Monday, March 19, 2007

Sherlock Holmes strikes again!

It was a dark and stormy night… (well to be accurate it wasn’t stormy at all, …yet)

A certain lady, well known for her erratic sleep habits, was awake and pillow punching at 2am. Since she was in the beautiful Port St Francis, she decided to make good use of the time by taking some night shots over the water. At this stage it was so still that the lights left long reflections in the mirror-like water of the harbour
….like this. (the storm came later…but that is another story.)

While enjoying the cool night air, and playing with settings on the camera, our insomniac became aware of 4 shadowy figures behaving strangely at the entrance to the jetties. One after the other, they started climbing over the railing, and clinging to the side of the guard-house, they edged around to the path leading to the bridge which leads to the yacht jetties. Our enterprising observer immediately set up the tripod in that direction, and photographed the “breaking and entering” in progress.

When she saw the 4 hanging around the yachts, she toyed with the idea of phoning the police emergency number, but was still not sure that an actual crime was being committed, and not just a drunken prank. So she crept out, and went up to the top of the hotel, then out around the side to try and see the emergency phone number on the National Sea Rescue Building, next to the guard house.

Unfortunately there was no way to see it without standing in a place where the 4 intruders could see her. Having learned her lesson after the injuries inflicted the last time she accosted an intruder, (you can read about that here and here) she kept out of sight, and returned to her balcony to watch and see what they were up to.

Suddenly, the silence was broken by the chugging of a motor, and a boat came in from the sea, and headed towards the yacht that the intruders had climbed aboard. Aha, thought our watchful guardian of the law…. It must be a drug deal about to go down and this is the rendezvous. But the boat went past the yacht and the 2 people moored it and then walked right past the yacht, ignoring the others. They got to the security access gate, and found that it was locked, and the guard was not in the guard-house. They went back onto the bridge and whistled, and within a short time a security guard appeared around the corner and unlocked the gate for them.

Not wanting to miss the opportunity to report her obsevations to someone in authority, our intrepid sleuth scurried back upstairs and caught up with the guard as he was about to disappear around the corner again.
She explained what she had seen, and voiced her concern that perhaps the yacht was being broken into. The guard assured her that the 4 people she described were the owners of the yacht, and had already told him they would be sleeping onboard. They had told him they would be arriving very late, and had asked for his key. He had refused to part with it, so they had obviously decided that, in his absence, they would get in another way!

Our would-be crime buster slunk back to her room. Fortunately, since her husband slept through the whole thing, and no-one knows about it, she doesn’t have to admit to feeling rather foolish for her ridiculous paranoia (obviously brought on by watching too much TV and having too many recent brushes with criminals)!
The (previously mentioned) storm…..
During the whole paranoia incident, the wind rose steadily, from nothing at 2am to really howling and whistling by 4am.
In the morning, a walk to the harbour wall revealed that a huge fleet of chokka boats (read more about them here) was drawn up outside the harbour wall, obviously sheltering from the coming storm.
The waters of the bay were relatively calm, compared to the open seas beyond the point, which were extremely choppy.
During the downpour, the fleet assumed a ghostly appearance as they rode out the storm.
Later in the afternoon, the sun came out, and the wind dropped below gale force. The sea took on a lovely deep blue, and the bright colours of the boats gleamed.
and the cloud remnants looked wonderful with the sun going down behind them
Most of the boats stayed where they were during the night, with their powerful banks of lights blazing to attract the little squid. (These halogen lamps are each larger than a man’s head!)
At sunrise, they were just turning them off, but the sea had risen during the night, and yesterday’s peaceful bay was running a large and erratic swell.
As if to reward the sailors for their courage and patience in riding out the storm, the sunrise was spectacular.
The kids came out to join us for lunch, and we went round to the penguin rehabilitation centre. Needless to say the wee E adored the whole thing, all those boats and waves and penguins... so cool!
With the Equinox a couple of days away, the seas are already building up to some extreme spring tides. By late afternoon yesterday, the waves were pounding so hard right over the harbour wall that it was impossible to walk to the end without a serious drenching.
It is hard to give you an idea of the scale of these waves, but if you look at the top smooth section of the harbour wall, (click on the picture if you need to see it bigger) that is the height of the inside walkway, and the wall is so high that you cannot look over it without standing on a step 500mm high. So bear in mind that this is high tide, and there is still about 4 times the height of the smooth bit below that, showing above the waterline!
We finally returned to the car and very reluctantly managed to tear ourselves away and return home,
......the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

A lovely surprise in the post!
Today 3 lovely ATC's arrived from Janet. Thanks so much, Janet, I love them. I don't have my camera with me today, so can't show them to you, but watch this space!

Daily photos:


RUTH said...

Fabulous photos! I think you were right to speak to the guard...they could have been master criminals!!!

Deb R said...

I think anyone would've thought those people were breaking in. If they (the people you saw) knew what you'd done, I would think they'd be glad you were willing to try to speak to someone in case it had been someone breaking in who shouldn't.

Those ocean pics are amazing and wonderful - so many different colors and moods!

Janet said...

I've been absent again but picked a wonderful day to return to blogland! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your nighttime escapdes with the "criminals" and I agree with DebR that I'm sure the people would be happy to know someone was looking out for their best interests.
Your photographs are always spectacular! I loved seeing the waves crashing on the seawall and all the boats after the storm.

CJ said...

Exciting times, hahaha...don't we get soooo paranoid (but not without cause). If it was my yacht, I'd be glad you were there! Wonderful pics; very dramatic storm.

Sheila said...

As usual you have some fabulous photos to share with us. Well if you have been watching too much TV, then so have I, because i would have wanted to do exactly the same thing.
As others have said here, the owners would probably have appreciated it. Bearing in mind your previous experience I understand your hesitation though.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I love your photos of the sea... I live inland and I miss the sea so much! That was quite an exciting night, you deserve a trench coat and a Private Eye Certificate.

Karen said...

Yes - we should all look out for eachother like that! It would make it a lot harder for criminals to get away with what they do!!

Ali Honey said...

Love the photos! Love the detective story...sure beats counting sheep...and it might have been a crime going keep up the good work - especially when you can't sleep!

Libbys Blog said...

If you hadn't done anything they would have been burgalers!!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to our website for you World of Warcraft Gold,Wow Gold,Cheap World of Warcraft Gold,cheap wow gold,buy cheap wow gold,real wow gold,Power Leveling sell wow gold, ...Here wow gold of 1000 gold at $68.99-$80.99 ,World Of Warcraft Gold,buy wow gold,sell world of warcraft gold(wow gold),buy euro gold wow Cheap wow gold,cheapest Power Leveling wow gold store ... buy euro gold wow wow gold--buy cheap wow gold,sell wow gold.welcome to buy cheap wow gold--cheap, easy, wow gold purchasing.World of Warcraft,wow gold Super