Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-08-2010, 21:09   #1
Marine Service Provider
 
banyandah's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North Coast NSW
Boat: 38' cutter
Posts: 253
Images: 35
Send a message via Skype™ to banyandah
Late Night Visitor



While alongside at Emu Point Slipway in Albany, I heard my dear lady shouting in the night. "Put that down. Get out of it."

Groggy, coming out a deep sleep, I thought she was dreaming, and was about to comfort her when I felt her crawl over me. That got me wide awake. I sleep next to the companionway.

Rising in the dim light, I heard Jude shout that someone had been on our boat and had just gotten off. So without a thought, I was away like a shot, over the rail, onto the dock and off towards the empty parking lot. In the dim single lamp, a large figure was walking off with something in his arms. I ran after, shouting, "Put that stuff down! Walk away and nothing more will happen!"

Reaching alongside the figure, he was bigger than me, shirtless and carrying our two green shopping bags in one hand, and in the other, swishing round n'round something like a long Kungfu stick, which I carefully kept out of its range.

"Now look buddy, you don't want any trouble. Just put that stuff down, and get out of here and there'll be no trouble." Not a word in reply, just the swishing of that long stick. I looked about the dark marina, not a soul in sight. Look back to the young man, the stick caught the arc light and became our homemade boat hook whose sharpen stainless end doubles as a gaff.

Jude now suddenly rushed up and damn near tackled the fellow, and I had to yell at her to keep away. "He's got our boat hook!"

In a shrill voice she yelled out, "That's my dirty laundry in those bags! Just put it down and get out of here."

What was this character doing? Dead of night, stealing dirty laundry and an ancient boathook. I didn't want trouble, not for us nor this young fellow. But he wouldn't stop walking towards the exit, so I began screaming out "Help! Robber! Help!" I was so loud; someone would either come running or call the police. But the lad just kept slopping along the payment and no one came to our aid.



Emu Point Slipway is an industrial area. There's a marina, but few are there at night. "Look lad, my lady and I built that boat, we built every scrap, sailed her around the world, raised our kids on her too, so she's precious to us. Won't you just put the stuff down and walk away. I promise there'll be no further trouble."

And just about when I'd given up all hope, he stopped, and then slowly put the bags and hook down, and then shuddered and began to cry.

I have weakness for all mankind. The world's a tough place. And having pulled myself out from a rather horrible start, I find time for lost souls where ever I encounter them.

Reaching up, putting my arm round his bare shoulder, I comforted him and ask what was the matter?

In a torrent, out poured, "They mistreat me. Won't let me out. Don't understand."

Jude picked up her laundry and moved the boathook away from the two of us while I asked, "You talking about your family?"

"No, I've been in hospital, but the nurse abuses me, so I ran away tonight. I didn't mean any trouble. Just thought I could get some money to get to my dad."

I was still just in my nightshirt and suddenly feeling the cold, I said, "Look, why don't we go back to the boat. Are you hungry?"

Well, of course we didn't get on the Banyandah, but sat on the dock alongside her, and while Jude made us cups of tea and slices of bread with marmalade, I listened to this young lads outpouring.

In a nutshell, he wasn't crazy. Just knew his rights, as we all do with the tellie informing us all the time that we have the right to this or that. And he'd found an easy way through life as a ward of our great nation. At the present moment, he was checked into a mental ward claiming he had self-harm problems, and oh yeah, he'd abused.

I grew up in LA. The world's most fierce city. Walk into a payphone and the sharp edge of a knife might find your throat. Park your car on a dark street and a pistol may greet your exit. Abused? Crikey, I got touched up at thirteen and was drugged by two old farts at eighteen. So I told this young man there's no profit in looking back. Life is the future, not the past. It's tough enough without carrying extra baggage. Then thinking of our welfare system, I asked, "What's the matter, you don't like hard work?"

"No, I don't mind working. My dad and I once picked fruit and I enjoyed lugging round the bins."

"Well then, Life is an opportunity. Get off your butt and go somewhere in life. The system will make you a captive. They pay you enough to survive, but not to progress. And unless you make a break, you'll be no more than you are now for the rest of your life. Look at us; seen the world, love all critters and still going strong because we have had dreams."

Yes, I know, won't erase a lifetime of problems in a couple of hours, so we asked if he had family then listen to a string of woe about broken marriages and his mom's new man not wanting him around. It didn't surpass my own history.

"What about your dad?"

"Yeah, he's great. In Queensland but."

"Well, that seems the best course to me. Change of venue gives you a new start, and if your dad will help, you'll find some support while you get yourself moving forward again. Just find a dream."

Considering it was three in the morning, Jude then asked the most important question, "What are you going to do now?

"Dunno."

Always practical she suggested, "Why not go back to the hospital and tell them what you've done and ask them to place a telephone call to your father."

Surprising us both, he agreed, so we gave him a shirt and old jumper, exchanged my Ugg boots he'd nicked for a pair of sunny Queensland flip-flops, and he walked out of our lives.

Jude called the hospital around ten, and the staff nurse exclaimed, "Oh, you're the couple." Then reported he'd told her the whole story and that they were attempting to put him in touch with his father. Do hope his life has a happy ending. A few days after that we sail off across the Great Australian Bight.
__________________

__________________
Jack and Jude
Sailing stories and guides
banyandah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2010, 21:25   #2
Registered User
 
Doodles's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Virginia, USA & Krabi, Thailand
Boat: Wauquiez Pretorien 35; Nordica 16
Posts: 2,810
Images: 1
Nice story and thanks so much for sharing it. As some wise sage once said ..."- Within each of us lies the hopes and fears of everyone else."

Too bad there aren't more people like you in the world.
__________________

__________________
Mundis Ex Igne Factus Est
Doodles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2010, 21:43   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bellingham WA
Boat: 17' faering Ironblood, building 34' schooner Javelin
Posts: 305
Oh, my god. We are all you. What you did on the dock that night was more wonderful than words can say. You turned a likely disaster into a gift of life. I know that is not why you posted this, but I should tell you that similar things have happened in my life, that I have sent others on to what I hope was a better life. What you report here is such a tiny, seemingly insignificant piece of the life we have afloat. But it is not insignificant. I'll wager that many of us on this website have had similar experiences that we simply do not share. But they are part of who we are. You are part of who we are. Thank you for sharing this.
__________________
MichaelC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2010, 21:52   #4
Marine Service Provider
 
banyandah's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North Coast NSW
Boat: 38' cutter
Posts: 253
Images: 35
Send a message via Skype™ to banyandah
Thanks Doodles & MichaelC
Initial reaction was instinctive, then when he wept our hearts reached out to help.
There's more to come in our soon to be published book...
__________________
Jack and Jude
Sailing stories and guides
banyandah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2010, 23:26   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
Minggat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hawaii, South Pacific bound
Boat: Islander 36
Posts: 1,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by banyandah View Post


I grew up in LA. The world's most fierce city.

Not to detract from your story. Good reading. But I grew up in LA too, without a single loss of life.

I was robbed in Sydney though.

Everyplace has it fierce parts.
__________________
Minggat
Minggat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 01:11   #6
Registered User
 
anjou's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Malvernshire, on the sunny side of the hill.
Boat: 50' steel canal and river cruiser
Posts: 1,905
A lesson learned for me and im impressed.
I have to read it again and commit to memory cos I think my reaction would have been to attack him straight away before finding out the reasons why.

I have just re read it and my instinct is to edit what I just wrote, but I shall leave it as my lesson to self.

Well done both of you for your patience and compassion.and thanks for sharing.
__________________
www.amy-artimis.blogspot.com
anjou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 01:58   #7
Registered User
 
Serenity_'s Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Columbia mouth
Boat: coming soon.......
Posts: 49
Wouldn't you have been legally obligated to call the police as he proclaimed to be a mental hospital escapee?

That was very nice what you did though.
__________________
Serenity_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 02:25   #8
Marine Service Provider
 
banyandah's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North Coast NSW
Boat: 38' cutter
Posts: 253
Images: 35
Send a message via Skype™ to banyandah
Hello Minggat
Not wanting to ruffle you further, just wanting to remind you that a 'time' goes with each place. As a lad in the forties, I dodged beer cans, bottles and BB pellets fired by Oakies in East LA, then ran with a gang for safety from the other two races sharing the valley during the 50's. Sure, no one was killed. But I've got a nice scar from a blade, although my balls are still attached, thanks to some very fast running.
On the other hand, Sydney back in the 70's was nearly heaven. We never locked our car or house. Aye, things do change. And so, I'm quite happy to tell folks that LA is a good place to be from. Taught me to look after me self. And that not everyone gets the good breaks. Cheers from Australia
__________________
Jack and Jude
Sailing stories and guides
banyandah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 03:31   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Minggat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hawaii, South Pacific bound
Boat: Islander 36
Posts: 1,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by banyandah View Post

I'm quite happy to tell folks that LA is a good place to be from.
Not to worry. Heard it before. There are places in LA that are bad, just like so many other places in the world. I know that a lot of people share that view. I there was a thread going on here some time ago listing the dangerous places of the world, and LA was not at the top. Hence, not the most "fierce", that's all.

Good on ya. Heartwarming story. Hope the young man finds what he needs.

Here in this part of the world (Indonesia) there are way too many people in need, and then they get robbed of what little they have, often by the police.

It is seriously difficult to remember how lucky we are, just to be able to read and write. MOST of the world can't.
__________________
Minggat
Minggat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2010, 15:10   #10
Registered User
 
inSanity's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Boat: Sundance 23
Posts: 62
Great story. Even humble little Portland is turning into the mean streets. Today's news, 8 shootings in 24 hours have police hustling. Gang activity. 2.5 miles from my house, very quiet neighborhood.

Glad you folks did what you did for the lad.
__________________
Water is Life!!!!
inSanity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2010, 03:09   #11
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 110
Heh top stuff banyandah, thats a win for humanity.

Glad it all worked out and glad you helped him, that sorta thing makes a difference.
__________________

__________________
troymclure is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Unwanted Visitor gbendaly Off Topic Forum 33 07-09-2009 16:26
Night visitor! What bird is it? MarkJ Off Topic Forum 12 08-04-2009 16:21
WTB: ITT Night Mariner 160 night vision monocular sporf Classifieds Archive 0 17-11-2008 18:53
Old visitor new member stuffinbox Meets & Greets 2 28-09-2006 22:18



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:20.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.