Sleep when you can

Some more meanderings from my recent trip with the crew on the fishing trawler, Reul na Mara, in the North Atlantic.

‘8th November 2018. 
Course 268° 
Sea state – moderate to rough

00.20 – Trawler life is linear; there’s no set time of day when anything in particular happens, it’s merely, ‘Fish, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.’. Clock time is irrelevant, breakfast, lunch and supper are events rather than times of the day. Any sleep pattern I did have, we left on Scrabster harbour. Night or day, the crew sleep when they can.
At supper last night (the event of supper can occur any time between 7 pm and 3 am), I wondered what the meaty, sausage-like things in the pan were, I asked the Filipino cook, “Dogs cocks”, he replied… I must have misheard him. The first thing Ross, the Skipper, does when he comes down from the wheelhouse is lift the lid of the pan and say, “Ooh! Dogs cocks!”. 
01.00 – Bed. As I doze off, I have an unnerving realisation – I come and go on this boat as I please, which is great, but what if I fell overboard? I did bring a life-jacket with me, but I’ve been using it as a pillow.
10.15 – I’ve been hiding in my bunk; I’m not sure what happened in the night, but it wasn’t that good. Something I have learned over the years while working on fishing boats is that when there’s shouting and blaspheming, it’s best to stay well out of the way. As soon as I see Dougie, he tells me that during the night the nets were damaged.
17.00 – I was photographing at the side of the wheelhouse, in the dark, and this part of the boat is one of the only areas where I’m out of sight of the skipper. I’m going to need to find something else to use as a pillow…’

Dogs Cocks aka Beef Olives – ground beef wrapped in sliced steak fried, and then casseroled in gravy. Who knew?!

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