Another severed foot washes up in Vancouver with Biker Bob’s ashes

Anna Smith on her boat, after a 90 kilometre per hour windstorm

Anna Smith on her boat – after a 90k storm

Another week, another missive from Anna Smith, this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent.

She lives on a boat in Vancouver.

This is what she tells us.


A busy week.

I had to go downtown for one reason or another every day this week.

On Thursday night, we had a 90 kilometre per hour storm which killed a woman by toppling a hemlock tree which crashed through her roof and onto her bed.

There has been heavy rain and flooding further down the delta. I think the flooding will get worse. I hope all the boats here don’t wind up on the road. There is a log on the riverbank on the other side of the wharf which weighs several tons. It was dislodged by a tugboat a few weeks ago and was floating ominously about. Then the flooding river put it back where it has been for the last hundred years. The logs and boats here are pickled by the particular combination of estuary salt and stagnant mud.

Another disarticulated foot in a trainer has washed ashore.

Also a bottle containing the ashes of a guy called Biker Bob keeps floating ashore on Vancouver Island.

Once ashore, people have been partying with the bottle, taking the ashes into Victoria for a beer, on motorbike rides etc… before returning the bottle to sea.

It keeps coming back though: three times so far. He really wants to party.

I met a young farmer from Manitoba on the bus. He was wearing a Wheat Kings jersey and was very talkative. His cell phone was broken so he was transversing the Fraser Delta in search of a part for his phone. I told him to try a huge building called The Crystal. The entire main floor of The Crystal is a Chinese market full of tiny specialist stalls including many mobile phone stalls and you can haggle over the prices. We talked about wheat farming here and in Australia. He wants to turn his wheat farm into a marijuana farm but it is difficult to get a licence.

I am going to be a panelist for Planned Parenthood on Friday. Here it is called Options for Sexual Health, so that people who plan not to have children do not feel excluded.

The next storm is just starting. The boat is moving in a jittery way. It makes a clinking sound when its fenders bump the dock.

I think I saw that man who was drowning last year walk by. He was with a woman his own age who was unfamiliar with this place. He seemed to be explaining things to her. Probably it is his wife. I hope he is not going to be going out on the river in that dinghy again.

This weirdness of this area is rapidly accelerating. Every day I see things I have never seen before.

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