Life in a Fraser River Float Home

by Terry Slack 2016

Float Home

Iona Jetty Kids From the left to right two visiting Peterson kids then Terry Slack (the author) and his cousin Tony Slack. The two room float house was built the author’s Grandad Frank Slack. The year is probably around 1951. (Photo from the Terry Slack collection. )

Living in float houses on the Iona Island Jetty in the 1950ies we always knew that the Big December High Tides would always flood the sandspit! They always reached the peak of flooding during the morning time and during a big westerly wind the gurgling rising waters came at us from both the river and sea sides of the low lying sand jetty. My Grandad and Dad always said "it happens every year, during this time, do not be afraid of the big tide!"

The big tide came in high on the beach and lifted up everything that waited all year to be floated once again including our wood pile. As kids we just put on our Wellies and sloshed around looking for good floating stuff to salvage. We were very busy until the big tide went a way out in the afternoon!

I remember having a special Pike Pole to push lost and abandoned good salvageable logs into deeper water, that were now just floating. Really we kids had a great time when the big tides came and we earned good Christmas spending money from salvaging what the tides gave up! Sand bags who needed Sand bags in those days?

The big or so called King Tides to watch out for in are in the mornings of the week of December 15th to 19th. Its a good time to visit the Fraser River in Southlands Deering Island Park and River front Walkways, but only if the Dykes hold back the Big or King Tides! Do not forget your Wellies!

To quote from this article please cite:

Slack, Terry (2016) Life in a Fraser River Float Home. 2016.

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