July 18, 2007
In Rockland Harbor, one of the best ways to get around is by calling "Two-Toots".
"Two-Toots is the moniker of George Marks, one of
[Two-Toots bringing Kathy and Star (not shown) back to the boat ]
Rockland’s bona fide curmudgeons. George is a licensed Master Mariner. (that’s "Captain" to you non-sailors)
Like many Maine residents, he has his fingers in a great many enterprises. In addition to his water taxi which runs 7 days a week in the tourist season, he also owns and rents a number of moorings about the harbor and, I believe, he also services other people’s moorings as well. It says on the side of his boat that he gives harbor tours and he’s an avid photographer who offers to take pictures of you as you sail by on your boat so you can have a picture to send back to show the kids how you’re spending their inheritance.
George is a crusty fellow who will not hesitate to tell you all about yourself if he thinks you’re putting on airs or if you’re being an idiot. Another long-time resident tells me that George goes to every City Council meeting and never hesitates to give the local politicians a piece of his mind when they come up with some ill-considered idea. The first year we met "Two-Toots", there was a small pilot whale who decided he liked people in general and George Marks in particular. Folks named the whale Poco. He’d follow the water taxi around like a dog and just for fun, sometimes he’d come up under it and lift him up a few inches.
He’d also go and visit other boats moored in the harbor. Most of the boaters got a kick out of the friendly beast, but one jerk asked George to "make it go away." George pointed out that the whale was a wild animal and there was no way he was going to try to chase it anywhere. Besides, in spite of having a rep as one of the crustiest old salts in Rockland Harbor, George and Poco kind of liked each other.
We rely on "Two-Toots" whenever we’re in Rockland. His water taxi is no more expensive and much more fun than a conventional cab. He carries a cellphone and monitors the marine radio. He’s out there seven days a week during tourist season, even in the thickest fog or the heaviest rain. I once saw him get up from his dinner long after he’d shut down for the night to run a stranded family out to their boat when their dinghy’ motor failed. We’d say that we like George, but we don’t want to endanger his rep as the crustiest old salt in Rockland Harbor.
Labels: Maine 2007