My sister and family have recently bought a farmhouse in Cornwall not too far south of Bodmin. This is excellent news for me, as there is a ready-made bolt-hole for short breaks with the family and dog. In fact I posted some Fowey doors a short while back on such a visit with my daughter in August. Even better than that is that it can serve as a new base for my annual fishing trips with my fishing partner of thirty years.
At the start of September, he and I went away for a few days and our primary task was to check out the coastline from St Austell to Plymouth. Now I am very familiar with Cornwall and spent pretty much every school holiday in Flushing, opposite Falmouth, staying with my grandparents, but this South East coastline of Cornwall has largely remained off my radar.
On our last day we decided to pop into Fowey for some breakfast before fishing on the other side of the estuary in Polruan. As it happened, we abandoned that idea and instead fished the most beautiful bay imaginable called Lantic Bay, a few miles East of Polruan.
Enough context setting – in short, I found myself back in Fowey, so here are some more doors from this recent fishing trip.
I absolutely love this piece for many reasons. Firstly, it taps in to my love of fishing and is one of several angling-related pieces at Upfest 2017. Secondly, the cartoon style is really unusual and quirky…it has a great many similarities with the style of Bristol’s own Sepr, which in my view is a really good thing.
Mariojin, the artist, comes from Milan in Italy and in the picture above it looks like there might be an element of collaboration going on.
Apart from Mariojin’s fabulous website which shows off some great work, I don’t know too much about the artist beyond what is in his Programme notes for Upfest:
‘Mariojin grew up in the outskirts of Milano, where the cohabitation of different cultures offers inspiration to the first movements of the Milan writing. He develops the passion for drawing and colours since childhood, inspired at first by his aunt’s canvas, artist and teacher, and subsequently, from the garish colours, forms and dimensions of Graffiti’s world. Attracted by this world he begins to paint with sprays at the end of the 90s. He is Member of Nuclear1 crew, which organizes an important graffiti jam “Meeting of Styles” Italy since 2014. He paints using a mix of influences between illustration and graffiti.‘
I am rather fond of this fishing collaboration between Shane Ha and Niall O’Lochlainn, neither of whose work I have come across before (I think). Both are artists and illustrators from Dublin although I’m not sure if they have collaborated before.
In doing just a little Instagram research on this piece I have rather fortuitously come across a couple of extra pieces they left behind in Bristol, so I will be popsting those before too long I hope.
I was trying to establish which artist did which character, but I’m not sure I can tell, and this might be one of those examples of a collaboration where they both did bits of both. I’m not sure I will ever know. Nice piece.
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.
Back to my roots for a moment. This whole blogging experience began in February 2015, when I was taken ill with ‘flu and had to spend several days in bed. For a long time I had wanted to digitise a journal I wrote in 1988 but simply hadn’t had the time. Being Ill afforded me the chance to get started.
Since then I have been increasingly distracted by haiku and street art and feel bad that I have for so long neglected the original purpose of ‘Natural Adventures’.
The full journal can be accesses by clicking on the homepage of Natural Adventures under the heading on the left ‘Falkland Journal, 1988’. For context it is worth reading the first entry ‘An Ill Wind’. Enjoy.
Saturday 18 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
I woke at 06:05 with a start and a half – I couldn’t believe that I had overslept by four hours. Panic! Perhaps it was the double mattress.
But there was no standby bell. There was no fishing today. I don’t understand why because the weather has been good, despite a gentle swell of about 15 feet or so. Possibly just to give the crew a rest
The reason I was given was “the parameter” ?? eh? I thought, then I realised they were saying “barometer”.
I watched Mosquito Coast – a good film, but inclined to depress me.
Now King Kong Lives has just begun. I never knew such a film existed – looks like it could be good.
I quite enjoyed King Kong, the remake, but this film looks slightly laughable.
Today I have spoken no more than fifteen words. This makes me sad.
Sunday 19 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Another long hard day. This is more like it! I think that this is ten times better than squid fishing. I’m sure my enthusiasm will fade before long, but the fact that there are only twenty or so bottom long-liners in Japan and this is the only Jigger-long-liner makes me feel quite lucky. This is my baby and I am going to do a good job!
Today some grenadiers, and at last some Patagonian Toothfish. I think the Fishing Master was pleased, hence the saki at supper – it is potent stuff – yummie.
Last night I had a very vivid dream about Mr Baker (my housemaster at school) as he was when I first met him twelve years ago. I think he is ill or dying or dead, I don’t know why, but I just get that feeling. He was so friendly (in the dream) and knew who I was – he came over to me and started chatting – I felt close to him, like I did in my final year at school. Odd.
Tomorrow I talk to Fishops via KSJ (the fishing agent) – why is it always like this? Fishops radio, like everything else is so bloody inefficient!
Monday 20 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Today is colder and the catch is very poor – no doubt the Fishing Master will be in a rather bad mood today.
I am sure that before long, there will be an accident in the factory deck. Already the Ice Master has gaffed his own leg. Next it will be a finger in the circular saw or a hook in the face. It is bound to happen sooner or later.
‘Don’t give up ’cause you have friends
Don’t give up you’re not the only one
Don’t give up no reason to be ashamed
Don’t give up you still have us
Don’t give up now we’re proud of who you are
Don’t give up you know its never been easy
Don’t give up ’cause I believe there’s a place there’s a place where we belong’
This could keep me going for a while.
Everyone has gone to bed sharpish (it is now 7pm). After some 17 hours work I don’t yet know if we work tomorrow. I fear so, because we are steaming now to a new fishing ground.
There is a…what? I’ve forgotten – oh yes, a patrol ship the Falkland Desire on its way to deliver some letters for me. So I am writing a whole bunch of pre-paid airmail letters.
Tuesday 21 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Oops – I overslept this morning, thinking that after such a tough day yesterday they would have a day off – no such luck.
Luckily the Fishing Master writes down times, temperatures etc. for the set and deployment, so it isn’t so bad missing the start.
Saw some penguins in a school, leaping like dolphins out of the water – and a seal, playing with a dead Salilota (red cod).
I’ve taken some otoliths for myself to try to help explain the work I do.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll take some photographs of such things (for my lectures!)
Some funny dreams last night about getting caught sleeping with Emma W by my dad – very odd – try to interpret that. All in all very confusing.
It is now about 5.30pm and I am ready for a good night’s sleep. I’ll continue to read One Hundred Years of Solitude, and then I’ll dream of Deb and home.
Any readers who have not encountered this story on my blog before, I recommend you take a quick look at the first entry ‘an Ill Wind‘ to provide some kind of context. As you can see, this is the 28th excerpt from my 1988 journal, and it will appear meaningless without some context setting. The full catalog of chapters so far is in the ‘Falkland Journal, 1988’ category on the left of this page.
Monday 13 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Spoke to Drin on the radio. JB is at this moment on the Right (one of the Falkland Islands fisheries patrol vessels), trawling. It looks very much like I’m on my own. I spent two hours talking to the Fishing Master. He and I now are in good form – he is a good man and cares for his crew. The contract should have included a certain amount of input from him. It was worked out by imbeciles who knew little about the fishing operation. I understand that now.
I have just been watching Crocodile Dundee, but at the critical moment have been cut off – a subtle lunch hint I think.
Spent the evening with Sato (gold tooth) and Naganuma and we watched a couple of porn videos. They became boring very quickly – the only interest I have is trying to understand why the hell people perform in such videos…are they desperate for money? or exhibitionists? very strange.
Tuesday 14 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
40 days to go!
I can’t believe that this is all I had to write on this day! wrote to Louise and Deb.
Prepared for fishing. Did some ace drawings I reckon.
Wednesday 15 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Stand by at 0200 hours – what a nightmare. I hardly slept at all before and I had difficulty afterwards. False alarm, the sea was too heavy, so we moved to the southeast (Zone II).
Spoke with Drin and some idiot on the Falkland Right. People really piss me off sometimes.
Oops I think it was Dave ‘intense’, the one who I didn’t know.
I have arranged for Mr Ikido to deal with the problem of trawlers and traffic – delegation, that is the key to power.
Smoking still – I wish I would stop, but the day drags on so.No smoking before 1200 hours but maybe 4-8 after that. I am looking forward to going home, not least because I’ll be able to stop. (Something that took a further twelve years to conquer!)
No more pictures today. I think that stand by tomorrow is at 0300 hours. Bed early tonight.
I am watching a Japanese TV drama (It’ll last for hours) about blackmail – they really go in for these ‘video dramas’.
My spots under my stubble are still flourishing. I feel fairly ugly at the moment, but my spirits are high.
Thursday 16 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
What a bloody day. Quite exciting really, but very tiring and bloody annoying when the bastard Fishing Master holds you responsible for all the problems.
Caught this amazing monster fish, like a giant goby or blenny and called Cottoperca gobio – yellow, green and gold with a beautiful dorsal fin. See photos.
The whole long-lining process is a bit of a miracle. A production line for the set – really primitive, but thoroughly effective.
Visualisation and key to setting a long-line on board the Koei Maru 30 in Falkland Islands waters, June 1988. Taken from my final report.
Saw a whole bunch of gentoo penguins, loads of albatross too – a real wildlife day. It would be great if I didn’t have to bloody do something! 30 more days of this – I may go bananas!
I’m so bloody tired I feel like a zombie – I may if I’m lucky, grab 6 or 7 hours sleep tonight. I pray for bad weather!
Friday 17 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Another long hard day. Some very interesting things coming up, so I was happy. I got some corals, with any luck I could get them home to Deb, or add them to my collection.
I am still motivated by marine life – there were loads of echinoderms and possibly crinoids today, as well as some ace fish, but none of it what the Fishing Master wants. He and the crew are restless.
A penguin was gaffed up.
The sea was rough today and waves were pouring into the factory deck.
I am once again very tired and want to go to sleep, but I’m sure that, like last night, I won’t find it easy.