Koei Maru 30, FIPASS, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, July 1988

36. Delay and treachery

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).

Wednesday 13 July 1988. Koei Maru 30

Well, I’m jolly batey (pissed-off) this morning. I have been told that in fact we’re staying out for a day longer than planned because, well, I don’t exactly understand why. Still, it has really pissed me (and many of the crew) off.

There was I this morning thinking that my sampling was the last I was going to do and feeling a little sad about it, when in fact I shouldn’t have done.

Actually, I’m not going to do a sample tomorrow – I’m going to be laid back and do gangion (jargon) counts only! So there!

I have just finished ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ what an incredible end – I never guessed. So Clever. I wish I could create something like that. A most enjoyable book, despite me taking so long to read it.

Thursday 14 July 1988. Koei Maru 30

Once again a miraculous sunrise – if nothing else, I shall miss these when I leave these islands for good.

I have been racing through William Golding’s ‘Rites of Passage’ which is a topical and easy to read book. I am enjoying it.

A small bird (a petrel of some sort – perhaps a white-chinned petrel) (more likely a storm petrel) was sitting in the squid gutter. I took some piccies of it – poor thing is very bedraggled – I don’t know how these birds get in such a state – perhaps it is a disease or something – I don’t know.

Storm Petrel, Koei Maru 30, South Atlantic, July 1988
Storm Petrel, Koei Maru 30, South Atlantic, July 1988

Well, tomorrow we really will be in Stanley and my feet shall embrace terra firma for the first time in 34 days – what a luxury it will be, not to have to compensate for thee rolling of the ship – it is wearisome in the extreme.

A cutting:

Basking shark article, Falkland Islands, July 1988
Basking shark article, Falkland Islands, July 1988

Perhaps the Marine Conservation Society will be relevant to me one day – I hope so – it is a body I admire and would like to be involved with – perhaps I’ll drop them a line.

Friday 15 July 1988. Koei Maru 30/Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

A dull day, but home time. Up early.

So many problems – arrived in Stanley – the crew were all in good spirits.

The meeting with the Fishing Master, JJ (the Falkland Fisheries chief officer), me, Okida (the vessel owner?) and Crag went dismally. JJ insisted on 120 days. What a bloody nightmare. Poor Phil will have to take the brunt of the crew’s discontent.

It is all such a cock up, and working on the KM30 will be a nightmare for observers.

SHIT, I feel like a traitor, and they treated me like one. So sad.

My desk at Fishops, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, July 1988
My desk at Fishops, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, July 1988

I listened to granny’s tape letter – so good to hear all her news. Very sweet. I love her all the more for hearing it.

Went to Sean’s for chops with Phil – got very pissed – Back to Anna and Sean’s and then very, very drunk – a nice welcome home.

Saturday 16 July 1988. Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

I’m feeling morose. I have just realised how short my UK leave is. It is depressing. I’m also concerned about the long-lining. I am so angry with the Ice Master, who is being incredibly immature and hurtful – the Fishing Master too.

Phoned home and D and they all sound well. D sounded a little down, I can’t wait to be with her again. I miss her so much – this week will be a trial.

Crag has handed in his notice and will be leaving in late August. This is very sad. After he goes, there’ll only be Sean, Phil, Drin, Dan and Liz. I’m also depressed because I’m going to be spending a lot more time at sea when I come back, on a ship that hates me!

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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.

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