The May long weekends weather was a little disappointing, but on Saturday I had
an opportunity to talk to the OPP Officers that were on Marine Patrol Duty in the
Port Stanley Area. The weather that day was somewhat cloudy, a little cooler than
most people like, with a brisk wind from the south, creating some rather large waves
inside the harbour.
When I first met the two OPP officers, they had their Patrol boat docked on the
north side of the new Central Elgin Fire Rescue Service boat house where the Municipality
of Central Elgin had offered the OPP a spot for docking. They were watching their
boat being knocked about in the turbulent water, and were quite concerned that if
the boat was docked there in rough water conditions, that damage to their boat would
While there I noticed one of the 4x4 posts that keeps boats off the concrete was
broken in half, and I asked the Officer if they had broken the post with their boat.
The Officer replied with the opinion that some of the floating drift wood was probably
the culprit, and pointed to some nearby floaters. As a former boater I could understand
that feeling of uncertainty that one would get if unsure about the safety of a boat
while being docked or underway.
Just after our conversation, the OPP left to investigate a kite-surfer that
had lost momentum, entered the water and was having trouble getting back up. I started
walking around the Hofhuis Park walkway, then on to the West Harbour Breakwater,
and one issue became abundantly clear, that we have a floating garbage and driftwood
problem. The bigger pieces such as logs while floating in the harbour are especially
dangerous for the inexperienced boaters, and really considered a Navigational Hazard
for everyone. It seems rather sad when taking a stroll around our Harbour that the
one impression that sticks in your mind, is the amount of garbage, and trees that
comes down Kettle Creek in the spring, stays in our Harbour for a vacation, and
forgets to leave.