Off The Grid

Living off the Grid on a west coast island

To skate across


It was the summer of 1970 something and my friends and I spent every possible waking hour down at the beach. In those days the Vancouver beaches were divided up by high school. Our sand was at Spanish Banks West, while E’s high school claimed Locarno. 

That was the summer we met Don. He was the lifeguard at that end of the beach and we all became good friends. Life guarding in Vancouver at the time was, as to be expected a seasonal job with its obvious December employment issues. That winter proved different.

Don was called in to be a lifeguard over the Christmas holidays on the frozen Lost Lagoon. Vancouverites eager to play pond hockey and family skate like their Eastern Canadian peers grabbed their skates and headed to the entrance of Stanley Park. The ice was precarious at best but Don was thrilled for the work. It’s been forty years and we have never seen that activity on Lost Lagoon since.

E and I have three nights left in this house, huddled by the stove. Minus degree weather has everyone on the island taking extra care and attention with their water systems. With the crews absent over the last weekend from our cliffside house we had to borrow some boiling water from Mr. Ho to restart our system for the crew’s return on Tuesday.

When we leave Soho for the last time this Monday we will shut off the water and put antifreeze down all the drains. After we move back into our place and our house is occupied full time again we shouldn’t have any further water issues. But first, we have a week long family road trip. We are taking our boat up to town to catch the ferry to the city, to rent a van to drive twelve hours across the Province. We hope..

Two days ago Mr. Ho went to town in their 21 ft. Manaro and the harbour was frozen. Their boat had to play the roll of ice breaker. The crunching of ice, scary as they tried to power through it. They haven’t been able to get their boat out of its slip since. We are hoping the harbour clears by Monday as we need to get our boat in there to start what will be a long snowy adventure with our family and I am too old 

to skate across.

Author: Off Grid Islanders

We are a retired couple living on an off grid island on the West Coast

3 thoughts on “To skate across

  1. Yes, ice is thick in places! Trusting it diminishes enough for you to go on your road trip!

  2. I took our boat out for the ‘time away’ we have scheduled and ran it down the coast. It was sunny and bright but cold. All of a sudden I heard crunching and weird noises….the fresh water outflow from a nearby creek had settled on the top of the sea water and, in the middle of the channel, I was pounding through ice! It was only about 1/2 inch thick but was still noisy and surprising.

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