Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Fair weather fisherman

The boat is ready to go, and for a change, crew is available. Winds are light, but tomorrow there'll be heavy downpours, so I'm postponing going out till Friday. The forecast for Friday till Sunday is perfect - light winds, and if the forecast is reliable, we should get following winds for both the trip out and the trip back.

When I tell people I'm trying to be a commercial fisherman, a phrase I often hear is 'out in all weathers'. As if fishermen are expected to endure everything the weather can throw at them and just carry on fishing. It's a strange idea because heavy weather just makes everything an effort - even going below to make a cup of tea can seem not worthwhile. Heavy weather is tiring, and makes accidents more likely. I'm a fair weather fisherman, and am glad to have it that way.

I guess the reason some fisherman have to be out there day after day is that they have so much invested in their boats, they can't afford to have the boat idle while they go and occupy themselves with gentler work. And perhaps some fishermen may not have other work to do. My boat was a tiny fraction of the cost of a trawler, and a day tied to the mooring buoy isn't a huge expense. So with other work available, I can choose my seasons and weather, even postponing a trip by a day to avoid rain!

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