Holiday was a refuge for me and many others who, found themselves in a place in life that was not optimal, or put another way I was very unhappy. It may have saved me from complete ruin, failing marriage, a job I hated (employed by a convicted felon) with little future. I was 32 years of age, effectively broke, few real friends (moved to CA less than 2 years). I was of course responsible, I willing participated in my unhappiness, no excuses. Like some, there was an emptiness, a sense of failure, and before I arrived at Holiday not much hope.
What happened at Holiday Harbor was simple community, acceptance of everyone without regard of any outside circumstance. I was a sneak-aboard, that is to say I took up residence on a friends 24’ boat without being on the “list” of approved live-aboards. Bill Gribble the harbor master thought I was a musician for some reason and let me break the rules because he could bend his rules and he wanted more artist types in the marina. I did after some time buy an old Catalina 27 (sail boat) and did get on the “list”. In the mean time I made some friends, some of whom I am happy to say are still friends, met many wonderful people and for almost 15 years enjoyed living on a boat (not all on a 27” boat, I did move up). Holiday was a safe place to rebuild a broken life, I did it and I saw others do the same. There were some who came and did fail at reconstruction, moved on never to be heard from again. Others left on boats for trips around the world, some alone, some with family. Most were happy citizens of the marina and on weekends the place was simply a great place to be. I described FEAR as a boat race, but it was more than that. A celebration of community and comradery would be more like it. Just like national holiday’s and celebrations where we gather together, FEAR was proof that a small disjointed group of individuals could and did enjoy each other, cared about each other and put up with each others differences, with one thing in common, community. We were tribal, I think it’s in our DNA
I have since stepped back into “normal life” married the Fetching Mrs. Seacock, live in a house, work, and look forward to the future. But I wouldn’t trade my time at Holiday Harbor for anything, it was instrumental in my personal reconstruction, although at the time I did not know it. The community has dwindled, many have passed. I don’t know how many of us are still above dirt.
That marina has been torn down, our place no longer exists. New modern facilities installed, maybe some in the future will have the same experience in that place, I can only hope. I miss the friends who are gone, still in contact with surviours, and if you’re an old Holiday Harbor veteran, please contact me. Would love to talk!