August 30, 2016 One Week In

Tomorrow will be the one week mark for our arrival on Vancouver Island.  One week.  I’m not sure why it feels like ages, but the calendar assures me – it is only one week.  Already August is finished and September comes.  In New Brunswick the season of  Fall brings the turning of color for leaves that begin to die. Here on Vancouver Island there are trees turning gold, yellow, orange and rust  but the reason is dryness not cold. Lawns everywhere are parched and bristled. If it is not watered, it is dead.


We stood in line at Service BC to gain recognition as residents.  By some stroke of luck we had birth certificates and our New Brunswick drivers’ license with us. A shout out to women’s liberation – BC bureaucracy dictates if your driver’s license is in your married name and your birth certificate if in your maiden name, you must also bring your marriage certificate as proof of your name.  Men don’t seem to require that last bit. Two pieces of identification required to begin the process, oh – and mandatory health insurance to be paid based on your level of income.  So even  though the healthcare process requires a three month wait, (thank you New Brunswick for covering us in that three months) it is also required to identify your income level and you will be billed for healthcare based on your income level.  0-$22,000 in household income and you get a pass, whereas if your household income is over $30,000.00 you will pay $150.00 for a family of three or $136.00 a month for a family of two.  Sixty two dollars later and both of us will be issued a BC license in due course.  The guy at the boat yard was quick to tell me that B.C. stands for “Bring Cash”.


I must express a great deal of gratitude toward Rudi & Trish.  Graciously they’ve opened their home to us, fed us, advised us and otherwise allowed us to get in our van each morning to hunt down the boat that will be our home. Truly the privacy and luxury of the surroundings has been such a blessing.  The garden doors from our room look out over Nanoose Bay and Mistaken Island.  The diversity of the view has the mountains in the background, the island and the surrounding water in the foreground.  There are resident eagles, seals, sea lions and the occasional blue heron.


Bella has become somewhat accustomed to her new surroundings and still follows me from room to room.  I have almost forgiven her for darting toward a puppy in one of our walks through Bellingham, Washington.  While scouting out a possible boat, we were walking past a small outdoor cafe, people leisurely enjoying lunch, Paul walks ahead while Bella and I follow.  I see the puppy before Bella does and while I’m attempting to shorten the leash, she lunges across the front of me, trapping my feet like something out of a Laurel and Hardy film.  I crash down hard on my right knee and one week later I am bruised from the knee cap to the base of my toes including a stripe of magenta purple along the inside edge of my foot, a dark shadow across the bridge of my foot and purple at the ankle bone. Although I hasn’t restricted walking, I can’t put any weight on the knee.  The swelling has subsided considerably so I know restoration will just take time.


We’ve visited at least three marinas with a variety of responses to our inquiries.  The season for boating is coming to a close and it is plausible to think anyone wishing to sell a boat would not want the expense of carrying it through the Winter.  It’s possible to gain a certain feel of the marina as you walk the docks lined with boats.  Of course there is the one percent; those whose boats tower above the water in two, sometime three layers, topped with Biminis, outfitted with the latest bow thrusters (makes for great parallel parking) and electronic gadgetry.  Then there are the poor sods who have long since forgotten they ever owned a boat but refuse to stop paying the mooring fee.  This gives the marina no choice but to let it park where it slowly decays.  Seagulls and pigeons find it.  Barnacles and seaweed take hold and you can’t help feeling sorry for the sad mess it becomes.


A boat broker will put a for sale sign on a boat and act for the seller to find a buyer.  In theory this transaction would entail using the internet to advertise, placing advertisements through Kijiji or Craig’s List.  Just as many boat owners try to sell their own boats without the aid of a broker.  A broker really doesn’t want to expend a great deal of effort for a boat under twenty thousand dollars, primarily because he doesn’t make a very high percentage on the sale.  Whether the percentage for a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar boat is less than the percentage for a twenty thousand dollar boat is a confidential matter between the broker and the owner.  But it translates to a certain lack of interest on the broker’s part when you are not in the former category. In fact, some of the marinas are downright snobbish. Go figure!


We have found a 1980 custom built Stan Huntingford designed Explorer 44 with a cutter rig and both of us agree it is something we could live in.  So we’ll pursue this and see where it leads us.

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