Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Working boats

Feeling a bit sorry for myself after a visit to the Dentist, so took an amble across the road to take a peek at what the boats were up to. There's still quite a few in the Narrows, but there are more in the lee of Round Island, and the smaller feeder boats are working both sides of the channel, within 20-30 metres of the shore.
The Gulls are sitting on the water like so many flakes of snow, mostly too full of fish to move much. Just marking time above the shoals of Herring still in the channel. Larger predators herd the shoals, leaving V shaped ripples as they come close to the surface, which isn't difficult, given the relatively shallow water.
I had a stroke of luck and got these rather low quality pictures with my rather old and shaky digital camera of a boat similar to the one I described previously. In the first picture, the crew snag one of the buoys supporting a Gill net.
In the second picture they are sliding the nets over the wheelhouse so that the top and bottom run over either end of the rotating paddles.
In the third shot the paddles are stalled because something big and predatory has gone through the net mesh and left a three metre wide hole. To the guys working the boat this wasn't a problem, they seemed to be having a little fun as they worked up and down the nets. Pretty chill down there, even in the afternoon sun, yet one of the lads in the stern of the boat pictured took time to strip off buck naked and change into his waterproofs. Either that or I was being mooned. No matter, it's a young mans game down there, and fooling around keeps you warm.

Note: There are three or four variants of this type of boat. All around the same shape and size hull, but I noted one which worked bow to stern with shorter, mesh type paddles as opposed from right to left with the big paddles like on the boat pictured.