Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Nowhere to Go

After yoga last week I had a brief conversation with a youngin’.
She told me I ought to head right back the next day.
Do some more.
Then I explained my challenges. The extra time with living on a boat.
Getting home.
Where is your boat she asked? I then went into my rant.
I’ve been a “liveaboard” for eight years going on nine. Recently re-located to Vancouver to go to school and work. My boat is for sale but it’s an old 1967 Classic Wooden sailing boat, so the right person has yet to come along.
Meanwhile, I’m allowed two weeks anchoring in False Creek then I have to shuffle over to Deep Cove
I ride a bike, so when I row to and fro I load my road bike in my rowboat. Which takes time and energy. Not to mention skill in not tipping.
“Oh you’re one of those squatters,” she exclaims.
I’ve been called homeless by Vancouver Parks and Recreation. But not a squatter.
This got me riled up.
I knew there would be a challenge getting moorage when I moved to Vancouver.
“I haven’t been able to secure official LIVEABOARD moorage for my boat,” I rebuked.
Not that I haven’t tried. I am on all the waitlists. I have the $2M liability insurance on my boat. When I check in usually I get the eyes rolling back in the head and the book comes out. The paper lists of folks waiting for moorage is around four inches thick.
At Spruce Harbour, the “official liveaboard” marina the waitlist is 12 years. I’m on it. I pay $50 a year to stay on it. They’d like to expand it. But the City of Vancouver holds the reins and councils keep changing. So nothing gets done.
There are ads on Craigs List for moorage sub-lets. But not if you're a liveaboard. The notes in the bottom of one ad I saw said "NO LIVEABOARDS. DON'T EVEN CALL."
Snuffed by her chin-up I ignored the remainder of our change room time.
This after I had received a telephone call from the Vancouver Marine Police telling me to vacate False Creek. Expired permit, get out. Go to Kits Beach or Deep Cove.
We all know Kits Beach is suicide given the winds. Plus there is nowhere to tie your dinghy. Just a beach. We risk theft.
Last week I read a dismal one-sided report in the North Shore News written by Jen St.Denis, about all the boats anchored out in Deep Cove.
Before my official anchoring permit in False Creek expired I rode over to Deep Cove to sess things out.
I discovered what I would call a Government Wharf and a Yacht Club. There were sailboats and power boats scattered about at anchor.
Whilst wondering around the dock I yacked with a few local power boaters. Tied up for their daily commute up Indian Arm.
Yes, it’s true. The locals don’t like all the boats drifting about.
So I return to my base and call the North Shore Municipality to inquire about anchoring in Deep Cove.
“Not our jurisdiction,” the woman responds. “That’s the Vancouver Port Authority.
To which I call next.
“It’s illegal to anchor in Deep Cove,” he says.
I advise him the Vancouver Marine Police are telling us to go to Deep Cove.
This has him surprised.
We have nowhere to go. I’m shuffling between two locations now. Two weeks in False Creek and two weeks in Deep Cove.
Last week it took five guys and a hydraulic winch to get my anchor up in Deep Cove. Thank goodness the Department of Fisheries boat was about. I don’t know what I would of done.
Lately I’ve been calling it the False Creek Shuffle.
I have a job. I go to school. 
I have a home. 
I’m not homeless, I’m not a squatter. 
I have nowhere to go.

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