This is another of my infrequent posts which is what Natural Adventures was originally set up for. For those of you unfamiliar with my Falkland Islands journal I will offer a quick recap. In 1988 I landed a job as a fisheries scientist working with the Falkland Islands Government on a contract just shy of a year. This blog is a faithful digitisation of the journal I wrote on that trip. For me, this is a catharsis, for you it may be an insight into the mind of a 24 year old on an exciting and challenging adventure.
The scene is set in the first post ‘An Ill Wind‘, which you might like to read for context.
Suday 26 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Aah, at last a day off. I slept so terribly, the rough sea rolled me about something rotten. It is a little better now, but would have been terrible if we had tried a set (setting the longline) this morning.
I think my stomach bugs are caused by the sashimi! my body just isn’t used to it. I must confess that the raw tuna is excellent.
Wrote letters to Mum and Ad and to Deb.
I have been considering a reply to Karen’s rather frustrated letter in which she seems to ask ‘what are we doing here?’ or something similar.
I’ve thought of many answers, but some may seem a little brutal, and sinceshe thinks I am a brute anyway I don’t want to upset her again.
Began to write my schedule for other scientists (I refuse to call them observers) who will work on the KM30 while I am on leave, namnely Crag and Phil.
I am still furious about my tax position with PDA – this company seems to be nothing but trouble.
Monday 27 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
A beautiful sunrise – I wonder if I will see such lovely sights again when I return to the UK – for starters I don’t think I will ever be up in time!
I hear Africa calling
Possibly cos I’m listening to African Sanctus at this moment.
Some more pretty corals today – I should be able to build up quite a good collection.
Several albatross were caught up in the lines today – I think they go for the squid bait when the line is deployed and get caught up, dragged down and drown – it is very sad indeed. I also thought it was unlucky to kill an albatross, but maybe that is only if it is intentional.
Not long now ’til home.
Tuesday 28 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
I’m getting sick and tired of saying long, tiring day, but today really was – I hope I get some decent sleep.
Had a good radio chat with Elizabeth today – she’s also due for a break in August. She gets two holidays in the time I’ve only had one! RAW DEAL!
The fishing was ace today – I hope it puts egg on the Fishing Master’s face – the crew were working fairly close to capacity I reckon.
5 tons/day, yeah pull the other one shortie!
Zone IV has been the best covered so far – all this is quite a laugh really.
Wrote a letter to Beth – very sweet of her, Charlie and Carl to write, but thwen I suppose I did write first. Letters are my life-blood.
Watching ‘With love from Oregon ’87’ for the third time – what a terrible drama, but a gorgeous half Indian (red) (OMG – we don’t say that these days – native north American) half Japanese girl of about 16 in the starring role.
I now feel at ease with all but two of the crew – ‘Rolf Harris’ and Iagi – they don’t seem to want to be friendly. I’ve made good friends with the grumpy old man – he’s really quite a good bloke.
Aah – shower and bed – nice.
Wednesday 29 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
A short day – it became too rough to set more than 60 lines (baskets). It was all over by 7.30am. So I decided to sleep, to make up for lost sleep last night – unfortunately this means that I won’t be tired and won’t be able to sleep tonight – vicious circle.
It’s funny but however hard I try I just can’t conjure up any original thoughts – I have none, so my diary becomes a dull, dreary account of my days and not an abstract random selection of my thoughts. I hope the reader (if any) will bear with me. It must be obvious that I’m not very happy at the moment, perhaps this can explain sume of this mundainity (is there such a word?).
As I write I often wonder if any of my children or grandchildren (if I have any) will pick up my diaries and read them. Perhaps they will understand me better for it and see into who I am a little more clearly.
5 thoughts on “31. Long, tiring days”
Interesting revisit of your youthful adventures and a superb sea sunset. 🙂
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Thanks for transcribing this and sharing. It poses the age old question of whether or not writers would still write if they knew they didn’t have any readers and thus why write at all?
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It is difficult to know even now whether I actually thought anyone would read the words I wrote other than myself. It is only because of the digital revolution that access to this kind of thing has been made possible, but I couldn’t have know that back in 1988.
Wonder what the people form theKoei Maru are up to now.
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I expect one or two are no longer with us, some will be grandparents, some may captain their own vessels. I agree I am often curious to know.