When you have looked out my window long enough and for as many years as I have, you get to be familiar with the local boats and what is likely their reason to be in front of the house.
Often as not, it is kayakers and big white boats cruising by, enjoying the day, as they tour through our beautiful Gulf Islands. Sport fisherman often cut past our place as a quick route to the better fishing grounds.
Residents often pass our house to get to the private marina or to their personal mooring buoys. When a resident is in front of the house I can usually tell who it is by the sound of their engine or by the day of the week or speed of the boat.
There are the dreaded jet skis, who travel too fast and too late in the evening. I am not a fan.
But then there are the very rare sightings of slow moving small aluminum boats and beat up fibreglass boats with crappy two bit engines. These boats are usually carrying two or three men, no life jackets, no fishing gear. Often, I see these boats in the winter when they come across from the public boat ramp on a weekday. They seem to like rough weather and heavy fog for their excursions. Because these guys are up to no good.
So I take their picture and I keep it in case something on the island goes missing. Then I will phone my friend around the other side of the island and tell him a boat is coming. He will watch for it and follow its route. Then he will call another neighbour further around the island. We basically track the route of the stranger’s boat. It used to be just three or four of us in the winter but now there are a lot more people living here year ’round and a lot more people watching out. Some could say we are nosey.
Last week a friend heard some voices at 3 am off a tin can boat on the shoreline and she got dressed and followed their voices ’til they came ashore and then she watched them from behind a tree until they were gone.
Last night the alert went up, when a known ne’er-do-well boat was seen arriving at the island around 8:30 pm. Two residents then followed them from in land and shone lights on the boat as they pulled into an isolated shore. Another big strong neighbour then came around on the water side in his boat, boxed them in and took pictures while he explained they aren’t welcome here.
Note, there really isn’t anyone who has any legitimate reason to be sneaking around the shoreline in the dark in a tin can with a Mickey Mouse search light duct taped to the front winch.
A lot of us now have cameras on our property. The original reason was to see what the wild life got up to when we were sleeping. But it really doesn’t hurt having the extra eyes on the property, with A##holes coming around in the dark for no good reason.
That said, it should be noted we have had slim to no theft off this island since I got here. Probably because the island is small enough that we all pretty much know everyone here. We have a pretty good idea of who should be walking along our one road, pulling a boat up onto the beach or sneaking around the shoreline in the dark. The fact that we have the likes of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew living here
doesn’t hurt either