At night we could see the CN Tower pulsing in the dark; different poisonous colours, like scarlet, whitish lilac, a sharp mouldy blue. The skyline of Toronto got an attitude.
In June 2008 the right-winged government in Canada was more than happy to play along with the Bush-administration, which meant that the doctrine for how to terrorize all citizens was in effect.
We're guessing our boat somehow got a negative tag. Suddenly the police came by every fourth day, asking for papers, telling us to move. There's a lot of nice little bays outside Toronto, so it wasn't difficult to find a spot, but it was illegal. They didn't want gypsy boats around, the police told us.
In Toronto we managed to be harassed by the police in the morning, and then going over to Hamilton Royal Yacht Club for lunch, as invited guests of honour, eating a nice meal with a stylish toast to the queen. There's a lot of social bungee jumping in cruising.
A small boat is not intimidating in the tropics, in the bay of the poor, but for the first time we seemed to get our cruising style turned against us. We looked poor and needy. We had multi-millionaires standing with binoculars in their windows, calling the police.
I got most of the harassment, since I was staying in the boat every day, writing poetry, while Nina was writing in the library.
This sudden transition between poetry and police was sometimes pretty hard to make. But I had to put on a friendly face, knowing that the harassment would only get worse if I lost my temper.
Once they asked for country of origin and the situation almost got out of control because the policeman heard "No way", when I said "Norway." He looked perplexed and all tensed up and was glancing a bit towards his companion, as if looking for a hint on how hard to respond. But I got the passport at hand and we could all smile again.