Rough seas from the Koei Maru 30, Falkland Islands, June 1988

32. Rough seas

Some readers of this blog may wonder why my avatar image is a rockhopper penguin, well there are two reasons…

  1. It is a lot more attractive than yet another balding white middle-aged man on the Interweb.
  2. It links to the original purpose of Natural Adventures, which was to digitise my daily log that I wrote whilst serving as a Fisheries Scientist in the Falkland Islands in 1988. (More about this in chapter 1, ‘An ill wind‘).

The adventure continues…


Thursday 30 June 1988. Koei Maru 30

I have been rattled and am livid. Abe the Ice Master has taken it upon himself to be mildly aggressive towards me today – probably because he fell over quite nastily in a playful attack on me earlier on. It is all really petty, but he keeps taking the fish I’m about to use in a sample, and since the fish are few and far between, this considerably holds me up. Basically he’s just a turd and this is the first fury I’ve been in for a long time, so I’m entitled to it.


I have calmed down a bit now, and watched the conclusion of ‘the Goonies’ – what a crap film!

I love grooming the papers – here is a little gem from The Times.

Press notice for Aztec Camera (a favourite band) playing in Aberdeen.
Press notice for Aztec Camera (a favourite band) playing in Aberdeen.

It has actually turned out OK in the end. Abe came to my room late to get some whiskey, which is stockpiled here and gave me a bottle – perhaps he was feeling a little guilty for his behaviour to day – I don’t know.

Two more weeks of this hell and then Port Stanley – then home.

How can a soul be expected to wait for such things?


Friday 1 July 1988. Koei Maru 30

Well I’ve cracked another month out here, and have only gone slightly round the bend. It seems the KM30 will piss off shortly after me, which is fine by me, I don’t care what Fishops say.

I will be quite sad to say goodbye or sayonara to this lot, they’ve been quite an experience and certainly enriched my life a whole lot. But I shall be glad when it is all over.

I’m so glad I wrote something earlier today ‘cos I’m knackered.

I have started helping around the placeas an auxiliary crew member – quite fun really and as usual it kills time.

I’ve started a collection of jigs for fishing and showing people, with talks in mind.

It rained and snowed today, for about five minutes of each.

I’m working on justifying stealing the helmet I intend to nick when I leave the ship. I think I deserve it and it will be a brilliant reminder of my three months on the KM30.

Wrote to Deb.


Saturday 2 July 1988. Koei Maru

Well what a day – I must be writing this in about a force 9 or 10 sea. It is ridiculous.

We began fishing, but abandoned two thirds of the line to haul when it gets better.

This is the roughest it has been since I joined the KM30.

Earlier today I got my leg smashed by the work table during a roll. Completely bonkers and very painful – Itai!

Sketch showing how the table slid across the floor and smashed my leg
Sketch showing how the table slid across the floor and smashed my leg

I lost my otolith board and it took 1/2 an hour to find it in the debris. Jokes about rough seas (it’s really rough) just aren’t funny any more – it was bloody dangerous today!

The Fishing Master says we’ll call into Port Stanley on the 17th no problem, but seems to think that they’ll finish then!

Impossible to get to sleep again. Thinking about death, tax, etc – such a worrier!

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I am Stephen. I live in Bristol, UK. I decided to shorten my this: Wildlife, haiku, travel, streetart, psychogeography and my family. Not necessarily in that order.

2 thoughts on “32. Rough seas”

  1. I just thought your penguin gravatar was cute and catchy 😀 which is hard to find. Like you, I don’t have my photo up either, figuring I’d like to attract people to my site not scare them off!
    And very interesting reading about your time on board.

    Liked by 2 people

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