Monday, April 21, 2008

The Call.




The call came a month ago. A friend needed a hand for a day, fishing locally for crustaceans. One of the crew was unavailable, and allthough I retired some years ago from fishing, I thought one day out wouldn`t be so bad, and the thought of a few crabs or a platefull of prawns was the clincher.
So we set off singing, around 3 am, sailing down the Cleddau, and out into the sea around the Western coast of Wales , the weather was cold, and whilst we were but four or fives miles from the shore, the wind was strong enough to throw the boat around a little.

The day passed without accident, and we showed ourselves a few baskets of brown crab, an odd few velvet crabs and prawns, and a handfull of lobsters.
Trouble was, fishing , as all fishermen know is a habit that is hard to relinquish.
So, a few days later, I went fishing again, and then it was back upon me, the fresh wind cutting to the bones, the salt swelling the cuts and grazes that infect the hands, and once again, fish for tea, fish for supper, and fish for market.

I`d given it all up, a few years ago, and decided to earn a crust on land, "doing up" small old houses, and any odd jobs that came along, but thanks to the profligate bankers and politicians, the price of houses is dropping fast, unlike the price of fish, which remains stable.

I have to say, it`s great to be back in touch with the sea, without exception, the tide floods, then ebbs, then floods again. The ocean currents always run in the same direction, and the migration patterns of birds and fish never falter.

Unlike politicians.

Strange too, being away from the television and internet, catching just glimpses , and small items of news.
The goon show continues, as the olympic torch passed across the globe, surrounded by uniformed "employees of state."
Goons in track suits, goons on bicycles, in helicopters, on motorcycles, in jeeps and cars, with pistols and rifles, machine guns and billy-clubs.
Showing us all that through sport, peace and harmony will prevail, with instant death for any dissenters.

More than anything the last few weeks have been like a holiday of sorts, meeting up with old acquantances, re-visiting the sea and it`s haunts, a cruel mistress she is .
But I musn`t grumble, `cos no bastard will listen.



More to come, tide falling, time ebbing.

10 comments:

an average patriot said...

Amongst farming and accounting I have fished, lobstered, and dug clams. they say it is all hard but it is all enjoyable as long as you can earn a living. My thoughts are with you, Good Luck!

Lisa *leelee* said...

I have seen dangerous catch on tv.No way you going to get me on one of those things.They seem very dangerous!Good luck and be safe!

landsker said...

Hi Jim,
You`re right, fishing is enjoyable, as long as there is money enough.
Even on the lesser days, there is usually a meal, no great amounts of money, but prawns and lobsters, with a few potatoes, bread and salad, that is priceless!
Hi Lisa, Welcome and thanks for your interest, "The dangerous catch...", those are the "Big fellows".
The weather here is a little kinder, and the boats are smaller. The job has it`s difficulties, there are injuries, but by and large, it`s a great job.
I`m older now, and only help out a little, part-time, but next week I`m doing a few trips, so if the "Cap`n" allows, I`ll try to take along a camera.

Thanks both of you for your good wishes, I`ll settle for an accident-free trip, calm seas and a reasonable amount of fish.

an average patriot said...

Man just take care!

Paul said...

I'm not a big fan of the sea, it makes me want to ralph usually. But I understand why you would feel at home there. It is what it is, not cruel, just the real thing. Un-changed by humans. It will eat you if you let it, just like the saws in my shop.
My favorite place to go where humans have little effect is the desert. Most people just turn on the air conditioner and speed through as fast as their car will take them. But to me it's a real place, the earth at its finest. It can kill in a heartbeat, but yet it is as beautiful as anywhere and very peaceful.

TomCat said...

You bring back some great memories. As a young teen, I spent part of a summer in Maine tending a string of lobster pots for a semi-retired fisherman who was taking a six week vacation. I got to live in his cabin and keep half the catch.

an average patriot said...

Tom
Where did you Lobster in Maine? I farmed and Lobstered there and clammed in Ipswich, Ma. It is all a great life but like everything increasingly difficult. My hat is off to Landsker!

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landsker said...

Hi Paul,
The sea, like the desert, is far "stronger/powerful" than any man-made construct.
It scares the shit out of me!, nature has no forgiveness..we humans forget that we are evolved from nature, we do not control her.
Hi Tom,
Glad to brighten your day. Decades later, and on the other side of the Atlantic, things are pretty much the same as when you were a lad. The money from the sale of the catch gets divided between the boat owners and the crew, and no catch means no wages. A very basic form of Marxist economics, where the workers can actually own the "machinery of production.
Hi Jim,
No need to raise your hat man, I`m just another old man, working for a living!
Hi Genevieve,
Thanks for the info,
I havent actually got `round to writing about Autism yet, as you cab see, the conversation has turned to fishing.
I wonder if autism exists amongst fishes?
Peace.

an average patriot said...

Landsker
I do not believe there is a single thing that I have not done to make a living off the land. They say it is hard but I don't know. It is all beautiful to me but I absolutely respect anyone who makes their living that way because in reality as you know, there is nothing easy about it!