I was by prompted to write this on receiving a very convincing NHS email to make an appointment for a vaccination, based on ‘family genetics or medical history’. As a healthy 57 year old, this didn’t ring true, but I nearly fell for it. Some people really are the scum of the earth, may they rot in hell.
Some readers of this blog may not know that it is called Natural Adventures because it was started as a digitisation of an adventure I had to 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.
For context, it might be worth reading chapter 1, ‘An ill wind‘.
The adventure continues… (prompted by Cannibalrabbit to post about the Falklands again)
Thursday 7 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
Once again we aren’t fishing – Today I think it was more of a holiday than bad weather, although the waves are quite big.
It has been a newspaper reading and letter reading day. It is weird, but I am loitering in late May and early June at the moment – London marathon and things like that.
I suppose Wimbledon is happening round about now. I feel detached from summer, it snowed for a while here today, so I find it difficult to connect.
Africa still calls. I yearn.
17 days and I will be home – Yahoo.
In reading my letters I discover that my mother writes excellent letters, they are a real inspiration. Alex too wrote a very good letter indeed.
Is Jasper really getting hitched? I sincerely hope not. Getting married has to be a questionable act.
“Girl you really got me going” – The Kink
Friday 8 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
Spoke with John Barton this morning – it seems he wants me back by the 15th or so, that is fine by me, but when I broke the news to the Fishing Master he was not at all pleased – sometimes he is such a miserable sod.
The weather is still pretty poor, although there has been no snow or rain today.
There is so little that I can write about these days, I think boring is the phrase or word I would use to describe my life at the moment.
I pity Phil having to take over from me – I reckon He’ll get a pretty hard time of it.
Saturday 9 July 1988. Koei Maru 30.
Well if we do get into Port Stanley on the 15th then this is probably my last Saturday ever on the Koei Maru 30 – a joyous occasion, since each day of the week I spend here will now be my last of that day. I am scoffing my rations accordingly but will leave a few bits and bobs for Phil.
Why am I so bloody organised? I have devised loads of forms for Phil to fill out while he’s on board and have given him tons of info about how to get by. The truth being told, I don’t trust that he’ll do as good a job as me because he probably doesn’t give a monkey’s.
I have rediscovered my 0.70 Rotring pen which I used to often use for my lecture notes and diary etc back at Newcastle. Oh God, I miss my undergraduate days, they were a lot of fun and very exciting. The thing I’ve noticed most about being here is that I am not a kid any more and I can never be again – this is my biggest regret in life. If I had a wish, I would wish I could begin again – suffer the pains of school, puberty, embarrassment and the joys of discovery, adventure, exercise, childish fun.
It may sound pathetic, but I also consider a lot how good it would be to be a father – my time will come, but I am very excited about having children and being everything they could want from a father. Enough pondering. (Little did I know)
Some readers of this blog may not know that it is called Natural Adventures because it was started as a digitisation of adventure I had to 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 was out at sea on a Japanese squid jigger called the Koei Maru 30.
For context it might be worth reading chapter 1, ‘An ill wind‘.
Previous chapters (in reverse chronological order) are listed here.
The adventure continues…
Sunday 3 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
Today I had a lovely lie in – woken by the bell some time around 5am and then by the generator at about 6.15 or so. What it means of course is that I shan’t be able to sleep again tonight.
A bird is on the deck, seemingly knackered, perhaps dying – I gave it some fish livers which it is eating quite happily. I hope it lives – I may take a piccie.
It is a dolphin gull and I think it has thrown in the towel – poor thing – I wish there was more I could do for it.
Watched Lethal Weapon (4th time) ace film, and smoked loads of ciggies and drank lots of beer and whiskey and am now ready for bed. I miss Deb so much – especially now when I know ‘home time’ is only three weeks away.
Monday 4 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
One year ago today we sat in the Annex (one of the residences at Bangor University where the overseas students lived) garden stuffing ourselves with home made beefburgers and cake and chicken and potato salad and beer and wine and it was a lot of fun – fighting off the mozzies as the chill of the summer evening set in, lighting fireworks and basically having a good time.
I will never forget Moyo’s dancing or Pia’s shirt. Andy Brooks threw a good party and I was happy. How can it all be a year ago? It seems so unfair that life slips by like this.
Life is sometimes a big disappoitment – never waste it, remember it and live the memories, enjoy them – they’re all we have when we die. Memories are all that is left. I remember Jeremy Jones with a good heart – he lives on in my mind. So sad. I shed a tear every now and then. How can he be gone? That’s it, he’s over.
My seagull has disappeared – I pray that it lived and flew off.
Sleep once again accompaned by a wee dram of scotch.
Slept well for a change (probably the five steaks!).
Tuesday 5 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
Spoke to Liz on the blower.
I should be getting back to Port Stanley round about the 17th or so, but in looking at this I realise that it is a Sunday, so it will have to be the 15th or the 18th – it will be fun breaking the news to the Fishing Master!
I must be barmy bonkers.
Wrote a letter to Deb in which I told her that I smoke now,
God I wish I didn’t – my lungs now are burning and full of shit. I am in very poor condition. I dislike myself at the moment.
I wish I was home – I wish I didn’t have this blasted job.
Sod the expeience!
I miss home, and I’m ultra pissed off and my cabin is too hot and I’m sweating!
Wednesday 6 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
Slept terribly, only to wake up this morning and celebrate a day of no fishing. What makes today even better is the fact that we are sheltering from the rough seas in the shadow of Pebble Island.
I therefore am relatively happy
Very little else to write about – these non-working days are very long indeed.
One of the first pieces I saw from Upfest 2018 was this lovely mosaic by local artist, Angus. Over the last couple of years, Angus has concentrated on his part mosaic/part spray painted pieces, but he remains a highly versatile artist who appears to enjoy working with different materials and concepts. His ideas are key to his work.
This piece I guess must be called something like ‘fishing for likes’, or at least that would seem to be the literal translation. Angus was very busy throughout the festival and this was one of at least three mosaic pieces in addition to other work by the artist. Always good to see his ideas coming to life in this way.