Shipwreck at Kits Beach

A few nights ago, seven boats dragged anchor and hit the shore at Kitsilano Beach in 100 km/hour winds. In the morning, four were stuck in the beach at the high-tide line. The owners of most of these boats started the digging-out process then, hoping to escape back to the sea on the following night’s high tide. One made it.

Yesterday morning, two sailboats were still there, leaning sideways looking out of place like beached whales. The homemade trimaran was not so lucky. It was a fully fledged ‘wreck.’ The deflated life-raft  and one of the pontoons were lying just down the beach from the broken hull. The second pontoon was nowhere to be seen. Most of the salvageable marine equipment had been laid out on nearby logs.

I climbed in the door. Inside was the waterlogged remnants of what had been the home of a man named Bob. It looked like a tiny bachelor pad shaken by an earthquake and soaked by rain.

In small homes, items usually-specific to the kitchen, bathroom or workshop tend to mingle anyway, but here in one now-vertical shelf everything was a big jumble. Without digging around in it I could see: deodorant, hand lotion, hundreds of green pennies, Deet insect repellant, boat wax, disposable razors, screws, matches, baking soda, instant coffee, Brasso, spaghetti, shaving cream and marine maps, all covered with a sludge of sand and seawater.

On the broken counter below, I found a waterlogged sketchbook. I opened it up and was amazed at the detailed and spontaneous pen and ink drawings inside: boats, nudes, marine landscapes and portraits, most drawings a bit water-damaged like this one.

It seemed unlikely that this boat would be salvaged. More likely, it would be pulled ashore and would end up at the dump. I wanted to to take the sketchbook in case its owner was planning to abandon what remained of his home. Once, my sister saved some of my childhood toys from a family garage sale when I was feeling unsentimental. I’m glad she did. But this seemed too much like looting to take it.

Last night, waiting for a bus on Cornwall Street, I could see that the wreckage was completely gone. I hope Bob got his sketchbook first.

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One comment on “Shipwreck at Kits Beach”

  1. Oh, I hope so, too! Maybe Bob reclaimed what was left of his home and his sketchbook. I want to know the end of the story…………..


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