DEPOE BAY — A reserved and moving Fleet of Flowers recalled four giants of “the World’s Smallest Harbor” Monday morning, Memorial Day 2021.
The event was unannounced, except by word of mouth. Organizers wanted to ease back into the annual event, which was cancelled due to the pandemic for the first time in its 76-year history.
A 21-gun salute by a U.S. Coast Guard honor guard echoed against the high rock walls of the port shortly after 9 a.m., followed by the throaty cough of diesel engines starting up. About 20 vessels laden with evergreen boughs, sprays of flowers and wreath-bearing passengers followed a USCG escort under the bridge to a rendezvous about a mile west of the harbor.
Pastor Ron Glen of Newport’s First Baptist Church recited Psalm 139, which ends:
“If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”
He recalled the names of four men who died in 2020, figures who were well known and beloved by many of the hundred-or-so people who sailed in the unofficial and unannounced 2021 Fleet of Flowers: Lars Robison, Pogo Robison, Bill Spores and Dustin Couch.