Lagoon Cove Marina on the northeast end of W. Cracroft Island in the Broughton Archipelago has long been a favorite destination for boaters who are drawn by its unique charm and beauty. With the passing of Jean’s husband Bill, Jean decided it was time to sell the marina property. She ran the marina on her own for three years while the property was on the market. Concern soon spread among the boating community regarding the marina’s future. Fortunately, the right buyer came along at the right time, just before the axe fell. Jean had an offer from a logging company to purchase the property, and she was ready to close the deal, that’s when Jim and his wife Lou came into the picture.
“It was love at first sight,” said Jim Ryan of Lagoon Cove Marina.
The story began when Jim’s brother-in-law made plans to cruise to Alaska with their Grand Banks; and as Jim tells it, invited himself to come along. They departed Anacortes, Washington in late April of 2016 and arrived in Lagoon Cove Marina on May 4.
“It was love at first sight.” Jim wandered up to the workshop, a shed full of tools and lumber, which further fueled his love affair due to his background in custom woodworking. While visiting Lagoon Cove Marina, Jim had heard through the ‘grape vine’ or ‘kelp line’ that a logging company was interested in buying the property as a camp to house workers. Jim’s heart sank, “what a shame if this beautiful place ended up being logged off.”
In addition to this dismal prospect, the logging company was busy making plans and figuring out how many bunk beds could be accommodated in each building. Jim moaned to his wife about the future demise of the Lagoon Cove he had seen and loved. To her credit, she prompted him to think about buying the property. With the image of Lagoon Cove and the falling of an axe still stirring in his mind, Jim and his brother-in-law continued their trip, making a stop at Kwatsi Bay Marina.
Since it was still early in the season, the place was empty, and they decided to return to Lagoon Cove. When they arrived, Jean was hosting a happy hour in her home, the perfect opportunity for Jim to express his interest to purchase the property.
Crossing her arms in front of herself, Jean said, “are you serious?” An emphatic “yes” was the reply. Jean now had another offer to consider.
Jim’s passion for acquiring the property and Jean’s desire to move on with her life drove the transaction to a speedy closure. The deal with Jim and Lou closed at the end of November 2016.
But here’s the rest of the story. Knowing that operating a marina, like any business, takes teamwork and diverse expertise, Jim enlisted the help of his daughter Kelley and son-in-law Dan, who lived in northern Minnesota and ran a summer camp. They put their house on the market not having even seen Lagoon Cove, after all, the Waggoner Cruising Guide says that Lagoon Cove is like summer camp for adults, “we can do that” said Kelley and Dan.
In addition to the Ryan family, a young couple from Victoria, James, and his wife, were brought on to be part of the team. The couple gave up a much coveted live-aboard boat slip in Victoria’s Esquimalt Harbour and now have their sailboat at Lagoon Cove. It is evident that there’s lots of new energy at Lagoon Cove for which boaters are most grateful, and we can rest assured, that this special place is in good hands.
To quote Jim, “we want to enhance but not change Lagoon Cove.”
~Written by Lorena Landon as told by Jim Ryan