35. Sunrises

Some readers of this blog may not know that it is called Natural Adventures because it was started as a digitisation of a journal I kept during an adventure I had in the Falkland Islands in 1988 when I was a young man. I was a fisheries scientist working for the Falkland Islands Government, and at this point in the Journal had spent several weeks at sea on a Japanese squid jigger called the Koei Maru 30, and very much looking forward to some shore leave.

For context, it might be worth reading chapter 1, ‘An ill wind‘.

The full series of posts are in the ‘Falkland Journal, 1988′ category of the Natural Adventures blog, to be read in reverse order (from the bottom up).

Sunday 10 July 1988, Koei Maru 30

Today is full of promise. The sun is shining after a glorious sunrise which began with a deep blue-purple and a sliver of a crescent moon in a cloudless starry sky. The orange glows in the East then began and heralded this lovely crisp day.

Sunrise, South Atlantic, Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Sunrise, South Atlantic, Koei Maru 30, July 1988

Another great bit of news is that I am to return to Port Stanley on the 14th, this coming Thursday. The Fishing Master also said that they would still be fishing when I returned from the UK and that they would have a party before returning to Japan, He is a real Jekyll and Hyde – I never quite know which mood I catch him in.

Today has fulfilled its promise, mainly in that it is nearly over. It has been sunny and clear, which lifts the depression which sets in during the gloom and overcast days. A few more Barry please. (an in joke with myself)

Now watching a Japanese war film – a little tactless I think, considering I’m English, but not to worry.

Japanese war film, doodle. Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Japanese war film, doodle. Koei Maru 30, July 1988

Monday 11 July 1988. Koei Maru 30

Having looked forward so much to today’s radio session, I actually forgot it in my forgetfulness… eh?

I was instead having lots of fun in the factory deck. Abe is a great bloke – always poking fun, always playing the monkey. Very funny. I’m glad that people aged 28 or so can still be complete fools, it is refreshing.

Wrote possibly my last letter for a while to Mum and Ad. Talked about Abe and Mr Chiba.

Couldn’t get to sleep at all, I’m so excited about getting back to Port Stanley.

Tuesday 12 July 1988. Koei Mau 30

After three and a half hours sleep, I went to hold 4 and took loads of ‘crew at work’ piccies. I also took some photographs of one of the loveliest sunrises I’ve ever witnessed. The wispy clouds touched with pink. I wish it was a slide not a print!

Crew preparing baskets for the day's fishing, Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Crew preparing baskets for the day’s fishing, Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Abe and Abe the Bosun, Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Abe and Abe the Bosun, Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Crew on deck 4, Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Crew on deck 4, Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Young crew member with squid-baited long-line baskets ready for deployment, Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Young crew member with squid-baited long-line baskets ready for deployment, Koei Maru 30, July 1988

Wrote a letter to D, telling her that I’m going completely bonkers. I am.

I am very tired, but have enjoyed today very much. The more I do this work, the more I enjoy it. Abe got me to top and tail and gut my hake today, which was a good compromise because it meant they readily gave them to me, and it also kept me busy.

I am mortified – I am devastated.

My final link with childhood – the bracelet I have worn every day since my A-levels has just broken – I feel torn and weak like Samson without hair. A great sadness for me. In tatters, I feel like crying but am too tired.

Bead bracelet broken, doodle, Koei Maru 30, July 1988
Bead bracelet broken, doodle, Koei Maru 30, July 1988

Actually, I don’t think I will ever sleep again. Or will I? 18:00hrs 12.7.88 – Bracelet RIP

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scooj

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

4 thoughts on “35. Sunrises”

  1. It’s always devastating to lose something or someone we cherish. It’s a visible connection to who we were – a link in a chain of experiences that defines who we are. And, yet it’s also the chain that holds us back from becoming who we are.

    I’m so glad when I see a new installment of “Natural Adventures”. Envious that I didn’t start keeping a journal until much later in life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Your words are so true. I felt that I transitioned on that day from an adolescent into a man. The bracelet was physical and metaphorical. I remember the moment so clearly.

      Like

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