I first met Harvey before I met him. That is, I knew his name through boat circles. I knew about his museum, because my kids had gone there on a school field trip. And curiously, I almost bought a home two houses down from Harvey’s.
I nearly met the Harvey in person for the first time on the Columbia River, some twenty miles from Portland. As two friends and I were sailing home from a long trip, we saw anther square sail on a windy section of river. As we got closer, I noticed a man in a box-like, gray boat darting about gleefully. We waved to each other, but with a building wind, the man disappeared behind a sandy island. I was surprised not to have a parley with another traditional boat, but I guessed he had his reasons for heading in.
A few days after getting home, I received a mysterious e-mail titled “Garvey on Columbia.”
“That was me you saw out there today– in the N.J. Garvey Box I built from H.I. Chapelle’s drawing in “American Small Sailing Craft.” I found your blog after a search for “Row Bird.” I too have done some camp-cruising on the lower Columbia and elsewhere (also kayaking)… Also, I “am” the Lincoln Street Kayak & Canoe Museum(!)”
A few days later Harvey and I had a cup of coffee at the museum and realized how many overlaps we had in our lives; it was a surprise that we hadn’t met sooner.