Saturday, March 15, 2008

Arresting experiences and shore walking

Yesterday Wife and I were out shopping. As we came out of the car park we saw a bald headed man in his late forties on the ground to the rear of a battered old white Lincoln. A younger guy with short brown hair had hold of his arms. Both in everyday street clothes.

Wife and I, being the kind of people we are, naturally assumed that the older man was having some kind of siezure and the younger man was trying to help him, so we both headed towards them to render assistance. As Wife got within ten metres I noticed that the older man was not in spasm, he was struggling with the younger man. "Step back love." I called Wife back as we had obviously fallen witness to an arrest and didn't want to piss off the local RCMP plain clothes people. We stepped away and watched the older mans arms pushed firmly behind his back and the cuffs snapped on. Another plain clothes man arrived and together they ensured the older man was hefted to his feet and shepherded off to the local nick. No punches, no kicks, no guns, threats or Tazers, just a little judicious Judo type hold and the supposed malefactor was hauled off in chains, despite quite a bit of swearing on his part.

Today was not so full of drama. Having looked at the budget and decided that the purchase of a new camera is going to have to wait until next payday, we instead took a wander down to a pub that has been highly recommended by our friends. It was like stepping through a space warp into the pubs I spent a goodly portion of my mis-spent youth in. Heavy dark beams and age yellowed ceiling. Beermats and memorabilia pinned up all over the walls, just a bit tidier and less careworn. The Guinness wasn't bad either, served just the way I like it, slightly below room temperature, not chilled. Well 'kept' too, with that dry hoppy flavour I like. I could get used to that.

Upon our return home, Wife had the sitting room changed around, and I retuned the TV to one of the analogue stations before taking Dog out to hunt around the inter tidal zone.

At the time of writing, most of the inter tidal stretches of shoreline are coated in a granular coat of Herring roe. Anywhere there is sea grass or any other form of sea weed it looks like it is heavily coated in coarse brown sugar. Despite the fishing boats having gone, there is still enough Herring out there to keep at least eight sea lions busy on our side of the Narrows alone. I watched one feeding less than forty feet away, gulping and snorting down fish after fish until he (she?) stopped and saw me watching him (her?). After a lazy pause the Sea Lion dived and swam off to haunt other nadirs. Like most sensible creatures, I don't suppose they like being watched eating any more than I do just in case some pedant sees fit to criticise your manners.

Bald Eagles all over the place still. Dozens of them down by the low water mark. At least ten perched in the the branches of the local waterfront Fir trees in a three hundred metre stretch. I stopped at one point and spooked four from a tree directly overhead, less than twelve metres above me by accident. The Gulls don't seem to mind having these big winged raptors hanging around, there are huge rafts of seabirds sitting out in the Narrows, occasionally taking a leisurely dive below the water in search of an easy feed. Everything around here seems just so all fired unhurried.

Had a chat with one of my neighbours whose property overlooks the water. Turns out that even those who have been here on the Island ten years or more haven't seen anything like it. Conversations with people born here have turned up more or less the same story. Herring have been reported as being sold for five dollars a bucketful in Nanaimo they are so plentiful.

As for me, I am waiting for the first of April to get my years fishing permit. If the Herring run has been this good, the Salmon will be even better. The 'springs' are plentiful in Ladysmith right now, and that bodes well for bagging a few salmon over next month. I just hope our Freezer is big enough to hold my limit, or that Wife doesn't start pulling a face and saying "Not Salmon again!" when I return with my catch.