Saturday, April 24, 2010

Boat sale #3: the MV Hari Mai

It is with happiness I proclaim the Hari Mai is now officially sold! Though I really loved this boat - and though we only owned it for a few years it really is synonymous with Rod, aka Harry Man, from whom we purchased it from. Rod took care of it lovingly for about ten years I think.  When he married a few years ago and he and his wife were expecting he was very anxious to have it sold for little Ester was only a few months away.  I think it will always be my favorite of the smaller ones we've had. It had a Grey marine gas engine that ran like a sewing machine and really quite economical on the fuel.  I  prefered its slower cruising than the bone jarring speed/noise of a faster boat.

I have fond memories of you forever Hari Mai!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Expressing himself

We did get some progress done on the Express last year. With Denis Sr. help, the half of the salon got framed. It wallowed until January when Greig got a shot in the arm to get it "livable."

Livable. It's word fraught with so much meaning. His livable has never been my livable so upon the sale of the float house, the panic attack that flooded over me was a sure indication that it wasn't the way for me. However, around Christmastime,  Greig was motivated by a high school friend who was bringing over a construction crew from Victoria and needed beds for his crew for the end of January. He didn't think he'd find affordable accommodations for his five -six guys because of the Olympics. So Greig hauled his backside trying to get it up to at least camping state.

His concept drawing.

1. He put up sheeting on the existing studs.
2. Got a crew in to spray foam the ceiling and upper walls
3. Installed a couple of the salvaged Bowie portholes I had cleaned up.
4. Found a free 10 person hot tub, installed a new spa pack to the tune of about $1600 when the dust settled. It still needs a proper lid as the other has finally had the biscuit. In the meantime, I recycled a huge vinyl banner from work and he is using that until he feels it is OK to shell out the 200-400 bucks for a proper cover.
5. Made a bathroom: installed a shower/bathtub, toilet, vanity and black tank.
6. Got some basic kitchen facility in place with cooktop burner in place.
7. Set up a band stand with an organ, the computer, Bui's drums and his guitar....rock on.

 The Pacific Express with the Celtwin and the Bayliner out front.

The guys moved in and set to work on their big window installation job and Greig managed to salvage a few windows from the job site and now has some installed along the port side, as well as a big slider on the back deck. The crew has dispersed to sleeping areas on the Bayliner, sailboat, Hari Mai and the water taxi and for the most part these guys seem to be coping with the camping like conditions just fine if not being, well, guys away from home and not so tidy.

Some of the salvaged windows he got installed.

Soon they will be done this job and Greig will have the Express to himself save his new room mate. Gizmo is a ginger persian who has been an indoor cat and was owned by a young girl over in West Vancouver (very tony digs) who' Mother felt she wasn't taking the best care of him. I suppose I thought Persians would be fussy things and the wee thing had a moment but he is a very good natured little fellow.

Gizmo is 15-18 months old and still quite kitten-like.

I think from having these guys about Greig is finally cured of the communal living. No doubt if there was a female down there they would have all behaved themselves a bit better. Pretty much all of them are fairly heavy drinkers and two have had to be fished out drunk from the cold winter river. Sean has had to send a few back to the Island (Vancouver Island) for getting out of hand. And maybe that is just guys, away from home, exhausted from 10-12 hr working days and trying to relax enough to get up and do it all again the next day. I guess it hasn't been any fun. Well at least they can BBQ.

In the last few weeks though we have had a spate of windstorms and kept a few of them up late and bouncing around in the chuck a bit. The Express certainly is a whole lot lighter than the Bowie whose movements were much more subtle. All in all not listening to the tarps or boat rigging flopping in the wind makes for a better night's sleep.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Suquamish

The Suquamish is a boat that has been at Sather for sometime. If you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you will recall it is the one that tipped over a year ago. I wrote about the incident here. I don't know much about this boat: only that Glen claimed it was the oldest wooden passenger ferry on the west coast - something I have never been able to validate in my loose research on the thing.

Glen, then owner, worked to clean up the mess and after the swamping got the engine on it going within a matter of days and spent the rest of the summer organizing all the piles of crap and materials on board. The problem with Glen was that he had been squatting at the marina for a good while - at least a year and a half before we arrived. He was half on the Sather water lease and half on the neighbour's next door. Since Glen was persona non grata, Greig had it on express orders from the Big Boss to not let him on the property or give him power at all lest  enabling him to remaining there. On the day we sold the float house, he came to Greig, literally hat in hand, asking if Greig would take it over. It had a slow leak in the stuffing box and just keeping on top of it was getting too much for Glen. So Greig was in possession of another big-assed wooden boat for the princely sum of a $1. Without much say in the matter anyway, all I could do was shake my head in resignation over it all, knowing full well Greig would pull another horseshoe out of his backside over it at some point.. 

The spring has had Greig in a wee flurry of boat showings and negotiations some of which looked really positive and have ultimately fallen through. Greig asked me to post the Suquamish on craigslist and within the month sold it. Adrien had had a vessel once before and was keen to get back into something to live aboard.

The work Adrien is doing is not to dissimilar to Greig's recent renovations to the Express- something I've not yet written about yet. Suquamish had very similar lines though not quite as beam-y or as long. It's straight eight Gardner still runs though I have no idea if real operation of the vessel is upon Adrien's agenda or not though he did stick a funnel on the roof the other day, in situ. Part of Adrien's payment to Greig was a very fithy '89 Mercedes four door which Greig in turn, gave to me. I didn't expect that for I felt I had no entitlement to anything where the Suquamish was involved. But I wasn't about to look gift Mercedes in the mouth, even it it is 21 years old. I've since cleaned up and is my regular driver when I don't bike or walk, until the Suburban is repaired. At least that WAS the plan until the other day.

I think Adrien's making some good progress.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A winter hiatus

It is much harder to write this since I am not living down at the marina. I have attempted a few posts which I often don't end up publishing for a multitude of reasons. As well, Greig and I are no longer a couple (it has been a few months), yet we do still share some responsibilities and assets that are not going anywhere soon. I grew very tired about arguing about everything - we have an inordinate amount of power struggles that are irreconcilable. It is much nicer being friends as we, OK, I, don't do the "shacked up" thing very well.

The one thing we agree on is how much we love each other: quite dearly and deeply. The other substantive issue is we can't agree on is "how" to live. I have always figured that if real estate was at all realistic and attainable that would be a huge hurdle for us. Fact is anything "attainable," maybe a one bedroom condo, is totally not attractive to either of us at all and would cramp our mutual need for creative expression. Certainly it is never going to happen in this town. A one bedroom is totally unrealistic factoring Bui and Dosha into it all too. But they are getting older and Bui is going to be going into Grade 12 next year. However, 600K for a two bedroom shack isn't appealing and ultimately wouldn't work either. Our collective inability to do so has been a contentious issue all along.  Lousy credit doesn't help either and well, the banks will set you up for huge falls which is what exactly what happened to me. Much to Greig's chagrin his children have had the choice and have preferred all along to live with their mother while he had always held out hope they would at some point "choose" him at some point. They haven't yet and I doubt they ever will. I think this is often the plight of many single Dads everywhere.

I made concessions for many years for him that made me miserable and it ultimately undermined everything.  He is committed to providing something for his kids that is theirs, whether they really want it or not and big fat boats are the most interesting and manageable thing at his fingertips. But the meaning of a home and a "house" are very different things in my book.

He is forever inundated with a lot of negative energy from so many fronts, and I freely admit I am included in that at times. He wages political warfare on so many fronts - and as much as it seems it is self inflicted, the crazy crap that comes out of the blue at him is very bizarre too. He's a magnet for that shit,  heck, probably enables it to a large degree. I can't help but wonder if God just isn't preparing him for something bigger sometimes.

We have been attempting to downsize the fleet and it's a slow process. But he has another girlfriend who is even less interested in that kind of life than I ever was. At least now he has a cat, to keep him a bit of company and hopefully has a bit of salt where mousing is concerned. Gizmo, is rather diminutive compared to the girth-some Tobias. Gizmo is a ginger persian and is starting to settle into the lifestyle and has come out of hiding now and is beginning to resign himself to boat life. The first 24 hours he was completely FREAKED. "Giz," I told him, "I understand!'" He is only about 15 months old yet so I think these two adopted fellows will be great company for each other as they get to know each other better.

Yes, my rent is tall order on my own and exceeds the percentage based on my salary that I should be paying. But managing that is less stressful and panic ridden than the challenges of living down at a rundown river marina and all the other factors that go into a semi-peaceful existence. I sleep much better these days. Did I mention how much I LOVE living alone. Oh ya baby!

It's been a miserable winter weather wise and there has been lots going on I've not had the time or motivation to blog about. I am perusing more of my own interests now and have a new blog based on my interests in cooking, gardening, antiquing and sewing. I guess you could say it is kind of a green blog as I endeavor on the principle of  "use what you have."

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Boaty bitching in the news.

The sunny weather of the Olympics is over and we have had our winter now these last few weeks since and last night the lower mainland got nailed again with windstorms. Now back to business, as usual.

Four vessels have washed up on beaches in English Bay and of course on the CBC's website there have been two articles this morning on the issue.

1. Vancouver Sailor Blames City for Kits Beach Wreckage

2. Windstorm blasts BC south coast.

All in all fascinating and maddening all at the same time to read the comments here which range from simple mis-information to complete elitism and fascism. People are just so NICE!

I'm kidding. Really, that is the Real Vancouver. All that "niceness" during the Olympics? It was a one time event. Now eff off and hand over your wallet, ya deadbeat.