The intermittent red flashes annoyingly
illuminated the semi-dark of the inside of Jim's Van. An RCMP constable
was treading his way purposefully to the driver's window, his right
hand poised defensively over his right hip. A ripple of surprise spread
over the six of us sprawled amongst packsacks, waders and rod tubes.
This day had begun like any ordinary trip to the Sechelt for cutthroat.
We had met in the early morning gloom on the slick pavement at Park
Royal. Most of us piled into the largest conveyance there - Jim's red
van. Hurriedly we sped off to make the Langdale ferry, our chatter focusing
on the rough weather and happily on the success that the fellows had
had last weekend at Sechelt.
Coffee and breakfast provided a pleasant surprise. A baker's half
dozen Totem Fly Fishers were on board and also heading for the Sechelt
beaches. The 55 minute trip was spent spreading lies, comparing notes
and wondering out loud how we were all going to fit all the bodies at
our usual and accustomed fishing beaches. When the P.A. announced our
arrival, the rush for the lower decks was much more spirited than usual
- a "Langdale start" as one of the boy racers muttered out.
As it turned out we didn't get very far out of Langdale.
After checking Jim's certificates, the unsmiling and unexplaining constable
demanded to look in the back. "Only a bunch of wet back fly fishermen
in there!" Jim said defensively, as he cracked the back door; the
constable still didn't smile. Expecting to be there awhile and anxious
to hit the beach I asked cautiously if I could put on my long johns
- out of view of the road, of course, so I wouldn't be cited for public
To our surprise and relief the constable said, with a slight flicker
of a smile, "you boys can go now. We had an anonymous tip this
morning that a red van carrying a load of marijuana was coming to the
peninsula. Yours was the only red van on board"!
As we rumbled down to Elphinstone, Granville reflected, "surely
they wouldn't do a dirty on us like that - just to get to the beaches
first?" "Well, there is a phone on the ferry, and Bill Brown
did take a long time in the can", added Tom.
[November 1976, Vol 8, #11, P:2]