Our local pier is a special place. Or rather they are since we have both old and new piers. They attract all sorts.
They are working piers as fishermen and women sell their catch fresh from the boat. The customers haggle over the price, the fisherman lifts like a knight’s lance a long pole, on the end of which is a net. The buyer puts the money into the net, the pole is withdrawn and the money is retrieved. Then the pole extends upwards a second time complete with purchase and change if appropriate.
On a less industrial scale the locals fish for their supper, usually with low productivity but occasionally landing something to draw the crowds. I sense that most are fishing for pleasure and care not whether they land much. Perhaps the lads want to land “the big one” to impress the lasses but more often it is the one that got away.
Strangely enough they also attract bird photographers. This is a great place to go and photograph the local Black kites and if you are lucky, the White-bellied sea-eagles that roost just a few hundred metres away on Cheung Chau. Maybe you will get a few terns blown inshore at migration time and phalaropes too. In the early evening on a clear day the light is wonderful, fudge soft and caramel warm, glowing on the kites as they swoop to pick what they can off the surface of the water.
This is also the place for the leisure craft to dock, picking up those who wish to explore the GeoPark or, in a less inquisitive frame of mind, explore the joys of a ‘booze cruise’. And from the side steps the dragon boat crews push off to the rhythm of the drum, practicing hard for the festivals and competitions that probably draw bigger crowds than the London olympics but with just as many empty seats, reserved for the so-called dignitaries.
It is also a natural gathering place for meeting friends and simply passing the time of day. And here are two men doing just that, calling down to the boatmen, bantering amongst themselves and soaking up the vitamin D. No SPF 50+ here.
And if all else fails, well you can do your sewing.
Me, well I am the spectator, the people-watcher.
And I am going back to primary school for a while too. After 15 years in HK I have decided to start learning Chinese characters. My professor will be the very strict Mrs. Ha and woe betide me if I don’t do my homework. This could be interesting 🙂