Big Harbor Friends
“Big Harbor Friends” is a six story chapter book.
One morning Theodore was taking supplies to Ceilidh’s Cove. Dorothy was awake when Theodore arrived. “Hello Theodore!” she said cheerfully. Dorothy just loved Theodore. “Morning Dorothy. Where’s Truro?” “He’s fishing. Why?” “I brought some supplies for him.” “Oh, you can just leave them here.” Theodore unloaded his supplies. Then he turned to head back to the Big Harbor. “Theodore?” said Dorothy. Theodore heard this, and turned to face her. “Can you please take me to the Big Harbor?” Theodore knew that Dorothy always wanted to visit the Big Harbor. “Sure. I’ll see if the Dispatcher will allow it.” “Promise?” “Promise.” Then Theodore blew his whistle and headed back to the harbor. Dorothy was rocking excitedly back and forth.
As Theodore returned to the harbor, Carla was heading out. “Hello Theodore. You look cheerful. What’s up?” “I’m going to ask if I can give Dorothy a Big Harbor tour!” he said proudly. Then continued onwards to the Great Ocean Dock. “A tour?! I could do that. After all, Dorothy’s my friend.” She turned round and headed for Shediac.
Shediac was surprised to see her. “What are you doing here?” he asked. “I need a tow rope,” she said. “For what?” “I’m taking Dorothy on a tour of the harbor!” Shediac thought about this. “Has the Dispatcher approved?” “Yes he has,” she lied. “Very well. Please take one.” Carla chose a short, black one.
At the Great Ocean Dock, Theodore was speaking with the Dispatcher. He was telling him about his idea. “You have my permission. But please do it this evening. It’s very busy today and we need your help.” “Yes sir,” said Theodore. Then the Dispatcher gave Theodore the job of moving Bobby barrage. As Theodore was leaving, he saw Carla leaving again. “She must have forgotten something,” he thought, still cheerful that the Dispatcher agreed.
At Ceilidh’s Cove, Carla found Dorothy. “Hello Carla. What are you doing here?” “I’m taking you on a Big Harbor tour,” she said. “But I thought Theodore was taking me on a tour.” “Oh. He’s busy, so he asked me to do it for him.” Dorothy smiled. Then Carla attached her tow rope to Dorothy and they set off.
When they arrived Bedford was surprised by the sight of Carla pulling Dorothy. “Hello Carla. Who’s your friend?” “I’m Dorothy,” said Dorothy excitedly. “I’m giving her a tour of the harbor. She’s never been here before.” “Well, welcome to the Big Harbor!” said Bedford. Carla roared away. The jerk shocked Dorothy. “Please slow down Carla,” she called. “It’s alright,” replied Carla.
They were approaching the ferry twins. Carla gave a sharp turn. “Oh no-“ “She won’t-“ “Stop in time,” said the ferry twins. Filmore and Phillip stopped. Dorothy missed them by inches. But Petra had seen everything. Carla could see her turn and leave. “She must know that it’s Theodore’s idea for Dorothy to visit the harbor. I better report what I’ve done.”
Theodore had just finished moving Bobby back to his dock when Petra arrived. “Report to the Great Ocean Dock at once!” she said sternly. Theodore was confused. But he obeyed and worried left for home.
At the Great Ocean Dock, Carla was telling the Dispatcher what she’d done. Just then she heard Theodore’s whistle. Theodore was surprised to see Dorothy.
But before he could say anything, the Dispatcher turned to face Theodore. “Theodore. I’m very sorry for the misunderstanding. Carla has something to say to you.” “I’m sorry for getting you into trouble.” She told him about her trick. “Now Carla,” continued the Dispatcher, “please leave for your dock.” Carla tied Dorothy to Donald dock and left for her home.
“Theodore, you may take Dorothy on a tour of the harbor.” Theodore smiled. He buttoned onto her and they set off.
The next morning Theodore brought Dorothy back to Ceilidh’s Cove. Truro was there. “Thanks for bringing her back,” said Truro. “Thanks for the tour. I hope to visit again!” Theodore smiled and headed back for him, swaying back and forth the whole way.
The tugboats were lined up in front of the Dispatcher for the morning work meeting. The Dispatcher was giving out jobs. “Theodore and Hank, please go and help Rebecca. She’s waiting at the harbor entrance. Please take Shelburne with you.” They whistled twice and left. “George, you’ll be bringing ships in and out of the harbor today. Foduck will help you.” He could see George looked worried. “But what about big ships?” asked George. “There aren’t any big ships arriving today,” said the Dispatcher kindly. Then he turned to Foduck. “You’ll also be doing your regular safety patrol Foduck.” The two tugs blew their whistles and left. Emily was the only tugboat there. “Emily. Today, you’ll be doing odd jobs.” “Odd jobs?” she repeated. “Besides the usual jobs in the Big Harbor, there are other jobs that need to be done.” Then he told her that the first odd job was to go to Shipwreck Rock. “Constance will explain more about your job.” She whistled twice and left for Shipwreck Rock. “This doesn’t sound like fun, nor important,” she thought sadly.
Constance was wainting for her. Emily could see something poking out of the water. “This is an old steamship, who sunk years ago. Now, her bow sticks up. This is too dangerous. Please haul it up and take it to the Scrap Yard.” Then Constance left for her ocean patrol. Emily buttoned on and pulled the steamship out from below the water. Then she pulled the ship backwards to the Scrap Yard.
As she entered the harbor, she had to stop. Ships were more important than a rusty wreck. George and Foduck passed by with Freda. They all admired the ship. “What a wonderful ship!” exclaimed George. “Never seen one like it!” added Foduck. “Never seen one til now!” put in Freda. Emily smiled a little, but she still wasn’t having fun with her odd job.
After dropping off the steamship, she collected Bobby barrage to take fuel drums to the Naval Yards. “Hi Emily! I’m already to go!” said Bobby kindly. Emily didn’t say a word as they left the Oil Refinery. “Something the matter?” asked Bobby. “Everything’s shipshape,” replied Emily, but she didn’t feel as confident as when she said this.
As Bobby unloaded his fuel drums, Theodore and Hank were at Rebecca’s dock nearby. “Thanks for helping me explore today.” “Thanks for letting go on the ocean!” said Hank cheerfully. He’d only been out on the ocean once when he stayed up late.
As they were heading for home Emily caught up to them. “Oh, hello Emily!” said Theodore. “How’s your work going?” asked Hank. “Not very well. It’s not fun, nor important.” The two small tugboats stopped. “We feel the same way when we only move barrages,” said Theodore thoughtfully. “But these odd jobs are important,” said Hank. “And, depending on the job, it can be fun.” Then they continued for home, leaving Emily behind. She still had work to do.
After taking Bobby back to his dock, she went to take Bonavista from dock 12 to dock 6, to deliver logs. As she did so, a smile came over her face. She was reflecting on her day’s work. “Hank and Theodore were right. Odd jobs are important and fun!” she said aloud. “Yes indeed,” agreed Bonavista as she unloaded the last of her logs.
That evening the tugboats gathered round for story telling time. “How your day Emily?” asked George. “It was a very odd day,” she chuckled. And she began to tell them about her day’s work.
Constance is a coast guard ship. She patrols the ocean for several miles. Although she’s quiet, she’s good friends with the tugboats.
One morning Constance was on her way to the ocean. As she passed Bedford buoy, Bluenose entered the harbor. “Morning Bedford! Morning Constance!” “Welcome back Bluenose!” greeted Bedford. But Constance, who was thinking about work, didn’t stop to speak with Bluenose.
Later, she was near the mouth of the harbor, where Blandford lives. Hank was welcoming a ship, named Maria. “Oh on! I’m late,” thought Constance. She raced towards Maria. “Stop! I must inspect you before you enter the harbor.” Hank waited for the inspection to be completed. “She’s safe. Carry on.” Then she left for the ocean.
When she returned that evening to her dock, she noticed Bluenose, talking with Rebecca. “Nice day wasn’t it?” said Bluenose, as she watched the sunset. “Sure was,” agreed Rebecca. “Did you do any sailing today?” “No. I spent most of my time at the Repair Dock…” Just then Hank arrived. “Sorry I’m late. I had to move Barrington.” “That’s alright. You haven’t missed anything. Now, tell us about today’s activities,” said Bluenose. Hank told them about Maria, and Barrington. Constance sadly heard the whole conversation. “I wish I could easily talk to others, and maybe make friends. I have so little friends.” She went sadly to sleep.
The next morning Constance woke up early, so she wouldn’t be late for her patrol. She also wanted to try talking to Bedford. “Morning Bedford. What are you doing being up early?” “I’m looking for a small ship to arrive,” he explained. “It’s my job to let the Dispatcher know if any ships arrive while the tugboats are sleeping.” “Ah…” They floated there. Constance felt uncomfortable. “See you later Bedford.” She hurried to the ocean.
When she arrived to her spot, she lowered her anchor and floated there, waiting for a ship to arrive. Just then Nautilius appeared for his ocean patrol too. “Morning Constance.” “Oh, hi Nautilius.” “Something wrong?” Constance didn’t want to talk about it, but she sighed and told him about how she felt. “You just have to go and do it. Thinking about it only worries me. That’s why I never think about a conversation. I just…jump in really.” Then he whistled to her as he set off. Constance floated there, still thinking about this. “Maybe I am making it harder than it needs to be,” she thought. Then she laughed. “He’s probably right!”
After work that night she went over to Rebecca’s dock, where Bluenose and Hank were. She started to get worried by the sight of them. But she took a breath, fogot about thinking about what would happen, and went forward. “Evening you three? May I join?” “Of course you can,” said Bluenose in a relaxed voice. “We were just about to talk about their days,” said Rebecca. So they all took turns, explaining their jobs that day, and as they spoke, Constance felt a little stronger in her confidence.
It was a busy autumn day in the Big Harbor. Theodore was bringing Maria to the mouth of the harbor. “See you soon,” called Maria as she left. Theodore whistled his goodbyes and turned back toward the harbor, when he heard George’s whistle. Theodore waited and there emerged George from behind Shipwreck Rock, with another rusty, old ship.
George was blowing smoke from his stack and was pulling with all his might. Theodore easily caught up to him. “Wow George! What job are you doing?” “I’m just finished removing the last shipwreck from behind Shipwreck Rock,” said George proudly. Theodore whistled his congratulations, seeing that George didn’t have enough strength to talk and pull.
George had finished docking the ship into a dock at the Scrap Yard. He was leaving to see the Dispatcher for another job when Pearl rushed up. “There’s construction waste at dock 11 in west side. Shelburne is waiting. All of it must be removed.” George whistled twice and set off.
Shelburne was in the middle of loading when George arrived and buttoned on. “Load til you can’t fit anymore waste,” said George. “Sure thing George,” said Shelburne. Soon Shelburne was fully loaded. George slowly pulled him to the Dump.
It took all morning and early afternoon, but at last, the job was complete. Geoge took Shelburne back to his dock. “Thanks George! Look forward to working with you soon!” George whistled goodbye. He was tired. But was also upset. When hearing Shelburne thank him for a wonderful job, it reminded him of how he hadn’t been thanked by Pearl for his hard work. “Maybe my work isn’t appreciated,” he thought sadly.
George retuned to the empty Great Ocean Dock. “Afternoon George,” greeted the Dispatcher. “Hello sir,” said George. The Dispatcher could tell that he was upset. “Did your work go well?” he asked. “It did, but no one thanked me, except Shelburne. I don’t think anyone appreciates my work.” The Dispatcher didn’t say anything, seeing that George didn’t want to talk, and he had an idea.
The next morning he sent the other tugboats off to work. He asked for George to stay behind. “I’d like you to finish work early today. Be back here by three o’ clock this afternoon.” “Yes sir,” whistled George, but he was still upset.
George quietly moved a big container ship into the harbor. The ship’s name was Steve. “You tugboats are very strong,” said Steve. “Thanks,” grunted George. A small smile had appeared, but it didn’t stay for long.
Around noon he was collecting fuel drums from Owan. “See you soon George!” bellowed Owan. George just laughed. If anything was going to cheer him up, it was Owan. “I guess there’s good things happening during one’s difficult times.” This reminded him of his mood. “I must try to make the best of it,” he thought. He pulled Barrington along at a steady speed. “Wow George! This is fast!” exclaimed Barrington.
At three o’ clock, like the Dispatcher had told him, George returned to the Great Ocean Dock, to find Shamus there. “What are you doing here?!” asked George. But before Shamus said anything, the Dispatcher turned. “George, you’ve been working very hard. I’m sorry that we haven’t shown you that we appreciate your work. I’d like you to know that we do. The entire Big Harbor does.” George was speechless. “For the rest of the day, you’ll not do any work, but be with Shamus.” George smiled his big old George smile. “Come on Georgie, we’re going to the ocean,” said Shamus.
The two old friends talked as Shamus caught fish. They were still talking as Shamus got his fish unloaded at the fish dock in the harbor. Then, it was time for him to leave. But as George whistled his goodbyes and turned for home, he felt much better.
One morning Foduck was on his safety patrol. He was inspecting Benjamin bridge. “Do your supports feel loose?” he called. “They feel tight to me,” called back Benjamin. Foduck blew his whistle and was going off to inspect docks, to see if they needed repairs, when George came up. “Hey Foduck! Want to come and help move Owan with me? Thought you’d like to be on the ocean.” Now Foduck hadn’t left the harbor for a long time. He thought for a moment. “Sorry George. I’ve got work to do here. Maybe another time.” George turned and roared cheerfully away.
Foduck was inspecting some of the ship docks where the ships stayed. Nearby, Emily was docking a container ship. Once the ship had been safely tied to its dock Emily rushed over to him. “Foduck! Foduck!” “Yes Emily?” “The ship I just finished docking is from Canada. Her name’s Ana. I’d like you to meet her.” Foduck thought for a moment. He still had work to do, but he knew that meeting a ship would be a good idea.
The tugboats went over to Ana. “Hello again Emily. Who’s this tugboat?” “This is Foduck.” “Hello Foduck. I’m Ana. Please to meet you.” “Nice meeting you too. Now, I must leave to inspect more docks. This harbor must be safe.” Then he raced back to work. “Is he always busy?” asked Ana. “Well,” said Emily slowly, “he does take his work seriously, but he usually has time for other things.” Then she left for her next job.
That evening the tugboats were getting ready for story telling time. Foduck was backing out of his dock. This confused Theodore and Hank. “Foduck, aren’t you joining us for story telling time?” asked Theodore. “Sorry Theodore. I’ve got to do the night shift. See you in the morning.” Foduck set off into the sunset to begin his work. “Foduck does seem busy,” noted Hank. “Too busy,” agreed Emily. “He didn’t really introduce himself to Ana.”
The next day the tugboats were lining up for the morning work meeting. Foduck was next to Theodore. “Morning Foduck, how did-“ “Queit Theodore! The work meeting is about to start,” interrupted Foduck. The Dispatcher turned to face them. “Foduck, safety patrol as usual,” said the Dispatcher, “if you’re well rested.” “Of course I am,” said Foduck, starting to leave the dock.
Theodore and Hank had been asked to take Ana to the harbor entrance. Ana was a big ship, and she was loaded with lots of containers. Although the tugs are strong, they did need a little help. Foduck was inspecting Bedford buoy nearby. “Foduck! Can you please help us?” asked Theodore. “Sorry Theodore, I can’t. I’ve got work to do.” Theodore had had enough. Foduck hadn’t want to speak to him before the work meeting, and now, he didn’t want to help them. “Fine!” shouted Theodore angrily. “Be a self-cetered tug! You only have time for your work!” Foduck was surprised. Before he could say anything the two tugboats were already too far away. Foduck just floated there, thinking. “Those tugboats are right,” said Bedford. “From what I’ve heard, you haven’t given time to spend with your friends.” “Is that why Theodore called me that?” asked Foduck, shocked. “Yes.” Foduck thought about yesterday. He didn’t help George, and he didn’t even give Ana a proper greeting. “I have been a little self centered,” he said quietly. Bedford dinged his bell in agreement.
Foduck was inspecting more of the ship docks, when he heard Emily’s whistle. He looked and saw her and George, pulling a fully loaded container ship. He could see their faces looked tired as they strained to pull the ship. “They need help,” he thought excitedly. “Here’s my chance to make things right.” Foduck raced towards them. He buttoned on between the two tugs. “Thanks Foduck,” said Emily gratefully. “Anytime,” said Foduck cheerfully.
That night Foduck gathered round the others for story telling time. “Before we begin, I’d like to apologize,” said Foduck. “I’m sorry for being self-centered. From now on, I’ll try to spend time with my friends and visiting ships and put my work second. Please forgive me.” The tugboats smiled. “Of course we do!” they said kindly. Then they began story telling time as usual.
It was the end of another busy day in the harbor. Sigrid was delivering oil drums from Owan. Owan is an oil rig, who drills up the oil that the tugboats and ships use to run. Sigrid was just leaving for her dock when the Dispatcher called over the radio. “Please report to the Great Ocean Dock,” he said sternly. “Yes sir,” said Sigrid as she set off. “Something must be up,” she thought.
When she arrived the Dispatcher was looking serious. “George’s engine broke down while he was bringing in a ship,” explained the Dispatcher, “but according to Foduck, Shediac doesn’t have any new engines for tugboats in stock. I’d like you to make a trip to a nearby harbor and collect more.” “But who’ll deliver Owan his supplies and the oil he drills up to the Oil Refinery?” asked Sigrid. Hank came up towards them from his dock. He’d only been out on the ocean twice, and he wanted to work out there some more. “I’ll do it sir!” called Hank. “You will?” said the Dispatcher, surprised. “If you agree?” said Hank worriedly. The Dispatcher thought for a moment. “Of course you can. Sigrid can show you what to do before she leaves.” Then he turned away from them. “Meet me first thing tomorrow morning at the Oil Refinery, and bring Barrington with you,” said Sigrid. “Okay!”
The next morning Hank brought Barrington to the Oil Refinery, just as Sigrid had said. Sigrid was waiting for him. “Owan’s supplies are oil drums.” “Why would I need to deliver oil drums?” asked Hank curiously. “That’s so he can store the oil he drills up,” she explained. Once Barrington was loaded they set off for Owan.
As they left the harbor they followed the coast. “Always follow the coast, til it starts to turn, then head directly straight,” said Sigrid as they went along. Hank paid attention and was listening to everything she said. They soon arrived at Owan. “Morning Sigrid! Hello Hank! What are you doing out here?!” “I’m going on an ocean job. Hank is going to do my work for me.” “Well, that’s jolly grand!” Owan unloaded Barrington. “Now Hank, you must collect the oil at five o’ clock in the evening.” “Got it.” “Right then. See you soon!” And with a loud blast of her whistle she set off for the nearest harbor. Hank whistled goodbye to Owan and headed back to the Big Harbor.
After taking Barrington to his dock, he delivered new fishing nets to Fundy. Then he moved a few ships. Hank was focused on his work, but too focused. It was soon four thirty in the evening. “I’ve got just one more job to do and I’ll go and collect the oil,” thought Hank.
His next job was delivering supplies to the north side of the harbor. As Bobby unloaded the supplies, Hank checked the time. “Five o’ clock! I’m late!” he thought. “Hurry up Bobby!” he said. “Going as fast as I can,” said Bobby.
It wasn’t til five thrity that Hank collected Barrington and set off to get the oil drums.
Owan was waiting for him. “You’re late!” he said. “The Oil Refinery wants the oil delivered on time.” Hank felt even worse.
An hour later he’d finished his job. He had tied Barrington to his dock and was turning to go home when he nearly bumped into Theodore. “Theodore! What are you doing here?” asked Hank. “I’m working the night shift. What are you doing here?” “I’m just finishing my work,” said Hank sadly. Theodore could tell his friend was upset. “Did something go wrong?” “I was late delivering the oil from Owan,” explained Hank. “And if I tell the Dispatcher, he might not let me work out on the ocean again.” “Hank, the Dispatcher doesn’t expect perfection,” said Theodroe in a gentle voice. “He knows that this is a new job for you. Everyone doesn’t do well on their new jobs. But you’ll get the hand of it.” Hank floated there, thinking about this. He knew he would have to tell the Dispatcher. “You’re right! Thanks Theodore!” He rushed immediately home.
When he returned to the Great Ocean Dock he spoke to the Dispatcher. “I’m sorry sir. I was late delivering the oil drums to the Oil Refinery.” The Dispatcher was silent. Hank feared that he was upset with him. “Hank, you did the right thing by coming to tell me the truth.” “So I can still work out on the ocean?” “Of course! And I bet tomorrow you’ll do a better job.” Hank smiled. Theodore had been right after all.
The next morning Hank arrived on time to deliver Owan his supplies. “Be back on time tonight!” called Owan as Hank left for the Big Harbor.
Hank worked hard all day, checking the time multiple times, and got his jobs done on time. And that evening, he arrived on time to collect and deliver the oil.
The next day Sigrid returned with new engines for Shediac. Hank was already at work. Sigrid found him moving a cargo ship into place all by himself. When he was finished, he turned to find her waiting for him. “You did a great job doing my work,” praised Sigrid. “The Dispatcher saids you can work with me more often.” Hank smiled a big smile. He was happy that his friend George would return to work, and that he could work more out on the ocean.