Posts Tagged With: False Creek

Anchoring Fee: $400 Per Week

On the way home from work, I overheard two men chatting on their way to a hockey game. Whenever the home team plays at the stadium here, the Skytrain fills with blue and white jerseys, along with the odd red, yellow, and black one from the Canucks’ past.

The men’s conversation had little to do with hockey. One man said to the other, “All the boats are cleared out of the harbour now, because they charge four hundred dollars for a week of anchoring. That’s sixty dollars a night!” As we passed the “harbour” in question (actually False Creek), he pointed out the distinct absence of anchored crafts.

Although Tomahawk is still out in the Pirate Bay, this news alarmed me. At the same time, I knew I had seen at least two boats, one sail and one power, anchored this morning. So I was mostly confused. Maybe they’re creating a new fee that hasn’t been implemented yet, or just came into effect today, I thought. After all, they are moving toward disallowing anchoring in Burrard Inlet, which sucks because that’s where we planned to anchor if I get into Simon Fraser University for my master’s degree in social anthropology starting next year.

Since getting a boat, I have learned that a lot of people consider anchored vessels “eyesores,” although those same people don’t seem too concerned about the huge tankers that sit out in English Bay for all to enjoy. See, those are good for the economy, but sailboats are more self-sufficient. Except that sailors, including liveaboards, contribute to the economy by buying food and gas and parts and other stuff, just like anybody else. I don’t know.

Then there are the many ugly buildings, parked cars, and trash bins that litter the city, among other potential “eyesores.” Don’t get me wrong; Vancouver is a beautiful city with lots of green spaces and awesome architecture. My point is that I don’t understand how small boats are seen as problematic and obstructing the view, while the municipal government is considering putting in 70-storey buildings in the West End. Go figure.

As it turns out, the city website still says that anchoring permits in False Creek are free. So either the winds of change are blowing, or the dude on the Skytrain has no clue what he’s talking about. My money is on the latter.

False Creek

False Creek is full of all kinds of boats! And the stadium in the background is full of hockey fans!

Categories: Anchoring | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Maiden Voyage to the Pirate Bay

Okay, Tomahawk has been around since the seventies, so it’s not exactly a maiden voyage. But it was for us!

On Monday, we got our informal sailing teacher Steve to help us haul up the anchor, get the engine going, and go for a little ride. Our False Creek permit expires tomorrow, so we had to find a new place to keep the boat until we can get a new one.

Jason and I got to the boat at noon and cleaned off some more bird poop. Unfortunately, it hadn’t rained enough to have any cleansing impact on the sail cover. I did the dirty work this time, since he did it last time. We sacrificed one of the SOS pads left on the boat by Danny. We were contemplating taking the sail cover home to stick in the wash, but we’ll have to work out the logistics of that. Don’t really want to leave the sail uncovered, especially if the diarrhea bird decides to come back!

Anyway, Steve checked our oil and spark plugs, which all looked fine. The oil wasn’t completely black, he said, which means it needs to be changed soon. We’ll keep that in mind. I haven’t change oil myself, but I helped someone do it for their car once. So I know it’s a pretty simple task, really.

Steve took us to Granville Island, where we loaded up our jerry cans with gas. It cost less than $40 and we expect that to last us several months, especially if we use the boat as little as we are now. With the weather getting worse, that seems pretty likely.

After gassing up, we headed to our new anchorage, which is much less sheltered than False Creek. Steve refers to it as the Pirate Bay, so we’ll call it that. A few other boats were anchored in the area and we had to squeeze in between them. Our anchor weighs a ton, probably way more than necessary to hold the boat in place, which is good. Instead of the recommended 5:1 ratio of rode to water depth, we ended up with about 2.5:1 to keep our swing radius to a minimum (as explained in this post on anchoring technique). I’m hoping it’s fine, but Steve texted me today that we should expect a small craft warning for Saturday. That means high winds potentially strong enough to push Tomahawk onto the beach or into another boat. We don’t want either scenario.

If we do have to move the boat, we have a problem arising from our ongoing work scheduling conflict. Jason works days and times when I don’t and vice versa. On both Friday and Saturday, for example, I work 10 to 6 and he works 4 to midnight. So yeah. We’ll see. Maybe Steve will move it with one of us as crew.

Meanwhile, we have yet to put up the sails. Our trip from False Creek to the Pirate Bay was done entirely under engine power. That’s because you’re not allowed to put up your sails in the creek, from what I understand.

Hopefully next time, we can finally catch some wind.

Sailboat in Fog

Tomahawk in False Creek

Categories: Anchoring, Getting Started, Legalities | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Our Local Chandler

Jason had to work today, so I decided to pop into our local chandler. Then I realized that today we were supposed to get an anchoring permit (or move our boat – haha).

First, I took a leisurely bike ride to the dollar store, where I picked up some measuring tape and an airtight, waterproof storage bag. Then I went up to Wright Mariner Supply & Yacht Services┬ánear our apartment. I just wanted to inquire about a composting toilet, but Steve, the store manager, gave me a wealth of useful advice about a lot of other things as well. He lived on a 30-footer for fourteen years, so I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about!

I learned about a couple more marine head options, including one that uses UV rays to destroy all the bacteria before discharging the waste into the water. Amazing! We’ll probably stick with something a little less high-tech, but it’s good to know what’s out there. The UV one needs electricity, which we’re hoping to avoid, since power will be such a scarce resource on board.

Steve also mentioned that diesel is better than propane, as far as heaters are concerned. (I’m sure the same applies to stoves, which makes me question our propane stove.) The reason he gave is that propane puts a lot of moisture into the air. Added to the moisture coming from our breath (we exhale a liter of water a day, he said!), it can contribute to mold and other issues. Maybe we should just go for the wood-burning heater he showed me, if we want to go really DIY.

Of course, diesel has the added benefit of being easily converted to biodiesel.

Choosing the type of fuel for our heater is just a drop in the bucket list, so to speak.

At some point during our conversation, it struck me that Danny’s anchoring permit for Tomahawk expired today. We were supposed to get one in our name, so I said a speedy farewell to Steve and raced across the Burrard Bridge to Granville Island. For some reason, I was thinking the False Creek Yacht Club was there, but it turned out not to be. That’s where Danny said to get the permit. By this time it was almost five o’clock, so I was a little concerned the offices might be closed for the day. I called 411 to get their number and the woman I spoke to said I could get the permit online. Which is great, except I could’ve stayed longer at the ship chandler! Oh well. Lessons learned.

When I got home, I filled out the extremely simple online application and received the permit in my email within a few minutes. Nothing like technology to make things easy.

We will have to move Tomahawk by October 30th. That means we’ll need to figure out how to anchor as well as where to put it for a week. There might be a spot available in the “Pirate’s Bay” off Kitsilano Beach, which is just a bit farther west of where the boat is now.


Categories: Anchoring, Getting Started, Legalities | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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