Saturday, June 26, 2010

Strangers in the Night..

… or ‘Al, there’s someone on my Boat’!

We had some excitement last night around 4am.  That prior evening a friend of ours rafted to us, and as the night got longer decided to stay over (Rafting means as we were tied up to the dock, and the docks were full, he simply tied up to us).

About 4am I was starting to wake up for my err, well, 4am thing when I noted footsteps on the back of our boat.  We sleep in the aft cabin, with our heads right next to the aft deck.  My thought was ‘Well, Dan must have been out for the night and is just getting back to his boat’.  Then I heard some voices, one of which was a female and my next thought was ‘you Dog!’.   This lasted for a bit, but things changed a little when I heard Dan clearly say  ‘Who are you?’, and then a young lady reply ‘I was not on your boat, I was not on your boat’!

Well, by now I was fully awake and got up just in time to see this young girl step away from our boat still saying ‘I was not on your boat’, then she high tails it up the ramp and back into the city.

‘Well, welcome to the 1st nice weekend in Portland and the Blues Fest’ was my thought, until Dan continued ‘Al, there’s someone on my boat!’.  Sure enough, this nice girl had left her boyfriend stranded high and dry on the top of Dan’s boat.

After a bit of talking, he was rather apologetic and I am sure a bit frightened, we let him climb down and over Viking Star back to the dock where he rushed off to join his companion.  In the end, no harm done – except Kristi and I were full on awake at 4:30am.

One of the things said to us when we tell folks what we are doing is:  But what about strangers, how will you protect yourself?  It is true that, being mobile, we are almost by definition in unfamiliar surroundings, and that one needs to be a bit more vigilant and watchful.  And, to be honest, the water can attract folks with less than noble lifestyles.  Part of the trade off.  It is also true that bad folks (or in this case mischievous folks) are about anywhere.  Lock the doors, keep an eye open, sleep lightly, be aware of the surroundings.

This bring up another key topic:  Guns.  Better than Politics, and Varnish vs. Cetal, firearms will bring boaters from all sides into the conversation with very set views.  A pump shotgun is perhaps the most optional solution, with that very distinctive sound being a good attention getter and often all that is needed.  This case was resolved without any such need – but  those who might be wanting to climb aboard uninvited late some night to enjoy the view might take heed of what Dan mentioned last night ‘Some crazy person might shoot you’!

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