Sunday morning I was comfortably sleeping off the effects of Saturday night’s party in Gastown when I was rudely awakened by a phonecall from Brad, another one of the False Creek liveaboards.
“Hey, uh, that cabin cruiser dragged his anchor again, he’s banging into your bows, you should probably get down here…”
I hurried back to the boat to find that the same old cabin cruiser had one again dragged his anchor and was indeed bumping into my bows, scuffing them up and causing a few little dings to the fiberglass. I stepped aboard and let out another twenty feet or so of his anchor line, and then with Brad’s help I pushed him off of me and brought him up alongside Tie Fighter. I deployed a few fenders and then lashed the boat to mine, so that he wouldn’t keep slamming into me, or drag further and hit Brad’s boat or fetch up on the rocks.
The last time this happened, I asked the powerboat’s owner, Brendon, to put a bit of paper with his emergency contact info into the window of his boat, which he agreed to but unfortunately didn’t manage to actually do. He spontaneously showed up about twenty minutes later – apparently he has a friend with a condo overlooking False Creek, and that friend watches his boat for him and calls him whenever he drags his anchor. He apologized yet again; admittedly his apologies are starting to wear a little thin. Last time there was minimal damage, but this time there were numerous scuffs and scratches on my bows from his boat. Each time I’ve helped him out he’s promised to come back with beer as a thank-you and/or apology, but I have yet to see that. If it happens again, especially with similar scratches and scuffs, I’m going to insist that he chips in a bit on the paint fund for the haul-out and repaint this coming spring. At least this time I managed to get his cellphone number – he promised once again to post it on his boat.
It’s confusing how someone with a large ‘bruce’ anchor can drag so often, but then again, this is False Creek. When he pulled up his anchor, there was something attached to it; to my eyes it appeared to be a full set of men’s overalls!
I re-battened the hatches and prepared to leave – at this point my neighbor Theresa rowed over from her sailboat ‘And-E’ to let me know that she’d gotten a few photos of the incident and offered me her camera’s SD card to transfer the pics. I didn’t have my laptop handy, so I asked her to email the photos; the email arrived yesterday, and I’m just now getting around to posting them, in an attempt to catch up on even more news on the blog. Once I was sure everything with Tie Fighter was solid, I returned to the house party, still under way with breakfast now prepared and waiting for me.
The next day, I got a text message from Theresa asking for Brendon’s cellphone number – apparently he had dragged his anchor yet again in the night! When she had woken up at 3am, she looked out her window but could only see white, and wondered what was going on – she eventually figured out that it was the cabin cruiser, resting gently against the side of her sailboat, so she lashed him in place, and, noting that he still hadn’t posted his cellphone number, went back to bed for the night.
Honestly, when it comes to False Creek I’m all for freedom and equality, but it’s just this sort of thing that gives the live-aboards a bad name. The reason the laws were put in place in 2006 to prevent long-term anchoring in False Creek was to prevent people from essentially abandoning their derelict vessels, becoming both eyesores and liabilities to anyone anchoring – or for that matter, occupying paid legal moorage – in the neighborhood. There’s another sailboat just down the Creek from me with no mast or engine, anchored in place with yellow nylon rope, slowly rotting away; when I saw the owner paddling his inflatable kayak out to it one day, I asked him what the deal was, and he explained that he lives in Hope. In HOPE! That’s about a two-hour drive away from False Creek. His boat has hundreds of hours of work needed before it can be considered seaworthy, and I’ve seen him on it no more than three times in the past six months.
Oh well. All this will be changing very soon; more on that shortly.