Our favorite time of the year at the port is here

A couple of weeks ago, the Greater Kingston Kiwanis Club held a very successful fundraising Brew Fest event at the Port Tent. It was a great start to the season.

It’s July! This is the month Kingston seems to wait for all year. The hanging baskets are up all over town, Kingston High School has produced another class of smart and motivated graduates and down at the port, things are popping and Frisbees are flying every day.

Yacht clubs and cruising groups from all over the Pacific Northwest are making their annual scheduled stops in our port, and enjoying what many call one of the best ports on the west coast. Have you seen our new electric car for our visiting shoppers to use?

About five years ago, I was enjoying a glass of wine at San Diego Yacht Club when Dennis Connor sat down next to me and introduced himself. When he found out I was from Kingston and had something to do with the port, he told me what a great place it was. Twice he has flown to Alaska to help friends bring their boats back south. He said that the trips would not be complete without a stop here to rest up for the final leg into Seattle. Did you know that due to prevailing currents and trade winds, it is easier to sail from Hawaii to Seattle by way of Alaska?

A couple of weeks ago, the Greater Kingston Kiwanis Club held a very successful fundraising Brew Fest event at the Port Tent. People from all over the region came to support the Kiwanis youth programs and enjoy a sunny day, their favorite micro-brews and a great, early, three-band music concert in the performing arts gazebo. It was a great start to the season. In the next month or so, I will tell you a story about the gazebo and how it is very personal to me.

The Farmers Market has gotten off to a great start. It is fun to see all of the familiar faces and pop-ups returning to the port to share their products, talents and wares. It is hard not to stop at each booth to chat with the proprietor and find out how they got started and where they come from. I never in my life thought that I would pay $15 for a little jar of honey. So far this year, I have done it twice!

I am constantly amazed at all of the great things that volunteers do in Kingston. This month our biggest party, Kingston’s Fourth of July Celebration, will bring you another great event down at the port and throughout town. There are about seven volunteers who work all year to organize it. They always need more of your contributions to make it work, though, this year more than ever.

Then there are all of our Christmas lights on display at the end of the year. Volunteers have been working down at the port since March for next year’s show. The hanging baskets are hung, watered and put away at the end of the season by volunteers. Twenty-eight of your neighbors show up on schedule to water and make sure those baskets flourish.

The Kingston High School Homecoming Party is coordinated by volunteers. Our streets and sidewalks are kept picked up by volunteers. How about Friends of the Library and our Kingston Kiwanis and Rotary clubs? One of Kingston’s most noticeable and important major volunteer efforts is taking shape at the Village Green, where our new community center, Boys & Girls Club and library will live. A year from now, that complex will be open for business. Without dedicated volunteers, it would not have happened. If you are not involved in something, check in at the Chamber of Commerce. The volunteers there will point you in the right direction.

Many of you know that I have decided not to run for re-election to the Port Commission. I have enjoyed a wonderful rewarding 11½ years thus far serving you as a commissioner. I hope to use this space over the next few months to nostalgically highlight my favorite milestones and memories of this journey.

I like old ships. It has always amazed me how they are built and operated. While reading “War of the Oceans” the other day, I was looking at a blueprint of one of Lord Nelson’s warships and saw a space called the “Orlop” deck. I had to research it and so now it’s the Nautical Term of the Month.

The orlop is the lowest deck in a ship. It is the deck, or part of a deck, where the cables are stowed, usually below the water line. It is suggested the name originates from “overlooping” of the cables. Also suggested is that the name is a corruption of “overlap,” referring to an overlapping, balcony-like half deck occupying a portion of the ship’s lowest deck space. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word descends from the Dutch verb overlopen, “to extend.”

Well, here comes the edge of the page once again, so it is time for me to sign off. Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this stuff. I hope you found it interesting.

Happy Independence Day!

— Pete DeBoer is a Kingston port commissioner. Contact him at pete@petede boer.com.