To any visitors that will be reading this category (Falkland Journal, 1988) for the first time, it might be worthwhile reading the first post ‘An Ill Wind‘ which sets the scene and gives a little bit of context to the blog category.
Just to recap, at the age of 24 I was offered a job as a Fisheries Scientist and flown away from London all the way to the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. Almost immediately I was sent out to sea on a Japanese squid fishing boat (a jigger called Koei Maru 30), and am now some three weeks or so into my second voyage. The journal entries are as they were written, with only the smallest grammatical edits.
Sunday 1 May 1988, Koei Maru 30
Is today Mayday? Maypoles and all that lark. What a lovely month May is, and yet so incredibly innocuous – it is neither Winter nor Summer, it is not early Spring – it is a corridor month. I daresay that for people with birthdays in May, it is highly important and memorable, but for me it is nothing – it is a month I remember little about – what happens in May? (How things change, it is now my favourite month of the year)
I am becoming a lazy arse – I don’t like it.! I had plans for learning some Japanese today but have not got round to it.
I must structure my life a bit – getting up is the first problem. Sleeping is another. But I soldier on with Queen Mab – she prevents my complete insanity. So kind of her. The fairies’ midwife.
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometimes she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail,
Tickling as parson’s nose as a’ lies asleep’
And then dreams he of another benefice;
Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breeches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of health’s five fathom deep; and then anon
Drum in his ear, at which he starts and wakes;
Had a terrible sleep. The sea became pretty rough and it was impossible to stay still. I wish I could handle that.
Monday 2 May 1988, Koei Maru 30
Into May! it looks like O-Zone will be over pretty soon – I have enjoyed it very much – I wonder if and when it will be made into a film – it lends itself very well to that – I wonder if Paul Theroux actually wrote it with a film in mind.
I will now try to learn Katagana in many slow steps.
Called Crag on the radio – it was great to talk to him – he is very lively on the radio. I mentioned the problem of accommodation and he said he’ll do his best to get me into Goodwyn’s or Emma’s. I’m not so sure about the latter. Jim will be in Stanley this week – lucky pig, perhaps he’ll be on the radio on Friday.
Began reading Ray Bradbury’s ‘the Illustrated Man’.
It’s funny, but I don’t think I have mentioned that I’m going to Montevideo yet, although I’ve known about it for more than a week now. I’m so excited about it, but also anxious (when was I ever not?). To be honest, I don’t really know what I’m going to be doing there, but I will be the last to complain.
Tuesday 3 May 1988, Koei Maru 30
Wrote a letter to Deb and a short note to Jasper with ‘reader’s tips’ in. I cried with laughter when I read it through.
A terrible night for fishing – once again I couldn’t sleep, it is so difficult with a rolling boat. Consequently I woke up really late. 10pm – I haven’t had breakfast yet, but am embarrassed to go to the mess to get it because it is so late and I can hear 8 or 9 voices coming from there. I don’t really want any breakfast, I can do quite nicely in my cabin, but often feel obliged to eat when I know a meal has been cooked for me. There is nothing worse than eating a meal you don’t particularly like, and being watched by several inquisitive faces.
Now I am looking forward to getting off this ‘junk’ for a few days. I want to get back to land, breath fresh air, eat bread/toast, talk to people.
Relax Steve, for God’s sake relax. I am a tense bunny.