30th November 2001
We have scurried back to three Oscar as there is a Canadian war ship inspecting fishing vessels in the area and Miguel has a feeling it will inspect us. His reasoning is that if it does inspect us, it will look better if we are in 3O where redfish is free and won’t rouse any suspicion. He seems quite open about his ruse now, such is his confidence that he will get away with it. So we are back to poor catches and very little to do in the way of work.
I took out my digital camera and managed to get some really good shots, the best one was of a sea bird as it swooped at the camera…presumably thinking it was food! The quality of the pictures is pretty poor, but it’s great to be able to plug the camera into my laptop and see the results straight away.
I had a long chat to the Mate today. He’s really nice but his accent is difficult to understand and so he’s quite hard work to talk to. We saw another fishing boat steam past which wasn’t fishing or going full speed so it didn’t look like it was on it’s way anywhere in particular. The Mate said that when they see a boat steaming for no apparent reason they say it is making water, because the only good of running the engine like that is to run the desalinators to turn seawater into freshwater.
This turned into a long conversation about the odd sayings and expressions we have. At some point the Chief Engineer appeared on the bridge and joined in with what they call a bed on a ship; rather than ‘going to bed’ they say ‘riding a horse’, or they just make the clacking noise you make to gee a horse on. I can see the reasoning because when it’s rough the bed turns into a bucking horse, and it can take all your effort just stay on/in it! It was really nice to pass a couple of hours on the bridge, not talking about fishing, but passing the time of day talking nonsense.
I think I’ve learned that if I’m going to survive this job mentally I need to separate work from personal life, and so in future I will try to steer conversation with the officers away from work and fishing, and keep it on more general topics. They are actually nice people, but it’s hard avoiding the elephant in the room all the time.