Langley hosted 44 boats, ranging from 20-foot pleasure crafts to 66-foot yachts for the sixth annual DockStock at South Whidbey Harbor.
This year marked the first time the Langley marina had its expanded dock, which allowed more boats and boaters to visit for the weekend. Harbormaster Duncan McPhee, an employee of the Port of South Whidbey, reflected on the history of the weekend-long event of music, food and boats.
“It was conceived as a thank-you to boaters at the end of the boating season for their visits and patronage,” he said.
Former harbormaster Rick Brewer, who died in July 2012, was the original creator of DockStock. It grew to eventually draw a sizable crowd that McPhee said was near the harbor’s capacity. The Tyee Yacht Club, based in Seattle, had a large group visit Langley. Fleet captain Bill Wasserman brought the biggest vessel to Langley’s dock, the 66-foot Lexington.
Besides boat envy and ship gazing, the weekend included a crab cook-off dubbed the Friendliest Catch — a play on the popular reality TV show “Deadliest Catch” about commercial crabbers in the Bering Sea. Tina Taylor’s crab papaya salad won the specialty category, which came with $100 and a one-night stay at the Boatyard Inn. Other winners were Monica McDaniel for her Saratoga artichoke crab dip; Elena Cowperthwaite’s crab cake bites; and Charles Busteed’s Charlie’s crab soup delight. They were given wood-carved bears created by Dexter Lewis.
One of the true treats was an exotic seafood dish shared by Pam Schell, who owns a home near the harbor. She brought edible Goose barnacles that were imported from Portugal and Spain, where they are considered a delicacy called percebes.
“It was quite a treat,” McPhee said. “It was an adventure just eating them.”
The marina’s expansion was completed earlier this year. One of its major concerns was and remains parking, which is limited between the water and a bluff. That was circumvented with the help of the Langley Main Street Association which operates a golf cart to take visitors around town in a loop that included the South Whidbey Harbor.
McPhee said he also had an employee keep an eye on the lower parking lot to direct visitors to other lots in Langley at the Island Church of Whidbey and the United Methodist Church.
Next year’s DockStock may become a Whidbey-wide party. McPhee said the Port of South Whidbey is considering opening up and announcing the festivities to the general public, in addition to the boating community. He hinted at other changes, but said the port is in the initial planning phase and that he didn’t want to announce anything prematurely.
“We’re thinking about expanding and adding more components next year,” he said.