Tuesday, 16 August 2016


The day we went to Portrush for a dander the sun made an appearance.  The harbour was looking busier than usual, with a couple of fairly big yachts moored up.  This one was from Nantes:

I like the washing hanging out to dry on the front rail or whatever the technical term is.  There was a good wind blowing that day so there was plenty of drouth, as they say around these parts.  A good Ulster-Scots word that - meaning thirst, or dryness.

The big lady above was out of Annalong, County Down.  Those County Down folk, eh? - coming up here, taking our fish and our women.  Not often we get fishing boats as big as that in Portrush - the bigger boats fish out of places like Killybegs in Donegal.  I'm not a fan of the super-trawlers, which can net enough fish to feed half the population of Ireland in one trawl.  That doesn't seem very sustainable to me.  If you're not familiar with it, a depressing read is the story of Atlantic Dawn.  The vessel was built in the 1990s, in the days of Bertie Ahern and the Celtic Tiger.  It was largely financed by Irish banks and hailed as 'one of the proudest moments for the Irish fishing industry'.  The reality was that under EU quotas it was too big to fish in Ireland for all but a couple of months of the year.  So the owners did a deal with the government of Mauritania, Africa to fish there, outside EU restrictions.  It didn't seem to matter that Atlantic Dawn could take more fish in one trawl than 7000 Mauritanian fisherman could in a year.  They dubbed it 'The Ship from Hell'.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, I remember the ship quite well as it happens. It was built at the same yard around the same time as my present vessel, and was really huge. I remember there was all sorts of discussions going on around the use and efficiency of the thing. Nothing we would like to have trawling around in norwegian waters. Then, only a very few years later a norwegian very well situated man built something quite similar. No good news to the more normal sized fishing vessels over her, that was. Things are more stable at the moment, though... so let's just hope no one will jump on the same solution again any time soon.