The modest structure, topped with an identifiable cupola, was built as a game cabin for hunting and fishing. Even as a child in the 90s, the oil lamps were still used for light in the evenings and the most modern renovation was the application of a hand pump for water that allowed the toilet to flush (though, rules remained about what was allowed down the finikey plumbing). The camp remained a time piece of generations past. I'll forever miss washing my feet off in a bucket of seawater as a well mannered attempt to keep sand out of a house that was truly of the elements. As a child, I spent my summers visiting our family camp on Nauset Beach, a sandy point extending almost 7 miles off of the coast of Orleans, MA.
Though the camp remained largely the same, the ecosystem surrounding it regularly changed. When my Grandfather was in his youth, he and his Father would push their boat off the shore and into the bay for a day of fishing. With little effort, they would bring back keepers the size of a six year old child in numbers that are now illegal.
By time my Dad put his own boat in the water, fishing proved to be a legend of the past. That is, until the summer of '00.
2000. The faithful summer when the tides changes.
During the summer of 2000, another summer of 0 fish caught upon Boomerang, my family's Boston Whaler, my Dad, Peter, decided it was time to try an alternative location to bay fishing. Chatham Harbor is port to a strong fishing industry as it cuts directly into the Atlantic Ocean. The cut between bay and ocean is notorious for its rough conditions. It is unsuited for the hobbyist and reserved for boats big enough to cut through swells coming from every direction, or those with a death wish. For whatever reason, during the summer of '00 my Dad decided our boat, or his ego, was finally big enough to face the waves.
All the fish in the sea.
Boating through the cut is ALWAYS a thrill. There are days the boat will go airborne over waves and even times when the waves are so huge and dominating, that my Dad has to make the extremely unsafe decision to turn the boat around half way through. But when we finally do make it into the big, bad ocean, it is well worth it.
During the discovery summer of '00, our boating trips turned into a whole new experience-- we actually caught fish. We learned how to fillet a striped bass, that you need a leader for Blues (or else you can say goodbye to your sluggo), and that if you let your lure sink to the bottom of the ocean you are guaranteed to catch a sand shark.
Pete’s Point gets discovered.
My Dad always has his boat outfitted with techy toots and whistles that, initially, were wholly unnecessary in the safe perimeter of the bay. As we explored the depths of the deep blue sea and continued east until all sights of land disappeared, the GPS equipment went from decoration to a necessity.
One day when we headed out past the cut, my Dad pulled up to a swarm of seagulls, threw in his fishing line, and started catching keepers with every cast. My Dad must have known that this spot was more than a lucky school of fish moving under the boat and marked the coordinates on the GPS.
On our next trip out, we returned to this spot and had the same experience. We did the same again and again and again. The Harriss family was feeding the neighborhood.
For years after the discovery of this underwater point, you couldn't throw out a line without catching a striped bass the size of my 8 year old brother. It became Peter's "boat trick" to secretly follow his GPS to the point, stick his finger in the water and taste for fish, say it was good. The spot became known as "Pete's Point".
Pete's Point Keychain
So, why name our newest keychain after Pete's Point? Well, to keep this part of a long-story-long short, because for almost a year my Dad nagged me to make this keychain for Sailormade. I feel it is only right to name the piece after him!