Captain Jack Sparrow?

On January 07, 2013 In Boat, Captains Log, Weird People

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. 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:

The day I got called a filthy name by a smelly man

On August 11, 2010 In Weird People

Note: To my readers. I do apologize for the below article. It is rather sharp in wording and not up to the quality I expect from myself. I’m not going to delete it however, as it is a reminder to me to not write this sort of article while I’m having a bad week and generally I’m in a bad mood. That being said, however, my next post may be a bit of a rant as I’ve had one hell of unique weekend.

– Josh

So I was told recently that I hadn’t done a Weird People post lately. Which isn’t to say that I haven’t run into some weird people but I’ve been very busy with the boat, work, life, etc. I do in fact have a few posts that are 1/2 written just not posted yet. Anyways as I was saying I have run into a few interesting folks lately.

The last one I saw lately was when my Dad and myself took the contractors that did my tiling out to dinner at a restaurant called the Watermark. While we were sitting there a lady that you could smell before you saw staggered a bit on up to our table and asked an innocent enough question which was if she could sit with us. Now first off before people say “Awwh why didn’t you let her sit there?” there’s a few things you have to know about this lady:

  1. She smelled rather bad
  2. She was drunk out of her skull
  3. We saw the fake plants in the restaurant wilt near where she had been
  4. After we turned her away she tried to get other people to buy her more drinks
  5. Did I mention she kinda reeked?

So needless to say we said “No we’d rather not.” She tried to change our minds by saying she was from the country and tried acting “cute” I suppose… or spastic… Could’ve been both… But ya. So to add to the awkwardness she went back to her seat and glared at us for the next hour until she was escorted out blind drunk to pass out on the bench in the mall there. Fun times.

Next up on this retelling of people I’ve met was one that happened today. Homeless dude wandering around in the PATH tried to scoot around the lunch entourage claiming “He was on his way for business.” after growling at me. Full out growl just under his breath. Normally this would be the end of the story but he happened to continue our way and he was met by… an automatic door. This particular door is opened with a proximity sensor on the wall that you just wave your hand in front of for wheelchair access. He decided to start pounding on it. Despite the fact that the door was already open and had been for several minutes prior to his arrival. Ahhhh people.

Now the last person. This one got rather offensive but in unexpected ways. The office I work at had a cruise with the entire floor lots of fun was had by all (no photos sorry). After getting off the boat one of the guys I work with and I went for a quick walk to talk about boats (he found out about my “little” vessel and wanted to hear more). In comes the homeless smiley dude… or rather the normally homeless smiley dude. He kinda of Mr.Hyde’d out apparently that day and was very aggressive to many people. He demanded money from us or he’d bust in our teeth and other forms of bodily violence… Then called me a… Well… Derogatory term for an African American. Which is funny for 2 reasons. One is that clearly this marketing strategy of getting people to give him money wasn’t working to his advantage at all and I later found out he tried this on everyone that got off the cruise. Second if you know me I’m whiter than rice. I’m so white that Ray Charles complains about the glare off of any skin I actually bare to the sunlight.

So ya. That’s some of the fun from recently.

Ma’ Beaker appears!

On June 15, 2010 In News, Weird People

A few days ago I had a string of weird people meetings on the GO Train. 3 in 1 day in fact. First on the way in I sat across from 2 highschool students that were going into University soon. One was going for some fairly generic courses (can’t remember which exactly), the other was going to like University for like Volleyball so she could like do like cool stuff like maybe become like a like doctor like like! When I come into power I figure one of the first words I’ll have stricken from the English language is “like”. Everyone will be forced to us “similar to” or “has properties which are some what like” JUST to stop short single word abuse.

Next when I was getting off the train at my stop I turned around and came face to face with a lady that seriously looked li… similar too beaker. Same crazy hair, same down turned smile of mild dismay, and same bug eyes. It took quite a bit not to exclaim “Meemoo MOOOO!” And because this paragraph is a bit short here’s a youtube clip of beaker.

Finally on the way to the boat I met… Toooh-neeee….. Tony isn’t quite all there and is kinda smelly. I made the distinct mistake of shaking his hand in greeting after we had talked about how to get to Center Island and if you had to pay to get back. When I got to the island I naturally washed my hands… and then again… and then finally the “essence” of Tony was finally thwarted by a liberal use of industrial hand sanitizer. Smelly Tony is a nice helpful guy (wanted to help carry the cooler I had brought along) but as the nick name suggests… He’s kinda smelly.

Anyways that’s all the weird people I’ve seen lately of any significance. News wise the move of the boat went well and I’m in a great spot now. Construction is also moving along at a good speed and I figure we’ll be totally done demolition by the end of this week. I’ll have to do a more thorough post on what is going to be going on with the boat when I get a chance to digitize my floor plan sketches.

Well that’s all for now. Ciao.

Praying for Passage

On February 18, 2010 In Weird People

I’ve been meaning to write about this lady for a bit but there’s not much to really say. When I walk to my train station in the morning there’s this lady sitting in a mini-van praying like there’s no tomorrow. I’m fairly sure she gets on the train afterwards but I find this praying right before getting on the train a bit disconcerting. It’s like being on an airplane and sitting beside someone that’s praying for the plan to not crash. Nothing particularly wrong with it per say, but it’s a bit unnerving that it looks like someone thinks that maybe today will be the day the train derails and performs a double somersault into the highway. I suppose I could try talking to her and ask “For the love of GOD do you know something that we DON’T!?”

Bolt cutter guy update

On February 05, 2010 In Weird People

So I ran into him on the way to work today. He actually was riding a bike around… It was lime green and the kind that is usually labeled as a “girls” bike (metal fenders, the different frame type etc). It also had the pole for a large bike warning flag out the back. Now I don’t want to cast aspersions at people that ride those sorts of bikes but it was most likely not the sort of bike he’d go out and get himself.

Weird Wanderers

On February 02, 2010 In Weird People

So as some people know I tend to run into and have conversations with homeless or very weird people often. I’m beginning to think there’s a memo sent out to odd people saying “This person is too polite to totally ignore someone that’s talking to them” or something because they never seem to have issues finding me or striking up the most bizarre conversations.

Case in point last night when walking home.

Walking home at night I came across a rather… mmmm… toothy individual (missing teeth and the others mostly chipped). When I say came across I mean more smelled from a distance, looked up to find the source and saw him. Anyways this individual had with him a pair of bolt cutters and was about to test them out on a fence (he wasn’t trying to break in though as the fence is on a property line and he could easily just walk around it) when he caught sight of me. I was more than happy to just walk by so I could get home and warm up, but oh no. We couldn’t let that happen. We had to have a conversation. Roughly it went like this:

Him: “Heh heh… Bolt cutters like the guy with crack in the news paper!”
Me: “What? I was more curious why you had bolt cutters.”
H: “Oh! I’m here cuz I need to cut the bolt off of my bike. I’m not doing anything illegal. I mean hey! Bolt cutters the cops might not like that.”
M: “… Well as long as you’re not-”
H: “Like that guy with the crack and all the bikes in the news!”
M: “What guy?”
H: “You know the one that the cops found! He was stealing bikes and selling them for crack and pot! He had 2 BAGS of pot man!”
M: “Ya. Ok. I hadn’t read that. I don’t really read the news-”
H: “Imagine that much pot!”
M: “Ok.”
H: “I’m waiting for my friend to help me with my bike. I’m not stealing anything!”
M: “Great… Well… err… you have a good one then. Bye!”
H: “Ya have a good one buddy!”

How do they find me? That conversation is paraphrased a bit as I got more details of the drug/bike bust but that’s the essential just of the conversation and bang on for the style. Perhaps I should start listing out all the encounters I’ve had with these odd folk over the years. Oh well. Another adventure survived unscathed.

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