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Fintry Queen sails to winter home in north arm of Okanagan Lake

A flotilla of geese swim past the Fintry Queen on Okanagan Lake Friday morning, May 20, 2016.
September 08, 2016 - 8:00 PM

OKANAGAN - The saga of the Fintry Queen continues with the owners of the former dinner cruise ship sailing it north to berth over the winter and avoid the bailiff’s lock.

“It’s way up the north arm of Okanagan Lake,” co-owner Andy Schwab says. “It’s anchored off shore pinned in place with eight 4,500 lb cement blocks. It’s a safe place sheltered from the wind.”

Schwab says the area is mostly farms and Okanagan Indian Band land although he thinks they are currently anchored off Crown land.

“There’s guys up there that are going to caretake it over the winter,” he adds.

Schwab said the trip from Sutherland Bay across to the Westbank ferry terminal to load the anchor blocks and then up to the North Arm took them into the wee hours.

“It took six hours after we left Kelowna. I didn’t get off the ship until 1 a.m. but it was a blast,” he adds.

A relieved Mike Olson is just happy to see them go. As property manager for the City of Kelowna, the 580-tonne ship moored on a city water lot was his problem.

“We just wanted our water lot back and it looks like we’ve got it,” Olson said.

He planned later today, Sept. 8, to go down to Sutherland Bay and take a picture of where the converted Okanagnan Lake car ferry has been moored since 2009.

Since then, Swchab and his partner Bill Hockley had fallen behind $7,500 in lease payments. But more importantly, Schwab claims the city told him the Fintry Queen did not fit into their plans for the waterfront.

He and his partner are continuing their efforts to revive the Fintry Queen as a sight-seeing cruise ship.

They are negotiating with Summerland about possible moorage rights and have an open offer from Penticton, if they find the money to build their own dock.

“It requires money but it always requires money,” Schwab says. “Meanwhile, it’s in a very quiet place with someone to take care of it."

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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