Enjoy a Year in Review from the Boatyard
Before we ring in the new year, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the events that shaped 2019. As always, it was a full calendar of harbor happenings.
- Pacific rower Jacob Adoram Hendrickson reaches the halfway mark on his record-setting quest to row across the Pacific Ocean.
The former Air Force fighter pilot set out from Neah Bay in July 2018 with the goal of being the first to row solo, nonstop and unassisted to Cairns, Australia.
- Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard again takes part in the nine-day Seattle Boat Show at CenturyLink Event Center.
- Repeated snowstorms during a prolonged cold spell in early February leave an unaccustomed Puget Sound region under a thick blanket of winter white. Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard Manager Hartwell Champagne ventured out between storms and snapped a few photos around the yard and marina. The Gig Harbor area got 12-plus inches of snow and events were cancelled all over town.
- Gig Harbor Brewing Company’s Harbor Taproom wins “Best Launch” of a new business along the waterfront by the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance. The brewing company opened its harbor location here at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard the previous spring.
- The boatyard performs a different kind of haulout in early March when our Travelift was pressed into service to lift a decaying 8,000-pound gray whale out of Puget Sound.
The 28.5-foot young female whale was found dead on Feb. 23 in Longbranch on the Key Peninsula and was examined by Cascadia Research Collective, the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife and World Vets, with assistance from Seattle Pacific University and the MaST Center from Highline College. The examination revealed the 1- to 2-year-old gray whale had stranded alive, was emaciated and had experienced an attack by killer whales. The plan is for the skeleton to be on educational display at SPU.
- Second Wave Marine Repair and Consignment expands its online product catalog. Now it’s easier than ever to find that buried treasure.
- Gig Harbor Brewing Company’s Harbor Taproom celebrates its first anniversary of operation at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard.
The eighth annual Paddlers Cup Regatta, organized by the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team, splashes down at the end of April.
This popular tradition is the premier event for Pacific Northwest canoe, kayak, paddleboard and outrigger athletes and enthusiasts of all ages and levels. The fun takes place every April out of Skansie Brothers Park and features paddle racing for kayaks, canoes, stand up and prone paddleboards, outriggers and para-canoes and dragon boat races.
- The Trolley @ the Boatyard opens for the season with a new manager and an exciting new menu. Dine at our picnic tables or take your delicious Northwest fare to go.
- The Greater Gig Harbor Foundation holds its ninth annual Green Gig Locally Grown Dinner at The Club @ the Boatyard. With a focus on sustainability, the Green Gig dinner is designed to showcase the region’s agricultural and culinary prowess while providing guests with a unique “farm-2-fork” experience.
Proceeds from the annual event supports the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation’s Stewards Scholarship Fund and the foundation’s work in helping bridge the early learning access gap in our community.
- Wedding season gets under way at The Club @ the Boatyard with beautiful overnight accommodations in the Guesthouse @ the Boatyard and aboard our Fleet Suites @ the Boatyard guest yachts. (Read about our hospitality offerings on this website’s homepage.)
- Yo, Ho! It’s Maritime Gig Festival the first Saturday of June. Gig Harbor’s annual community celebration swashbuckles to the harbor with pirates, a parade and a party on the downtown waterfront. Food booths fill the street and fun fills the park and harbor beyond. The community’s rich tradition of blessing the fishing fleet takes place on Sunday.
- Record-seeking solo Pacific rower does it! After 336 grueling days at sea, an elated Jacob Adoram Hendrickson felt a welcome sensation under his boat on June 8: his hull scraping against a sandy beach. He had reached Australia at last, achieving his goal to be the first person to row solo, non-stop and unassisted across the Pacific Ocean.
The former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot thought it might take eight months, but it took 11 to reach his destination. He set an additional record in the process, the longest Pacific row, when strong southerly winds pushed him farther along the Australian coast than he had planned.
- Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard’s annual Swap Meet is held at Second Wave Marine Repair and Consignment. The annual event is a fun way to observe National Marina Day the second Saturday in June. Browsers enjoyed food, live music and plenty of marine treasure to be discovered in the parking lot and inside the consignment store.
- Chance Busey, Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard’s own outstanding videographer and assistant marketing director, launches his new “Waterfront Wednesdays” summer video series. He posted a new video every Wednesday throughout the summer to highlight some of the harbor’s rich stories. The first one he posted on Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard’s Facebook page was on the Gig Harbor fishing community’s traditional blessing of the fleet, seen below.
- Summer Swing Dancing Returns to The Club @ the Boatyard. All ages are welcome for swing dance fun after Summer Sounds Concerts.
- Summer Sounds at Skansie Concerts get under way in late June. The popular Tuesday nights of live music in Skansie Brothers Park run through August with an exciting lineup that keeps the town rockin.’
- The Harbor Taproom kicks off Fourth of July week with some good old Americana-on-four-wheels with the Gig Harbor Brewing Car Show. The Taproom hosted the local brewing company’s fourth annual car show at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard.
- Former boatyard manager and now senior adviser Mark Lindeman’s idea for shrink wrap boat storage balloons into another application at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard — and it’s good for the environment. It’s using the shrink wrap equipment the yard initially purchased for wrapping boats for long-term storage to make a workspace “bubble” for keeping foreign particles from drifting into the air and water. Lindeman’s Pearson 37 sailboat Serrano is the first boat to try out the shrink wrap cocoon at the boatyard.
- Outrigger canoeist Mike McCallum trains in the harbor in his quest to qualify for the 2020 Paralympics. The 34-year-old Chehalis native trains with the rest of paddle Team USA, which made Gig Harbor its training ground this summer. The team was comprised of men, women and junior paddlers from the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team and other paddlers from the American Canoe Association. Many of the country’s top paddlers trained here for national and world competition, including the 2020 Olympic Games.
- The 5-star reviews keep coming in all year: Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard has it all for your special occasion. From our Club @ the Boatyard venue next to Skansie Brothers Park to the gorgeous Guesthouse @ the Boatyard and our unique Fleet Suites @ the Boatyard, we offer all the accommodations needed for your beautiful wedding, reunion or anniversary, birthday, graduation or other party.
- For the seventh time in the last eight years, the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team won the American Canoe Association Sprint National Championship. Gym workouts and daily practice on the harbor paid off as the local team once again brought home gold — from an Olympic venue, no less. They competed at Lake Lanier Olympic Park in Gainsville, Ga., the site of paddling events for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
- Gig Harbor Gondola expands its Venetian-style tour operation with the addition of a new gondolier from California and a second gondola, fresh off the ship from Italy. Gondolier Greg Garite joined his friend John Synco in his popular Gig Harbor Gondola business in late July and the new gondola arrived by truck at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard in mid-August. Tommaso Sebastiano, the new 36-foot gondola, joins original gondola, Nelly, for idyllic harbor tours.
- Gig Harbor makes it to the 2020 Olympics! Canoeist Nevin Harrison with the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team wins the 2019 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Hungary, qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The 17-year-old from Seattle is America’s first-ever canoe world champion, male or female. She could be the first-ever Olympic medal winner in women’s canoe, which debuts at the Tokyo games. Congratulations Nevin, Team USA and Coach Aaron Huston!
- Second Wave Marine Repair and Consignment holds a fall Swap Meet.
- Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard comes to the aid of the Canoe & Kayak team with storage space for their paddle craft.
- New Yard Manager Jeff Broders comes on board at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard. The 20-year veteran with the U.S. Marine Corps brought with him loads of experience with boating and managing marine service and repair.
The new boatyard manager was a smooth fit and set to work right away forging those all-important customer relationships.
- Few people may be aware that women, too, have been part of Gig Harbor’s long-standing fishing tradition. So, the second annual “Girls Fish, Too” evening of information and inspirational stories was held on Oct. 18, organized by to the Skansie Netshed Foundation. Six women from Gig Harbor’s commercial fishing industry gathered at the Skansie Netshed to share their fascinating stories collected from years of working aboard fishing vessels.
- Happy harbor Halloween. The waterfront district was filled with all manner of ghouls, goblins, superheroes and princesses on Halloween as families came out for Treat or Treat in the Harbor organized by the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance.
In observance of Veterans Day, Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard lowers Old Glory for the season. Each May on Armed Forces Day the boatyard raises its huge flag in downtown Gig Harbor.
Yard Manager Jeff Broders (foreground), a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and long-time Yard Supervisor/Travelift Operator Mark Rybin take the flag down on Veterans Day.
- Annual Girls Night Out is a waterfront hit. The 10th annual downtown shopping event is more popular and bigger and better every year.
- Happy Thanksgiving from Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard.
- Christmas tree lighting, caroling, sleigh rides with Santa and the beautiful Lighted Boat Parade are just some of the sparkling holiday events along the Gig Harbor waterfront.
- Merry Christmas from Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard.