A dock, a floating tree, and a beer: A mystery appears on the Gorge Waterway

WatchA floating mystery has appeared on the Gorge Waterway and the people who put it there say the ultimate goal is to get people in the water. April Lawrence reports.

On a sunny summer day, you’ll spot kayaks, paddle boarders, and perhaps the Gorge Waterway’s most notorious residents: derelict boats.

But since Wednesday, something unusual has made an appearance.

“We were completely mystified, at one point we thought it was some kind of Theatre SKAM or something?” said Lorraine Murray who swims frequently in the Gorge.

It isn’t theatre, but it is creative—it’s a swim dock with an unusual feature.

“Oh there’s actually a tree on it I see,” points out Ann Wilson, who walks the Gorge daily.

Whatever it is, on Friday, it was a magnet to those braving the chilly waters to go for a swim.

The kids playing on it seemed just as mystified as to why it was there.

“We were wondering if it said anything on it like this is here because ‘blah blah blah’ but nope there’s nothing,” said Shea Wilson, who had kayaked out to check it out.

If someone can shed some light on the aquatic mystery, it’s the men from Aryze Developments.

“It was inspired by some travels abroad,” said Aryze co-owner Luke Mari.

It was  Copenhagen, Denmark to be precise, a place Luke Mari and his colleagues at Aryze travelled to recently and loved what they saw.

“[We] just noticed how incredible their swimming culture was and they still had a working harbour, an industrial harbour,” Mari said.

So they came home and decided to have a little fun building the $17,000 cedar-planked float and towing it into place two days ago as a gift to the city. They upped the excitement with a little contest to start it off.

“We left a Phillips beer can on there for the first person who swam out there and got to enjoy that little gift,” Mari said.

They also handed out gift cards to the first person to take a photo of the dock and the first person to take a picture of themselves using it.

So far it seems to be making a big splash among the Gorge crowd and there are plans to put a plaque on it to explain what exactly it is.

“Dedicated to the kids of Victoria who get to grow up swimming in fresh saltwater,” said Mari.

As for the tree, it’s salt-water tolerant and has a drip system for watering. The “interactive art project” as they call it is built to last. Now the Aryze team just hopes it gets to stay.

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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