Thursday, July 24, 2008

Halkett Bay Marine Park

Last Sunday night with the full realization that Greig had Monday off, the kids were actually AROUND, I was the only on slated to work. Thankfully, I work a flex-schedule at my real job so I was able to switch the days. The sun was shining brightly and just getting these three things together is magic. So over to Halkett Bay on Gambier Island we booted. Alas, pictures are few, as the girls ate up my battery time on my camera but I managed a couple before it gasped its last hurrah.

Its very pretty over there. I could live there in a heartbeat. Tucked just in behind Bowen Island, it is quite big and only private water taxi service goes there. Lots of off-grid cottages too and really only a 1/2 boat ride to Horseshoe Bay. At the government dock the kids got some diving in and had a lovely time. I wish we'd had more time to be there though.

En route home we saw Mr. Pattison's boat the Nova Spirit and out anchored in English Bay is Suleyman Kerimov's megayacht ICE. It makes the #20 spot on Power and Motor Yacht's top 100 list for 2008. It's not that fast apparently and top cruising speed is only 16 knots. I think I'd be totally fine with that however.

One of these things is not like the other

I looked up from cleaning and moving stuff to see this flock of Canada Geese, cavorting inside the docks, with this oddball in the mix.

I couldn't see where its eyes were pink but it surely looks albino to me. I forget if the pink eyes mean it is a true albino or not. Regardless it is a bit of a paleface.

There are also more in the way of songbirds out in our new local. I really have to get myself a bird book.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Sorry for the crappy quality of these pics. I only just discovered my night setting on the camera which rocks, by the way. (I am no Steve who can make simple images look like absolute works of art. Which is why HE is a professional photographer and I am a hack.)

It is taking forever to move stuff. A more horrible timing of all this couldn't be had with our ever busy summer work schedules. Ah well, I've biked to work once and I know there will be more of that to come. We're living without hydro as the application is still in process and we knew it was going to take a while but that is OK. The stove is propane as is my hot water tank so I can take a shower or cook something if I need to. Not that I have any time to cook these days I can whip up a grill cheese sandwich if the grumblies take over. I am hardly at home at the moment anyway so I think I am about three weeks into the six-eight week wait for the application process. We won't be so short of hydro here either.

Toby is happy cat as there are no d.o.g.s about. He is out and about exploring more and is sporting a lovely grease smear from somewhere. The Sea Ferring is in place in the boathouse (Mt. Kleeman) and I am hoping to get at some deck work on it whilst we have it in that shed.

We're getting there. Greig thought it would take longer to get to work from New Westminster. In fact it is faster for Greig to get to work from Sather though we are a bit further east. By taking the freeway to the Oak Street bridge we bypass all that cross town traffic. It would take a half hour to Granville Island from Mitchell Island and now it is only 15 minutes from Sather to Granville Island.


It wasn't just the weather that was wild.

Last Thursday the whole province got hit with a heck of a windstorm and well, stuff happened.

One of the charter vessels we work on, the Malacite, was scheduled to head up the river for its "bubble bath" with Transport and it ran into strife off Wreck Beach. A mayday went out to Coast Guard and it was towed back into the Coast Guard dock just at the entrance to False Creek. Here is the story from the Vancouver Province that made the newspaper.

Additionally, the Dos Amores was getting a good rocking out in that weather too and it made the CBC site too. (Nice shot of it as you scroll down). We had a few calls from concerned friends and Greig managed to get down and view it from shore but he didn't have the skiff there for we were using it to move stuff up the river. It was just bouncing around like hell and yet didn't pull its anchor or mooring lines. It was so rough out there even the Coast Guard Hovercraft, Penac, was having trouble getting around. There would have been no way for him to rent a boat from the Granville Island boat rental either because when weather gets that rough they wisely don't rent boats.

Greig was working a cruise and had Captain Jurgen do a drive-by when he notice someone aboard. Thinking it was a friendly, Greig hollered out to him and they exchanged cell numbers as Greig wanted to thank him for furling the sails, as this fellow had kayaked out there to it.

But in his infinite naiveness and on-going assumption that people are inherently good he got:

"You piece of s*%t Captain! I saved you're boat and you owe me big time! I'm Captain Kyle and in fact I am taking your boat!"

Oh, really? Is that how this is going to be played?

He'd hoisted the Jolly Roger, and a towel that was hanging about and even went so far as to call Mike at Marine Assist, who assisted in the Malacite's rescue that day, to get him to hook on and tow him somewhere. Mike didn't bite.

Greig had been in contact during the day anyway with the VPD Marine Squad anyway and they knew that the sailboat was just getting a good thrashing but was otherwise fine. It's a designated anchorage and it wasn't pulling its anchor at all. As a result of the exchange with "Captain" Kyle, he called the Vancouver PD and they removed him and arrested him. A bit of a mental case.

So after work at 9pm, as seas had calmed he went back to the Bowie and grabbed the Green Goblin, with some of our resident heavies and they set down the river to inspect the Dos Amores.

Captain Kyle removed the ignition key and futzed about with the lines and tied all kinds of crazy knots ala "Bug Man". But otherwise the boat was fine. Bilges were dry as a popcorn too. Its been outfitted with a new ignition and locks too.

How much more nuttiness can happen? Wait for it....wait for it...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

There are blessing if you choose to see them

Thanks Rob and Anonymous for your comments on the previous post.

Truly under these very tenuous circumstances that we actually had an alternative place to go in the time frame we have had is the biggest blessing in all of this. That is what we must be most mindful of. As much as we feel we're being unjustifiably treated like pariahs, the proof is that if we were true pariahs we'd have few alternatives before us. The simple fact is that we and our family got in the way of the greedy agendas of others and we were apparently quite expendable.

I have always said that people show you who they are. I always knew that our efforts at that marina was akin to trying to fill a bucket full of holes and Greig always felt that our efforts would ultimately mean something but it just didn't.

We've been able to move most of the boats except the Bowie and the Express is slated to come over too but there are other boats that have to move to make room for it. Last night we took out the most removable parts of the portholes. So if anyone goes after the other parts of the portholes they will have to make a hell of a mess to do so.
It seems to be was the only way to ensure they would stay intact for the are intrinsically historical to the ship. We also discovered the brass poles of the big spot lights were also removed. They probably would have taken the brass pedestals too if they weren't fibreglassed into the roof already. At least they didn't take the big lights themselves but they are really, really heavy. Oh, and the brass rudder indicator was also taken out of Dosha's room too.

All in all the behavior show to us was absolutely uncalled for and it all didn't have to go down this way at all. Yet we've garnered moral support from surprising sources. Still, there are a few I'll be quite happy to not know anymore.

We just have to get through it.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

How to maintain dignity when getting stabbed in the back

Omens of postcards depicting burning Viking ships not withstanding, really it was a giant light soon to be illumnated on the whole debacle. A tipping point for sure I suppose.

Greig and I were already tired from doing all this. Altruistic as it was, it just never worked for me and I found the responsibility too overwhelming. You see I am too much of a perfectionist and workaholic and I get agro when I am running around trying to make things better, for everyone, while others parasite off of me. It just took a bit longer and for more shit to hit the fan for Greig to realize it too. We were shutting things down anyway. We just hoped we'd have a bit more time to do so. We didn't. We don't.

And in the meantime the ship the Bowie is getting robbed blind. We've had four port holes go missing. Now the magnets off the Binnical and other parts out of the wheelhouse in Dosha's room.

There is a consummate effort to keep us out of the marina ensuring that we can't be there so it can be raped more fully of its assets. Too bad too as all this time we've really been trying to keep it all intact. Funny thing was there is more theft now that we're not there as much than in all the time we were there.

As usual it isn't strangers you have to worry about. Its the people you know.