Well it's been a long, hard journey but the Ark has finally found permanent moorage ! I am still pinching myself with disbelief that not only have I found a safe haven for my home but it is everything I have ever dreamt of.
The Ark in her new location
My entire life has been a quest for a sanctuary that I could retreat to at the end of the day, a place that would nourish me, protect me, inspire me.
Don't get me wrong, I have had an awesome, interesting life. Ive lived all over the world, in all kinds of circumstances. I wouldn't take any of it back ( well maybe a few parts...) but the piece that was always missing for me, was having a home of my own. Acquiring the Ark was the first part of realising my dream, finding somewhere to moor it was the second.
I knew in my heart that the marina where I had the Ark wasn't ideal in so many ways, but at the time it was easy and reasonably close to work. I had hoped to stay there for five years so I could finish all the renovations and then I would look around to see if I could find a prettier location to moor it.
Unfortunately, the powers-that-be, decided that I had to move much sooner than that. The Port Authority pressured the landlord to get rid of his liveabords. He in turn, cut off my power and water, hired a thug to terrorise us, and made false accusations to the police in an effort to get rid of us. It was not that I didn`t want to go, just that I couldn't find anywhere to go. One of the biggest obstacles was the size of the Ark. Most float home communities have fairly small berth sizes like 20x20 or 20x30 for example while the Ark measures in at a colossal 28x66 feet.
I thought I had solved the problem when I entered into a discussion with the City of Richmond to donate the Ark ( a historic net shed) to their maritime museum in return for being able to stay in it as a caretaker. Things were looking good and I really thought I was going to be moving to Steveston. However, after six months of city hall meetings, they came back to me and said,`` they liked the house and wanted to add it to their collection but did not want anyone living in it and had no money to buy it from me``. That left me back at square one.
I was heart broken as, at the time, I really believed that was the best place for me. My business, which is thriving, is in Steveston and I love the village. I love that it is on the oceans`edge, that there are lots of places to exercise and that it is quaint and historically preserved. I couldn't imagine a better place. I was wrong!
I spent months door-knocking on my days off. We spent many days driving up and down the Fraser River asking people if we could dock in their back yard. Finally we were offered an olive branch. We met a wonderful couple who sympathised with our plight and decided to let us moor at their dock.
Their place was about 60 km up river from where we had been moored. We entered into an agreement in June but because of the freshet, ( the swelling of the river from winter snow melt) we had to wait until September before it was safe to move the house.
Finally moving day was upon us. I have to say, this was the easiest move of my life. Usually there are weeks of packing involved but this time all I had to do was take down a few breakables and place them on the floor in case we hit big wake.
Sadly for me, I had dislocated a rib a few days before and so stayed behind in Vancouver to go to a Chiropractor appointment, run some errands and drive the car to the new location. I missed getting towed 60 km up river on a beautiful summer day. From the photos that Dave and a friend Rick took, the trip was absolutely gorgeous. The most important thing for me though, was that all went smoothly and safely which thankfully it did.
We have been here for about a month now and I couldn't be happier. The river is very wide here, almost two km which makes it feel more like a lake than a river. We went from having hundreds of condos staring at us from a few hundred feet to feeling like we live in the middle of the wilderness. The views are beautiful and inspiring and I doubt I will ever tire of them. The countryside is picture perfect cuteness and a joy to explore. Fields of horses graze contentedly, babbling brooks meander through forest and fields and the nearest town looks like a movie set.
The view from my bedroom before
The view from my bedroom after
The view across the river before
The view across the river after
The view from the back of the house before ( not so bad really), but compared to....
The view of from the back of the house after ... no contest :)
I have come to terms with the two hour commute for work. I love where I live and I love where I work. Arriving at either end brings me much joy, the commute is a small price to pay for being a part of two of BCs most historic and beautiful towns.
Now that the drama of finding a place to live has been dealt with, we will be getting on with the renovations. We still don't have power or water, but that is coming all in good time. We haved lived without them for a year and a half now so a few more weeks is tolerable. We have gotten a lot accomplished already, so stayed tuned for more posts as we get on with creating our dream home.
The Ark in her element, at one with nature and continuing to be a part of the history of the mighty Fraser River! I thank the universe for providing such an oasis and for letting me live my dream.xoxo
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