Friday, 26 December 2008
Thursday, 25 December 2008
That was the year that was - 2008
It might have been April 1st but Mr Leach is no fool, his new eco-friendly command the Achieve arrived in port to replace the much larger Wayfinder. Another massive investment and a real thumbs-up for the future of fishing arrived that month when the biggest cat to hit town in the shape of the Lyonesse began the fitting out prtoces before setting off to chace the sardines. A handful of people witnessed the 'grey fella' in action on at least one occaison. Dull skies, wind and rocketing fuel costs added to a general feeling of gloom in spring.
Quality will out as May came in, boats like the Silver Spray and the award winning Nantewas continue to boost the port's reputation for quality fish. Later in the year the port would be reminded just how harsh the industry can be when the Nantewas was involved in a collision and nothing short of a miraculous escape for the skipper and crew.
In not so sunny June, news arrived back in port that all hands had been successfully resued when the gilnetter, Girl Patricia sank well west of the Scillies. Little did we know but the dull weather that began in March was to continue for the rest of the year. Politics enterd the port when shadow fisheries minister, Bill Wiggins hit town and enterd in to lively debate with local representatives. Yet more to dampen the spirits in flaming June - but then there was always Twinkle the singing fisherman in his bid for fame with the X factor. It was tuna time again with the fleet reduced to two boats this year and a new marketing strategy thanks to the intervention of M&J Seafoods - yet another indication that the port is missing opportunties to promote the efforts of the fishemen to secure a future for all concerned.
You can tell its July and it was not untill the 26th that Summer finally arrived - and went a week later! Another sign of hotter climes, the tuna 'fleet' left for the grounds and yet days later there is ice and gulls in the rain.
August slipped in under more dull clouds but to lighten spirits, after months of blood,sweat and tears the Inspiration finally takes to the water. Getting to grips with an entirely new boat, rig and way of working the Lyonesse puts ashore her first big shot of Cornish Sardines. After several years in the planning, the Alison Kay from Shetland arrived to take part in a twin-rig fishing trial. Later that month, John Lambourn's on-going project with the re-building of the Ripple (causing ripples for all sorts of reasons) reached a major landmark when the masts finally left their creation spot and made it aboard the boat. Another top chef came to cook and film in the port, this time Mitch Tonks with England Rugby star Mat Dawson at the stove. Before the month was out, Grimmy Mike kept the name of the port on people's lips by giving away tons of haddock over the quay - the fish festival managed to draw both sunshine and thousands of visitors - many coming to find out more about the Spirit of Mystery and the incredible voyage that Pete Goss and crew were planning - who could have predicted that they would arrive in Cape Town SA on Christmas day!
September sees Seafish's 'Twice-a-week' campaign to encourage the population at large to eat fish at least twice a week - and stormy start to the month it was too! Little did he know it but Alistair still had a long wait before the newly christened Emma Louise was bound through the gaps. There's always plenty of action in and around the Bay not always connected with the fishing. With the 'twice-a-week' campaign still fresh - remember the best breadcrumbs to use to impress your friends at the table! Always busy on the market collecting data - CEFAS do their bit to support the industry in a methodical way.
October often brings dazzling colour schemes to the Bay as the summer, what there was of it, gave way to a wet and windy autumn - good for the art scene but not so good for the smaller vessels in the fleet. As the weather brought things to a standstill at sea it was time to enjoy the fruits of the land. With a real sense of history, the Spirit of Mystery found her way to Newlyn for the start of her epic voayge - to re-create the world's first trans oceanic voayge in a small boat - starting in Newlyn of course after a few jars in the Star Inn! - finally getting a window in the weather on Monday 20th of Ocober. by the end of the month the Mission was missing a galleon and the Sowenna had made what was to be her last trip from the port.
Witht the weather in November becoming unchracteristically settled the local punts began to make regular landings of high quality fish like bass and red mullet. Later as the weather changed again to mmore seasonla gales a coaster sheltered alongside the Stone Quay, the first big vessel to do so for many a year and a reminder of the regular visits from stone boats in previous years. At the end of the month, the Manx Ranger arrived on charter to chase midwater fish under the command of young Roger Nowell and the Cornwall Fisheries moved to a new, bright and light home where all hands can see then hard at work.
December proved to be a black month - plenty of cuttles on the market. Some began to look forward to pastures new and, for the first time in months, there was a Saturday market to make the most of last minute landings from the fleet before the big Christmas shutdown.
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Keep it shipshape and Bristol fashion
time for Ollie to wash down the wheels.......
and Royden to appeal to the better nature of fly-tippers over the break - the skips provided by the harbour are seen to provide a local recycling service for anyone in the area - not just scrap from the boats as intended - every fridge dumped here costs the harbour an additional £25 as they are then classified as industrial waste......
the name of the game in lights......
W&S's Penzance fresh fish boutique is about to get the window display sorted......
she's getting tired in her old age, an ingress of water sees the Elizabeth Caroline up on the heard for some quick caulking......
another train load of visitors and locals homeward bound passes by Long Rock from Paddington
as a solitary kite-surfer takes advantage of the stiff breeze in the Bay.