Over several years, I have posted messages from Anna Smith, this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent.
She lives on a boat in Vancouver, Canada. At least…
…she USED to live on a boat in Vancouver.
Today is Christmas Day.
I received a new message from her this morning:
HAPPY CHRISTMAS JOHN (and assorted friends and family there).
I am on the bus right now, on my way to deliver a frozen turkey to friends and family for Xmas.
For the moment, I am staying at the ‘historic Queens Hotel’ (a former strip club which evolved into a ’boutique hotel’) It is a few blocks from the boat.
I never wanted my obituary to read: “She died on her beloved boat”.
Instead my beloved boat has died on me.
The reason it sank is, because after I spurned the aggressive advances of the marina owner, he towed my boat to a dangerous spot above a sand bar on the river bank and moved onto harrassing the next single woman there.
The river levels get low in the winter, especially during extreme tides. At low tide, my ‘antique’ wooden boat weighing three tons was resting at a 45 degree angle and, with all that weight on the transom, propeller shafts, the most vulnerable part, it was more than the vessel could stand.
The whole boat is still rearing up at low tide. The inside looks like it was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Some people are trying to start a crowdfunder page for me, but they are having some tech glitches with it at the moment.
The curious thing is…
The day before boat sank, documentary film director Ruggero Romano took me out for coffee to discuss his next feature film. I told him a year ago that, if he wanted some interesting material, he should come out and take a look at how people live on the river.
He went to Italy last year and told me that all summer he was thinking of doing ‘the river’ film.
I tried to disuade him then, because most of the people living on the river were curmudgeonly old men who don’t want to talk to anyone, fearful of losing their moorage. But…
To be continued, with photos…