34. Close to home

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

Abe, crewman, Koei Maru 30, Falkland Islands, July 1988
Abe, crewman, Koei Maru 30, Falkland Islands, July 1988

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.

Coastal snow, Falkland Islands, July 1988
Coastal snow, Falkland Islands, July 1988

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)