Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

tourists on boats

The Pacific Rim area receives about 2.2 million visitors a year. That's more than Victoria. There is a smattering of tourists in the winter but by the time summer rolls around, it's all RVs and SUVs from places afar.

One of the fun things for tourists to do around here is to go whale watching. On their way out of the Ucluelet harbour, the skippers of the whale watching boats often stop right in front of a commercial fishing offload to stare, take pictures.

There is a term for this: it's called cultural voyeurism.

Most of the plant people are annoyed at this blatant rudeness. The tourists don't know or care that it's rude, most likely. They just find it interesting. And it is interesting, I guess, but for the boat to stop 50 feet from the dock just seems like mockery. These people with their $5,000 cameras taking pictures of people who aren't sure if they can pay their rent next week.

We (me and the plant staff) often talk about mooning or flashing the tourists. We would love to, but aren't really brave enough. Oh yeah, and we might risk losing our jobs, there is that.

What would be much more considerate is for people to come and pay us for a tour, perhaps with explanations. The whale watching companies don't give the fish plants a cut, and by golly they should for the amount of entertainment we give them. One of the fellows often picks up the biggest halibut he can find (about 60 pounds or more, an impressive four feet or so) and that same snotty skipper always gets on the intercom and says 'good man'. The rest of us want to stick up our fingers.

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