Stranded sailor faces eviction from Halifax waterfront

A seafaring British man who took refuge in the Halifax Harbour when his boat hit rough waters this summer has to leave the waterfront soon.

Charlie Holland survived 32 days at sea in damaged boat before limping into Halifax

The Schwalbe, built in 1927, suffered $75,000 in damage. (CBC)

A seafaring British man who took refuge in the Halifax Harbour when his boat hit rough waters this summer has to leave  the waterfront soon.

Charlie Holland tied up on the waterfront after a near-disastrous voyage from the Bahamas in June. He said he was paralyzed by fear and certain his 87-year-old boat would sink when he and his partner and their dog hit a storm in the Atlantic and then spent 30 days, drifting with no diesel or sails.

Since landing, his partner Somporn Chiangmanee was sent back home by immigration officials and now Holland's welcome has run out.

His home, the vessel Schwalbe, has been a fixture on the Halifax waterfront all summer. It’s where Holland eats, sleeps and does his laundry.

“Relaxing, taking it easy,” said Holland.

Holland says he was under the vague impression he could tie up here until April, enough time to fix his boat, sell it, get a work visa and eventually buy some property in the Annapolis Valley.

His impression was wrong.

This week the sailor learned he has until Friday to move.

"It's just a little bit queer that I would have to remove the vessel now, for reasons that are really not clear,” he said.

In a letter to Holland, the Waterfront Development Corporation says: "We recognize that when you came into port in Halifax a couple of months ago, it was under difficult circumstances...We believe we have demonstrated patience and compassion as you have worked through your challenges."

Holland hasn’t paid a berthing fee since tying up on June 2, a good deal he says.

"You know they might have had to field inquiries from the public, you know, finding out what's the opportunity for their vessels."

Holland says he thinks for now he'll just sail the Schwalbe around the peninsula and tie up in the Northwest Arm.

He can't go far though, the Canada Border Service Agency has told him to stay in Halifax.