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.


Jelaina said...

good thoughts.. makes you think about what you really need versus what you want.. or think that you need, and the prices that come with those things.

rob said...

Hi Tana is it possible to buy a piece of riverside property (land) that has river rights for moorings on the boundary of where you live now, as urban sprawl will eventually move out to greet you, what sort of price would such a piece of land cost? would the local council not be prepared to extend to "you" such a piece of land for residential mooring use? I guess not as money talks and the nimbies would always stop any such plans.

Jamie said...

I do love it when you get all "ranty" on us. I'm glad that your little community is so cohesive right now; that speaks volumes about how far you've come in the past few years!