Saturday, March 5, 2011

Living with Fear

In my life I have had many occasions to be afraid. Afraid I wouldn't fit in, afraid I wouldn't make new friends, afraid of spending my life alone but one of my biggest and all time overwhelming fears is the fear of being homeless. I have stood on this precipiece more than once in my life and it never gets any easier.

These last few months have been nothing short of terrifying. I'm in a horror movie that just won't quit. It all started a few months back when David put an ad on Craiglist looking to sell the "Sea Ferring".

(Some background on the "Sea Ferring"..... this was a 75 foot ferro cement boat with no motor that used to belong to Greig and Tana, the previous tenants of this marina. They moved and took it with them but eventually sold it to a man who ended up bringing it back here to be moored. This man through not hooking up his bilge pump after moving it, managed to let it sink. At great expense to life, limb and pocketbook, David finally managed to get the boat floating again. The owner refused to pay the bill for salvage or the rent and basically walked away. The boat sat here for over a year taking up valuable space that Dave couldn't rent out and being another chore to have to check on constantly etc , so in the end he decided to try and sell it)

The fellow that answered the ad (Rob) couldn't pay up front so entered into an agreement with Dave to pay $500 a month towards to cost of the boat and to help out around the shipyard 75 hours a month to cover his moorage costs.Everything went fine for about two months until one day when Rob showed up at the door and asked when he was going to get paid? Paid for what, Dave asked him? For the work he had been doing around the shipyard... no Dave says.. what are you talking about, thats our aggreement for your moorage.

The guy went beserk, started screaming that he wasn't going to pay moorage and if he couldn't keep the boat here for free he was going to sink it. He stayed up for 3 days straight sitting on his deck screaming at the top of his lungs the most vile shit ever. On the third day he pulled all the pumps on the boat and it started to sink. He wouldn't let Dave on board to fix things so we called the cops. They restrained Rob long enough for Dave to hook up the pumps and save the boat. At that point Dave told him he could have the boat for free, just get it out of here.
We didn't want him around anymore.

The next night we got a call around 4:30 in the morning from another boat owner, telling us the Sea Ferring was sunk. We scrambled out to see what was going on and there she was, completely underwater with Rob sitting up on the shore watching everything, threatning to kill David if he went near the boat. In the morning when we could see better, it was also discovered that he had cut through some of the major lines that hold the marina together as well as cutting a line to one of our biggest tenants (a vessel over 100 feet long with 6 kids sleeping aboard). Needless to say we were shaken to the core, he could have killed us all while we were sleeping, sent us all flying downriver.

This man then continued to harass and torment us for another three weeks. He wouldn't leave the property. When we pointed out to the police that he had no where to stay as the boat was under water, they told us to change the locks on the gate. We did that and he still got on the property. He went on another of Daves large boats and pulled the pumps on it to try and sink that one. He would show up at all kinds of times and wander around the docks. He phoned Dave, one call right after the other for hours and hours and hours on end. Dave can't turn the phone off as he needs it for business and emergencies. We had the police here probably a dozen times over this guy and every time they would say there was nothing they could do. They would put him on a bus and send him downtown only for him to turn around and come right back.

We were petrified, couldn't sleep at all, getting up to investigate every tiny noise (and down on the docks there are tons of stupid noises at night).Hours were spent peering through the windows trying to decipher shadows in the bushes. Just when we would let down our guard we would look up and he would be standing two feet away on the docks. He continued to threaten Dave and then enventually me as well. Threatened to sink the whole marina as a matter of fact. Some of our tenents couldn't take the stress anymore and moved away with no notice.

The final result of all this was that at the end of the month David couldn't pay the lease without the other tenants rent money so got threatned with eviction. Tired of the stress, David put his business and the marina on the market and found a buyer after only a few days. Suddenly it was a done deal, someone else is taking over here and they have their own agenda for the space which doesn't include my home being here.

I have been scrambling to find another berth for my home, but it's really not looking good. The province of BC has cracked down on the whole liveabord scene as it's not allowing it to happen anymore.The few marinas left who can do it legally have a ton of things they have to adher to now, which is making it difficult and very expensive for them to operate. That coupled with the fact that the Port Authority doesn't dredge the river anymore and everyone faces sitting on the hard at low tide is making it not financially feasible to run these places. This seems to be a lifestyle that is going the way of the albatross.

Once again I am staring a very uncertain future in the face. This gets harder to do with each passing year. I'm not so young anymore, work has been almost non-existant since the new HST tax, I can't afford to rent a space bigger than a closet in this town and I can't afford to run away.

I'm pissed off too. Once again I have sunk my heart, soul and money into something that I will have to walk away from. I didn't even get to finish unpacking. I didn't get to try out my beautiful steam shower that I spent a fortune on and payed to store for two years. Overnight my world has once again shifted as it seems to be doing for a whole lot of people these days. I feel like I'm walking on quicksand. God save us all! These are uncertain times indeed.

Maybe my dream home was just that, a dream.. right now I just want to wake up from this nightmare.