The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men . . .

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men . . .

With credit to Robbie Burns for the title quote I will tell a tale of woe that  I heard  many years ago about the Green Island lightkeepers and how they had run out of tobacco (a common occurence on the lighthouses) and the keepers had pooled their money to charter a float plane from Prince Rupert, 25 miles (15.5 kms) away, to bring some more cigarettes and tobacco out to the lighthouse. 

It should be easy, eh? - photo Ray McKenzie

The small float plane arrived with the cargo on board and circled the island a few times, tipping his wings as he spotted the keepers standing outside waving. But alas, he radioed the keepers that because of the outflow northeast winds from Portland Canal he could not land on the ocean as requested, but, if the keepers wanted to take the risk, he could could fly over the island and drop the package from the cockpit window. 

The keepers eagerly agreed and watched as the plane circled back and approached from the southwest, directly into the NE wind, aiming for the habited part of the island where the keepers were waiting out of the cold wind.. As he reached the shoreline the pilot had to raise the plane up to clear the buildings and the pilot dropped the goodies

The plane roared overhead . . .

The plane roared overhead. The package sailed from the cockpit, drifted slowly over the island and then caught in the NE winds which roared over the island at near gale force, it lifted, sailed south, and dropped neatly into the ocean and was last seen bobbing on the waves, drifting towards Prince Rupert and well out of reach of the amazed lightkeepers and the pilot. 

I never did hear who had to pay for what after that incident. 

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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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