On the boat, on the boat!

It was, in Paris, from time immemorial, the cry of the scale.

What was the origin of this cry which now no longer means anything?

Before the creation of the tidal trains, there were at Saint-Nicolas port, on the Quai des Ecoles, boats, a kind of floating fishponds, where, in sea water, fish and shellfish were kept brought either by boat or by special couriers which came from the various ports of the English Channel and which were called "tide chasers".

These mails usually arrived in Paris on Thursday evening, or Friday at dawn. The oysters they brought were neatly packed in baskets of ten or twelve dozen, and were worth, on average, four to ten francs a basket.