Born in 1939 and an avid kayaker since 1969, Harbord embarked on a world voyage from England in 1963. She explored BC, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia before settling in B.C. in 1977. She was first president of the Sea Kayak Association of B.C. and received an honorary membership in 2003. She has paddled extensively on the West Coast and produced an historical guide to Nootka Sound, as well as a social history of Desolation Sound.

Harbord's well-researched Desolation Sound: A History (Harbour $24.95), a project that emerged from her earlier profiles of Sliammon chief Joe Mitchell and Sliammon elders Elsie Paul and Sue Pielle: "Soon I realized that Powell River, where I live, was full of people who had spent their childhoods on one of the many homesteads dotted around the Sound."; Located 150 kilometres from Vancouver, Desolation Sound was named by George Vancouver. Harbord's character-driven history provides a map of 34 homesteads in the area that has become one of the most popular cruising destinations on the West Coast.

Desolation Sound was followed by an equally impressive history of Texada Island, the largest island in the Strait of Georgia. [See below]

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Texada Tapestry: A History


Texada Tapestry: A History. Harbour Publishing, 2011. ISBN 978-1-55017-537-0

Desolation Sound: A History. Harbour Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-55017-407-6

Sea Kayak Desolation Sound and the Sunshine Coast. Rocky Mountain Books. 2005. ISBN 1-894765-53-2

Sea Kayak Nootka and Kyuquot Sounds. Rocky Mountain Books, 2004. ISBN 1-894765-52-4

Historical guidebook: Nootka Sound and the Surrounding Waters of Maquinna Heritage House, 1996 ISBN 1-895811-03-1

[BCBW 2011] "Outdoors" "Local History"