I like walking along the harbour, and do it often. I enjoy any harbour, large or small. I’ll happily spend an hour or two in the working, fishing ports along the coast. I can do the same in Halifax, the second largest port in the world.

So, it may be my lot to meet strange folk. Or, perhaps, I just attract them. But it does seem that the more offbeat gravitate to the harbour. Maybe we all like the water.

During the tourist season there are a lot of people along the boardwalk, and thus a good place for folk looking for a handout. Particularly when the cruise ships are in. But, in December, not so much. So I was surprised to meet a fellow obviously on the lookout for some money. It is quite possible no more than a couple of people would pass within an hour.

I might have avoided him but, he was stationed across from an odd ship I wanted to have a look at. An odd ship to me, at any rate. It turned out it was The BEVERLY MI, and ocean-going tug of impressive size. I have a great fondness for tug boats, but usually see those working the harbour. So, to see the tugboat, I had to pass the fellow.

He was slender though fit, and healthy looking. Beard and long hair. Rough but warm clothes. He has a duffel bag that was open. He took out an envelope.

“Have ya got five dollars?”

His speech was slow, and deliberate, and oiled with alcohol.

“I’m getting rid of the signs.”


“Ha Ha.” He pointed vaguely around. “I’m trying to get rid of the signs.”

There was no undue accumulation of signs in the area. One ‘No Entry’ to a private dock, and one indicating a Garbage/Recycle Bin.

“Here’s this.” He held up the envelope and laughed again.”I’m giving out a sign to get rid of signs.” He found this very funny.

“I’d like to go down and look at the boat.”

“Yeh. Sure.” He fumbled with the duffel bag. “Ha. Sure. I’ll go stand over there.” He pointed to some benches.

I did walk along the dock and took a good look at the tug boat. A big thing, powerful and solid. A crewman stood near the cabin and nodded. I waved and retraced my steps.

The fellow was beside the bench, as he said he would be. But he made no motion, nor any attempt to approach me. I’m guessing he was content. I went upon my way.