Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rhianna goes Swimming

Everyone here has fallen into the river at one time or another, some more than others and a few demented souls even purposly go swimming in it.Its not my first choice of a swimming location mostly because of the raw sewage in it. The other day tho, I didnt have a choice.

Our satellite line had been torn in half by some very high/low tide combinations, so BellExpressVU had sent someone over to fix it for us.They hate us! We have to leave enough slack in the lines to accomadate the tides but when they are slack , they drag in the water and get damaged by debris and crushed between moving houses and boats.The result is we are calling them every other week to come and fix it again.This time the line had torn in half and both ends were in the water between the barge and shore.

The technicion asked if we had a small boat he could use to reach them.I went and got out my kayak, showed him how to get in it and paddle and how to get back out. I suited him up with a lifejacket and sent him on his way.Well he took about 2 strokes with the paddle and realized everytime he did that, the kayak leaned dangerously close to the water. He froze in panic and refused to paddle anymore. Meanwhile the current now had a hold of him and was pulling him backward downstream at an ever increasing rate. I tried appealing to his male vanity, telling him, be brave, you can do it, nice and slow, just come back to the dock.He wouldnt budge a muscle.

I ran out onto the cement breakwall and grabbed a rope from a boat and threw it at him about 20 times before he made any attempt to grab it.I started to pull him in when he dropped the paddle in the water."Dont worry" , he says, "Ill buy you a new one, just get me out of here". Again,I tried to convince him to let out the line and retrieve the paddle,"Please dont make me go swimming , I begged him". Finally he started to, then panicked and somehow dropped the line. Now he was in a real state and seriously regreting coming out on this particular call.

I could see I had no other choice. I kicked off my shoes and jumped off the back of a boat into the swirling current. He looked at me horrified, "your not going to go in wearing your dress are you?" What did he think, I would jump in naked, or go to change into a bathing suit while he went flying backwards downstream?? Did I mention he was a middle aged man from Mainland China.Who knows what he thought?

I went after the paddle as it was rapidly vanishing down the river, fought my way back to the kayak,grabbed the front of it and swam to the dock with it in tow. Heaving myself out onto to the dock took every last ounce of energy I had.By this time I was going to be late for work, so clad in my sopping wet dress , I led him into the boat, showed him my reciever and told him to make sure he got it working.

I have a feeling he might quit his job, at the least Im sure he is a changed man.Im happy to know, I can still swim and glad it all turned out for the best.Well mostly, the satelitte worked for about 12 hours and is down again. They are sending someone out on our little marina of horrors lol. I pity the fool.

I wish someone would have been there with a camera, best I can do is post a pic of me in the kayak, not panicking

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pictures of the Neighborhood

Ive been taking the speedboat out a lot lately and have a whack of pictures of life on the river,Wreck Beach, sunsets and of the changes at the marina.

Here are a few marina before pictures

The Sea Ferring just before she was moved

Mt Kleeman, a huge boathouse that came here last fall. I hated it, it totally blocked the view and cut the marina in half

The Lightship listing badly to one side. looking like its about to land on the Bowie

Monty , the Lightships Captain, readying himself to go down with his ship

Our main ramp to the marina has come off its hinges and was hanging in the water. The boys jacked it back up with come-a-longs for now, but the dock its resting on needs to be replaced.

The Shirley sinks yet again (3X)

And some marina after shots...
The Sea Ferring being pulled out

The Marina starting to empty out. Tana's houseboat, Mt Kleeman,the Hari Mai and the Sea Ferring are now gone

The now empty lagoon, there were 6 boats in there, now there is only 3 and they are going soon

I finally get the speedboat running,yahoo.Paul is helping David hook up the last of the steering cables.

...and finally under way, time to go explore the river

Some wildlife we saw on the way included this eagle

A large crane

and this little baby beaver

The following pictures are of all the various boats, float-homes and businesses we saw along the river between here and New Westminster and back past our place to the river mouth and Wreck beach

Daves' competition on the river for dredging and pile driving

Paddle boats in New Westminster,never expected to see them in our river, the Tom Sawyer in me was tickled pink

The biggest one is a huge floating casino, it would sure make an awesome live-a-aboard

An interesting large building made from a huge barge,utilizing the metal walls for the first floor

Float-homes with cement floats being built on a large barge

A nice river front home on pilings

A lovely old wooden boat

Shelter island Marina as seen from the water.They have a huge working shipyard in the back with every kind of trade needed to refurbish any kind of boat.

Some cute float-homes and live-a-boards

Tana,s houseboat in its new home at Sayward Marina

This is a dilapidated river house with a somewhat nicer boat parked in front

Further down the river going back past Richmond there are some river front mansions

A fabulous rusty old barge with full fledged trees going on it

The swinging train bridge was closing as we approached it, luckily we are small enough to fit under it

The Richmond Rowing Club with its boats stacked up inside

MT Baker off in the distance.Its actually in the United States but we can see it on a clear day

Huge barges filled with sawdust

Wreck Beach from a distance,considering its attached to a huge city, you would never know it when your down there.

and a closer view of the beach

The Coast Guard Hovercraft at Wreck beach for a rescue of an injured person

The boat moored at Wreck Beach in Cowards cove

Our moorage spot came with its own private beach, just on the other side of the rocks were about 5000 people that day

The view of the estuary from our beach

Further out in the estuary is millions of cut trees in the water waiting for tugboats to take them up river to the mills

One of the many beautiful gardens that have been planted on the beach. People carried down soil, plants and fresh water to make these gardens bloom every summer, a nice touch Ive never seen on any other beach

A typical wreck beach sunset

A nice sunset seen from my back dock