Wednesday, July 9, 2008

St John's Island

Trust the cops to always dish out a good yarn ...

Working in a newspaper in the early 1990s (or thereabouts), I had an assignment once to follow a Police Coast Guard boat out on patrol for a night to see our guys in blue in action again illegal immigrants which was a hot topic at the time.

So with a photographer in tow, we set off for what we hoped would be an eventful night. It didn't quite turn out like that. The seas were calm, the moon was big 'n bright (apparently not a good time for these people smugglers to be out and about) and well... nothing happened.

So to pass the time, we started yakking with the crew on the bridge (I guess you could call it that but it was a pretty small boat ...) about nothing in particular. Of course being stuck on a boat in the middle of well ... nowhere, the conversation eventually drifted to what else ... good ole tales of the supernatural. Okay I was game... I don't remember all the details of the many stories but one stuck in my head all these years.

Now remember that these were the days before a handfone became an essential body-part - at least it was when this "incident" happened. The crew was made up of some young officers I guess. The night-shift must have been another bore and so someone had the notion to give his girlfriend a call.

The boat stopped off at St John's Island at the end of a pier and the guy trotted off to a public fone booth at the end of the dock. Midway through his conversation, he glanced up and saw his crewmates waving frantically for him to come back. Apparently he wasn't too bothered (or he didn't want to waste his 10 cents) and continued with his call. Finally (I guess he ran out of coins) he returned to the boat and it sped off.

Only when they had put some distance between them and the island did they tell the now confused chap what they saw. While he was engrossed in conversation, his mates could see (apparently quite clearly) a woman in white - yes complete with long hair and all, standing next to him ...

Geez thanks guys for sharing that story and scaring the @#$%^& out of us...

Notice once people get on a roll telling ghost stories, it just goes on and on.... I decided to call it quits and grab some shut-eye at my usual seat outside on the open deck near the engines.

Of course they had to wait for me to get nice and comfortable before one of the older officers "advised" me that maybe I shouldn't sit on the starboard (right) side of the boat. The reason ... later on that nite (yes we are now back to the original ghost story) ... they all saw the same lady in white ... sitting there ... looking out to sea.

Now this got me thinking ... since spirits can float - why are they always looking out for free rides from us mere mortals??

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