when you leave.
God bless you Bill. Fair winds.
For those of you who have never visted Lagoon Cove Marina, click here for more information: http://lagooncovemarina.com/