The Cure for Everything

I’m heading north at the end of next week to continue my project to document deep-sea fishing trawlers. Just getting up to Lerwick is a distance of 670-miles, 450-miles of that is by road: it’s a good job I enjoy a road-trip. Now, if everything goes to plan, I leave the Isle of Man of Friday, get to England at midnight, drive all night and hit Thurso Bay in Caithness for a late breakfast in Scrabster.
North of Scrabster is new territory for me – 10-hours of ferries to Lerwick on Shetland, via Orkney. On Orkney, I need to get from Stromness to Kirkwall, but I plan to engage a known driver in conversation on the ferry to resolve that logistical issue.
After a night in a Lerwick bed & breakfast, I will join Mizpah for a 10-day outing, reverse my journey and head back to Scrabster for a stint on Caledonia III. I have a third trawler lined-up, out of Ullapool, as yet unconfirmed. So basically, what I’m saying here is that I’m going to be seasick for a month.
I’ll be attempting regular updates while I’m away, although marine internet is furiously expensive, so skippers do tend to ration it. I have been asked to do a live-feed at some point, although I have to say these never go well for me; even sober, I just end up talking complete jibber-jabber. In my current dark humour, it could be entertaining. We’ll see. The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea. — Isak Dinesen


  1. Cathrine Hisscott

    Wow! You ‘re quite the adventurous type aren’t you! I can’t wait to see the photos and read your thoughts (I love both). You should do the live feed – I’ve heard you on the radio, not jibba jabba at all. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Analog_Angel

    Exciting! Will you be shooting film or digital? I remember reading a while back that you were thinking of using digital? Digital makes sense I suppose, but whatever you shoot will look wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Richard Cunningham

    Few other photojournalists would suffer for the cause as much as you do! Good lord, I find an hour of seasickness quite unbearable! I hope you receive the recognition you deserve for this body of work.
    Best, Richard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You can try Kickstarter just to make some money for these needs – an internet for the month on the boats, plus some additional rolls of film. everyone here will be ready to support you and to get some more updates (maybe also live updates)
    also this doing there in the middle can somehow distract you from the seasick problem.
    anyway – take care and good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shelly

    El Kneenio – use the energy, bring us all back gritty truth. Glad you decided to go, I personally would have thrown you and your camera onto that boat if you hadn’t. Much love X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Margaret O’Neill

    I don’t comment usually, but I really must this time! I live in Melbourne, Australia and have visited both Orkney and Shetland so I appreciate the remoteness and know that smooth seas may not happen too much. I hope, though, that seasickness does not render you totally miserable this time. I love your work and look forward to seeing the results of this trip. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Laurie

    Hi Phil, I do organised tours around Shetland; I’d gladly show you around in exchange for some nice photos, if you’re around Lerwick for any length of time. I’ve followed your work for a long time and would love to meet you!
    I also know the Skipper of the Caledonia! Small world! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Caroline Coole

    That’s a long time to be away from loved ones, but I suppose fishermen do it all the time. I’m sure Hannah will agree that absence makes the heart grow fonder though 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alan Kloster

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the work of Corey Arnold? You are both amazing maritime photographers, and what I love is that your work is so different. Both unique photojournalists capturing the same tradition in different ways. Excellent work and good luck with the trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Harriott Clague

    You should be so proud of yourself, Phil. You’ve done some incredible projects, but I think this is my particular favourite. You’ll love Shetland, it’s wild, and ruggedly beautiful, but friendly.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mary Kilbride

    I spent a couple of hours last night looking back through your work. Your images are incredibly evocative and honest and your obvious compassion and empathy for your subjects shines through. Calais, SA, Fishermen, et al – all very important stories, perfectly documented. I shall be sharing and encouraging others to do the same. Thank you for doing what you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Alex

    I know you made that first image on your iPhone, because you told me. What I don’t know is how you manage to produce better images with your phone than most people can with a £10K Canon setup? I know you struggle with the film/digital dilemma, but forget it man! Free yourself up to concentrate on getting the shots with digital.
    See you on Monday, you beautiful man!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jenny

    I hope you aren’t drinking all that Red Bull tonight? 🙂 Another one here looking forward to seeing this latest body of work. Big hugs (as if you haven’t had enough from Hannah already 🙂 ) x


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