In my desperate struggle to attempt to catch up with my blog posts for the last few months I bring to you the story of the Canadian Captain Jack Sparrow. Please note that I put the date of this post to coincide as close as possible with the actual event. So hence why this looks like new content from the past. Cuz… Well… it is. Sorta.
Anyways on to the story:
After all the fun J and I had with Pathfinder’s hole in the hull, insurance fun as a result of said hole, and extreme fears that we may need to sell Pathfinder if the water levels in Lake Ontario don’t recover from their extremely low levels are nerves were rather raw. So after a nice long Christmas Holiday up at my parents we weren’t really expecting any surprises aside from a slightly cold boat to go home to and perhaps some rough weather ahead of us making the marina a bit more choppy than we like (some waves are fine… a marina that could double as a dishwasher is not). On our way back though we had some… issues. A severe storm had rolled on in from the north and was turning the entire highway 400 southbound into a skating rink making driving really dangerous for a lot of the way until we reached a traffic jam. The traffic jam wasn’t caused by car accidents (amazingly) but from the police setting up a road block to stop people from driving on an even WORSE part of the highway.
Immediately when we realized that this was the case to our left an car took out another car by rear ending it!
A split second later an SUV decided to take on the guard rail to our right. The guard rail however said “COME AT ME BRO!” and won in the struggle that ensued.
All drivers involved were fine and police were there immediately so we continued on our icy trek back to Toronto.
After getting thoroughly lost thanks to their weird detour signs we got a phone call from the Marine Police Unit in Toronto and the exchange went something like this:
“Hello is this the owner of Pathfinder?”
“Y-yes? Is it ok? DID IT SINK!?”
“… No it’s fine. There was a bit of an incident though involving your boat though so could you meet with us so we can tell you what happened?”
“Ok. Sure. WHEW. Is everything ok there though? It didn’t sink did it?”
“No no no… Everything is fine. Just show up when you can.”
We were pulled over then (as ALL people with cellphones should do… Honestly people if someone is calling you we can all hear your car noises. It’s not easy to understand anyone while they’re driving… Sheesh. Take 5 minutes and pull over onto the shoulder) and you can imagine the sort of head rush I had with a call from the police about our poor Pathfinder at this point. The roads were still a bit icy but once we got to the inner city roads we made our way down as fast as possible.
Sadly I don’t have any photo’s to share of what we saw when we got there but I’ll describe as best I can.
I got out of the car right beside the boat (it’s easier to unpack when the car is that close) and noticed that something didn’t look quite right at all. The boat was at least a yard and a bit away from the wall we tie up to during winter. I realized then that with this strong wind from the east we the ship was being blown away from the wall rather strongly (Yes I said from the north before but in Toronto the wind gets twisted around quite a bit with the buildings). Worse yet our usual collection of up to 6 lines we have (including to lines that are over 1 1/2″ thick) that we use to tie ourselves up only 2 were still tied there. If the lines snapped we’d cruise merrily sideways through the marina and crush the other boats potentially! Given how late it was at that time there was a good chance that no one would notice the large steel vessel sneaking up on them in the howling wind either.
So I made the leap over and had to find what happened to our lines. They were all over the ship it weird piles so I grabbed a few of them and toss the ends to J so she could throw them over the bollards on the wall and I could slowly cinch the ship closer to shore. Once that was done we got to unloading the car but we also noticed that our Christmas Wreath had been thrown over the little crane at the bow of the boat. Our summer stairs were positioned beside the hatch on the starboard side of the pilot house whereas a barrel we had on board was maneuvered beside the port side pilot house hatch. Also… our dingy for some weird reason was on the docks across the marina from us.
On top of all this mystery when we were about to go out and take the car back to it’s permanent parking a security guard from the Harbour Front Center asked us if we saw who it was that had done all this and if the person had green hair.
What the hell happened while we were gone?
When we got to the police station they filled us in on what had happened in total and over the course of a few days a few more details were filled in from various people that had helped out at the marina while we were gone. I’ll present this in chronological order as far as we know instead of how we had it which was in small snippets from people.
2 Days Prior:
The culprit (a rather scary lady with green hair) had been seen lurking around the Harbour Front Center a few days prior. She’s homeless and slightly mentally unstable from all accounts.
1 Day Prior:
The day before the incident involving Pathfinder she had attempted to set fire to the ice of an ice rink nearby our boat. The security guards chased her off but later on that night she came back, found the road salt and poured it in a huge X across the rink melting it right down to the concrete.
Day of the incident:
The day of the incident she was climbing all over our boat throwing stuff all over the place. Our neighbors couldn’t quite make out who the person was but assumed it must be me from distance… Just with green hair… and acting weird… Ok. That part isn’t unusual for me but there ya go.
They saw her banging on the pilot house hatches and shouted out ”Josh? Is that you?”
In a high pitched voice she replied “Nope! I’m ok!”
They then asked (thinking I was VERY strange at this point) “Do you need a hand?”
Her awesome reply was “No thanks! I have 2!” and continued to attempt to open the hatches.
Apparently after not getting in (Thank goodness she didn’t just try to smash some of the windows) she decided it would be a good time to try to untie the boat from the wall entirely. Fortunately 1 of our cables was thoroughly frozen solid by this point so the boat wasn’t going to go anywhere too far unless it simply snapped. Getting frustrated at this point she decided to try to steal the little inflatable boat we have (It was still in the water at this point since we had yet to have any ice in the marina at this point). She got in and broke both of the oar locks (1 only a bit. The other needs to be completely replaced), lost an oar, and started to paddle out of the marina.
Fortunately she didn’t get far before someone in the marina stopped her. She had no life jacket on and the weather was getting very bad very quickly so she would most likely be flipped into the lake and freeze to death if they hadn’t stopped her. The way they did that was by convincing her to come over to the dock for a moment and just continuously talk to her. It was there that they asked what she was doing with the dingy. Her albeit honest/creative reply was that she was stealing it so she could get to her other ship The Empire Sandy (a large 3 masted sailing vessel at Toronto most notably not owned by a homeless lady with green hair). They managed to keep her on the dock by making up the story that the gate to the dock they were on was broken and someone was off getting a lock smith to fix it. In reality they were running off to the police to get them to take care of her.
She was then arrested under the mental health act and taken to a hospital where they could treat her.
At this point people would think that this is the end of the story. But it isn’t. In Ontario you can only apparently be held for 2 to 3 days under the Mental Health Act before being released. So…
2 Days After The Incident:
One of the marina guys noticed that someone with green hair had stolen a ladder and was trying to use it to climb over the gate to the dock to where my dingy was still floating (I figured I’d leave it there for now to dissuade anyone else from trying to go on a Shackleton-esque voyage). The guy threatened to call the police (again) and she ran off.
When all things were said and done we were out 1 paddle, and had a bit of damage to the dingy. We asked the police if there was anything we could do on that front to get some compensation. I didn’t figure there was anyway to get some but hey, might as well ask. They informed me that given that she was well known by the police for having mental issues and being permanently homeless in the area that literally there was nothing to do.
Now… As to why I called this post “Captain Jack Sparrow?”… Well when we pieced together the entire story it reminded me of an article from The Sun I had read about a drunk lady that tried to steal a ferry in Britain. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4548061/Woman-stole-passenger-ferry-after-drug-and-drinks-bender.html Short version she was on drugs and booze and decided she was the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow destined for adventure on the high seas! I figure that our green haired Captain was planning a similar voyage. Where would she have gone? Who knows! But it could’ve been interesting if she had succeeded.
One more Jack Sparrow link for everyone: http://youtu.be/GI6CfKcMhjY