Just about to head out for a Saturday fish, this being only the third day at sea this week. Thursday was looking
quite good but decided would be better spent mending creels on the pier. reports back from the water confirmed i would not have stayed out for long. often, although you are wearing the headphones and in your on wee world visitors want to chat and the couple from Blackpool stayed for quite a while chatting about the demise of fisheries, she was from Fleetwood, Independence and living in one of the beautiful parts of the world. The weather made an appearance as well. On the way home nipped out to the Varuna to take some langoustine up to the Inn for the start of the evening shift. Seeing a new batch of pups sunning themselves I went over to the island to see if I could get some close ups, back fired as spotted fairly quickly.
Turned up at around five and as a few breaks were underway Joe and I held the hordes at bay for about an hour and more staff appeared. As it turned out we were short and the Boss was AWOL, in a good way this time, enjoying a BBQ rather than ill-health. We were steamrolled all night, a hint of good weather and everyone and his dog came out, but as Joe said at half nine “It’s already a memory”.
Now in-between hauling 250 creels and taking a fleet back to the pier and going to the Inn for the Saturday shift, not sure where the energy is going to come from. Yesterday the fishing trip had a couple of French girls accompanying me and they did not seem too bored. An early start at six to accommodate a trip to Kyle to meet with Qinetic to see if we can get any information about the intended Range expansion.
( That part of the post did not last long. Intended a power nap but ended up as a deep one hour sleep.) This unfortunately led to the Inn feeling a little groggy. Went behind the bar as that is usually a safe place to recover. Customers, washing glasses and serving drinks solid for an hour until the reinforcements arrived. Strange evening and quiet early so Boss heads off and staff feeling not too good go home. So an hour later just managing to keep head above the water as the late evening wave of customers came in. List for tables went by the wayside and stopping people just coming in and sitting on tables which were kept for others is always the hardest bit especially when they are told it is okay. Had a slightly tricky family, no ones fault, but after two and a half hours they had forgotten the strained start and were enthusiastic about their stay. Fairly exhausting after a day at sea, which was fairly uneventful and reasonable catch. Strayed onto some one else’s fleet so had to put that one back together, it is getting fairly packed in one area as the fishing is not good everywhere. Saw something I have never seen before, signs of autumn have appeared, (I have stopped hoping for a good late summer) and I had taken a photo of the first sighting of cuttlefish eggs,
yesterday I saw some pure white ones.
That apart I managed 250 creels hauled and taking another fleet ashore, all this in beautiful weather. The morning was a little show stopper.
Back to last night I hung about till after eleven before calling in to the Scottish/Yorkshire celebration at the Hall. Had a good wee chat with the Hog Roaster who seems very busy, cooking pigs and fibre glassing boats. There are so many people on the West who have at least two jobs. Brief call as staying awake was becoming an issue.
Now back to Friday, realise that some of these posts almost become jottings but they are time pressured, and the MoD meeting in Kyle. Again preceded by a day’s fishing, early start and with two interested passengers from France, and six o’clock beginning, went without incident and a few langoustine landed at the Inn. The meeting was as expected, little information exchanged, but in a decent atmosphere. There is no point in being aggressive with Qinetic/MoD as in the long run we hold no cards. The main objective was to find out some if any information to back up or dismiss any of the rumours we are hearing. At last we have a proposed map of the new hydrophones and the map leaked to the WHFP earlier this year looks pretty accurate. There will be a lot of displacement to the NW of the Range as the Rona Range is moved south and the south end of the Range will be squared off displacing much more gear. Suggesting putting down creel friendly bases was put on the table to try to mitigate the expansion, but the thought crossed my mind that there could be no closed area if there were creel friendly bases all over the Range. It would just be closed for trials. But that is me being cynical to the proposals. The information exchange has been poor and “contacts have been hard to obtain” came across as being rather lame. I know when these trials take place around the time the MoD do as they book up accommodation around the community over here. Not sure a wasted journey but at least the Map has been confirmed, only good point about this is the ground from Lonbain north may not be closed off. Another by product of these meetings is picking up little snippets and this one debunked another bit of info I had about trawling. Mentioned in the passing that the fishing was holding up but was seeing a lot of berried prawns now. The response was that yes they were seeing a lot of berries on the trawled tails, and here was me thinking one of the few advantages of trawl verses creel was they did not catch many berried prawns. Oh well that’s another myth exploded.
Was going to wash a fleet of creels this morning before making my way up to the Inn but it is now going to be roping up a few creels and picking up some prawns for the menu. Earlier start tomorrow morning before making for sea, having to wash some creels to make up the fleet before setting out. Tending to forget what day it is.