Fisherman’s Etiquette at the Marina

Fishing at the Splat Creek Marina was slow that evening.  I ended up chatting with an old guy called Harry, who was quite the character.  Every second word was a curse.   **#%$ $!!  @$%^%**#!! Harry was telling me stories of working up in the bush up north when he was young, and how he’d pick fights in the bar, get thrown in jail and get in trouble with the !@#&* RCMP.


Despite his rough edges, I actually couldn’t help but like this guy.  He had a sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye.   It was kind of like talking to your grandfather (that is, if your grandfather cursed like a sailor and had a criminal record).


Harry went on, and he was in his element.  He cheerfully desribed how he went into a bar room once, and swung two chairs, one in each hand, and tried to clobber any @#*# Son of an Oar who’d challenge him. @#$%!  Goddamn @#$%!**!  *&$# mother @#&!


Then suddenly, this sailboat slowly started approaching the harbor diagonally, instead of straight in, and threatens to cut right across our fishing lines.  A lot of irate fisherman asked the boat to “move away” but the boat kept its course.  


The Captain (Sail Master) coasted by and he wasn’t apologetic at all. In fact, he ended up running right over everyone lines, tangling us all up, and cutting old Harry’s line.   And in Fisherman’s Etiquette at the marina, this is a major Cardinal Sin.


Suddenly Harry was no longer the kindly grampa-type.   He started some serious yelling about the Goddamn Son of an Oar cut my line $%$**,  sonnavabitch @#%**!, why I ought to drill a hole in his boat, he’s lucky I dont’ go over there and punch him out, the @#%$!$*#@.   I should go there at night and find the plug in his hull, and pull it out and sink the @$*#suckers boat. 

Captain Sail Master went on to moor his boat, while I politely listened to Harry rant while trying to keep a straight face. 

Then an hour later, Round Two.  The Sail Master walked up to us and asked us who was the one calling him names.  Harry stood up and proceeded to tear a strip off him. @#%$!  *&#%!   Son of an Oar! You goddam cut my line, etc. etc. **#$%@!

Suddenly Harry had help.   Another old dude (Fisherman Bud), who was quiet all this time, joined in.  Now there were two grumpy old men yelling at the Sail Master.  

Sail Master didn’t stand a chance, yet he still tried to apply reason to these two.  He commented to Harry and Fisherman Bud that they had the whole  river to fish in, but when he was sailing, he only had the harbour. We could always move elsewhere, but couldn’t.  Therefore, he had the right-of-way. 

” Right-of-way, my @#$**!,you godamn don’t know how to $%*ing  sail”  Harry replied.   

The Sail Master informed the group that he had in fact, recieved his Sail Master Instructor Certificate, and that he did know a little bit about maneuvering a sail boat.

Despite these high qualifications, the old geezers remained unimpressed. Fisherman Bud informed the Sail Master what he thought of his nautical skills: “You dont’ know sh** from a hole in the ground”.

There is no need to use this language, the Sail Master said.

(…meanwhile, I’m hiding behind the light house, bursting a blood vessel trying not laugh).

You knew the Sail Master was gonna loose the argument, but I had to admire his determination.  He was not only trying to hold his ground in front of a bunch of pissed-off locals, but he was trying to educate them on the rules and etiquette of sailing. (Ummm…yeahhh.  Good luck with that!)

Harry and Bud continued to ream him out, they were tag-teaming now, and the Sail Master was getting it in stereo. “Don’t you know how to drive a Goddamn boat?   Don’t you have any courtesy?  You’re bloody ignorant, thats what you are, etc. etc”. 

I almost (but not quite) felt sorry for Captain Sail Master, but at least the argument seemed to be calming down. 

When things seemed normal, Fisherman Bud calmly told the Sail Master that next time, maybe you might consider not pissing off everyone.  

The Sail Master asked “Are you threatening me?”.  

“No”, said  Fisherman Bud, “…but if you keep doing ignorant shit like this, sooner or later you might end up having your boat sunk.” (…and somehow I didn’t doubt it).

After the Sail Master left, Harry informed me that it’s a good thing he was old and more frail, because if he was younger, he’d have grabbed that that *&#%&#$  into the water and only one of them would have come up. 

Lucky Harry was 70 and walked with a cane. I suspect if he was 20 years younger, he probably would, in fact, have gone after the poor Captain.

I guess all this arguing got him worked him, because Harry had to take a leak.   He was diabetic, he explained to me, so it “comes on suddenly”.   Yes, quite suddenly, because he then knelt down 2 feet away from me, unzipped, and let’er rip!   The huge puddle continued to spread inches away from my feet.   (Good thing I had moved my tackle box) .

Nobody else seems to notice, or seemed to mind.  Apparently this is all part of Fisherman’s Etiquette at the Splat Creek Marina.  

I learned two things that evening.  1)  Never, EVER cross the old guys at the marina , and 2) never stand where Harry was fishing.

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One Comment on “Fisherman’s Etiquette at the Marina”

  1. urbangrizzly Says:

    Funny story! I enjoyed it very much.

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