Monday, October 11, 2004

Stakeout : Part II

Friday morning came. At 1.30am I was down at the docks nibbling jelly beans in an effort to stay awake. I looked down at my feet, thinking these were the most comfortable shoes I had worn before. I can laugh at it now that the stashes have come out.
Do you know how hard it is to run in slippers? At least I remembered the rest of my gear. The boots that the 'costume' section had given me must have been still in the box at home. I think I will write myself check lists from now on before I go out on anymore stakeouts.
Back to the stakeout.
I was positioned on the dock, blond wig on, dark pants and dark vest, oh and the slippers, on also. I was waiting, listening the the quiet crackle of my ear piece. I pulled off the wig and released my hair from it's bun, then picked up the binoculars and settled down to watch the area.
5 minutes passed, 10 minutes passed, an hour passed and I stared to think that they had put me in the wrong place facing the wrong way. I checked in with 'Lucky Dog' (LD) and he said all was quiet on his side also.
I decided to scan a little further afield, and then I found something askew, there was a container ship coming in, guided by a pair of tug boats which I knew were not from around here. How did I know this? They had 'Syd's Shipping Yard' painted on the side and the tug boats here had 'Buntings' Boats' on their side. I double checked to make sure I was looking at the right place, and yes I was sure. I called it in to LD.
There was a moment of silence as he took in the information followed by a whispered "Yahhooo". I guess this was the biggest case he had ever been on. I know he is only reasonably new on the scene.
We arranged a meeting spot to go and scout out the shipment arriving at 2.30am. It was at this stage that I discarded my slippers and carefully picked my way across the docks to the meeting spot. The first thing LD said when I got there was "?" as he looked at my boots. I whispered, which sounded like a yell in the quiet "I was tired" We both shrugged and got on with our job at hand. At least I remembered my utility belt.
I pulled out my binoculars and turned them onto night vision. I couldn't believe the things I was seeing, it was so clear. Was I really that tired that I was making important slip ups? I guess I was. I was determined to be on the ball from now on. I focused on the boat, saw lots of sailors running around as if getting the boat ready for docking. I watched as it got closer, taking in the faces of the sailors.
It was then that something occurred to me. I knew the look on those faces, it wasn't the look of someone who was about to dock, but about someone who was preparing for a crash landing. Swearing quietly under my breath I made my suspicions clear to LD. A sudden look of immense fear crossed his face and he started to shake. Grabbing him by the arm as my fear propelled me away from the incoming cargo ship, we ran like two madman.
The rest of what happened was a blur, I remember hearing the sound of splintering wood, thinking that the tugs weren't trying to guide but to stop, the immense pain as a piece of the splintered wood drove itself across the side of my foot, the surprised look on the faces of our backup (since when did we have backup, I thought this was our job, and we were alone) and flying through the air to land in a box of fishing nets.
What did I discover from that mission? Not a lot really, except that boots are really a lot more practical then slippers, fishing nets are better to land on then frozen tuna (that was LD's landing spot), and I am still a rookie.

There was a news article the next day about the boat and how it wrecked the shipping yard. Apparently the captain and first mate had gone missing, along with a life raft and a few small crates. How did they know about the crates? The first mate had added them to the ships inventory of cargo carried.

At work, hobbling, I was informed that there had been one box left behind aboard the boat.