Photo courtesy of Ed Cannard. Eagle Harbor Open Water Marina is set to be renamed in honor of longtime liveaboard Dave Ullin.

Dave Ullin to be commemorated in renaming of marina

The late Dave Ullin, known among generations of Bainbridge Islanders as the unofficial custodian of Eagle Harbor, is set to be immortalized in the renaming of Eagle Harbor Open Water Marina.

The Bainbridge city council is expected to approve a resolution to change the name of the marina to Dave Ullin Open Water Marina in late July.

“The liveaboard community is comprised of those who set their clocks by nature’s rhythms, who value independence over convenience, freedom over convention, and who have chosen sustainability as their way of life,” the resolution reads. “Dave was the public face of the liveaboard community on Bainbridge Island. He was humble, frugal, helpful, and generous, and lived simply.”

Mayor Val Tollefson worked with friends of Ullin’s to draft the resolution.

He remembers Ullin as a supporter of the liveaboard community in Eagle Harbor. When the rights of liveaboards to drop their anchors in the harbor became threatened by new regulations, it was Ullin who took the helm for those who called the harbor their home.

“I was on the Harbor Management Advisory Committee,” Tollefson recalled. “Dave was a regular attendee at our meetings and a regular commentator and a staunch defender of maintaining that liveaboard lifestyle in Eagle Harbor.”

The mayor said the commemoration of Ullin will be a way for future generations to learn of the lessons Ullin left behind.

“Dave is kind of an example of a little piece of our community that is important to keep in mind as the community evolves and changes,” Tollefson said.

In addition to fighting for the rights of liveaboards, Ullin also stressed the importance of leaving a small footprint and sustainable living. He could often be spotted walking or rowing his boat because of his choice to forego using an internal combustion engine. Ullin was also a frequent sight at community organized weed-pulling events and other earth-friendly outreach efforts, and was constantly working to keep the shores of Eagle Harbor clean.

“Dave was always very thoughtful always very steadfast in his belief that when we make decisions about the place that we live, we ought to be thinking about simplicity and sustainability,” Tollefson said.

“If you name something after somebody people have a tendency to ask, ‘Who was that?’” Tollefson explained. “When that happens, people are going to have to do some research or talk to somebody who knows, and they’re going to learn some of that stuff and I think it’s important historical context.”

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