Safe Harbor Harbors View Marina Is Preparing for a Busy Lake Season
Robin Carpenter was an escrow officer in Tulsa when she was approached about becoming the general manager at Harbors View Marina.
“I’d been coming to Grand Lake about five years and had been a boater at Harbors View Marina for three years, so Judy and I became friends,” said Carpenter, referring to Judy Florida, the marina’s former longtime and legendary general manager. “She likes to tell people that she handpicked me. I’m so honored and want to make her so proud.”
A change of vocation and moving full-time to the lake appealed and, in August 2018, Carpenter took over the helm at Harbors View Marina as the new general manager. Her husband, Troy, has become Carpenter’s “volunteer backup for everything.”
“I started here just in time to get a taste of what the crazy summer months are like as well as a holiday weekend before the season officially ended,” Carpenter said. “But whoever told me this job was going to be slow in the winter was lying. Getting ready for the new season has kept us busy.
“I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from our members and everyone here at Grand Lake.”
Construction Under Way
One of the projects that has kept Carpenter busy during the off-season is the creation of a new boutique area in the Harbors View Marina Ship Store.
“I’m calling it The Bikini Boutique, but there’s more than just bikinis,” Carpenter said. “There will be resort wear, men’s wear, T-shirts, footwear, hats and sunglasses, but the focus will be on bikinis, swimwear and coverups.
The Corpus Christi, Texas, native modeled the boutique area after the bikini shops she frequented in Port Aransas, Texas.
“There’s nothing really like it here on Grand Lake. A place where you can go and find a huge selection of swimwear,” Carpenter said. “My goal is to have a big enough selection to have something for everyone.”
Harbors View Marina will be the first store in Oklahoma to carry Salt Life swimwear. Some of the other brands that will be available in the Ship Store’s bikini boutique include Body Glove, Gossip, Lake Girl, Margaritaville and shoes by Hey Dude, Oofos and a new line of sandals for women, Vines Islandwear.
Currently under construction, the new boutique includes a sumptuous dressing room.
Another new addition at Harbors View Marina is Duck Creek Water Sport Rentals, Grand Lake’s newest pontoon/tritoon and water sport rental company.
Owned and operated by Troy Carpenter, Duck Creek Water Sport Rentals will offer year-round rentals of pontoons, tritoons, paddle bikes, paddle boards and towables.
Carpenter is building the new facility, which will be located on the dock near the marina’s ship store. Four, six and eight-hour rentals will be available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Duck Creek Water Sport Rentals will open for business on May 1, but is already accepting reservations. Call (918) 500-6491 to make a reservation or visit its Facebook page for more information.
More Family-Friendly Events
The wonderful food from the Waterway Cafe at Harbors View Marina highlights two of Harbors View Marina’s signature summer events: the All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp Boil and the All-You-Can-Eat Fajitas nights.
Much more than just a meal out, the All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp Boil and Fajitas nights are a unique Grand Lake experience.
The All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp Boil features great big peel-and-eat shrimp and crawfish, as well as kielbasa sausage, little red potatoes, corn on the cob, garlic, pepper and onion served in brightly colored sand pails. Tables are covered with butcher-block paper so guests can pour their sand pails of deliciousness onto the table to enjoy. Cole slaw accompanies the sand pails of food.
Saturday night Harbors View Marina goes Mexican with its All-You-Can-Eat Fajitas. Served dockside buffet-style, the dinner includes chicken and beef, tortillas, rice, beans, queso, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream and cheese.
The Waterway Cafe’s longtime cook Wayne “Bud” Hawkes also prepares a homemade corn relish, which is served with the other sides in a green plastic turtle.
The shrimp boils and fajita nights are held from 6-9 p.m. every Friday and Saturdays respectively from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
A variety of musical performers will be performing at Harbors View Marina during the season. Grand Lake’s-own Magen Faulconer will kick off the first shrimp boil on Friday, May 24, and Faultline is booked for Friday, May 31. Watch Facebook for more details, performers and dates.
Harbors View Marina will also be hosting a raft up in front of the marina on Saturday, Aug. 3. Grand Lake’s own Lickitty Split and Magen Faulconer will be performing during the event. Watch for more details on the Safe Harbor Harbors View Facebook page.
The Waterway Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch year-round from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the cafe that features delicious, fresh, made-to-order meals will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Shiver Shack, Harbors View Marina’s old-fashioned soda fountain, is open the same hours as the cafe. Hand-dipped ice cream cones, shakes, malts, sundaes and Hawaiian shaved ice are a great way to cool down on a hot summer’s day and all are available at the Shiver Shack.
If you’re looking to cool down with a decidedly more adult beverage, stop by Docks Bar. A favorite watering hole among Grand Lake boaters, Docks Bar is one of the best places to share a cocktail with family and friends. Liquor, beer and wine are served right on the docks overlooking Grand Lake.
Docks Bar is open during the season from noon to 11 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays.
About Harbors View Marina
Harbors View Marina is part of the family of Safe Harbor Marinas, the largest owner and operator of marinas in the world. It is located in a quiet cove at the back of Duck Creek on the Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.
A haven for boaters and lake lovers alike, Harbors View Marina has plenty of amenities and facilities for both, including boat slips, dry boat and trailer storage, a cafe and bar, pontoon boat rentals, cabin rentals and more. Its members enjoy discounts on gas, retail, food and cabin rentals.
The Ship Store is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week during the off-season. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the store is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Harbors View Marina is located at 451107 East 320 Road, Afton, Okla.