Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Loose Moorings

I stumbled upon this blog out of Victoria. Loose Moorings is going on the list! I especially liked this post and its making me feel ranty too.

"..first story is an example of a wasted housing opportunity. a 150 foot tug abandoned to a dock until it sinks. that would've made a hell of an apartment. and it doesn't matter how decrepit the boat was; good enough to live on is a lot different than good enough to sail. the reason it sank was neglect - every wooden boat takes on water and although the guy claims they abandoned it, someone must have been paying for power to run a bilge pump or it would have gone down a long time ago."

Good enough to live on is A LOT different that good enough to sail. I shake my head at the brain trust that thinks that boats are better off left abandoned than lived on. In fact that is the preference as far as Port Authority and local governments are concerned. Isn't it preferred to have someone taking responsibility for a vessel? In spite of how the Bowie looks and that we aren't keeping up to its renovations as we'd like it water made on it is by in large a result of the plumbing more than external.
Often our own need to repair is usurped by just maintaining the line of offense with the river; taking care of other peoples boats and even in trying to take care of each other. We're taking the approach that there is safety in numbers; that we are stronger collectively than individually. Some days its really tough as it can be really demanding and some people just aren't up for it. I can usually bet there will be some kind of conflict as a full moon approaches.

Funny how such an altruistic mandate is so often subjugated to so much derision. Reminds me of this great video. Dance, monkey, dance! God help us from the NIMBYs.

"if one was to suggest a ramshackle development of affordable floating havens for people of limited means, a high-density community of many people that has a small environmental footprint, there is no way it would be acceptable."

Oh sure they would...if you had lots and lots of money...

"housing is a right and yet our cities - dominated by capitalistic values and obsessed by profits for the wealthy- are determined to make it a privilege. even smaller communities like brentwood bay are pushing out liveaboards while at the same time allowing the development of high-end condos and resorts."

Umm...apparently housing is a privilege. What do you think Matt, aka "vinnie_da_pooh"? How is your hunt going for "floating seagull shelters" out your way?

"we have had a century where many of the exclusive privileges of the wealthy had become achievable by people of ordinary means - including being able to live in beautiful and desirable spaces. there even once was a large and vibrant waterfront and floating community in false creek, a history that the city denied when they passed a law last year banning live aboards even at anchor."

Yup, Greig was there for that fight too. They're booting out boats that have been at anchor out in Port Moody too. I had a couple with a 70' schooner come by in February who are fully independent but we just didn't have the room or depth for them.

"the tide is turning and increasingly the wealthy are reclaiming these spaces for themselves, while everyone else is pushed back to the hinterland. in the 70's my in-laws purchased an oceanfront lot at a resort for $10,000.00. that will never happen again."

The cost of housing in the "hinterland" or the interior where I am from isn't better either. It is fine if you have a job but jobs that are more than seasonal are hard to come by. Maybe one day I'll just have to haul the float house out of the water and stick it on shore and make it one of those "wierd" homes.

Well, this whole experience for me has so many issues and sub-stories attached that it would be a hell of a dissertation for some sociologist. That said, we've got the best bunch of people assembled that we've ever had. The fire only further emphasized that point home. This blog has been a personal thing for me and that I have found so many kindred spirits out there has been tremendous. I've learned tons from everyone. Do I have the fight in me to do anything about it? I dunno. I am pretty tired already.

Then again, it isn't really about me anyway.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The only thing mizzin that mizzen mast. Ah well, we'll sail it anyway. Only a total loser would let that keep them from going out and taking advantage of the first blessed days of sunshine we've really had since, oh, September of last year.

A little Camebzola, white Balderson 2 yr cheddar, Carmelized onion cheddar, brie, fresh salsa from the Granville Island market and our MIYC 2008 vintage to set the evening off.

Sweet mother in heaven did we all need that!




Can it be?

The Dos Amores is out there...calling to us. "Come play, come P.L.A.Y!"

Guess what I'm doin' after work. Wahoolie!

Photo by KatKam

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One of the new BC Ferries

The newest and last member of the new ships for BC Ferries, the Costal Celebration, stopped in London for a promotional visit. The building of these new ferries have been a political hot potato for years with the debacle of the Fast Cats and now with these German built ferries.

That the BC government went overseas to build these versus investing into the local shipbuilding industry has been a bitter pill. However, that is the Canadian way anymore - don't go local and eat your own young.

Any of my UK pals see it there? Here's a local news link.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sometimes it isn't just a feeling.

The Shirley is a 28 foot glass-ply Mariner. The owner, Victor, I've never seen. EVER.

Last week, they came upon it with the swim grid underwater so a pump saved it from sinking.

Yesterday morning, it wasn't so lucky. However when the tide went out Greig pumped it out.

It is probably leaking at the bellows. That is the usual suspect.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

In Memoriam

I had sad news from Linda Weaver of Sherman, Texas. Her father, Harvey Paterson, was the radio man on the the Bowie (then PCS 1405) during WW II . He passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, May 1.

Our sincerest condolences to Linda and her family.

Rest in peace Mr. Paterson.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Firefighting 101

Greig was coming home from taking the kids for brunch and spotted excessive smoke coming from the Pacific Express. I wasn't feeling that good as I had a bug coming on so had forgone lunch to steam clean a carpet. (Yes, I am THAT kind of girl.) I didn't hear the commotion as I had ear plugs in as the steam cleaner is a racket unto itself.

"The Express is on fire!" somebody told me. It may have been Payton or Dosha but I can't remember now. The tide was low and the dock was jammed up against the boathouse and sitting askew on the mud. There had been a fire hose out to hose earlier on the dock that hadn't been rolled up. It's fog nozzle had rolled under the house when the dock tilted and was wedged underneath they couldn't free up that hose.

Greig and others had one hose on the fire already and we were madly scrambling to get a second hose on it. I ended up dropping down onto my stomach and crawled under the corner of the boathouse and saw where the nozzle was caught up on a bunch of flotsam. (You know, those relentless wood chips that I relentlessly bitch about here.) I had to crawl in quite a way and thought that at one time I may actually fall into that crap.

As I managed to free it and hollered, " PULL, PULL, PULL!!" And the second hose was on it!

It was quite a blur and the wheelhouse was quite engulfed at one point and we were all worried about the other vessels. We had about 15 of us out there pulling together. Me and the girls, Dosha and Payton, went hunting for all our fire extinguishers. In retrospect, useless as really the best thing is a fire hose but still figured it wouldn't hurt matters.

So all my images are post-engulfment. I was kinda busy. WE were all kinda busy.

Greig and Denis did the bulk of the hose work and by the time the Richmond Fire Dept. arrived it was pretty much out. Thank goodness Greig pushed for that fire pump last year! The RFD commended us on what a great job had been done and we got really lucky as it could have gone either way.

Greig, Karen 1, Adam got treated at Vancouver General for smoke inhilation. Adam had a laceration on his hand and got four staples put in.

The fire was caused by the wood stove. Either something fell onto the stove or somehow the elbow may have knocked apart. Either way, it was a chimney fire. I don't really know why they put on a fire as it was a rather warm day and unnecessary but stuff happens and thank goodness there are lots of people around keeping an eye on things. If we could get BC Hydro to supply us with our own mast on shore we wouldn't need to burn firewood. But that is another rant for another post...

All in all it could have been much, much worse. It was a hell of a team building exercise to be sure.